LISBON — Lisbon Town Council voted 4-3 to contract with Central Maine Power Co. to install four electric vehicle charging stations in downtown Lisbon Falls.

The charging stations will be in a municipal parking lot off Main Street as part of a CMP pilot project. The utility is covering $16,000 for installation and the town is responsible for about $19,641 in material costs.

Councilor Norm Albert said he can’t justify spending $20,000 in energy cost savings that could pay for more immediate needs in town, such as ongoing budget challenges the town faces due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s no data that would support an increase in our area … that we’re going to grow exponentially enough to say that an investment would pay off,” Albert said.

Councilors Jeffrey Ganong and Kasie Kolbe joined Albert in opposition.

Councilor Don Fellows said the immediacy is due to the fact that the town is getting grant money for the project.

Central Maine Power is providing $4,000 in “make ready” work for the electrical infrastructure required to provide for 60 Level 2 charging stations, for a total of $240,000, the Portland Press Herald reported in February 2020. A Level 2 charger is a 220-volt connection that takes about eight hours to charge an electric vehicle.

The new charging stations are a component of Maine’s climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions from transportation.

“It turns out Lisbon happens to be a whole desert of lack of (electric vehicle) charging between the Brunswick and Lewiston area,”  Fellows told The Times Record Monday.

Fellows said Monday the town would charge a fee for vehicles, though that fee hasn’t yet been set.

Lisbon Economic and Community Developer Brett Richardson told the council Tuesday that industry experts expect prices of electric light SUVs to be the same price as gas-powered vehicles by 2024.

“To me, that price parity suggests that a lot of folks will start to opt-in the way of electric vehicles just because there’s less life cycle cost,” Richardson said.

Richardson said he believes the town can use some of the projected annual $75,000 the town will save on energy costs by purchasing solar power to fund the electric vehicle charging stations.

“I think it will encourage people to visit and to pull over and spend time in the village area while they’re visiting and patronize businesses down there,” Richardson said.

 

 

 

 

 


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