A Chevrolet Volt gets a “fill-up” at a charging station in Portland. Yoon S. Byun/Portland Press Herald, File

In the most recent eco-friendly push by the town, Brunswick will soon lease four new electric vehicles for town employee use and add charging stations at municipal facilities.

According to a memo from Assistant Town Manager Ryan Leighton, the vehicles will be effectively free, since the town is eligible for rebates from Efficiency Maine and Hyundai Finance that cover the cost.

The three-year lease for the 2021 Hyundai Konas, with a list price of about $37,000, would cover 30,000 miles.

The town plans to install charging outlets at the town office and the police department, and according to the same memo, at an estimated cost of about $5,000 at the town office and less than $1,000 at the police station.

On Monday, the council unanimously voted to authorize the town manager to sign the lease agreement with Hyundai.

“Hats off to the town for pursuing this,” said Councilor Steve Walker. “I think it’s a great move especially in this day and age.”

During the meeting, Councilor Dan Ankeles as well as Walker inquired about the possibility of opening the charging stations for public use.

“Initially it was for municipal vehicle only and mainly because that’s where they would be parked overnight anyway,” Leighton said, however noting that all the details have not yet been worked out. “We haven’t really vetted the option for public use.”

After the three-year lease the town will have the option to buy the vehicles at pay at $22,000 each or pay $400 each to return them, the same memo said.

The town intends to assign the cars to code enforcement, engineering and the parking enforcement officer. According to Leighton, the vehicles will hopefully arrive within the next month or so.

According to a letter to the town manager from Efficiency Maine Program Manager Amalia Siegal, Brunswick qualifies as a government entity under Efficiency Maine’s Electric Vehicle Accelerator Program.

“Brunswick took advantage of a limited-time offer for governmental entities to receive an enhanced rebate of $12,000 on a BEV (battery electric vehicle),” wrote Siegal in an email. “We have seen tremendous enthusiasm from towns around the state as they make the switch to EVs, demonstrating that these vehicles can work well for Maine drivers and save taxpayers money on fuel and maintenance.”

Siegal add that while the governmental rebate program is currently paused in preparation of the new fiscal year, the organization hopes to continue offering rebates to governmental entities in the next year of the program.

In total, 26 governmental entities have participated in the program, including Portland, Kennebunk, Falmouth, Windham and Yarmouth.

Brunswick’s decision to lease electric vehicles comes alongside other renewable and eco-friendly attempts by the town, such as the decision to sign with eco-maine for waste disposal, the recent discussion regarding solar power for municipal and school buildings and the planning board’s approval of a 15-acre solar array off of Old Portland Road.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.