Kennebunk’s Lower Village Committee members and town officials celebrated the recent installation of an electric vehicle charger at 159 Port Road, in the parking lot behind Washington Hose Company. The Lower Village Committee initiated the drive for an EV charger and wrote a grant that picked up 50 percent of the cost. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNK – The Lower Village Committee thought there ought to be a public electric vehicle charger in the village, so they did something about it.

The committee decided to approach Efficiency Maine, which offers 50-percent grants for such installations.

Committee member Patti Sass Perry wrote the grant and the group secured the funding.

The new charger – a Level 2 model, was installed a couple of months ago in the parking lot behind Washington Hose Company – but officials got together recently for a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Kennebunk Fire Chief Jeff Rowe demonstrates the ease of use of the new EV charger in the department’s command car, a Tesla 3. The charger is located in the parking lot behind Washington Hose Company and usage is free to motorists. Tammy Wells photo

“We’re so pleased to be doing this,” said Perry just before she sliced through the red ribbon.

“I hope this is the first of many more to come,” said Kennebunk Energy Efficiency Committee chair Sharon Staz.

The Level 2 charger is designed to deliver a full charge in a few hours, said Town Manager Mike Pardue – long enough, he pointed out, for patrons to plug in and stroll through the village, visiting shops or have dinner.

The new charger has two outlets allowing for two vehicles to charge at the same time. The location is registered on plugshare.com, a popular website for electric vehicle owners seeking a charge.

The EV charger is among a few vehicle charging stations in Kennebunk. There are chargers at the Kennebunk- Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce on Water Street, Kennebunk Light and Power on Factory Pasture Lane, both free to use. There are also chargers at local hotels and in Kennebunkport, including a Level 2 charger at the Kennebunkport Fire Station, 32 North St.

On the Maine Turnpike, there are “superchargers,” at both the north and southbound plazas in Kennebunk, that, according to Efficiency Maine, can charge an electric vehicle in as little as 20 minutes. There is a fee at the plaza charging stations.

According to Efficiency Maine, the Level 2 charger, such as the one in Lower Village, can deliver a charge in as little as three hours.

The Lower Village Committee got word they were eligible for a 50 percent grant, with Efficiency Maine contributing a maximum of $2,150. The committee, however, didn’t need that much. The town submitted receipts to Efficiency Maine totaling $3,621, and the state organization reimbursed 50 percent – or $1,810. The remaining 50 percent of the project costs were funded from the Lower Village Committee budget, said Deputy Community Development Director Karen Winton.

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