The South Portland Community Center recently replaced its old electric vehicle (EV) chargers with four new Level 2 EV chargers, now available for public use. These are the first in a strategy to build out a network of new community-wide EV chargers across the city that community members pay to use.

The South Portland Community Center recently replaced its old electric vehicle chargers with four new Level 2 EV chargers that available for public use. Courtesy photo

The rate to charge is currently set at 50 cents fee per session and 37 cents/kWh used (though this is subject to change if/as CMP rates change).

Free-to-use chargers currently located at municipal buildings will slowly be phased out and replaced with these pay-to-charge models. EV chargers that do not require payment will be reserved for municipal fleet charging only.

The new ChargePoint EV charging stations have instructions on the screen to guide users through the charging process. To summarize, there are three ways you can access and pay for charging:

Method 1 – Using the ChargePoint app

This is the preferred method which will allow you to use the ChargePoint app to remotely view the status of your charge session.


1. Download the Chargepoint app and set up an account

2. Open the app and select the map view, it will then zoom to your location and display available chargers.

3. Select the charger you want to use and confirm that the charger name in the app matches the name on the charger screen in front of you, For example, “Station 1.”

4. Tap “Start Charge” and the cable will unlock for you to plug in.

For more information and FAQs, visit

Method 2 – Using a RFID chip enabled credit card


Many major credit cards with tap to pay functionality can be used to start a charge session on a Chargepoint charger. Simply tap your credit card to the charger screen, agree to the terms and conditions, and the cable will unlock for you to start charging.

Method 3 – Using a non-ChargePoint Network app

You may also try using a different EV charge provider app such as EVGo or Electrify America as many of them are cross compatible with the ChargePoint network.

If you experience any issues, you can call support at 1-888-758-4389.

Considering an EV?

Buying an EV is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint, spend less on fuel, and reduce harmful air pollution. Check out last month’s Coffee and Climate conversation, “Things I Wish I Know Before I Bought An EV,” where the One Climate Future team was joined by several local EV owners who discussed their experience owning and driving an electric vehicle.


Topics included charging types and speeds, public and home charging infrastructure, considerations before buying, and more. To view the video, visit

There are several ways you can significantly reduce the cost of going electric, including a variety of EV rebates and incentives. For more information, visit

Have an EV? Did you know …

● There are many different public charger operators across Canada and the United States. To be able to properly use public chargers, you’ll have to learn which charging networks are available in your area. Be sure to check out Plugshare, a community-based tool and database that guides users to public charging stations in their area. Plugshare is available for iOS, Apple Watch, Android, and on the web. For more information about charging networks in your area, visit

● Keeping your battery charged between 20-80% improves battery life. As with any battery, continuously charging your battery to its maximum or depleting it to its minimum can cause strain on the electrodes leading to reduced storage capacity and a shorter lifespan of the battery. This is simply a guideline – it is OK to charge above 80% or dip below 20% – and something to consider to maintain your EV’s battery and increase the likelihood that the battery is operating efficiently.

● It’s winter time. Cold weather will slow down charging speeds and can reduce the car’s range. Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive to temperatures and the cold will slow down the chemical process of battery charging and reduce the battery’s efficiency.

If the battery gets too cold, it could take a lot more energy to start. To preserve your battery and charging speeds, try not to let your EV get below a 20% charge and keep your car in the garage. In the cold, the car’s range can drop dramatically because the battery is working harder and drains more power in the process. Some EVs have settings to pre-condition the battery and cabin temperature, both can help you stay warm, save battery energy before you travel, and extend your battery’s lifespan.

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry intended to provide residents with news and information about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram @soposustainability.

Jenna d’Arcy is an AmeriCorps/GPCOG Resilience Corps fellow serving in the South Portland Sustainability Office through September 2024. She can be reached at

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