LONGMEADOW — Electric vehicles owners can now top up on the go in Longmeadow. Electric vehicle charging stations are now open to the public in four locations around town — the DPW, Longmeadow Adult Community Center, Longmeadow High School and Wolf Swamp Athletic Fields.

The charging infrastructure was paid for through Eversource’s Make Ready program, which helps streamline the process of adding electric vehicle chargers to municipalities and business sites. The chargers were purchased through a combination of funding opportunities. While the Adult Center Community Fund donated the funding for the unit at the center, the chargers at the fields and the high school were funded through a mix of state and local funds, while the one at the DPW was built into the plans and cost for the DPW garage.

Level 2 chargers, such as the ones on town property, take between one and three hours to fully charge an electric vehicle’s battery. People can use Longmeadow’s Enel X Way JuicePedestal chargers by downloading the Enel X Way App. There are 13 charging ports across the four locations.

“We are excited to offer the first public access charging stations in town,” said Town Manager Lyn Simmons, “As more people make the switch from traditional fuel vehicles, it is important to have charging stations available to encourage greater adoption of electric vehicles.”

The chargers went live on Dec. 21, 2023, with a rate of $8 per hour or $.13 per minute. The Select Board discussed whether the town should charge more than the electricity will cost during several meetings in 2023. Instead, Simmons said, “The goal is to break even on the cost to charge a vehicle, not to generate revenue.” A full billing cycle has not yet passed, but she said that if rate adjustments are needed to break even, the Select Board will take up the issue at a future meeting.

Longmeadow has also begun to electrify its fleet of vehicles, with the code enforcement officer’s Ford Mach-E.

Simmons said this “represents the town’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and forward-thinking approach to modern municipal work.”

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