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Proposal for Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Downtown Ipswich

Board of Selectmen Meeting


December 12, 2016

Background
In October 2016, EBSCO Publishing Company provided an offer to donate an electric vehicle (EV)
charging station to the Town of Ipswich. EBSCO has a history of promoting environmental sustainability
for its employees and residents of Ipswich. Specifically, EBSCO promotes and encourages its employees
to commute to work using EVs through the use of EBSCO-owned charging stations on its properties. The
EBSCO donation is for one EV charging station (up to a monetary value of $7,500) to be installed in the
downtown district and intended for public use.
This donation from EBSCO represents a public-private partnership intended to encourage energy
efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ipswich. In addition, the donation is consistent with
the Ipswich Electric Light Departments (ELD) Conservation Fund, which has specified in its fiscal year
2017 objectives the development of public-private partnerships to achieve many of the overarching
energy conservation program goals.
The environmental benefits of EVs include zero carbon dioxide emissions via the cars exhaust. The
emissions of other pollutants are eliminated as well, including nitrogen dioxide which contributes to
atmospheric ozone and is known to cause a variety of health problems, particularly for children, the
elderly, and people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma (US EPA, www.epa.gov/ozonepollution). The costs of internal-combustion cars on the health of residents in 10 selected states
(including Massachusetts) was estimated to be $24 billion in 2015 alone (http://www.lung.org/localcontent/california/documents/2016zeroemissions.pdf). This study found that if all new car sales in
these 10 states were EVs by 2050, comprising 65% of all cars on the road in those states, EVs would
provide $13 billion in health costs savings annually by 2030, and $21 billion by 2050.
Although the electricity used to power EVs also produces carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants,
they contribute far less per mile driven than internal combustion engine vehicles. For example, because
Massachusetts has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the nation, an EV charged in the state
produces about one-third the carbon dioxide emissions of the average internal combustion passenger
vehicle. Even plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which have range-extending internal combustion engines,
emit about one-half the carbon dioxide emissions of the average passenger vehicle (US Dept. of Energy,
www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php). The Massachusetts electric grid will only
become cleaner as more renewable energy projects come on line over the next few years, thanks to
Governor Bakers climate change strategy executive order signed into law in September 2016, providing
further benefits to the environment.
There are also economic benefits of driving EVs, including lower operating and maintenance costs, as
well as substantial federal tax incentives and state rebates which offset the higher purchase price for
current model EVs. The availability of public EV charging station can provide economic benefits to
Ipswich retailers, as well. According to the US Dept. of Energy, offering EV charging is a direct way for

retailers to attract and retain new, EV-driving customers (www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/pdfs/51227.pdf).


Hosting a charging station is a highly visible way for Ipswich to gain recognition for its commitment to
environmental sustainability and for Ipswich retailers to attract and retain customers who share those
values.
Proposal for Charge Station Location
EBSCOs donation of a charging station does not include the installation costs or the parking spaces used
for the charging station. The Town of Ipswich would be responsible for the installation costs and for
providing parking location for the public charging station. For the charging station to have benefits for
retailers and EV drivers, the location should be a short walking distance to the main downtown shopping
area. EV charging station parking is best designated as EV-only, so the selection should avoid siting in
high traffic parking spaces (e.g., on-street parking on Market Street) in order to minimize impacts to
non-EV parking. Because public charging stations typically have two charge ports (dual head) that can
simultaneously charge two EVs, parallel parking spaces in municipal lots are ideal locations.
The cost of installing a public charging station is primarily dependent upon the distance and method
required to run the underground conduit and wire to a breaker box or utility pole, typically ranging from
50 to 100 feet. Trenching or directional boring is normally used to run conduit and wire to the station.
The Ipswich ELD is being consulted to determine the best method and the cost of installation.
A preliminary evaluation found two sites in the downtown area that may be ideal locations for charging
stations. Further investigation is needed to determine distance to a breaker box/utility pole, the
methods for running conduit and wire to the station, and the costs. Based upon preliminary discussions
with the Planning Department Director, Glenn Gibbs, the two sites that have been identified in the
downtown area and are discussed below.
Hammatt Street Parking Lot
The Hammatt Street parking lot is centrally located and consists of over 275 spaces for public and
private use (Fig. 1). The majority of the parcels are owned by the Town of Ipswich and three private
property owners. The lot currently has adequate public parking spaces to accommodate EV charging
stations without adversely affecting non-EV drivers using the downtown retailers. It should be noted,
the Planning Department is currently involved in an evaluation for renovation and enhancement of the
Hammatt Street parking lot, but this is a long-term process that could take five or more years to
complete, according to the Planning Department Director. Although there is a possibility that a future
renovation of the parking lot could necessitate relocating the charging station elsewhere in the lot, it is
also likely that the reconfiguration of the lot could accommodate the assigned charging station parking
spaces and the underground power lines could be reused.
One potential concern in the Hammatt Street parking lot is subsurface, contaminated sediments
(petroleum hydrocarbons) which have been identified in discrete locations of the lot. Coneco Engineers
and Scientists from Chelmsford, MA have conducted site assessments for the contaminated areas and
are being consulted with to evaluate this issue. However, according to preliminary discussions with the
Coneco Engineers it is believed a charging station could be sited in such a way as to avoid the areas of
contaminated sediments and avoid any costly hazardous material remediation. This will need to be
evaluated and confirmed prior to selecting potential charging station sites.

Veterans Memorial/Police Station Parking Lot off Central Street


The parking lot adjacent to the Veterans Memorial and the Police Station contains approximately 15
parallel spaces that are all public parking (Figure 2). This parking lot is further from the downtown
shopping than the Hammatt Street parking lot, but it is in close proximity to the Ipswich River Walk
street crossing on Central Street. The parallel parking spaces would accommodate a dual-head charging
station. However, the surfaces of the lot in some of the parking spaces are in poor conditions and may
need refurbishing.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.