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City sets up charging stations for electric cars


You know the saying: “If you build it they will come.”

New Bedford just turned on four electric car chargers for public use. They aren’t the first electric charging stations in the state, but they are unique in that the city — not a private enterprise — is behind them.

“Electric cars are becoming more popular these days because they’re more energy efficient, and they have lower emissions. And we’re trying to promote that here,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said.

The city set up four stations: one at the Elm Street garage and three at the Zeiterion garage. In a month or so, there will also be four spots in the International Marketplace.

At Nissan World in North Dartmouth, Chris Sousa said he hopes the move helps them sell the electric Nissan Leaf while also putting Massachusetts at the forefront of new technology.

“I think it’s great. I wish more towns around would step up to the plate. New Bedford is realizing these cars aren’t going to go away,” Sousa said.

It will cost the city about $1,000 to run the stations for one year without charging drivers a fee. The city used about $40,000 from a state grant to pay for the stations.

The hope is that soon, city vehicles, and not just private citizens, will be charging up.

“We hope once the city starts using its own electrical vehicles that it will save taxpayer dollars. Everybody likes that. I also believe as more people use electrical cars the air locally will be cleaner,” Mitchell said.

And when the one year of free charging runs out, it won’t be much more expensive to pay. Charging will cost about $4, about the same as a gallon of gas.


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