BLUE HILL — The Mount Desert Island-based organization A Climate to Thrive (ACTT) will launch a new program to fund public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Hancock County, including the Blue Hill Peninsula. The group will award grants of up to $5,000 to enable municipalities, nonprofits, schools and businesses to purchase and install public EV chargers. The application form and full information can be found on the ACTT website, https://www.aclimatetothrive.org/electric vehicles.
The new grant program seeks to add at least 30 new public charging plugs throughout Hancock County. Through the simplified application process, interested host sites can apply for ACTT grants of up to $5,000 to cover the cost of charging equipment and installation. Applications will be evaluated at least monthly and grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted. Prospective host sites are required to provide public access to the chargers and to keep their charging station operational for a minimum of five years.
Funding for the program has been made available by a private donor with an interest in promoting the use of EVs in this region.
Chargers in this program will be universal “Level 2” chargers, similar to those found in many public areas, and will be able to be used by any EV, whether plug-in hybrid or all-electric. Level 2 chargers provide about 25 miles of range for each hour of charging, and are ideal for locations where drivers can shop, patronize restaurants, hike or enjoy other area amenities while they charge.
ACTT has already funded the installation of more than 30 public charging plugs in downtown areas from Belfast to Calais as well as in a wide variety of other “destination” locations.