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Getting Answers: electric vehicle charging stations in Holyoke – Western Massachusetts News

HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Western Mass News is getting answers after a viewer shared their concerns over a lack of electric car charging stations in Holyoke.
After a viewer took to Facebook and expressed concerns over a lack of electric car charging stations in the city, we decided to get answers on how the city is addressing the issue.
We stopped by Gary Rome Hyundai, who has one of the few charging stations in Holyoke. Owner Gary Rome told Western Mass News that they have two of the stations at the dealer. However, there is still a need for more.
“The infrastructure needs to grow as the popularity of electric vehicles and plug-ins grows as well,” Rome explained.
Cities and towns across the Commonwealth, including Holyoke, recently received a grant to install more charging stations for electric cars. The Baker-Polito Administration announced back in February that they will give $13.1 million in grants to 54 government and private entities under the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program.
Kate Craven Sullivan with Holyoke Gas and Electric said that $66,000 will be going to the Paper City, which they will be using to install four additional charging stations and equals eight parking spots.
Sullivan said one will be going placed at the Holyoke train station, another at the Holyoke Public Library, and the other two will be at Veterans Park and HG&E’s main office. She said since the rate of people buying electric cars in the city has been low, which is why there are fewer charging stations in the area. Sullivan hopes this grant will help increase the desire to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“There’s a lot happening around this and I know there’s a transition going on the transportation sector and Holyoke Gas and Electric is really excited to support that as we move toward electrification,” Sullivan explained.
Sullivan said there are few limitations with the grant. However, they need to make sure the demand is there before they can continue to increase the amount of charging stations in the city.
“There are high infrastructure charges, so we’re trying to base the rollout on the community need. Like anything we do, we have to justify the install,” Sullivan noted.
Western Mass News spoke with Holyoke resident Andrea French, who told us she had to get a charger installed in her driveway in order to power up her Tesla. She told us she’s excited that this grant will finally allow Holyoke to make electric cars more convenient for people in the community.
“Sustainability is in my heart. I think Holyoke is a leader in this space already and I think this will put us in the spotlight for being a leader of sustainability and being ready to support the next phase in what’s going to happen in vehicles,” French explained.
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