The downtown Cambridge and Dorchester County business community gathered recently to launch a set of downtown electric vehicle charging stations. The chargers are now active and were officially launched at a ribbon cutting and demonstration event, held on Tuesday, August 7th.

The units were a project coordinated by Downtown Cambridge, a Main Street non-profit organization working to revitalize the historic commercial downtown district. Three Tesla destination units and one Clipper creek universal unit were installed. Drivers of electric vehicles attended and demonstrated their use.

The units were centrally located, in a private lot next door to Black water Bakery at 429 Race Street, which owns the lot and helped support the project by donating the spaces.

The installation was supported by the City of Cambridge and Dorchester County councils with in-kind or matching grant support, as well as by anonymous donors. Volunteers involved with the organizations Streetscape and Design Team helped co-ordinate and bring the project about, led by Brian Roche of Bay Country Communications.

Tomey Electric and the City of Cambridge MUC team performed the installation work, and Custom Welding also supported the project with custom designed mounts for the charging units. Tesla donated all four of the units.

The group anticipates that this will encourage electric vehicle drivers to visit the downtown, possibly deviate from their trip to “re-fuel”, and spend some time in downtown Cambridge while they are there. “It’s an opportunity to encourage new faces to travel downtown and have a look around, possibly visit some our our brewery, shops, and restaurants” shared Katie Clendaniel, Executive Director for Downtown Cambridge, “It also gives us a chance to gather more data about their impact and how this type of amenity may help support business and investment in our district, possibly helping to justift investment in additional units in other areas of the downtown and the City”.

Clendaniel plans to create and ask users to complete a survey, with collected data being anonymously shared with partners. Data will be used to better understand the frequency, duration of use, and about downtown business visitation.

“Now we are interested in exploring options to support the chargers including exploring options to support their energy usage using solar, and possible improvements to the lot itself to help make it a more environmentally friendly site and improve the streetscape” shared project volunteer Brian Roche, member of the Green and Streetscape team.