Electric Car charging stations park themselves at WA

Twelve+Electric+Car+charging+stations+are+being+added+to+the+front+faculty+parking+lot+of+WA.

James Farley

Twelve Electric Car charging stations are being added to the front faculty parking lot of WA.

James Farley, Co-Sports Editor

During the summer of 2021, Westford agreed on placing electric car charging stations at WA, and is currently in the process of completing this project.  Soon, these electric car charging stations in front of WA will be usable after they are connected to an energy source, replenishing the battery of electric cars throughout the day.

This decision mainly revolved around preparing for the rapid evolution of technology. A construction team recently finished building the basis for the parking spaces, but cars are prohibited to utilize these spaces as of October 6th.

A major contributor to the stations being built is how popular electric cars are expected to be in the future. Westford is jumping on the opportunity to keep pace with the world’s progression in technology by adding the stations to WA.  In order to drive electric cars, stations must charge the vehicles to refuel the car’s energy, and this is exactly what is being brought to WA.

The car charging stations will be open to teachers, but at the moment, whether or not students are allowed to use the stations is still up for debate.

Twelve stations will be built in the front faculty parking lot of WA, contributing to a maximum of twenty-four vehicles being charged at a time.  The front faculty parking lot adjacent to Patten Rd. was chosen to host the charging stations, positioning these stations in the most efficient location possible.

“A team of engineers, including myself, Mr. Antonelli, and the head custodian [Tom Griffin] had collective input on where to locate the devices. One of our obstacles that needed to be considered was where the closest appropriate power source was in relation to where the charges could be installed,” Paul Fox Jr., the Town of Westford’s Director of Facilities said. “When taking this into account, it was determined that anywhere off Patten Rd. made the most sense.”

A town-wide survey’s results determined that WA would be one of the three locations around town welcoming car charging stations.  The town quickly jumped on the opportunity to implement them at the high school.

“There are many driving forces for why the town is interested in electric vehicle stations. One being that the town recently passed a resolution to be net-zero by 2050,” Fox said.

At first glance, this project was expected to be an expensive undertaking.  However, due to town incentives, Westford is not required to pay any additional fees for the process to be completed.

“I believe the whole project would have cost about $250,000.  However, there are incentives which have allowed the town to move forward with a total of twelve dual-headed charging stations at WA with no expense to the town,” Fox said.

Since the summer, the formation of the charging stations has been in full swing, with the completion date on the horizon.

“Much of the project’s infrastructure is in place. We are now waiting for National Grid to supply the units with power.  We are optimistic this will be complete over the next month,” Fox said.

With the use of electric vehicles projected to drastically increase going forward, WA is prepared for the next phase of transportation with the nearly complete electric car charging stations.

“We are very optimistic about what the future may look like [involving electric cars].  So, although they may not be in high demand now, we are trying to prepare for what the future may require,” Fox said.