Town Seeks to Charge per Charge

October 2, 2023
• The Select Board will vote on policy and rates for charging electric vehicles on October 10th.

The town unveiled its plan to implement a fee structure for parking spots dedicated to charging electric vehicles at a Select Board public hearing on September 26th, 2023. Initially free, demand for these spaces has led to complaints of misuse from the public, and the anticipated need for charging station maintenance and upkeep has created the motivation to end the free ride.

The proposed policy creates three categories of charging stations; one for town-use only, one for public parking lots, and one for public spaces at town-owned buildings. Currently, the town has twelve spaces for electric vehicle charging, located at the Public Services Administration Building, the Rosemary Recreation Complex, the Sunita Williams School and the public parking lot at 23 Dedham Avenue. In public parking lots, time restrictions would be consistent with other spaces in the lot, typically two hours. For spots by town-owned buildings, the policy suggested a five-hour restriction. Select Board member Heidi Frail suggested scaling that back to four hours, mindful of employees who might look to charge their vehicles while on shift. A four hour block would allow for more fair access across an eight hour day, and would split an employees typical shift in half.

Similarly, there would be two types of fees charged for use of the spot. The first is a $.25/kWh payment while charging, which recoups what the town pays for the electricity, which is $.22/kWh on average. The modest fee could be adjusted down the line for the 2025 Fiscal Year if it doesn’t yield enough to cover maintenance costs. Town employees would not be responsible for this charge when charging on shift at a town building site. The other type of fee would be time-based. The town would levy a $3/hour fee for use of the spots after charging has completed. Vehicle owners would receive a text when their vehicle has finished charging, and there would be a 30 minute grace period for them to move their vehicle to another spot.

Administration of the fees would occur through Charge Point, which is the company which manufactures the charging stations. Public comment is welcome on the proposed rates until October 10th. You can send a letter to the Select Board’s attention at Town Hall, or email them at

You can watch the entire presentation to the Needham Select Board here.

See the Charge Point map showing charging stations around Needham here.

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