Increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations is one important part of making the Boothbay region’s future more environmentally friendly. This spring, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences installed eight plugins on its campus in East Boothbay, which are now available for public use.
“We try to walk the talk of environmental sustainability and are always looking for ways to support our community,” said Deborah Bronk, Bigelow Laboratory president and CEO. “Encouraging the use of electrical vehicles and providing charging stations is one small way to do both.”
The largest contributor to climate change is the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activity, such as vehicle emissions. Electric vehicles provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to gas-powered transportation, and auto manufacturers are increasing investment in an electric future.
“The number one risk to our way of life is unrestrained global warming,” Bronk said. “To manage it, we need to limit the release of greenhouse gases every way we can.”
The research on electrical vehicles is complex but, overall, the takeaway is clear. They cause considerably lower emissions over their lifetime than conventional vehicles, especially as countries shift towards renewable sources for their power generation. For Mainers, there are a suite of other incentives through efficiencyMaine.
The charging stations are the newest expansion to Bigelow Laboratory’s green initiatives. The organization was the first research laboratory to achieve LEED Platinum status in Maine, and it added a 244-panel solar array to its campus in 2017.
Founded in 1974 in West Boothbay Harbor, Bigelow Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit research institute that focuses on the microscopic life that drives global ocean health. Much of that research addresses issues impacted by Earth’s changing climate – from the microscopic life that drives global processes to the local seafood industry that sustains our coastal communities.
“I study the carbon cycle and the impacts of carbon dioxide in the ocean. What it does to life in the ocean is concerning,” said Senior Research Scientist Ben Twining, one of the Bigelow Laboratory scientists that drives an electric vehicle. “I felt that I needed to walk the walk, and not just go around giving talks telling everyone how we need to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Bigelow Laboratory is located at 60 Bigelow Drive in East Boothbay. To charge vehicles, EV users must sign up via EVgateway online or through the mobile app. While their vehicle is charging, all are welcome to walk on the laboratory’s East Boothbay campus. However, due to COVID-19, the campus buildings are currently closed to the public. For questions about Bigelow Laboratory or the EV charging stations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.