TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

On a chilly day in April, Town of Bethel supervisor Dan Sturm uses the town’s new charging station for the first time, to charge the town’s new electric vehicle.

The coming of the charging stations

REGION — With the ascendance of electric vehicles, charging stations have been opening up in our area, providing an opportunity for locals and visitors to charge their vehicles in some nine locations in the region.

The Town of Bethel has become the proud owner of an electric vehicle, and on April 10, Bethel Supervisor Dan Sturm for the first time hooked up the vehicle to the town’s charging station. It was a relatively stress-free experience, and Sturm is clearly pleased that his town has made this investment in clean energy.

The charging station is behind the town court and close to several restaurants on Kauneonga Lake. The general idea is that owners can visit one of the restaurants or other attractions in the town while their vehicle is charging. Sturm said that with this station a full charge can be attained in about two hours time, whereas plugging into a typical home outlet will charge a car in our four hours.

People who would like to use the station first need to get a specific card from the town. At the moment, no payment is required for charging up, but after six to eight months, the town will determine how much electricity has been used and institute an appropriate payment schedule. He said, “At most it will probably be a couple of dollars for a two-hour charge.”

The town is a member of the state’s Climate Smart Communities program, and the charging station adds points to that program. Further, because the town is a member of the Cleaner Greener program, it received a rebate of $5,000 for the purchase of its electric car, and another $5,000 off from NYSERDA, bringing the cost down to about $17,100. The car is used by town employees for various tasks.

Businesses get into the act

But municipal governments are by no means the only entities getting into the charging station action. In Pennsylvania, it’s the hospitality businesses that seem to have been the groundbreakers in this area, such as Woodloch Pines, The Settlers Inn and Hotel Fauchere (see sidebar page 17 for complete list). In New York, interestingly, two breweries and a distillery have stepped up. Only a couple of miles from the town court charging station in Bethel is another one at Catskill Distilling Company on Route 17B. And in the northern part of Sullivan County two breweries have adopted the innovation: Roscoe Beer Company in Roscoe, and Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor.

Catskill Brewery is now Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified, and co-owner Ramsay Adams says it’s the most sustainable brewery in the country. The charging station is part of that story.

He said that, being located just off of Route 17, the station has definitely brought people to the brewery who otherwise would not have know about it. “That’s just a fact; it’s part of the map. People show up and they’re excited that the charger is at a brewery.”

He said being located midway between Ithaca and New York City is helpful too.

As with many features in our region, the use of the charging station is seasonal, with more people using it during the summer than in the winter.

He said the people who use the charging station are a mix of visitors and local people. Adams said, “You see the same cars showing up. It’s fun to drive your Tesla or any electric car to the brewery, have a beer, hang out.”

Electric charging stations in the  Upper Delaware region 

New York
Bethel, Catskill Distillery, 2037 Rte. 17B
Forestburgh, Inn at Lake Joseph, 162 St. Josephs Rd.
Kauneonga Lake, town court, 3586 State Rte. 55  
Kiamesha Lake, Thompson Town Hall, 4052 State Rte. 42
Livingston Manor, Catskill Brewery, 672 Old Route 17
Narrowsburg, The Narrowsburg Union, Erie Ave.
Rock Hill, Ramada Sullivan Event Center, 283 Rock Hill Dr.
Roscoe, Roscoe Beer Company, 145 Rockland Rd.
 

Pennsylvania
Hawley, Ledges Hotel, 120 Falls Ave.
Hawley, The Settler’s Inn, 4 Main Ave.
Hawley, Woodloch Pines, 109 River Birch Ln.
Hawley, Cocoon Coffee House, Bellemonte Ave.
Matamoras, Hampton Inn, 122 Westfall Town Dr.
Milford, Hotel Fauchere, 401 Broad St.

Know of a charging station we missed? Let us know at copyeditor@riverreporter.com.

 

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