Electric Vehicle Expo may come to Paris

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PARIS — Interim Town Manager Bill Guindon informed selectmen Monday night that the town is being eyed for the second annual Electric Vehicle Expo slated for the fall.

The interest in hosting the event Sept. 10 is because of the recent installation of a free electrical vehicle charger at the Paris Police Station at 35 Market Square, Guindon said.

“I will tell you the electric has been set up. All the signs are in place,” he said.

Norway Fire Chief Dennis Yates, a master electrician, confirmed that he installed the electric vehicle charger, free of charge.

In April, selectmen voted 4-1 to accept the charger, after viewing a presentation a month earlier by electric vehicle advocates Fred Garbo and Tony Giambro. The charger was donated by Norway’s Center for an Ecology-Based Economy. The original donation came from Barry Woods, owner of Electric Mobility and a Clipper Creek Chargers dealer, who gave the device to the center.

Last year’s inaugural Electric Vehicle Expo was hosted by the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy in downtown Norway. The expo included test driving electric bikes and five electric cars. It also featured a solar-powered tractor and a farm cart equipped with an inverter to allow power tools to run off it.

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During open session Monday, Paris resident Bob Ripley asked who paid for the electricity at the station.

Selectmen told him the town foots the bill and he asked why.

“Well, it isn’t that big and Norway has had one for a year or so now and it was somewhere between $100 and $300,” Selectman Janet Jamison said. “We just thought it was a good idea, to bring people into (Market) Square.”

Guindon said the charging station “is a tourist resource. They can go through their GPS and say, ‘Where is the nearest electric vehicle charger?’”

Paris Police Chief Hartley “Skip” Mowatt said he had seen at least five vehicles using the station since it went online and people go for walks around town during that time.

“It is working,” he said. “It’s doing what we would hope.”

Guindon said he would keep selectmen informed about the Electric Vehicle Expo.

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