Two electric vehicle charging stations at Mt. Abram’s Ski Resort. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

BETHEL — Now, while you’re charging your body and soul with an invigorating hike up Buck’s Ledge, you can also charge your electric car at the EV (electric vehicle) charging station at the trailhead on Route 26 in Woodstock.

The crew at the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) of Norway have installed the Buck’s Ledge charger, the newest of several around Bethel.

“There are a couple of dozen EV’s in the Bethel area,” said Rosemary Laban of Bethel. Three or four drivers have Hyundai IONIQ5’s, like the one Laban owns.  “There are a number of Tesla’s around and some Volkswagen ID-4’s and Kia’s and I know of a Ford F-150 EV.  I’m sure there are others, [too],” she continued.

Laban has approached the Bethel Airport about installing a Level 3 (fast) charger.  Her car will charge to 80% in about 25-40 minutes at a level 3 station, depending on the weather.

At home it takes ​40 hours. “My longer time is because I’m using a typical electrical outlet, which is classified as a Level 1 and is s-l-o-w,” she said.

Laban said visitors come to this area in EV’s along major transportation roads, Routes 2 and 26, so the charging stations are important here.


The new electric vehicle charging station at Buck’s Ledge in Woodstock. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Area locations

CEBE’s Municipal Resiliency Coordinator Tony Giambro, of Woodstock, said is the application most people use to locate chargers and charger levels (most of the public chargers in this area are level 2):

The Gem Theatre, Bethel, (two chargers, both level 2)

Maine Mineral Museum, Bethel (one charger, level 2)

Mount Abrams, Greenwood (two chargers, level 2)

Sunday River Ski Resort, Newry (South Ridge lot: three Tesla stations, level 2 and one universal; Grand Summit Hotel, two universals; Jordan Grand Hotel: one  Tesla)


Stoney Brook Recreation and Campground, Hanover (two level 2 and one Tesla)

Irving Gas Station, Bethel (six Tesla level 3, super chargers).

Giambro said drivers who don’t drive a Tesla can purchase an adaptor to use the Tesla’s at Irving. Otherwise they are for Tesla drivers only.

However said Giambro, “the Tesla plug is about to become the world standard.”  He explained the company went ahead and called their plug NACS (North American Charging Standard). Now companies around the world are committing to change their cars to use that plug starting in a couple of years.

Other nearby stations are in Norway (13 plugs) and Paris (10 plugs). In Fryeburg, their one public charger is currently disconnected. The other one is at an inn and is intended only for guests.

Said Giambro, “It’s a bad zone [Fryeburg]. Now there is nothing between Bridgton and North Conway.”


A sign points to an electric vehicle charging station sign at the Maine Mineral And Gem Museum. Rose Lincoln/Bethel Citizen

Cost to charge

Payment cannot be made at most of Bethel’s chargers nor at many of the other more rural chargers in the region.  Because they are not networked, CEBE encourages drivers to contribute through a QR code.

The newer ChargePoint charger at Buck’s Ledge in Woodstock is networked and has a fee which is slightly more than the cost of the electricity provided. The overage helps CEBE cover costs and raise additional funds for future EV charging projects.

Giambro said, historically, chargers were free to incentivize buying EV’s. “But there is increasing resistance from some communities as far as offering free electricity to people. They [CEBE] are swapping out some of the previously free chargers to pay-to-use.”

CEBE then reimburses the towns, so they don’t see any loss.

Users pay 35 cents per kilowatt hour. He said if you charged your car for an hour it would cost $2.50, but one hour at a level 2 charger would not come near fully charging a car. He said, for example, if you pulled in to Buck’s Ledge with a Chevy Bolt that was almost completely empty it would take roughly eight hours to charge the car at that (level 2) station. The Buck’s Ledge charger and is intended for people who are already going to be doing things (like hiking).


He said, “Range of EV’s drops in the winter, but so does fuel efficiency on gas cars.” While the EV drop used to be more pronounced it is becoming less of a problem with some of the newer models, particularly with Tesla’s.

In the past a lot of the increased power usage was in the winter. Now almost every manufacturer has shifted to using heat pumps, like those in people’s homes. The pump heats the interior of the vehicle, he explained.

Exploring EV’s

According to Patty Wight at Maine Radio Public News, “Over the past year-and-a-half, the number [of EV’s] registered in Maine has grown by more than a third, from roughly 6,000 to more than 9,000. And it would be higher, if only the supply could keep up.”

On Saturday, Sept. 30, CEBE will hold it’s ninth annual solar and EV Expo from Noon to 4 p.m. at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. It is free. Visitors can learn about the benefits (and challenges) of electric vehicles by attending presentations including, “EV 101,” as well as test drive many of the recently released models.

At the expo in 2022, the Ford F-150 Lightning was there for test drives, and a second Ford Lightning demonstrated the battery power available by popping popcorn in a microwave on the tailgate.


This year they will have workshops on solar and heat pumps and answer questions about batteries, recycling, and lithium. Electric tools like lawnmowers and chainsaws will be on display, and e-bikes will be available for test rides.

Test driving

Locals will bring their own EVs to the expo for people to test ride and drive.

“We have found that getting people behind the steering wheel is the best way to convert people from a gas car to an electric car. The [driving] experience is so much better,” Said Giambro.

He said they hope to interest area schools, including Telstar, to purchase electric school busses with the help of gaining public funding for the project.

In the meantime they are focusing on installing more chargers along main corridors. “We need to get as many chargers in the community as possible,” said Giambro.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.