Where to charge your car on Martha’s Vineyard

Charging ports are available all over the Island for electric or hybrid vehicle drivers. — Nicole Jackson

Updated August 4

If an electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle owner is looking for a place to charge their ride on the Island, it isn’t too hard to find. 

“We recently compiled a list of public chargers, with a total of 30 charging ports. You can find them from Edgartown to Aquinnah,” Alan Strahler, a member of the Vineyard Sustainable Energy Committee, said in a press release. 

Strahler explained that there are two types of charging ports available on the Island: level-2 and level-3. Level-2 chargers provide 240-volt alternating current power, and these are the majority of charging ports on the Island. An electric vehicle, depending on the charger, battery, and vehicle type, can go 18 to 28 miles per hour of charging. 

“Level-3 chargers are also known as fast chargers. They use direct current for battery charging, which allows them to charge much more rapidly than level-2 chargers,” Strahler told The Times in an email.

The one fast charger on the Island is at Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, but it is a part of the “Tesla network,” and only Tesla electric vehicles can charge at it. Chilmark was selected to receive a state grant for a public fast charger in February. Strahler said in the release that an electric vehicle can travel 130 to 195 miles per hour of charging. Fast chargers use a direct current to power vehicles. Strahler did not have an exact voltage level for the Tesla fast charger, which is “kind of a special animal optimized for Teslas.” However, he noted the output of regular “[fast] chargers can apply up to 1,000 volts of direct current during fast battery charging.”

According to the release, most of the charging ports on the Island are free to “encourage visitors with electric vehicles, as well as to benefit their own residents and customers,” although there are a few with a fee. Even so, Strahler said in the release, these are cheaper than conventional vehicles. His estimates in the release state that a gas-powered car traveling 30 miles would cost about $5.70 on the Island, while an electric vehicle traveling 30 miles would cost about $1.80. 

“We also see that many EV owners are developing new habits for charging. Instead of waiting until the battery is nearly empty, as you would for a gas tank, they charge wherever ports are available,” Strahler said in the release.

Updated with clarifications from Alan Strahler.