In a move designed to help create a “new car-culture” on campus, SUNY New Paltz has installed six electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for use by faculty, staff, students and visitors.
The Office of Campus Sustainability (OCS) expects the stations to play an important role in fulfilling the Campus Sustainability Plan, signed by President Donald P. Christian in 2012, by making it more convenient for members of the campus community to choose environmentally-friendly modes of transportation for their commute to and from New Paltz.
“We hope that making these new charging stations available will encourage faculty and staff in particular to consider making their next car purchase an electric vehicle,” said Lisa Mitten, sustainability coordinator for the College.
The Level 2 charging stations are located in the Route 32 and Elting Gym parking lots and marked with bright green painted lines.
EV charging will cost $1/hour for the first four hours, then $5/hour after that. Mitten explained that the pricing is intended to promote sharing among drivers on campus – ideally, these stations will be used for “topping off” when necessary, not for every day use.
A majority of the funding for the charging stations was secured through the Charge NY program, a statewide initiative headed by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Charge NY promises to create a statewide network of EV charging stations, necessary infrastructure that will allow New York residents to take advantage of recent advances in electronic transportation technologies.
While EVs are increasingly affordable and much more energy efficient than gas-powered cars and trucks, most current consumer models can only go about 100-200 miles before needing to recharge, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Expanding drivers’ access to charging stations is vital to the broader goal of getting more EVs on the road and reducing overall gasoline consumption.
The charging stations project at New Paltz is the result of a team effort by OCS, the Facilities Management staff who handled the physical installation, and Campus Auxiliary Services, who contracted with the EV charging network ChargePoint to secure a payment system.
The new EV charging stations are one of many new sustainable transportation options available at SUNY New Paltz. Other recent improvements include a bike share program with new bike racks across campus, a Zipcar rental program for students, the new transportation hub at the Route 32 parking lot and new weekend service for the New Paltz Loop Bus.