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Clarkson University Debuts Electric Car Charge Station
Motorists driving electric or plug-in hybrid cars can now recharge at Clarkson University.
An electric car charge station debuted at Clarkson earlier this fall at the parking lot in front of the Educational Resources Center. There are two parking spots adjacent to the electric pump specifically reserved for recharging.
The station was made possible as part of a $1 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in partnership with National Grid, which administered the funding, and ChargePoint, which operates the device. The NYSERDA grant is helping site 67 such stations across upstate New York and 80 statewide.
Motorists can use the station and three others across Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties free of charge, per the terms of the NYSERDA grant, according to Richard L. Burns ’86, manager of community & customer management at National Grid.
"There are two different ways to fuel up," Burns said. "Customers can sign up for a free ChargePoint account and card to use at the station, and those who choose not to sign up for a card can instead call ChargePoint at a 1-800 number listed on the station to unlock the device for their use."
The website to set up the free account is https://na.chargepoint.com/register. ChargePoint monitors the activity and sends its account holders regular statements on how much they’ve reduced their carbon footprint by and the amount of electricity they've consumed.
Burns was proud his alma mater embraced the opportunity to site an electric charging station.
"It's an opportunity to show that the university is committed to reducing its dependence on fossil fuels," he said. "It shows that Clarkson is a leader in sustainability initiatives."
Clarkson agreed to site a location as part of its ongoing commitment to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of campus and encourage the use of electric vehicles among students, faculty and staff. The University funded 10 percent of the station’s costs per the grant agreement, according to Director of Facilities and Plant Operations Ian Hazen.
"We are confident it will be an 'If you build it, they will come' scenario,'" Hazen said.
Susan E. Powers, associate director for the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, said the station will hopefully motivate more of the Clarkson community to consider the purchase of an electric vehicle.
"Electric cars have a critically important role in our energy future," Powers said. "The new recharging station on campus will help to overcome the initial barrier of access to this new 'fuel' when on the road, which, in turn, should help to provide sufficient incentive for more people to consider purchase of an EV or a plug-in hybrid."
“As more and more people drive electric vehicles, it is imperative that the installation of charging stations keeps up with this growth,” added Scott Miller, vice president of sales at ChargePoint. “Through these public-private partnerships, we are able to build the EV infrastructure that our environment needs and that our communities deserve."
ChargePoint also manages the only mobile app that provides EV drivers with real-time information, including availability of charging locations throughout the nation. Every 15 seconds, a driver connects to a ChargePoint station and by initiating over 3,000,000 charging sessions, ChargePoint drivers have saved over 3.5 million gallons of gasoline and avoided 36 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.
(A photograph for media use is available at http://clarkson.edu/news/photos/evstation.jpg .)