New Charging Stations Provide Community Service
By Monette Austin Bailey
Beverly Malone, DOTS assistant director, plugs a Chevy Volt into the Union Garage
station during a recent press conference. Photo by Dave Ottalini
Drivers of electric vehicles can now recharge their vehicles on campus, thanks to a new university outreach program.
The five electric charging stations, spread among four locations, allow users to hook up their vehicles for free over four or eight hours, depending on which station port they choose. Maryland is only the second university in the country to have such stations open to the public.
The move is in line with President Wallace Loh’s priorities of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing campus and community connections.
Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and ChargePoint America, the university purchased the $6,000 machines for $3,000 each from Coulomb Technologies.
Though there aren’t any electric vehicles registered to university community members, Beverly Malone, assistant director in the Department of Transportation Services, or DOTS, expects that to change with the arrival of Chevy’s electric hybrid Volt and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf on the market. She says people on and off campus will look for reasons to make buying these cars worth it.
"In the absence of infrastructure, people will be hesitant to purchase these cars," says Malone.
The university will offset the cost of providing the electricity for free, says Malone, through cost savings of DOTS energy reductions elsewhere, such as the installation of new high–efficiency lights in all of the parking garages. Also, students and employees will receive a 50–percent discount for their campus parking passes if they drive electric vehicles.
Charging station locations:
- One between Mowatt Lane Garage and Lot U4, near University Commons bldg. #6
- Two on the top level of the Union Lane Garage, east side
- One on level one of Regents Garage, northeast corridor
- One on the north side of the Stadium Drive Garage, near the atrium