Five new electric car chargers, including the first level three charger in Massachusetts, are being installed by Transportation Services in early 2014 at three locations as part of the effort to achieve the campus’ goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.
A pair of public level two chargers will go in during the spring semester at the Robsham Visitors Center and two more at the parking garage. According to Bill Watts of Transportation Services, each unit has the capacity to charge two cars in 4-5 hours for a full charge.
The level three, which can charge a car from zero to 80 percent in 30 minutes, will be located at Transportation Services in front of the Enterprise Rent-a-Car branch. Valued at $35,000, it was donated by Nissan USA, though the campus will cover the installation bill, said Watts. While there is still discussion around the price for parking and charging a car at one of the stations, Watts said that it will cost no more than regular parking.
Watts says the electricity for the charging stations will be produced by the Central Heating Plant. While the plant uses natural gas to generate energy, the electricity goes directly to the cars, as opposed to the power plant fueling the petrol plant and then going to gas to fuel cars. This cuts the vehicle emissions to a quarter of what they would be for gas cars, he said.
Watts has also arranged a long-term deal with Jerry Rome Nissan in West Springfield to offer Leafs, Nissan’s line of electric cars, to faculty and students at the price they are available to the auto manufacturer’s employees.