In response to faculty and staff choosing to drive hybrid and electric vehicles to campus, the Boston College Parking and Transportation and Facility Services departments have jointly decided to install an electric vehicle (EV) charging station on BC’s Main Campus.
The EV charging station, which was installed on Sept. 29 on the second floor of the Commonwealth Ave. parking garage, was constructed to satisfy the requests of three BC faculty and staff who needed to charge their battery-powered cars during the school day.
The Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) is a program that supports greenhouse gas reduction and clean energy goals in the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. The program provides incentives to universities like BC to acquire level one or level two electric vehicle charging stations. Charging equipment for plug-in electric vehicles is classified as either level one or two by the rate at which the batteries are charged. Charging times can vary depending on how depleted the battery is, how much energy it holds, and the type of battery. The new level two charging station at BC will add about 10 to 20 miles of range to a vehicle per hour of charging time, and it can fully charge some vehicles in less than four hours.
The grants the MassEVIP program gives out help universities offset the costs of these EV charging stations. In order to be considered for the grant, BC was required to provide funds to match 50 percent of the hardware costs and all of the installation costs, employ 15 or more people on their campus, and demonstrate adequate power supply. Once BC applied for and was approved for one of these grants last April, the level two charging station was installed at a 50-percent reduced price.
“The installation of the EV charging stations reinforces both Massachusetts’ commitment to having a greater number of electric vehicles on the road and Boston College’s commitment to encourage faculty, staff, and students to carpool or use alternative fuel vehicles.”
—Bob Pion, BC’s sustainability director
The BC Parking and Transportation and Facility Services departments met frequently over the course of six months to look at different EV charging station companies. Bob Pion, BC’s sustainability director, said they chose the company ChargePoint because it had the most locations available for charging.
In order to be able to use the charging stations, BC faculty and staff must have an online ChargePoint account, which many already do because ChargePoint is one of the more popular brands of EV charging stations.
The ChargePoint online account allows members to charge their electric vehicles at any of the company’s 30,200 ports, including the one installed on campus; check the availability of their charging spots; receive status notifications during their charging sessions; and track their fuel and greenhouse gas savings.
Although only one charging unit has been installed on Main Campus for now, the Parking and Transportation and Facilities departments hope to install two more units, on the Newton and Brighton campuses, in the near future.
Pion believes that the new charging stations are a positive addition to BC, as they help the environment by encouraging people to find different means of transportation that will reduce pollution.
“The installation of the EV charging stations reinforces both Massachusetts’ commitment to having a greater number of electric vehicles on the road and Boston College’s commitment to encourage faculty, staff, and students to carpool or use alternative fuel vehicles,” Pion said.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor