U-M installs new electric car charging stations

Electricity may steadily displace gasoline for powering cars, and the University of Michigan is supporting this newer technology while shrinking its carbon cloud. Last month, six new electric car charging stations were installed in campus parking areas: the South Campus lot at Hoover and Greene streets, the Ann Street parking structure on the Medical Campus, and the North Campus lot on Murfin Street.

"We have had requests from faculty, staff, and students about the opportunity to have these on campus," says Stephen Dolen, U-M's executive director of parking and transportation services.

The stations are of the Level 2 (208-240 volts) variety. Faculty, staff, and students may use them free of charge, while the public need only pay the standard parking rates.

The project was funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant administered by the Clean Energy Coalition. Equipment and software costs were approximately $28,865, according to Dolen.

The stations are quickly being utilized, Dolen says. Usage is recorded and the university is building future electric charging capacity into its plans. "For instance, in the new Wall Street parking structure that we'll be building, starting early next year, we're putting in the infrastructure to be able to add up to 30 EV (electric vehicle) stations in that building, if there is that kind of demand...We'll see how this works and what kind of usage [we're getting] and then consider expanding."

Source: Stephen Dolen, U-M's executive director of parking and transportation services
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar