SUNY-Cobleskill gets electric car charging station

by Ed Munger, Jr.

Daily Gazette

SUNY-Cobleskill's Center for Environmental Science and Technology now features a new ChargePoint station for electric vehicles.
SUNY-Cobleskill’s Center for Environmental Science and Technology now features a new ChargePoint station for electric vehicles.

COBLESKILL — SUNY-Cobleskill is on a new map that’s drawing Earth-friendly motorists to Schoharie County.

A new electric vehicle charging station set up in the fall sits in an appropriate spot on the campus – outside the Center for Environmental Science and Technology where students study water resources management and renewable energy and waste management technologies.

The ChargePoint station is among 820 locations throughout the state where people can “top off” their car’s electricity tank.

“There aren’t many around here, in the Cobleskill area, so the campus felt from several points it would be a good thing for us,” SUNY-Cobleskill College Projects Manager Allan Quinn said.

The station, which can charge two vehicles at a time, was installed as part of the state’s ChargeNY program aimed at placing 3,000 charging stations in the state by 2018. Utility National Grid, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and ChargePoint, a charging station developer, are involved in the project. There were 820 charging locations in the state last year, up from 486 in 2012, according to California-based ChargePoint, a company that’s building networks in the U.S., Canada and Europe. There are only a “handful” of electric vehicles registered in Schoharie County, according to ChargePoint vice president Scott Miller. There are about 100 registered in Albany County – and there is the belief that more people will buy electric vehicles once sufficient charging stations are available.

“It’s kind of exciting and exhilarating for us because we’re all about green and increasing the number of electric vehicles out there,” Miller said.

People with electric cars have chargers at home, so charging stations are most-often used to “top off” in between trips, Miller said.

The company provides people with a card that gives them access to the charger gear, and a map on the internet points motorists to the nearest charger. Stations can charge a fee based on kilowatts for people to use them – SUNY-Cobleskill’s is free of charge. The college is putting the electricity on its electric bill – a tab expected to shrink in upcoming months. Quinn said the college will be building a new solar array on campus – and the sun will be providing electricity for schooling and charging.