University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) has long been committed to a green campus and reducing its carbon emissions. The university installed its first electric vehicle (EV) chargers on campus a decade ago as part of that mission.
Fast forward to 2020, and UMass Amherst has 40 Level 2 charging ports and 2 Level 3 charging ports, with the potential of additional Level 3 chargers in the campus’s newest parking garage.
With Level 2, “you’re looking at about a two hour charge per day” per vehicle, based on the average commute of our Faculty, Staff and Students, says William Watts, Fleet Manager for the campus. “Generally four people can charge their EV per day on each charge station port. But it takes cooperative effort from everyone involved.”
Currently, we estimate that there are about 150 Electric Vehicles (EV’s) on campus between faculty, staff, students and campus vehicles. “That’s a conservative number,” he says. “These are also Public Access stations, so we also serve people in the community, and we have a lot of Umass alumni who have electric vehicles driving through the area and will stop off and top off their vehicles. We can see that from the zip codes information provided by where their ChargePoint card is registered.”
UMass Amherst hosts two EV seminars a year for its faculty, staff and students. As part of that initiative, we held a successful Ride & Drive Event in 2019, with close to 250 participants and 60 cars. The school is hoping to resume these events in the future when it is safe to do so.
MassEVolves has been “very helpful” over the years. “They help UMass Amherst host successful Ride & Drive events by organizing all the dealers, providing liability coverage, and helping publicize the event, thereby getting more people to the event,” MassEVolves further supports UMass Amherst’s Green Initiative by providing another ear and voice to the legislature.
“The timely information and communication from MassEVolves has helped UMass Amherst move forward and provide EV infrastructure and Information to everyone on campus. There is a large amount of information and programs available, but having an organization such as MassEVolves partner with us to make sure we are aware of all opportunities available for our campus is a great help.
UMass Amherst is very enthusiastic about EV vehicles, and many faculty, staff and students are enthusiastic EV drivers. UMass Amherst continues to expand its EV Campus Fleet when it is appropriate. EV vehicles provide “All the power you could ever expect. Nobody ever expects that it’s 100 percent torque at zero or 50 miles an hour in an electric car”. “They really are a lot of fun to drive, and that is a huge driving force behind UMass Amherst’s Ride and Drive Events, if you test drive one, you will want one.”
MassEVolves is a statewide initiative conducted by Recharge America in partnership with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection. More information about the MassEVolves program is at massevolves.org.