Pilot program offers a new source of power for electric and hybrid vehicle drivers

By Kristen O'Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

June 20, 2014
  Four new power stations, including two level 2 chargers (pictured), are located on the first floor of the First Road employee garage.
  Four new power stations, including two level 2 chargers (pictured), are located on the first floor of the First Road employee garage. 

Electric and hybrid vehicle drivers who are in the parking program on the Worcester campus have four new power sources to access when they commute. Two new level 2 charging stations and two “trickle” outlets have been installed on the first floor of the First Road employee garage as part of a pilot program. For now, the outlets will be available in three-hour blocks at no additional charge to employees and students enrolled in the parking program.

“This is another example of UMass Medical School’s commitment to sustainability throughout its campus operations,” said Melissa Lucas, energy and sustainability manager. “Commuting is a major contributor to our campus’s carbon footprint. These power stations give another option to employees and students who have invested in greener technologies, or who are considering that option.”

Level 2 outlets can fully charge an all-electric vehicle in four to five hours. A trickle outlet is similar to a 120-volt home outlet and can require up to 12 hours to fully charge an all-electric car. Hybrid plug-in vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt or Toyota Prius, which run on electricity for a limited number of miles before the gasoline engine kicks in, require much less time to fully recharge.

In a commuter survey conducted last fall for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, 24 UMMS employees indicated they currently own an electric or hybrid vehicle, and 52 were considering buying or leasing one.  

Three-hour blocks can be reserved by sending a meeting request through Outlook to EV_Parking_A or EV_Parking_B for the level 2 stations or to EV_Parking_C and EV_Parking_ D for the trickle outlets. Parking and Access Control Office personnel will process the requests based on availability and fairness of use.

Parkers with approved reservations will be required to check in to the Parking and Access Control Office (also located on the first floor of the First Road garage) before connecting to the power station to receive a dashboard pass that states the reserved time, and they must move their car to their normal parking area after charging.

Studies are under way for additional power stations  at South Street and other campus locations. The pilot program in Worcester will be reviewed and adjusted as needed.

For more information, email the Parking and Access Control Office at Parking@umassmed.edu.