Salem State University installed six new dual-port electric vehicle charging stations in front of the O’Keefe Center at 225 Canal Street in August. These Chargepoint stations serve 12 parking spots including one accessible spot. The project was made possible through generous support from both National Grid and the Department of Environmental Protection with Salem State paying less than three percent of project costs. To cover university electric costs, the stations are charging $.23 per kWh which is equal to $.76 - $1.52 per hour depending on the charging speed of the vehicle.
The new stations almost triple on-campus electric vehicle charging capacity. There are now 19 parking spots where vehicles can be charged:
- Four Inside the Parking Garage, students only (free)
- One outside the Parking Garage (free)
- Two behind Viking Hall near Admissions (free)
- 12 new parking spots at the entrance to the O’Keefe Center/Gassett Fitness, including one accessible spot (fee charged)
As a campus where a majority of students and all employees commute, Salem State promotes green commuting options such as bus and commuter train travel, biking, and environmentally friendly vehicle use. The charging stations also represent a step forward in Salem State’s commitment to sustainability at the campus’s athletic complex. The O’Keefe and Gassett buildings both host rooftop solar arrays with 151 KW and 102 KW respectively. Recent projects included new LED lighting in the Gassett atrium and various additional locations throughout the two buildings. Opportunities for additional lighting upgrades are being scoped currently.
While electric vehicles still make up a small percentage of cars on the road in the United States, Scott Stanton, Senior Director in the SSU Finance Department, has a positive message for those considering buying an electric vehicle: “As a six-year owner of a Nissan Leaf EV, I can say I will never, ever purchase a gas-powered vehicle again. Sure, I could tell you it feels great to drive by the gas station, reduce my carbon footprint and generally make the environment a little cleaner. But from a financial point of view EV’s are cheaper to own (a lightly used EV costs about 1/3 of a brand-new vehicle from the dealer), a tank fill-up is extremely inexpensive (or free) as compared to a trip to the gas pump and tune-ups cost about $25 twice a year. Now the new charging stations at O’Keefe add even more convenience to your charging options around town. But don’t take my word for it – talk with an EV owner, do your homework and test drive a couple before you make the switch. I did and I’m never going back!”