New Network for Electric Vehicle Charging


3/29/2012

electricity car charge station

With the recent installation of eight new electric vehicle charging stations, the City of Cambridge has put itself on the leading edge of public infrastructure availability for electric vehicle charging.  Collectively, these eight stations located throughout the city can accommodate up to 18 electric vehicles (EVs) at any one time.  On Thursday, March 29, the City of Cambridge and the CambridgeSide Galleria unveiled two of these stations.

The project was made possible by state DOER funding that offsets the installation costs, and federal Department of Energy grant for Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint charging stations. The City also relied on innovative public/private partnerships to find suitable locations for the charging stations.  The City worked with community partners to install the stations in places that are accessible to the public, near frequently visited locations and accessible to residential areas.  Partners include the CambridgeSide Galleria, Boston Properties, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Gravestar, the Department of Public Works and the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department. 

This support allows the City of Cambridge to make Coulomb’s nationwide ChargePoint® Network available locally.  The network of charging stations offers cutting edge features for  EV drivers including the  ability to use smart phone apps to locate the nearest charging stations and manage their charging sessions remotely.

“Electric vehicles will become more common in the U.S., and especially in a community like Cambridge that is technology-savvy and likes to be on the cutting edge,” said Cambridge City Manager Robert W. Healy.  “The City is being forward-looking and starting to provide the EV charging infrastructure that will be needed to support these vehicles.  We see this as being a key part of Cambridge’s initiative to be a climate-friendly community.  The City appreciates the support of DOER, Coulomb, and our partners.”

Electric vehicles have just started to hit the market, which will continue to grow as more and more auto makers design their own EVs.  The Nissan LEA, Chevy Volt and BMW’s ActiveE are currently on the market, and will soon be joined by the Ford Focus EV and Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid, both expected to be available within the year. 

The availability of public charging infrastructure for EVs will play an important role in making electric vehicles accessible in Cambridge.  Providing public infrastructure will enable City departments and the greater Cambridge community to take advantage of the benefits that EVs can provide. Those benefits include lower fuel costs and fewer emissions than cars with internal combustion engines.  Promoting the use of EVs over vehicles with internal combustion engines will help Cambridge reach its clean air and climate protection goals. 

Most EV owners will likely charge their cars overnight at home, but drivers have expressed concern about running out of battery charge while away from home.  The state pilot program provides some public charging stations that will allow EV owners to charge their vehicles, should they need to, while out and about.  Installation of these stations in Cambridge will also make it easier for the many Cambridge residents who do not have their own garage or driveway to switch to EV technology.

Stations will be located at the Department of Public Works parking lot (147 Hampshire Street), the municipal parking lot in Central Square (84 Bishop Allen Drive), Porter Square Shopping Center, the MIT campus at 43 Vassar Street and 34 Brookline Street, West Garage at Cambridge Center, and the CambridgeSide Galleria Mall.  Charging station locations and smart phone apps can also be viewed and downloaded online by visiting the Coulomb Technologies ChargePoint map: www.chargepoint.net.

For more information, visit http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/et/climate/evs/clim_ev.html.

Pictured (l to r): Peter DeVito, Cambridgeside Galleria, Mayor Henrietta Davis and City Manager Robert W. Healy cut the ribbon for the new Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at the CambridgeSide Galleria Mall.

 



 

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