EV Charging at Towson University
Towson University recently granted me the rights to its ChargePoint Reports to examine their use by local EV drivers. With the help of a Baltimore City grant, Towson had the stations installed last spring, and they became operational on May 10, 2013. The university has 18 Level 2 stations distributed among its four garages, and its Administration Building.
I focused my research on the past academic year, spanning from late August to mid-May. During that time, an average of nine EV drivers plugged in a week. And with drivers taking advantage of the free electricity, they stayed plugged in for 5 hours. But what is most impressive is that Towson University saved an estimated 2,059 kg of harmful greenhouse gases from being emitted in that time.
After using the ChargePoint reports, I then entered the data into the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator to make the figures easier to understand. The 2,059 kg of GHG’s prevented is equal to 232 gallons of gasoline. And the 5 hours drivers spent plugging in prevented roughly five barrels of oil from being consumed. However, the most eye-catching figure is what these savings look like in terms of trees. It would take 1.7 acres of trees to sequester the same amount of carbon, or almost two football fields!
Although the University has only had the stations for a little over a year now, the figures show an uptrend, and I expect the numbers to continue to rise. With only half of the stations being used, it’s up to the EV drivers and the University to spread the word. In an ongoing effort to become a greener campus, Towson has updated its website and added signs and maps helping EV commuters find parking. Perhaps, if EV drivers could benefit from the same parking advantages of hybrid drivers—50% off of the $330 rate—there would be an increase of EV drivers.
Potential discounts aside, charging is still covered by the University, and the stations are prime locations on campus. And, it’s worth adding that the figures from the Spring 2014 semester are nearly double what they were from the Fall 2013 semester. Overall, Towson is well on its way to becoming an EV hub in the greater-Baltimore area.
Photos by Austin Davis