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Vehicle charging stations online

Fulton-Montgomery Community College Director of Facilities Joshua Fleming presents details on the campus' two new dual port electric vehicle charging stations that came online earlier this month to the Board of Trustees on Nov. 21. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton-Montgomery Community College Board of Trustees on Nov. 21 heard details on the campus’ new grant-funded electrical vehicle charging stations that came online earlier this month.

Director of Facilities Joshua Fleming provided an overview of the project that was completed on Nov. 4 when the charging stations located in student parking lot A behind the physical education building and staff parking lot three near the Student Welcome Center and the Allen House became operational.

“The complexity of getting the power to these locations was a consideration, we did want to kind of keep it simple,” Fleming said. “With our site evaluation we came up with several options and narrowed it down to two locations; one in lot A, one in lot three really based on where we wanted to spread out offering the power across campus.”

FMCC received grant funding from National Grid of up to $23,490 to cover the cost of infrastructure upgrades to support the installation of the two dual port EV charging stations on campus. The college additionally received a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to cover the cost of installing the four plugs on campus providing $4,000 per plug.

“We were able to get our project completely grant funded,” Fleming said.

Following a request for proposals and a competitive bidding process, Plug In Stations Online was selected to install the pair of dual port charging stations purchased from ChargePoint with a four year maintenance and data contract. Site work for the project began on Oct. 17 and was complete as of Nov. 4.

The EV stations at FMCC are available to the general public who pay for the energy used to charge their vehicles through the ChargePoint mobile app or through a ChargePoint card that can be obtained online. Rates are set by station owners and FMCC has set a rate of $0.15 per kilowatt hour. The cost to charge a vehicle for two hours at the stations on campus is estimated at $1.98 on the Chargepoint website.

“We’re taxpayer and county funded so our interests were just to recoup costs, the cost of electricity,” Fleming said of the pricepoint. “Right now we’re just charging really modestly to cover the cost of some incidental repairs of keeping up the site.”

Fleming estimated that charging a vehicle at the campus EV stations for one hour would provide enough power to travel about 25 miles depending on the vehicle.

FMCC is working to promote proper etiquette for using the charging stations, requesting that motorists not charge their vehicles longer than necessary or occupy the spaces once their vehicle is completely charged. Campus police will ticket non-electric vehicles that are parked at the charging stations.

“One of the things to keep in mind is these parking spots are no longer parking spots, it’s your spot at the pump so you don’t want people occupying them improperly,” Fleming said. “We don’t have a ton of interest right now, so we don’t have overstay fees.”

Fleming noted that the infrastructure installed on campus through the project could support the future installation of additional charging stations should there be an increased demand.

“We have had a charge session since we opened the stations on the fourth, with one for 58 minutes,” he added.

The Board of Trustees responded positively to the presentation with Chair Ryan Weitz noting that statistics released by ChargePoint indicate that electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles with an electric charging component will become more common in the next 10 years.

“It’s nice to see them on campus, it gives people an option the more of these that are around it makes a little more sense to buy [an electric vehicle] the next time you’re looking at a car,” Weitz said.

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