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EV Charging Update

If you use one of the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on campus, then it’s important to review the new guidelines that govern the charging program.

The updated guidelines emerged from a public meeting in November with EV drivers, and others who had expressed interest in the topic, to discuss the current program and offer ideas for improvements. EV drivers must now obtain a sticker for their parking tag in order to charge, and the use of Level II chargers is limited to morning and afternoon time blocks.

“It’s great that more people are deciding to drive plug-in electric vehicles and utilizing the chargers,” said Suzanne Wood, sustainability and energy manager at UMMS. “With the increase in EV drivers, it also means we have to stay flexible and keep updating the guidelines to help maximize access.”

All of the school’s EV charging stations are in the West Garage on the main campus in Worcester. There are a mix of Level I and Level II chargers open to all EVs and three dedicated Tesla charging stations.

Effective immediately, EV drivers should visit the parking office in the West Garage to provide updated vehicle information and to get a charging sticker for their parking tag. Use of the Level II chargers (both Eaton and Tesla) is now divided into morning and afternoon time blocks. EVs that begin charging at any time in the morning must be moved between 12 noon and 12:30 p.m. to open those spots for others to charge in the afternoons.

Level I charging outlets can be used until the vehicle is fully charged or for a maximum of eight hours per day. (Read the fully updated guidelines here.)

“I do hope people will abide by the new rules and move their cars when they are supposed to,” said Laura Alonso, MD, the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation Term Chair in Diabetes and associate professor of medicine.

Dr. Alonso purchased a plug-in hybrid vehicle several months ago. She decided to go EV because she wanted to eliminate the emissions from her older gas-burning car and she liked the performance of an EV after test driving one on campus last fall. (See test drive story: https://www.umassmed.edu/growinggreen/newsletter/ev-test-drive-coverage/)

“That campus event was my first experience with an EV and I loved it. I am grateful to UMass and the sustainability team here for holding events like that and for supporting other environmental programs. It’s important,” Alonso said.

Alonso said her family recently installed solar panels on their home to help reduce their carbon footprint. Then, moving to an EV for transportation was a logical step. “Saving the planet is a big issue for our family. My kids (ages 10 and 11) are worried about it. Plus, they think riding in the car feels like a spaceship,” she said.

Enforcement of the new guidelines will remain largely an “honor system” though if people notice repeat violations, they are encouraged to report it to the parking office.

EV owners must participate the UMMS paid parking program in order to use the charging stations. They don’t, however, have to be designated West Garage parkers. EV owners who park elsewhere on campus should contact the parking office to arrange access to the West Garage for charging. After charging, those cars must be moved to their regular parking area.

For more information, or to report violations of the new EV guidelines, email the Parking and Access Control Office at Parking@umassmed.edu

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