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New Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Charging

Published in June 2017

With a growing number of commuters driving electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to campus, new guidelines have been developed for use of on-campus electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

Relying largely on an honor system, the new guidelines emerged after an open meeting with commuters who drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to gather ideas and discuss the best approach for maximizing the utility of the on-campus EV charging stations.

“We now have 15 charging stations, and we are planning to add more,” said Bill Tsaknopoulos, director of auxiliary services at UMass Chan. “We want people to respect the new guidelines and self-police the system. Of course, if we get reports of a lot of violations, we will have to start ticketing.”

Extrapolating from survey data collected last fall from students, faculty and staff who commute to the University Campus, as many as 80 drivers currently use a fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle or are considering buying or leasing one in the near future.  So, demand for on-campus charging capability is expected to grow.

Currently, all of the school’s charging stations are in the West Garage on the main campus. There are a mix of Level 1 and Level 2 chargers open to all EVs and two dedicated Tesla charging stations. The Level 2 chargers can add about 20 miles of range per hour (on average) while charging; a Level 1 (trickle) outlet will add about 5 miles of range per hour.

Among the key points of the new guidelines are limiting charging times to four hours for a Level 2 station and eight hours for a Level 1 station. After charging, EV drivers are required to move their vehicle to a regular spot as soon as possible.

Furthermore, EV owners must participate the UMass Chan 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. Then, they must move their vehicle to their designated parking area after charging.

“This is a work in progress, and we will continue to engage with the EV community, and commuters as a whole, to evolve our charging capabilities,” said Suzanne Wood, LEED AP, sustainability and energy manager at UMass Chan. “Emissions from commuting is a major contributor to our campus’ carbon footprint, so taking steps to enable more people to transition to hybrid or electric vehicles will help us make progress on our goals.”

Wood said the school is exploring various funding opportunities to add EV charging stations to the Plantation Street garage and at South Street in Shrewsbury. While currently there is no cost to use the EV stations, that is likely to change in future. “Eventually, we want to implement some form of payment, but we need to do more work to assess the actual cost of the service and to meter the stations individually,” Wood said.

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