April 2 plug-in event on campus aims to energize electric vehicle use

Electric vehicles are slowly but steadily gaining traction with consumers in New England, and drivers of EVs in Worcester will soon be “topping off” at charging stations at Clark University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Quinsigamond Community College, and other sites set to be in service soon.

The public is invited to join government and university officials, students, and many community members to learn more about and celebrate this latest spark in the city’s sustainability and clean transportation efforts, beginning at 3 p.m. Monday, April 2, outside of Clark’s Lasry Center for Biosciences, 15 Maywood St.

Distinguished speakers will include:

The public can take part in a bit of local history-making at this first-of-its-kind EV charging event and demonstration. The Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, BMW Active-E, Mitsubishi iMiev, and other EV models will be on display. For more information or to register for related events, click here.

“Worcester and its higher education community are clearly positioned at the forefront of the clean transportation movement. I believe we must do everything in our power to pursue clean technology and transportation opportunities locally, for our fiscal and environmental health and so that we may continue to grow as a model for the rest of the nation.” ~ Congressman James McGovern

The Institute for Energy & Sustainability (IES), a nonprofit housed at Clark, received a Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources grant to install 10 charging stations in central Massachusetts. They are among more than 150 stations awarded to more than 20 municipalities across the state.

The charging stations, manufactured by Coulomb Technologies, are a part of the ChargePoint® Network, the largest network of independently owned charging stations in the world. The network helps online users locate stations within an EV’s mileage range, generally 100 miles per charge. The parking-meter-like units cost $3.50 per hour of charge. With today’s soaring gas prices, the demand for the charging stations is sure to grow.

They charging stations were made available through Coulomb’s $37 million ChargePoint America Department of Energy program, which will provide charging stations to program participants in ten regions in the United States, including Eastern Massachusetts, and is a strategic partnership between Coulomb and leading automobile brands, including Ford, Chevrolet, smart USA, BMW, Nissan and Fisker Automotive.

"National Grid is proud to be an integral part of an initiative that helps consumers learn about and embrace EV's as an emerging form of transportation," said White. "The roll-out of EV charging stations across the state is just another avenue through which we can reinforce our commitment to educating customers about energy efficiency technologies and sustainable energy options."

"IES is extraordinarily proud to have worked with our business partners and bring this opportunity to Worcester," said DeVito of the IES, which was established in 2009 through a partnership including Clark, WPI, and federal, state, and local entities. IES's goal is to create a world-class green business zone as part of a clean energy corridor in Central Massachusetts by providing leadership for green jobs creation, promoting research and clean energy education and encouraging greater use of energy management tools.

The economic incentives are clear,” said Christopher Noonan, senior program advisor at IES. “Plus, with EVs we can have the best of both worlds: individual mobility and pollution-free transit.”

The electric and hybrid vehicles participating in this event are provided by area auto dealers Diamond Chevrolet and Bertera Nissan, of Auburn, Wagner BMW, as well as Westboro Mitsubishi. Other vehicles are expected to be on site.

Online registration is encouraged. For more information, contact the Institute for Energy & Sustainability, at 508-751-4639 or by email.

About ChargePoint America:

The $37 million ChargePoint America program is made possible by a $15M grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy. ChargePoint America will provide 4,600 public and home ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations, adding to the existing ChargePoint Network. Coulomb will work together with its distribution and industry partners to evaluate the demand from the respective geographic regions and allocate charging stations based on this and other factors. The ChargePoint America project will collect data characterizing vehicle use and charging patterns. Idaho National Labs will analyze the data.