New campus electric car charging stations provide much needed energy

Kinesiology professor Marcia Abbott unplugs her car from the free electric charging stations on the first floor of the parking lot, located near the elevator Oct. 10, 2013. Photo By Tony Santos / Xpress

Kinesiology professor Marcia Abbott unplugs her car from the free electric charging stations on the first floor of the parking lot, located near the elevator Oct. 10, 2013. Photo By Tony Santos / Xpress

With the recent addition of nine free electric charging stations last July, faculty and students who drive electric or hybrid cars no longer need to be afraid their car will die on the drive home.

According to Teresa Carrillo, Latino/a studies department chair, after heavy lobbying from her and a group of faculty members the nine free charging stations were installed on the second floor of Lot 20. ClipperCreek, an electric charging station manufacturer, donated the publicly available 240 volt stations that fully charge a car in four hours, giving it roughly a 40 to 100 mile range.

For those who own an electric or hybrid car, the price for a charging station can range from $500 to more than $2,000 with the price of a charging station similar to the one on campus, sold by ClipperCreek, costing more than $2,000.

“I was overjoyed when they got (the charging stations),” said Carrillo. “When you drive these cars you go to great lengths to find a charger. My commute is 25 miles here, 25 miles home and I used to run out on the way home.”

While SF State paid nothing for the charging stations and installation, it did pay employees from the campus electric shop to set up an electrical connection to power the charging stations.

“It’s awesome; it’s really great that the University recognized a need and did something,” said Leisl Zabelin, an early childhood education grad student.

Charging a Nissan Leaf for four hours uses about 26.4 kilowatt hours of energy, which costs the University about $5.80, according to Nick Kordesch, Office of Sustainability coordinator.

Carrillo is not the only one who commutes from far away and depends on the charging stations to be able to make it back home.

“I live 40 miles away, if I didn’t have this option I wouldn’t make it,” said Marcia Abbott, kinesiology professor.

There has been some confusion about the amount of time users can park their car at the charging stations. There are signs above the charging stations that say the parking spot is limited to four hours, however Carrillo argues that her parking pass allows her to park on campus all day.

The time restrictions were brought to her attention after she almost received a ticket from the University Police Department, for exceeding the four-hour parking limit.

Carrillo explained that it can be difficult for faculty and students who have classes back-to-back to move their car.

Even with the confusion, hybrid and electric car drivers said they enjoy the new charging stations and the free cost.

“The fact that these are here is amazing; the fact that I have it here at work is the best option,” Abbott said.

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