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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Are in Capital Region


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The most recent electric vehicle (EV) charging station was recently installed in the Shop Rite Plaza parking lot at 2333 Nott Street East in Niskayuna, NY. It is accessible to the public and currently there is no charge to charge your vehicle! According to store management Shop Rite Corporate picked the Niskayuna store “because General Electric is nearby and into the renewable energy business.” Also note, the unit is a GE charging station; unfortunately it is the only one in the Capital Region that I’m aware of.

One of the neat things about electricity is that it is everywhere. Even grid-electricity (especially here in the Capital Region) produces less pollutants in transportation than does gasoline, according to James Kliesch in his Feb/Mar 2011 Mother Earth News article, “Why Electric Cars Are Cleaner.” Everyone who buys an electric car will be able to charge at home. To extend the range of an electric vehicle, a charging station network will be needed. There are three levels of charging: 110, 220 and 440volts. The higher the voltage and amperage the faster a battery can be recharged. A full charge at 110 volts could easily take overnight, depending on the battery size. Only what we now Sr31call gas stations, which I expect we might come to call “power stations,” will have the capability to deliver 440 volt charges. The problem with quicker charges is they will shorten the life of most batteries, so a regular diet at 440 volts, high amperage charges would not be a good idea. Also, not all vehicles will be able to take advantage of the higher charge, but most should be able to accept both 110 and 220 volt charging. With one noted exception all the stations shown here provide 220 volts.

It is hard for the casual observer to tell if all or any of these charging stations are necessary today (overall Capital Region capacity is to charge ten cars at one time). The Prius I saw charging at NYSESRA had no special “Electric Vehicle” markings that I could discern – it may have been an aftermarket conversion. The capital region is probably following suit with the apparent national strategy of wanting to be progressive and ready for the cars that are expected in the next few years. See Wall Street Journal article:

There are at least four other charging station locations in the Capital Region. I took a little tour last Sunday morning and captured the following pictures of the current state of Capital Region EV Charging!

Hiexp11Holiday Inn Express at 300 Broadway, Albany has a single charger and two reserved spots. 

NYSERDA main offices at 17 Columbia Circle, Albany has two chargers apparently capable of charging three cars at a time. One car actually caught in the act of charging – what a great sight, it was the same as the first time I took a shower with solar heated water, exhilarating! No please don’t get me wrong, driving an electric powered vehicle would be more exhilarating, but just seeing what can be was pretty darn good! See for yourself below.

 

Nyserda1235

Step11Saratoga Technology & Energy Park at 10 Hermes Rd, Malta has a single charger (on right) that appears capable of charging two cars at a time, though there were no cables present at the time of my visit (Sunday morning remember).

 

 

HVCC Tec-Smart at 345 Hermes Rd, Malta has the most modest station (below), a dual 110 volt receptacle on a treated post, but they also have the biggest statement with plans to have a 24 car lot capable of charging 12 cars at a time!St91

The Wall Street Journal has a nifty Charging Station Locator map. It shows hundreds of charging stations throughout the U.S. This is how I found the above four; an OEIC news spotter called in the Shop Rite installation. However, in spite their intent to show what will be coming over the next year or so, they did not have Shop Rite’s charging station listed.

Do you have any plans to acquire an electric vehicle? Right now my plan is more in the “hope” stage, but still for the multitude of short trips we make it would be a lot better using the sun than oil. And IF the battery does not present an undue financial burden, then electric vehicles are much simpler to build and maintain, and at about 3 miles per kWh should be much less expensive to operate; therefore, they should be more economical – but only time will tell.

If you have an electric car or are planning to get one, please let us know by commenting. Thanks.

Update 5/8/12: I was just informed that there are three charging station spots at the downtown Saratoga Springs Price Chopper. Currently they are free for Price Chopper customers!

 

Dan Gibson is the Reporter and Chief Coordinator of Our Energy Independence Community (www.OEIC.us). Previously he performed home energy audits for five years in NYSERDA’s Home Performance program and new home ratings in the New York ENERGY STAR Home program. He is currently building a 100% Solar Home. He can be reached at DanG@OEIC.us  

 

 

 


Comments on "Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Are in Capital Region"

  1. OEIC default avatar listless January 08, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for the great article. We live in the Berkshires in Lee, MA and are taking delivery of our Nissan LEAF next week. Making a trip in the gas-powered car today to scout out some of these stations to see if they will be what we need to get us the expected 2-3 hours of charge time needed to get the nearly 50 miles back home from Albany.

  2. OEIC default avatar OEIC-Admin January 09, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    You are quite welcome! But I must let you know, I now have EV envy! I have been on the Leaf list for well over a year, but I’m having a hard time actually buying. Part is because I think an electric pickup might be better for us and part because I’m concerned about replacing the battery in 9 or 10 years. Please keep us posted on how your car works and charging or other issues. Have a Sunny Day!

  3. OEIC default avatar listless January 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I felt a personal burden to get out there and be an early-adopter even if there are a few glitches to overcome. Mainstream EVs are WAY overdue and we need this rollout to be very successful.

    As for the charging options…we need them in more logical locations.  The Shop-Rite is nice but I am not going to spend 2-3+ hours there to top off. Downtown Holiday Inn is possible on occasion, but the needs of our family (and I must assume many others) would be better suited by charging at malls, movie theaters, and other areas with restaurants and shopping (Crossgates, Colonie Ctr)—to make it easy to spend 2-3 hours topping off the battery. Excited about the plans for EV charging at downtown Northampton garage and Holyoke mall in Mass. but I know of no plans for similar well-sited charging in the capital district.

    Even without public charging—the LEAF will be a great commuter car for our needs and used 6 days a week for the same exact purposes as the ICE car that we are replacing.

  4. Dan Gibson's avatar Dan Gibson January 14, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Thank you for the insight Listless,

    I agree about the need to get EVs on the road around here and I will as soon as I can! As for the charging stations, it seems the HVCC stations, when installed, will be great for teachers or students attending classes. But the hotel presumes you want to stay overnight. The Shop Rite stations can work for an hour probably. The bottom line is we will need and probably get a lot more in the next couple of years because of guys like you showing there is actually a need! Thanks. Dan

  5. OEIC default avatar joshk May 03, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I have a Nissan LEAF and found this article helpful. Are there plans to update it? As an EV owner it would be useful to know, not only who where Level 2 charging station are located (or Level 3 if any ever arrive in the area) but the rules and the cost (so far all I’ve visited are free - though ShopRite requires the customer card to start it). The new PriceChopper limited has three charging stations, but they weren’t working when I tried. Also, while it is in the interest of every car dealer selling EVs to promote charging (for everyone) I have no idea if the car dealers agree.

  6. Dan Gibson's avatar Dan Gibson May 04, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Josh,

    If I thought there wouldn’t be better sources for updated information than this blog, I’d try to keep it updated, but I’m sure there will be. For example http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/ is one source maintained by the US Dept of Energy. Still it was out of date when I wrote this article and I expect it will always lag a bit. The encouraging news on the above link is that there are two Nissan dealers, so maybe they will help get the infrastructure started. I checked with CDTC and they suggested the above link. Good luck in your efforts and if you’d like to share your thoughts and observations in buying the Leaf, we’d love to read about them. Have a Sunny Day! Dan

  7. Dan Gibson's avatar Dan Gibson May 04, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Josh,

    If I thought there wouldn’t be better sources for updated information than this blog, I’d try to keep it updated, but I’m sure there will be. For example, this source is maintained by the US Dept of Energy. Still it was out of date when I wrote this article and I expect it will always lag a bit. The encouraging news on the above link is that there are two Nissan dealers, so maybe they will help get the infrastructure started. I checked with CDTC and they suggested the above link. Good luck in your efforts and if you’d like to share your thoughts and observations in buying the Leaf, we’d love to read about them. Have a Sunny Day! Dan

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