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Electric vehicle charging station promotes sustainable transportation

By Jason Kammerdiener '10 on July 7, 2014
ChargePoint charging station at Colgate University

A new charging station for electric vehicles has been installed on Colgate’s Lally Lane.

In 2011, Chris Paine ’83 directed the film Revenge of the Electric Car, chronicling the resurgence of electric vehicles (EVs) following their failure to go mainstream early in the century. In recognition of the electric car’s “revenge,” early this summer Colgate unveiled the university’s first on-campus EV charging station.

It was a development that instantly made environmentally sustainable transportation a more viable option on campus.

Electric Vehicle Charging Only signThe station, located on Lally Lane near Donovan’s Pub, will allow EV owners to “refuel” at reasonable rates, with a full charge taking between 3-6 hours depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

A Level 2 ChargePoint station, it is compatible with any make and model electric vehicle, though Tesla vehicles will require an adapter.

The university’s vehicle fleet already includes two fully electric vehicles, and the addition of a charging station opens the possibility that more could be added.

With greater than 10 percent of the university’s carbon footprint the result of emissions from Colgate commuters and Colgate-owned vehicles, expanding the options for electric vehicles is a significant step in Colgate’s quest for carbon neutrality by its 2019 bicentennial.

Incorporating more EVs into the Colgate fleet will also reduce operating costs, as the cost of powering university vehicles with electricity is significantly lower than the cost of fueling them with gasoline.

To learn more about the new EV charging station, check out the announcement from John Pumilio, Colgate’s director of sustainability.

Electric vehicles are not the only way that Colgate is promoting sustainable transportation on campus:

  • Green Bikes is an affordable bicycle rental option from the Sustainability Office for students, faculty, and staff to power their own transportation on campus and around town.
  • The Colgate Cruiser provides public transportation during the academic year for students and community members around the Colgate campus and Hamilton village. Cruisers are equipped with EPA-approved low-emission diesel engines, with some powered by propane. (Cruiser schedules are available on the Colgate mobile app.)
  • Services like Gateswap and Purpool create opportunities for all members of the Colgate community to carpool, either for their daily commutes or for longer trips.


  • eCar Insurance said:

    Go green, Stop global warming. it is an environment campaign to save the earth .
    hopefully all campuses provide electric vehicle charging station in the future. This will encourage students to use EV.

  • Ben Rich '99 said:

    Thanks for installing this charging station! I used it yesterday on part of my 4,000 mile road trip on my electric motorcycle this summer. Go ‘Gate!

  • John Pumilio said:

    Thank you for commenting. Modernizing our fleet of golf carts to all-electric would reduce our consumption of fuel by nearly 10,000 gallons per year and eliminate about 200,000 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, this doesn’t account for improved air quality and the other benefits you mentioned. Since electricity here in Hamilton is cheap (about 4.5¢ per kWh) and very low-emissions (mostly hydro-powered), we would also save money each year on “fueling” the vehicles. Also, electric golf carts are easier to maintain over the long-term. For these reasons, modernizing our golf cart fleet to all-electric is of great interest.

    We have not conducted a formal cost-benefit analysis that would demonstrate the full cost of conversion. That would be our immediate next step and should be part of our 2016 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.

    Please contact me if you would like to discuss in more detail.

    Thanks again,

  • Michael Martin '69 said:

    Great news! This may be a good time to also consider switching over the golf carts at Colgate’s Seven Oaks course. The current gas models are very noisy and offensive to those using them and other golfers and spectators. They are also inconsistent with Colgate’s sustainability objectives. Based on past experience at other courses, electric carts would lead to more members and an increased dues stream to help offset the cost of conversion. I would be interested in knowing the facts regarding the conversion process and am willing to support a fund raising initiative to help pay for the conversion.