Case Studies of Public Access Charging Stations

Charging stations, also known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), installed at public venues allow drivers to drive more electric miles in their electric vehicles (EVs). Therefore, EVs can use low-cost and low-emission electricity for special errands or recreational purposes beyond the range of a single charge.

For an EV driver, these venues boost the EV’s electric range and ease the driver’s mind.

For charging station hosts, installing stations may attract EV drivers and present an environmentally friendly image. Read the stories below about seven types of public access locations.

Public parking lot or garage

Public parking lots or garages in downtown areas, including main streets and central business districts, offer strong potential as charging sites. They often have a combination of commercial and residential use, residents and visitors, and longer parking times for local shopping and attractions. These lots and the charging stations may be municipally or privately owned.

Beam Charging, a wholly owned subsidiary of Car Charging Group, Inc., is the largest EV charging service provider in the New York City metro area. Beam installed and now operates more than 30 charging station locations in New York City at some of the most prominent parking garages. Most stations charge a fee of $0.49 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Case Study: Beam Charging [PDF]

Village of Haverstraw installed charging stations at their municipal parking lot across from the Village Hall. The featured stations are anticipated to stimulate the local economy and raise the village’s profile. There is no charge for the parking space, but the charging fee is $2.50 per hour and limited to two hours. The intention is that EV drivers will spend time in the village’s downtown area where they can shop or eat at local restaurants.

Case Study: Village of Haverstraw [PDF]


Cutting-edge retailers that attract or would like to attract customers who drive EVs can install stations to aid their marketing and branding efforts. Food markets, shopping malls, restaurants, and other retail operations with longer customer experience times will have the best early opportunities for charging stations.

Price Chopper is a privately held chain of supermarket stores with locations throughout the Northeast. In 2013, Price Chopper installed three chargers at their Niskayuna location. The location strategy and business model for supermarket stores is well suited for widespread installation of accessible and visible stations. Price Chopper is currently expanding the installation of charging stations at stores across New York State.

Case Study: Price Chopper [PDF]


Whether away from home on business or pleasure, high occupancy rates at hotels, where visitors typically park their vehicles overnight, offer an opportunity to attract and serve EV owners. Some rental car locations are offering EV options, while the U.S. government and some businesses with large sales forces and have been adding plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to their fleet.

Holiday Inn in downtown Albany installed AC Level 1 and AC Level 2 chargers right outside the entrance of the hotel in September 2011. The stations are available to both hotel guests and the general public at no cost. Hotel staff has brochures with plastic key cards that activate the station. Staff has reported that some hotel guests specifically chose this Holiday Inn because of the charging capability.

Case Study: Holiday Inn Albany [PDF]

Leisure destinations

Wildlife parks, movie theaters, botanical gardens, museums, science centers, sports stadiums, ski resorts, and other cultural institutions in urban and rural areas are all examples of leisure destinations that attract visitors from a wide area and can benefit from offering EV charging. Visitors to each of these types of venues tend to stay for two hours or more, providing ample time to get a significant charge. Siting chargers at these locations extends EV range throughout the region.

Windham Mountain Ski Resort installed a charging station in January 2013, making it the first ski resort in New York State to offer this amenity. The station is free for EV drivers to charge up while they enjoy skiing or riding at the mountain. It is strategically located an hour's drive from urban areas of Albany, Kingston, and Oneonta, where many EV drivers reside.

Case Study: Windham Mountain [PDF]

Higher education

Colleges and universities typically have many early adopters and technology innovators among their faculty, staff, and students, making them a natural fit for offering EV charging. Fifty-four presidents of colleges and universities in New York State have signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, signifying their environmental concerns. Charging availability increases an institution’s marketability to prospective applicants, faculty and donors.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) incorporated two dual-port AC Level 2 EV chargers into the design of the 84,000-square-foot Golisano Institute for Sustainability Center. The chargers are in a premium parking location in a lot behind the Center with highly visible signage. By integrating the installations into a large new-build construction project, RIT was able to avoid trenching expenses.

Case Study: RIT [PDF]

Medical campuses

The high-traffic locations and demographics of many health practitioners and researchers make medical campus facilities strong candidates for charging stations. The air quality benefits of EVs, the public health mission of medical facilities, and interest in clean technology innovation at research campuses together create potential for charging station owners.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is a consortium of health care, life sciences research, and medical education institutions, located in downtown Buffalo. In December 2011, BNMC installed EV chargers as one part of a larger energy plan for the campus. Nine AC Level 2 stations are publicly accessible to visitors that park in the two paid lots on the campus, and 10 more stations are available for employees in the campus garage. Charging is provided at no cost.

Case Study: BNMC [PDF]

Regional transit

Regional rail stations and Park & Ride lots are fertile venues for charging stations due to the typical commuter's short driving distance between home and the station plus the long dwell times at parking lots. Enabling commuters to drive EVs to transit supports a highly sustainable commute. EV charger deployment at transit stations may enhance transit ridership.

Long Island Railroad Station in Huntington constructed charging stations for five vehicles in the south parking garage in March 2010. Co-funded with federal stimulus funds, the installation also included a 12.6-kilowatt solar electric system to power the charging stations. All vehicles must have a Hybrid/Alternative Fuel Parking Permit, which is available for free from the town clerk.

Case Study: Long Island Railroad in Huntington, NY [PDF]