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Electric Vehicle Charging Arrives at WUSM

The Clayton Parking Garage at the Washington University School of Medicine is getting a sustainability upgrade! The Operations and Facilities Management department, which oversees parking and transportation on the medical campus, recently installed 20 electric vehicle (EV) chargers throughout the garage, bringing the total EV charging capacity to 21 spots. Most levels of the garage are now equipped with 4 charging stations – the parking spots for which can be reserved through the parking permit purchasing program. For a monthly upgrade fee, individuals that have permits for the Clayton garage can add an “EV” sticker to their parking hangtag to indicate that they are eligible to park in one of these reserved spots. Parking spots can be reserved starting on Tuesday, September 4th.

The new chargers are Level 2 EV chargers and can charge both fully electric vehicles (examples: Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (examples: Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max Energi). Electric vehicles can be charged in multiple ways – level 1 chargers are the standard 120 volt outlets like you would have in your home garage. These take the longest time to charge the vehicle to full capacity. Level 2 chargers are 240 volt and charge at a faster rate than level 1 chargers. Level 3 and 4 chargers, or super chargers, can charge a battery at the fastest rate which can sometimes be as short as 1-2 hours. It is important to note that utilizing super chargers frequently can reduce the overall life span of the battery; requiring battery replacement more often than EVs charged using lower level chargers. The same is true for cell phones or any other electronics with the equivalent of super charging capabilities.

The level 2 chargers that have been installed in the Clayton garage are ideal for workplace charging as they can typically charge an EV battery fully within an 8 hour work day. These charging stations are just one component of the alternative transportation options supported here at WashU. Making the switch from a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle is one of the most impactful things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint quickly. In addition, continued improvements to make the electric grid cleaner will only make EVs a better choice environmentally over time.

To reserve an EV parking spot in the Clayton Garage, contact Ken Zimmerman, the Director of Central Operations and Services for WUSM Protective Services at Spaces will be reserved on a first-come, first serve basis.

To learn more about the charging stations on the Danforth campus, visit the Electric Vehicle Charging Station webpage.

This article was written by Alicia Hubert, sustainability coordinator for the WashU School of Medicine.