Concord Academy has always held fast to its tenet of building a more sustainable future. As members of the community, we see this sentiment reflected all over campus. Compost bins, meatless Mondays, and automated lights are all ways the school has used to reduce its carbon footprint. A core piece of this initiative has been missed, however, and that is the installation of CA’s first EV charging stations.
In the past two years, the number of campus electric vehicles at CA has increased from two to eight, and there are currently at least 31 electric vehicles among students and day faculty. The school has also recently added two hybrid vans to this number.
Despite this, the growing EV population remains unsupported by the charging infrastructure. CA’s campus is currently equipped with several light poles with level-one charging capability and a charging outlet connected to the Operations Barn. There are also two level-two chargers on 100 Main Street, which cost 1.60 dollars per hour to charge. However, the price rises to an unreasonable 3.40 dollars per hour from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., coinciding with the hours when day students and faculty are on campus. Additionally, the light poles scattered around campus only provide charging to two to four parking spots due to their awkward locations, and it can take up to forty hours to fully charge an average EV with this level of charging capability.
The lack of accessible charging is confusing, considering that Concord Academy is situated in an area that has made a robust effort to support and increase EV ownership. The town of Concord has a committee called the EV Working Group that frequently implements new programs and incentives to encourage EV usage. Resulting from this group is the town of Concord’s EV Miles Program, which gives EV owners a monthly stipend for charging at certain hours of the day. A 7,500 dollar tax incentive is also offered for the purchase of an electric vehicle. Furthermore, the state government also funds numerous incentives and rebates for EV ownership. One is the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP), which covers up to 50,000 dollars of the cost of installing an EV charging station. As a result of the overwhelming support for EVs, it is currently projected that half of Concord residents will drive an electric vehicle by 2025.
As an educational campus, Concord Academy qualifies for numerous grants that total up to 54,500 dollars from both the MassEVIP and the town’s Commercial EV Charging Station Rebate. Furthermore, the parking lot behind the Math and Arts Center is within proximity of an existing electrical utility, eliminating up to 6,000 dollars in installation fees.The implementation of charging stations would not only be affordable, but it would also satisfy the demonstrated demand for charging stations on campus. In a community survey of CA, 86.7 percent of EV owners said that a charging station is necessary to have at the school. In consideration of the light financial strain and the benefits to the community, the school would be wise to move forward with installing its first EV charging stations.