Amherst College’s electric car charging station is a ChargePoint terminal, paid for in part through a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and made possible by the partnership of the Facilities Department and the Office of Environmental Sustainability.
Charging Station FAQs
Where is the charging station on campus?
Our charging station on is located on Webster Circle by Grosvenor House. See Grosvenor on our campus map.
How can I use it?
The charging station is for use by members of the Amherst community. There is no fee, but you must create an account with ChargePoint at chargepoint.com. On the main page, click on the “Sign Up” link in the upper right-hand corner. Then simply follow the instructions on each page.
- If you already have a ChargePoint card, it will work at our station.
- Once you sign up, a card will be mailed to you within a few days. You can also download a ChargePoint app for your phone.
- Belonging to ChargePoint provides you access to over 36,000 charging stations (some free, some that require payment).
- As part of our agreement with the Commonwealth, we will vigorously enforce parking rules in order to service as many cars as possible. Make sure to turn on notifications in the ChargePoint app so you can move your car as soon as it is done charging.
How does an electric car work?
Drivers plug in electric cars to chargers from an off-board electric power source. "This distinguishes them from hybrid electric vehicles," explains the U.S. Department of Energy, "which supplement an internal combustion engine with battery power but cannot be plugged in."
The Department of Energy continues:
"There are two basic types of EVs: all-electric vehicles (AEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). AEVs include Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). In addition to charging from the electrical grid, both types are charged in part by regenerative braking, which generates electricity from some of the energy normally lost when braking."
AEVs run only on electricity. Most have all-electric ranges of 80 to 100 miles.
Learn more at energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/electric-vehicle-basics.
What are the benefits of an electric car?
To again quote the U.S. Department of Energy on some of the other benefits:
"Because electric motors react quickly, EVs are very responsive and have very good torque."
"Just like a smartphone, you can plug in your EV when you get home and have it ready for you to use the next morning."
"The U.S. used nearly nine billion barrels of petroleum last year, two-thirds of which went towards transportation. Our reliance on petroleum makes us vulnerable to price spikes and supply disruptions. EVs help reduce this threat because almost all U.S. electricity is produced from domestic sources, including coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable sources.
"EVs can also reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage."
Learn more at energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/electric-vehicle-benefits.