October 25, 2023

Wayne State installs 50 new EV charging stations in seven parking structures and two surface lots

DETROIT – New electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are here.

Wayne State University has taken advantage of recent rebates to install 50 new EV charging stations in seven parking structures and two surface lots around its Midtown campus. The upgraded stations will replace the 10 outdated charging stations that have been on campus for nearly a decade.

Wayne State has added more EV charging stations to parking structures and surface lots to the Midtown campus.
Wayne State has added more EV charging stations to parking structures and surface lots to the Midtown campus.

“We worked with the Office of Campus Sustainability and with Facilities Planning and Management to look at how we can help lower our CO2 emissions, provide a wider service for our EV user group and support future growth in that group,” said Jon Frederick, director of Wayne State Parking and Transportation Services (PTS).

Wayne State bid out and purchased the new charging infrastructure from State Electric Company, based in Holly, Michigan, for approximately $350,000. They were contracted to handle the installation of the wall mount and free-standing Enel X Juice Box Pro charging stations. Enel X Way North America is based in San Carlos, California

Wayne State is expected to receive rebates of $2,000 per port for a total of $100,000 from DTE Energy. These funds will reduce the overall expenses once installation is complete. In addition, to further help offset the costs, EV owners will be charged a nominal fee of $1 to connect and 35 cents per kilowatt to use the new Level 2, single-use chargers, which will be more efficient and faster than the outgoing first-generation chargers once additional power resources are put in place.

Despite the convenience of having charging stations on campus, Frederick said switching to a charge-per-use method is not intended to be a revenue generator for Wayne State.

“We’re basically charging enough to cover our costs including electricity, maintenance and repairs, processing, and banking fees, with a small portion set aside to help expand our system as the need arises because the whole push across the country is to go to EV,” he said.

Andy Murrell, interim director of enterprise networks at Wayne State Computing & Information Technology, said he doesn’t mind the new costs to use the charging stations.

“The cost of electricity is still significantly less than gasoline per mile,” said Murrell, who hasn’t felt the pain at the gas pump since purchasing his first EV more than five years ago. “Offering more chargers on campus will also help reduce range anxiety. If an EV owner needs to take an extended trip further away from home after their trip to Wayne State is finished or if they forgot to charge at home the night before, the university has a solution for them.”

Payments for using the EV chargers can be made via the free Enel X Way App, available from the App Store or Google Play, or by scanning the QR code located at each charger and setting up payment arrangements. PTS expects EV users to continue to be courteous to each other and move their vehicles after they are done charging so others may also use them. However, to help incentivize drivers to move their vehicle when finished charging, individuals who stay more than two hours after charging is complete will be assessed an initial “Idle fee” of $5. 

WSU’s sustainability team also created a WhatsApp for the WSU EV community to connect to each other, available at t WSU EV Community WhatsApp. The existing EV community has  taken to using it as many individuals work together to ensure they can charge their vehicles as soon as possible.

The new EV charging stations will be activated throughout the day on Friday, Oct. 27, in the following Wayne State parking areas:

Structure 1 – 450 W. Palmer (six stations). Located on the first level in section 2E.
Structure 2 – 5150 Lodge Service Drive (six stations) Located in the southwest corner of the structure in sections 1/2 and 3/1.
Structure 4 – 555 E. Canfield (six stations) Three are located on the first ramp (southbound) into the garage from the Canfield entrance and three are located on the level one ramp (northbound).
Structure 5 – 5501 Anthony Wayne Drive (six stations) on the first level in sections 1/4 and 1/5
Structure 6 – 61 Putnam (six stations) Four are located on the second level in the east end of the structure Student/Staff side. Two are located on the first level in the Visitor section. 
Structure 7 – 3717 John R. (six stations) Three are located in section GN and three are located in section 2S.
Structure 8 – 91 W. Forest (six stations) Located in the lower level of the structure at the bottom of the west ramp.
Lot 50 – 1200 W. Warren (four stations) Located just west of the Warren Ave. entrance close to the parking booth.
Lot 75 – 545 E. Canfield (four stations) Located on the northeast side of the lot near Structure 4 north entry/exit gate.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, in 2021, Michigan ranked 18th for the most registered electric vehicles (17,460) in the country. Last year, General Motors announced that its EV production will reach 1 million units annually in North America by 2025. Meanwhile, Ford announced plans to boost production of its Mustang Mach-E to 600,000 by late 2023, and more than 2 million units annually by 2026.

As the global auto industry spends billions to produce eco-friendly vehicles, the number of charging stations are increasing rapidly. Frederick said Wayne State is just doing what we can to keep up with the demand.

“Over the next five years, I expect a lot more people driving EVs to campus,” he said.

Frederick said Level 2 chargers typically can provide up to 80% charge in about four hours. But he expects that some EV owners who have grown accustomed to using charging stations while at WSU may change their charging habits a bit and not leave their vehicles charging for more time then needed.  

 

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