One of Connecticut’s Oldest Charging Stations Finally Gets Used for First Time Two Years After Install

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 12

This Prius Plug-In Owner Was the First to Use the Station

This Prius Plug-In Owner Was the First to Use the Station

It was more than two years ago when Ashforth Company installed a charging station at 3001 Stamford Square.

Since the  install, that charger had been used exactly zero times.  Nada…Zip…Zilch

Well, that’s no longer true as, just a few days ago, Mike McGee pulled his Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid in and plugged in the charger.

It was a day worth celebrating for one of Connecticut’s oldest charging station.

That lonely, unused piece of electrical equipment is now in use daily.  Hoorah!!!

As McGee stated:

“I probably would not have thought about a hybrid car, but with the charging station located right at my office and Toyota’s $7300 rebate incentive, it was an easy decision.”

See?  If you install it, they will come.

This Recently Painted Mural Sure Draws Attention to the Charger

This Recently Painted Mural Sure Draws Attention to the Charger

A press release on the celebratory occasion, as well as an explanation of that mural is below:

It has been over two years since The Ashforth Company installed a plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging station at 3001 Stamford Square, Ashforth’s 290,000-square-foot office property located on Summer Street in Stamford, Conn.

Installing the station in May of 2011 was a small part of the $12 million building renovation completed at the end of 2012. Ashforth’s charging station was one of the first private access electric charging units in Connecticut registered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center. According to the website late summer of 2011, (click here), there were approximately 65 public and private units registered in the state; 26 were private access units. Today the website notes 127 registered units with 108 of them indicated as private owners.

Darien resident Mike McGee (above right), Managing Director at the Stamford office of KPMG, a tenant at Ashforth’s 3001 Stamford Square building is the first person to utilize the charging station according to the building’s Vice President and Property Manager, David Marks (above left). McGee recently purchased a 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which starts at $32,000. “We needed a second car and with the price of gas we wanted something more economical than our Toyota Highlander SUV. I probably would not have thought about a hybrid car, but with the charging station located right at my office and Toyota’s $7,300 rebate incentive, it was an easy decision,” said McGee. McGee noted that he can travel 13 miles on one charge and then the car automatically switches to regular gasoline.

Ashforth’s Level 2 GE wall mount charging unit is located on a commission-designed wall in its parking garage allowing someone to simply park and plug their car to charge their EV. This is a free amenity to the tenants and their employees who work at Ashforth’s building. A typical Level 2 unit will charge an EV in 4-6 hours. However, McGee noted that it actually takes his car only about two to two and half hours to complete the charge at Ashforth’s station which is run off a dedicated 220 volt, 30 amp circuit. At home, since he plugs into a 110 volt, 15 amp circuit, it takes three to three and half hours.

“We are excited to offer our tenants free and easy access to an electric charging station. We hope the on-site convenience will encourage more people to purchase electric vehicles as we can all ultimately benefit from a cleaner, lower-cost and locally available fuel alternative,” said Brian Heelan, Senior Vice President and Director of Operations for Ashforth’s management services division.

Ashforth commissioned Conor Heelan, former Bethel resident and recent graduate of Paier College of Art in Hamden, Conn., to produce and paint a full-scale mural on the wall where the wall mount charging station is located. The mural measures about 24 feet wide x 8 feet high. “I wanted to create a massive look that brings to light an environmental sustainability message as well as being stunningly eye-catching and fun for those who enter the building each day,” said Conor Heelan.

Nearly 200,000 square feet of space is currently available for lease at 3001 Stamford Square. Designed by Roger Ferris + Partners of Westport, Conn., Ashforth’s $12 million completed renovation implements LEED construction standards and includes a striking, new modern lobby, state-of-the-art elevators, new bathrooms and tenant common areas, a new environmentally friendly and energy efficient HVAC system, enhanced landscaping, new property identity and directional signage, and contemporary facade enhancements. New amenities along with a private shuttle service are a full-service café and a modern, high-tech fitness facility.

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12 responses to "One of Connecticut’s Oldest Charging Stations Finally Gets Used for First Time Two Years After Install"

  1. offib says:

    Aww, that’s touching.

  2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    So… How overpriced is the parking/charging?

    Cuz I think that a charging space that isn’t rapaciously overpriced would do well if sited someplace like the Stamford Town Center..

  3. Dave R says:

    Not really surprised it hasn’t been used – if a site isn’t located on plugshare.com or recargo.com, people just won’t know about it.

    Step #1 to get people to use a station is to let people know it’s there!

    1. Taser54 says:

      Completely private charging station from what I’ve read.

      1. Dave R says:

        Even private stations are often listed on those two sites – just with a disclaimer on the restrictions around their use.

  4. Awesome mural. What a great idea.

  5. David Murray says:

    Of course anti-Ev people would use the argument that there is no demand for charging stations (or EVs) but the truth is.. In most cases where a charging stations goes unused for a long time it is because it is in a bad location.

  6. George B says:

    We have the opposite problem here in Northern California. Many stations are oversubscribed by a ratio of 5:1 or even 10:1. While plugin hybrids can always fall back on gas, this situation makes it really difficult for pure EVs.

    1. Spec9 says:

      Really? I’m not surprised but I just haven’t been using them at all because I generally just charge at home. But part of the reason is that I’m hesitant to make a longer trip that will require a charger because I’ll be afraid it will be occupied or broken.

    2. David Murray says:

      I think that is a good problem to have. It means plugins are selling well in your area and the use of the chargers should eventually encourage more stations to be built.

      1. George B says:

        Yes, it’s indeed a good problem to have. That said, it’s doubtful that many hosts would like to spend several thousands of dollars and sponsor free electricity on top of that. We see this effect at many workplaces as well. I think it would be best if stations charged for charging. This would allow the the arbitrage of a scarce resource, and it would create a business case for more charging stations, which is not something that really exists today.

        If a grocery store decides to install one or two stations, for example, thinking that they will attract and serve their patrons, they could easily find them occupied by nearby residents, who don’t have charging stations at their home or some employees from nearby businesses, who don’t have workplace charging. Even workplaces that offer charging find the adoption rate of plugins to be much faster than the growth of their supporting infrastructure.

        It’s not easy to get the budget approved for 10 or 20 new stations in most situations. That just does not happen overnight. Meanwhile, many campus fleets have doubled this year. There are often 10 or more employee plugins for each station. This virtually ensure stiff competition, and if you needed to charge for whatever reason, it’s nearly guaranteed that you won’t find an available station. This is a very frustrating situation for many drivers, especially some of the newly minted ones. Although there is charging infrastructure out there, you can’t really rely on it, because it’s heavily oversubscribed.

        About the only time you can find a free station here are the wee hours after midnight. But even that is not guaranteed. There could be a Tesla sitting there sipping free power all night until the owner picks it up in the morning. Although this might sound theoretical to you, a truly great situation to have, and a prime example of a first-world problem, I think this has to potential to stunt the adoption of plugin vehicles, particularly pure EVs, if something sensible is not done soon. California is becoming the Wild EV West.

  7. EK says:

    I’ve driven my Leaf the 40 or so miles from Long Island to Stamford a few times in past 1.5 years. I actually park on Summer Street, but at a public garage that has a free charging station. Had I known about this station (and if it were available to the public), I would have used it long ago! Kind of a silly article…should have been titled “Employee at Ashforth Company Finally Gets Plug-In Car to Take Advantage of Charging Station Put in 2 Years Ago”