Humber College has taken a large step forward in their sustainability efforts in 2019, recently opening 16 new electric vehicle charging stations in the north campus parking garage.

The level 2 charging stations, which are located on the first floor of the garage can charge a vehicle battery up to 80 per cent in four hours.

Devon Fernandes, a sustainability specialist at Humber, said the charging stations were a necessary step.

“This particularly addresses the sustainability transit issue that our campus faces by reducing greenhouse gasses”.

While other post-secondary campuses in Ontario have similar electric vehicle charging stations, Fernandes said that Humber is unique.

“Other campuses do have electric vehicle charging stations, but the sheer amount is impressive”.

The 16 new charging stations now brings Humber College’s total to 20 overall. The campuses at Lakeshore and Carrier drive, each have two stations.

Use of the stations will be complementary until the end of February to allow users to try the new stations, according to a statement on the school’s website. On March 1. the first four hours will be free, after which drivers will be billed $5 per hour for additional charging.

John Landsborough, an electric vehicle driver from Guelph, says that while he does not attend Humber College, he could see the four-hour rule being difficult for students.

“The four-hour rule is a little tough, as you may have eight hours of classes and it may be a significant walk to go and move your car, and then alternative parking may not be available.”

Landsborough who drives a 2018 Nissan Leaf said that while most electric vehicle drivers charge their cars at home, public stations are still beneficial.

“Public stations are nice but unless it worked for your situation as a student (or staff). For example, some classes do not last four hours”.

According to Landsborough, the level 2 quality chargers that Humber has installed have their limitations.

“Level twos are not good if you are out running errands as say an hour to grab groceries is not enough. Level threes are needed if you need a quick charge, they take a half hour or so to get an 80 per cent charge.”

Pavel Chubarev, an electric vehicle owner, expects electric vehicle charging to evolve over time.

“The type of stations used today will have no value in the future as most stations will be some sort of superchargers. What is being installed today is mainly to support the first electric vehicle drivers that are struggling to survive. Future electric vehicle owners will have longer range and different needs.”

The college can expect more usage of the charging stations in extreme weather, as both hot and cold temperatures effect the driving range of electric vehicles.