Currently, less than 1 percent of vehicles on America’s roadways are fully electric. However, according to the New York Times, with a growing worldwide focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is projected that by 2035, 25 percent of all new car sales will be electric. In response to these trends, UNM’s Facilities Management Department (FM) and Parking & Transportation Services (PATS) are tripling the available electric vehicle parking spaces on campus.

“At PATS, we strive to be proactive in meeting the changing needs of the campus and our customers,” said Barbara Morck, PATS director. “The installation of new charging stations puts us ahead of the demand and positions us for the inevitable growth of electric vehicles.”

In November 2019, Angel Becerra of FM’s Engineering and Energy Services Division (E&ES) applied for matching funds from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for the $100,000 project. In June 2020, $64,000 was awarded from NMED, with the remaining $36,000 coming from the Sustainability Surcharge which is collected through FM Utility customer fees.

The NMED funds were made available through the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust which was established in a 2016 settlement agreement between Volkswagen and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The trust provides matching dollars for projects that mitigate or offset vehicle emissions.

“The cost and process to convert to more sustainable infrastructure are extraordinary,” said Mary Clark, manager of the Office of Sustainability and FM Recycling Services. “But whether it be through adding charging stations, the installation of new solar arrays, or programs that optimize energy efficiency in our buildings, FM is finding ways to help reduce UNM’s carbon footprint despite the state’s limited resources.”

In 2016, E&ES installed two dual-port charging stations, one each in the Yale and Cornell Parking Structures. Dual-port stations can each serve two vehicles. Funding for the 2016 project was provided, in part, by the UNM Green Fund. Green Fund dollars provide support for educational or infrastructure projects and initiatives that foster long-term sustainability at UNM.

The current project includes the installation of four new dual-port charging stations, two on main campus and one each on north and south campuses. With the two charging stations already in use, the number of vehicles served will increase from four to 12:

  • Two charging stations (four parking spots) in the Yale Parking Structure on central campus (1st level)
  • Two charging stations (four parking spots) in the Cornell Parking Structure on central campus (4th level)
  • One charging station (two parking spots) in the M Lot at the corner of Tucker Avenue and Stanford Drive on north campus
  • One charging station (two parking spots) in the RIO lot at the Student Support & Services Center on south campus

The locations will also be listed on the ChargePoint and PlugShare websites. All charging stations are Energy Star certified and have mobile app capabilities to allow for easy payment and waitlist notifications.

Installation of the charging stations will be fully complete in May 2021.