Giving Electric Car Drivers More Power, Santino Offers Free Car Charges at Hempstead’s Solar Powered Charging Station

“Power to the people,” declared Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino as he announced that Hempstead Town is now offering free power at its state-of-the-art solar charging carports in Point Lookout.  The carports/charging stations provide energy to recharge electric-powered motor vehicles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Pulling up to the charging stations in a Chevrolet Volt electric car, the Supervisor was joined for the “electrifying” announcement by Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Tom Hug, owner of Hug Real Estate, who is excited about the increase in options for charging his planet friendly vehicle.

“As we close in on Earth Day, governments have a responsibility to lead by example when it comes to being environmentally responsible,” stated Santino.  “Partnering with drivers who care about our planet, we are making it easier for electric car owners to be kind to Mother Nature and repower their electric vehicles.”

The three town solar carports/charging stations, which are located at the township’s East Marina, along Lido Boulevard, immediately east of the Loop Parkway, can accommodate six vehicles.  The units offer two levels of charging (120V and 240V) to provide power to an array of vehicles. Previously, the charging stations have been utilized to energize a variety of vehicles in the town’s electric car and truck fleet.  However, another charging facility at Hempstead’s nearby Conservation and Waterways Office is now fueling the town’s vehicles, freeing the six stations at the East Marina for public use.

“The town is partnering with the public to make our communities more ‘green and clean’,” observed D'Esposito.  “Offering free charging to residents for their electric vehicles is a great way to demonstrate that electric vehicles can be practical, and that government and the public have a shared commitment to the environment,” added King Sweeney.

Officials noted that typically electric powered cars designed for road use require four hours to recharge (models and types of vehicles specify recharge time ranges for their respective cars).  The Supervisor encouraged residents who own electric cars to come on down to the beach or one of Point Lookout’s local restaurants and recharge their vehicles while they relax at a great summertime destination.  The recharging station is within walking distance to beaches and local eateries.

“Why not recharge and relax at the beach or at a local restaurant while your car recharges at the town’s electric powered car recharging station,” said the Supervisor.

To take advantage of this free service, residents can register with ChargePoint, the company that built the stations. ChargePoint does require that their customers register credit card information, because some station owners charge a fee. However, because the town’s charging stations are free, residents will not be charged. Upon completion of registration, electric car owners will receive a scannable ChargePoint card, which will give users access to our station and others in the ChargePoint Network. Residents can also activate a charging session using the ChargePoint app on their smart phone or by using any RFID chip credit card.

The charging station units and the associated solar canopy have a value of approximately $200,000.  The canopy was funded with federal grant monies secured by the town while the charging station units were provided by Green Power Technologies with the benefit of federal grants provided to the company.  The 14K system was installed by EmPower Solar. 

A feature that makes the solar carports/charging stations a uniquely important part of Santino’s environmental agenda is that the process of charging the vehicles and the public’s use of electric cars can offer energy and transportation without any carbon footprint.  While electric cars on their own furnish a “clean” mode of transportation, the energy ordinarily used to recharge the cars is generated by electricity created by utilities that rely on fossil fuels.  In the alternative, the solar carports/charging stations generate energy through photovoltaic cell technology, creating no carbon footprint and drawing upon the sun’s renewable power.

“Harnessing the sun’s power with a solar powered charging station for electric cars is a victory for our community, for drivers of electric cars and the planet,” announced Santino.  “We are doing something in our town that is uniquely positive, creating an example for other planet conscious governments to emulate.” 

Santino observed that the solar carports/charging stations are located at a good site for owners of electric vehicles, explaining that the small hamlet of Point Lookout is home to a number of electric vehicles.

Tom Hug, owner of Hug Real Estate in Point Lookout, discussed his positive experience with the town’s solar partnership. Hug commutes around Point Lookout in his GEM car, and is excited about the opportunity to charge his vehicle at the new location.

“The town’s solar charging stations provide a great service to the public,” said Hug.  “Together, government and people are making a positive difference for the environment.”

Demonstrating that being ecologically responsible can be fun, Santino presided over a “drag race”, pitting Hug against D’Esposito, driving two electric powered John Deere utility vehicles that are part of the town’s collection of work vehicles.

“Hempstead Town and the public are taking a victory lap together, drawing upon the sun’s power,” concluded Santino.  “I invite drivers to use the town’s solar carports/charging stations for their electric vehicles at no charge.”