EDITORIAL: Charging! | AllOTSEGO.com



A little over a year ago, The Freeman’s Journal published an editorial about chargers for electric vehicles, which at the time were quite scarce in the village and even outside the village. Of course, the reason we researched the local availability of these chargers was that our small historic village has been and is the destination of countless urban baseball, sports, landscape and music explorers whose mode of transportation to Cooperstown is increasingly an electric or hybrid vehicle. We know this because there are signs of them all over town, many of them sitting quietly with silent batteries in the parking lots of the hotels, museums and baseball parks.

EV chargers come in three types. Level 1 is simply a plug-in 120-volt AC charger that works just like a household plug. It takes about 20 hours to fully charge a depleted battery to a range of 249 miles. Level 2, also on AC power, charges your vehicle in approximately 11 hours to a range of 349 miles – overnight only. It runs from a 240 volt outlet and is recommended for your home garage if you are investing in an EV. Level 3, the Supercharger, is still only for Teslas, but the company claims the charger will be available for all EVs by the end of 2022. (In fact, Tesla has already figured out how to make this work, as it offered supercharging, at no cost, to EVs and their owners fleeing Ukraine last March. Now it’s supposed to bring this to all of us in North America.)

Superchargers are available across the country at various gas stations, malls and parking lots, which can charge a vehicle to a range of 200 miles in 15 minutes — enough to get from Cooperstown to New York City. This charger is recommended for pit stops during long car journeys, not for daily charging. And these pit stops should be no more than 30 miles apart, say the electrification experts and consumer surveys, to avoid the infamous “range anxiety” that keeps people from making the switch to electric vehicles with confidence.

Last summer, Cooperstown had four Level 2: two charging stations in the Village’s Doubleday Field parking lot; one at the Inn at Cooperstown; one at Glen Avenue Suites (for their guests only). The Inn at Cooperstown also had a Level 3 Tesla Supercharger.

This year, Cooperstown won’t have a Supercharger for its visiting Teslas, but a few new Level 2 chargers are lurking. Royal Ford has a plug along with a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning to use it. Ommegang has eight plugs; the Barnyard Swing has one; Glimmerglass State Park has four. Bassett Medical Center, indeed looking ahead, has placed two chargers in one of its employee parking lots. Most of these chargers work most of the time, but every once in a while they are not found to be good and invite sharp comments on social media.

Is this enough for a village that welcomes tourism and survives? Probably not. There are many new EVs on the market; the government provides new incentives; climate concerns are on the rise; the price of gas fluctuates, usually at a rapid rate; and the batteries that supply these EVs are getting more reasonable. The EV era has arrived and it behooves us to be perhaps better prepared than we think.

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