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Virginia Mason Medical Center Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Three Charging Stations Funded By U.S. Department of Energy Electric Vehicle (EV) Project Grant
SEATTLE - (September 14, 2011) — As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, Virginia Mason Medical Center is installing three electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at a campus parking lot on Terry Avenue between Madison and Spring streets. The Virginia Mason charging stations will be available to the public and can be used by any EV model, including the Ford Focus, Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Tesla, and the new Toyota EV RAV4, among others.
The Center for Automotive Research predicts there will be at least 500,000 EV cars on U.S. streets by 2015, and perhaps as many as 1 million. Some are predicting as many as 100 models will be available by that time.
Installation of the area's first hospital charging stations should begin in late October, and is financed in part through Virginia Mason's participation in the EV Project, a federally funded initiative providing charging stations to 18 major U.S. cities. The project is managed by ECOtality, a clean technology company headquartered in San Francisco.
"At Virginia Mason we've created a framework we call EnviroMason to continually move our organization toward sustainable solutions," says Joe Sirlin, Virginia Mason's director of Environmental Sustainability. "We're very excited to partner with ECOtality and help advance the use of clean energy vehicles."
EnviroMason began in 2006 as an integrated approach to sustainability that saves money and preserves resources. Virginia Mason's recycling and composting programs alone have reduced water usage in food services by 75 percent and removed more than 425 tons of material from the waste stream annually. EnviroMason's commuter and biking programs provide secure bike storage and shower facilities for employees who ride to work. And, to encourage the use of public transportation, Virginia Mason subsidizes 75 percent of the cost of public transportation for employees.
The self-serve touch screen charging stations are fully lighted and are safe to use in wet conditions. They offer variable length charges to allow customers to "top off" their vehicle, with a maximum charge time of four hours. Charging status messages can be delivered to a user's smart phone. Both parking and charging fees will apply when using the charging stations at Virginia Mason.
Among the lot's first occupants will be an EV model Zipcar, which already has a car on the Virginia Mason campus for business and personal use by employees. Converting the currently available Honda Element to one of Zipcar's EV models is a further demonstration of Virginia Mason's commitment to sustainability.
"We have addressed single-occupancy commuting at Virginia Mason on many fronts, including the creation of a successful bike club last year," says Mike Meany, Virginia Mason's director of Parking and Commuter Services. "Making vehicle charging stations available to the public, patients and staff is a tremendous leap forward in our effort to reduce the environmental impact of travel to work."
As part of the EV Project, data from the charging stations will be collected to evaluate system effectiveness as a public service, as well as comparison data of vehicle use in diverse environments among the project sites. Virginia Mason will fully own and operate the stations after the one-year pilot project.
About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit comprehensive regional health care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area, and Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled-nursing facility and chronic care management program for people with HIV/AIDS. The medical center is affiliated with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety. For more information, visit Facebook.com/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.
ECOtality, Inc. is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions and strategic partnerships, ECOtality accelerates the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels. For more information on ECOtality, Inc., please visit www.ecotality.com.
For media inquiries, contact:
John Gillespie, (206) 341-1509