Campgrounds Join List of Electric Car Charging Stations in Adirondacks

Electric vehicle charging stations outside the Warren County Civic Center have helped the county achieve bronze status in the state’s Climate Smart Community program. Photo courtesy of County Warren

DEC is installing charging stations in 2 Adirondack facilities, and more to come

By Mike De Socio

Two Adirondack campgrounds now house electric car charging stations, as part of a larger state initiative to support the use of electric vehicles.

The Department of Environmental Protection says electric car chargers have been installed at Meadowbrook Campground in Ray Brook and Frontier Town Campground in North Hudson. The Meadowbrook site has a dual charging station and Frontier Town has four single-car chargers, according to DEC. The charging stations are intended for use by visitors as well as by campsite staff.

electric vehicle charger
An electric vehicle charger in a DEC campsite. DEC photo

A DEC spokesperson said the agency was working to identify additional campgrounds and facilities where electric vehicle chargers would make sense. Future charger locations have yet to be finalized, but the DEC said it plans to install more in the Adirondacks and elsewhere in the state.

The most important criterion for locating new charging stations, DEC said, is the availability of existing electrical infrastructure. Electric car chargers consume large amounts of power, sometimes quickly, and often require infrastructure upgrades to support them. DEC said Meadowbrook and Frontier Town already meet charging power requirements.

The DEC spokesperson said the new campground charging stations have received a positive response from the public and are already in use by campers and DEC staff.

Beyond DEC campgrounds, New York State has launched a number of programs in recent years to increase ownership of electric vehicles. One of those efforts, dubbed EVolveNY, aims to build 200 fast chargers at 50 locations across the state, with the goal of reducing “range anxiety” along New York’s major transportation corridors.

In the Adirondacks, the state is one of several entities working to expand the charging infrastructure and make electric vehicle ownership a more realistic option for residents and tourists alike. Currently, there are around 700 electric vehicles on the road in the north of the country, and around 200 charging ports, the vast majority of which are “level two” stations that take hours to fully charge. But the state recently installed “fast chargers” in Schroon Lake, Watertown and Malone, with more on the horizon.

Private companies have also made their own investments in recharging electric vehicles. Stewart’s Shops announced in July the installation of a fast charging station in a store in Schodack, one of the five charging stations it hopes to open by the end of the year in Moreau, Latham, Keene and Clifton Park. Stewart’s leveraged a partnership with the state’s EVolve New York Clean Energy Initiative to fund the facilities.

All of these efforts are guided by broader climate goals set out in law in 2019 under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The state wants to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050 and, in the short term, wants to see 850,000 fully electric vehicles on the roads by 2025.

New York, however, still lags behind other states in terms of charging infrastructure. A recent report by Zutobi ranks New York ninth in nationwide charging infrastructure, with 52 charging ports per 100,000 vehicles. Vermont tops the list, with 123 chargers per 100,000 vehicles.

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About Robert Pierson

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