Park and plug in

electric vehicle charging station shoprite niskayuna

The future. Maybe.

Kristofer spotted this electric vehicle charging station at the new ShopRite in Niskayuna. There are four spots in supermarket's parking lot designated for electric vehicles. Apparently Niskayuna town officials requested that ShopRite include the spots as part of its design for the store. [Spotlight]

The ShopRite charger brings the number of EV charging spots in the Capital Region to five, according to Dan Gibson at Our Energy Independence Community. In addition to ShopRite, there are stations at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Albany, NYSERDA in Guilderland, the Saratoga Technology and Energy Park in Malta, and the HVCC Tec-Smart facility also in Malta.

Here's the thing, though: there are extraordinarily few electric cars on the road. The two currently for sale -- the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf -- are new on the market, and the technology -- especially for batteries -- could use some improvement. Most people probably aren't going to be keen to drive a car with a range of at most 100 miles in ideal conditions -- and much less in normal conditions. (To clarify: the Volt also has a gasoline engine, which can kick in after the batteries run out.) [NPR] [USA Today]

It's interesting/fitting that Niskayuna has an EV charging station made by GE, in an everything-new-is-old kind of way. Ace GE scientist Charles Steinmetz had an electric car all the way back in 1914. He used to drive it to his weekend home.

The Edison Exploratorium in Schenectady still has Steinmetz's electric car. There's video of it embedded after the jump.

(Thanks, Kristofer!)

Find It

ShopRite Niskayuna
2341 Nott St E
Niskayuna, NY 12309


The Chevy Volt has a range of about 400 miles. It's electric range is about 40 miles after which the engine kicks in. Your article gives the impression that the car can only travel 100 miles and then stops.

Editors: You're correct. We've updated to clarify.

Tesla also makes electric cars that are currently on the road. Whether there are any in the Capital Region is a separate issue.

At the end of the USA Today article, it mentions that one Consumer Reports reviewer got only 19 miles out of the Nissan Leaf in winter weather.

Nice $40,000 paperweight!

I would love to have an electric car, as most of my traveling is in the capitol region, but I also wouldn't relish the thought of needing to keep a second car on the road for longer trips... or renting x number of times a year... bleh! I'm just waiting for a diesel electric hybrid, like the following SPACE SHIP :D

I saw a Volt at the Best Fitness in Schenectady, so they are around

Andy, I had a chance to drive one of those, unfortunately Master Control knocked me off the game grid and punted me back into the real world.

This is a good step, remember that the gasoline engine has had around 100 years of subsidy to encourage development. We still need to get more cars off the road, but centralizing energy consumption (which is what electric vehicles really do) is a good move.

Consumer Reports found that the actual Chevy Volt's electric range is 23 to 28 miles. It can barely make it from one charger in the Capital Region to the next.

Don't count on chargers remaining free once EVs really take off. You will get charged by the kW-hr or maybe by the minute.

I heard this being discussed on NPR the other day. The 100 mile per charge that the makers are touting is only possible if "it's a nice spring day and you have your windows close and not using A/C, driving at slow speed and going downhill all the way". They also mentioned that charging actually takes more than a day so that means you have to have means to get to and from the charging station.

For those interested in purchasing a plug-in electric but don't know where public charging stations existing, here in Albany or elsewhere, you can find all alternative fuel and EV charging stations on the Department of Energy's Alternative Fuel Station Locator:

Here are NY State incentives and laws for purchasing alternative fuel and EVs:

And you can use the Vehicle Cost Calculator to compare vehicles (i.e. petroleum vs. Hybrid Electric vs. Compressed Natural Gas vehicle) against each other and help you choose the most economical and efficient one:

And of course, don't forget to visit for all your local transportation needs :)

If anyone is interested in learning more about alternative fuels or advanced vehicle technologies they are more than welcome to attend the Capital District Clean Community meetings:

I just got a Chevy Volt and it is a fantastic car- so far no noise, no pollution and no expensive trips to the gas station. It got 36 miles each on 2 charges and is hard to tell any difference when it converts to gas. It does not have a traditional gas engine but a generator to make electricity to run the electric engine. It looks great and everyone at work wants a ride in it. I don't have to worry about the range- gets 300 miles+ if on gas and up to 38 miles on a charge!

I also have a Volt and love it. Whoever said you get 23 miles on a charge is wrong. You may get 25 or so miles when it is 10 degrees out there. Otherwise you get close to 40, which is perfect for daily commute. The total range is 400 miles as it has an IC engine too. You don't need any charging stations but your own. Even on gas you will get about 40 MPG. You need to change the oil every 2 years- no other maintenance.

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