EV charging solutions company XL Fleet announced a partnership with UBS Arena and the New York Islanders that could create one of the largest EV charging sites in the US. The partnership will allow XL Fleet to install up to 1,000 charging stations at UBS Arena’s 43-acre site, which is the future home of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders.

XL Fleet is an electrified solutions company for commercial and municipal fleets in North America. This includes electrifying fleets for companies like Coca-Cola and Verizon. In addition to its electric powertrains, XL Fleet also offers other solutions such as charging infrastructure, power management, and fleet intelligence data. The partnership with UBS Arena and the New York Islanders could bring EV charging solutions to the property through XL Fleet’s XL Grid division, which launched last December.

According to its press release, the partnership will “enable UBS Arena with the opportunity to explore XL Fleet’s leading suite of electrification solutions to quickly and cost effectively deploy a large-scale EV infrastructure for a wide range of users, including arena guests and nearby fleets who can charge during off-peak hours.”

UBS Arena broke ground in September 2019 in Belmont Park. It’s currently scheduled to officially open this fall, and will host the Islanders starting with the 2021-2022 season. UBS Arena is said to be the first venue of its kind in New York built to achieve LEED V4 standards by utilizing state-of-the-art sustainable technology. In its partnership with XL Fleet, UBS Arena and the Islanders look to bring that same focus on efficient grid sustainability outside the stadium as well with expansive EV charging.

EV Charging UBS Arena
A glimpse at the current status of UBS Arena as of April

EV charging at UBS Arena

This partnership will allow XL Fleet to provide patrons and employees of UBS Arena with EV charging solutions as the growing number of electric vehicles grows in the New York City area. XL Fleet plans to not only implement and manage this electrification infrastructure, but also add solar power generation and energy storage. Furthermore, it plans to equip fleets of electric vehicles specifically for UBS Arena and the Islanders to use. Colleen Calhoun, vice president and general manager of XL Fleet’s XL Grid division, said:

Lack of access to charging infrastructure is one of the top obstacles to electrifying more vehicles, and we are proud to partner with UBS Arena and the Islanders to solve that problem more quickly in the New York metropolitan area. Through this partnership, we can help optimize access to charging infrastructure and scale that capacity as the need grows

Additionally, the parties involved plan to allow commercial and other fleet EVs to utilize the charging infrastructure on days when there aren’t any events taking place at the arena. According to Hank Abate, president of Arena Operations at UBS Arena:

Partnering with XL Fleet to advance our electric vehicle infrastructure illustrates the groundbreaking work being done at UBS Arena to prioritize sustainability throughout our operations. XL Fleet’s ability to provide a full scope of electrification services will be a huge advantage for our patrons as well as the commercial and municipal fleets in the surrounding communities who could rely on this infrastructure.

As a prime location between two major airports in New York City, UBS Arena could become a charging mecca for consumer EVs and commercial fleets alike, with the help of XL Fleet. According to a spokesperson for XL Fleet, there are no new updates at this point, but we will keep you in the loop as we hear more.

UBS Arena announced last week that it is ready to safely welcome guests this fall, and has already announced upcoming concerts for artists like Eric Church and The Weeknd.

Electrek’s Take

One thousand EV charging stations is a tall order, but a welcome one. We notice some tricky semantics used in these press releases that don’t fully guarantee that number. That being said, XL Fleet has announced it “plans to” deploy 1,000 charging stations around UBS Arena, and let’s hope they do.

As previously mentioned, we don’t have an update to the current status of XL Fleet’s work around UBS Arena, as per a company spokesperson. The stadium itself is still being constructed, so it may be another couple months before any grids or chargers can be installed. You can however, check out a live feed of the arena progress here.

Regardless of when XL Fleet is able to successfully install its charging stations and other solutions, it already has a win under its belt. By partnering with UBS Arena and a major sports franchise, especially those so focused on the environmental impact of an arena, it has set a new precedent for other stadiums. And there is no shortage of those going up, either.

Ideally, this is the first of several partnerships between companies like XL Fleet and professional sports teams to utilize their large grids and huge parking lots in order to implement more sustainable technology like solar, ESS, and EV charging.

Seattle has an NHL team coming next season; wonder how their stadium is doing?

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