As the popularity of electric vehicles soars, EV charging stations are popping up everywhere. Businesses, parks, village centers, restaurants, stores, doctor’s offices, rest areas, as well as parking garages and lots all over the city are excellent spots for EV chargers where they will be used by many people. But there are a few places where EV chargers are better appreciated or used more often than college campuses.
Students and Staff
The average large college or university has around 45,000 students, and an average of 48.6% brought cars to campus with them in the 2016-2017 school year. That’s a lot of cars and a lot of students who need to fuel up, not to mention professors and staff.
More buyers than ever are driving EVs, especially young people. According to Green Car Reports.com, 63% of millennials are likely to consider an EV for their next car, and Gen Z is even more likely to crave an EV. EV charging stations on campus will get plenty of use, now and in the future, as more and more students bring their own EVs campus.
Colleges and universities are often major employers and have a large carbon footprint, which can be reduced by encouraging the many people who drive to their campuses every day to drive EVs and carpool.
Most of those people live on or near campus, and may not find another charging station nearby. To some extent, students and staff on campus are a captive audience.
EVs and chargers are also educational. Young people are often excited to learn about sustainability. Even for students who do not bring their own EVs to campus, the installation of the EVSE and how it works could be part of a campus-wide green initiative project. Classes from many different disciplines including environmental science, engineering, tech, and city planning would benefit from learning about the chargers and installation.
Professors, who include science and environmental science teachers are, in general, concerned about and educated on environmental issues, and therefore likely to own EVs.
EV Charging Benefits for Schools
Universities are always looking for a way to comply with state and federal environmental requirements and to send a message to students and staff that the campus is environmentally sound. One of the best ways to send a positive message is to take on pollution from transportation. According to the EPA, transportation accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.
There are plenty of financial incentives from both state and federal governments, and special deals for schools also. State government websites list incentives available in their state, however, universities should contact manufacturers and hosts, like Blink, directly for incentive and rebate opportunities near them for deploying EV chargers.
One thing universities usually have in abundance is space. With many parking lots and garages, there are many places suitable for schools to install EVSE. Installing chargers in many different places mean students have a choice, regardless of where they park and where their classes or dorm is located.
Installing chargers is also a way for schools to increase their income. Most already charge for parking passes, with different prices for semester-long, year-long, or daily payments. Colleges could add a choice for an EV parking pass, and students could pay when they charge, or a certain number of charges could be included in the EV parking pass.
We know college administrators have a lot of responsibility for young people away from home. Chargers on campus ensure everyone has a place to fuel up and can get home safely.
For colleges and universities who want to encourage sustainability, help keep students and staff safe, and meet environmental requirements, EV chargers are a perfect addition to campus. With many incentives and rebates, especially for schools, there is no downside to installing EV chargers in convenient locations on campus.