Colleges and universities are commonly at the forefront of technology trends. With the increasing number of EVs on the road, higher-learning campuses are installing plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) chargers for staff, faculty, and students. Offering EV charging on campus can make the schools more competitive, but it also requires planning.
The Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Workplace Charging Challenge in 2013 to help support EV charging for the education sector. The program highlights the benefits of offering workplace charging on campus. We’ll take a closer look at the top benefits of offering EV charging on campus.
Workplace charging on campus can reduce Scope 3 emissions. It includes tailpipe emissions produced by faculty, staff, and students driving to and from campus. PEV charging can also help colleges and universities meet their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. Especially schools that are participating in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) pledge.
An example is the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Located in Pembroke, NC, the school is part of the ACUPCC program and has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050. Along with providing communal transportation, enacting a bike-sharing program, and offering Zipcars, the university is also installing four PEV charging stations.
Apogee Charging Solutions specializes in providing customizable EV charging solutions for the education sector. We understand that planning and future-proofing for EV chargers can be a difficult task. Let our EV charging experts help, click here for more info.
PEV charging stations demonstrate a school’s commitment to the environment and sustainability. The chargers can also give campuses an academic advantage. Some schools bring engineering students in to help with installation planning. Other campuses work with students to create charging advertising and operational policies. The presence of EV chargers is also opening conversations about sustainability and encouraging the student body to do their part to reduce GHG emissions.
Universities are also leaders in EV and charging station research and development. The University of California Los Angeles’ Smart Grid Energy Research Center and its partnership with utilities, government, policymakers, technology providers, PEV manufacturers, and others to research renewable energy solutions is one example.
Plug-in electric vehicle chargers must support a wide range of EV owners and users. It can include fleet managers and their employees, along with students, staff, faculty, and the community. Managing chargers on campuses can requires assistance from multiple parties. While the university’s transportation department is often the administrator, different parties access the chargers. Various departments also track energy usage, regulate charger use, and take care of advertising.
Bringing all of these players together requires coordination on campus. Working together not only ensures the chargers are functioning optimally, but it also encourages everyone to work together toward a common goal.
Logistics and Placement
Different types of chargers work best in specific locations. In areas where drivers are expected to leave their vehicles for several hours, Level 2 120-volt chargers are a good option. In parking lots with a higher turnover rate, Level 2 240-volt chargers can top off the battery. Something to consider is charger connectivity. Non-networked EV chargers are less expensive. However, networked chargers have payment processes and provide data like emissions reduction tracking.
EV charger placement is another consideration. Some campuses prefer installing their chargers in secure parking garages while others have them in open parking lots for advertisement. Regardless of where the chargers are located, schools should plan for potential expansion. It will help reduce installation costs when the school is ready to add more charging units.
Did you know we have a blog that takes a deep dive into infrastructure planning and the hidden costs you may not have considered? You can read, EV Charging Infrastructure – Developing a Plan, it also includes an infographic breaking down hidden infrastructure costs.
Funding and Finances
Purchasing, installing, operating, and maintaining EV chargers comes at a cost. Since most colleges and universities have budget restrictions, schools are turning to a variety of funding sources to finance their projects.
Potential funding can come from grants, donations, research awards, and incentives from the state and federal governments. Municipalities and utility service providers may also offer financial incentives for EV charger purchase and installation. Checking with the local government and other entities can provide funding for schools looking to offer EV charging on campus.
Apogee Charging Solutions offers a fully turn-key EV charger solution including funding assistance. Our affiliated organization Incentive Rebate360 assists our clients in finding, applying for, and recovering incentives and rebates for EV chargers.
Access and Availability
Making the EV chargers available to the public can help offset costs and provide another revenue stream for the school. Other campuses prefer to limit access to only students, staff, and faculty. Limiting charger access can be accomplished in multiple ways. Installing the chargers in secure parking facilities is one way. Schools can also require EV drivers to register their vehicles with the campus’s parking and transportation department.
Networked chargers make it easier to limit or open up access. Students, staff, and faculty can use their school ID numbers to access the charging stations. Visitors can use a one-time access code.
When the school is charging a fee for station use, they also have options. Schools can charge a one-time fee or by the kilowatt.
Promoting the EV Chargers
Universities and colleges can use a variety of methods to promote their EV chargers. The school’s website is effective an effective way of advertising EV charging on campus. Social media channels are another effective option. Some schools are using their human resources departments to promote the chargers’ accessibility.
Ride and drive events throughout the community can raise awareness about the school’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and encourage the public to do their part.
Learn More About Offering EV Charging on Campus
Offering EV charging on campus highlights the school’s commitment to a more sustainable future. It also indicates the campus is a leader in technological advancements.
To learn more about EV charging for the education sector, contact Apogee Charging Solutions. We can help with every step of the project from planning to installation. We can also help your campus find rebates and other financial incentives to help offset project costs. Call 484-816-2076, email [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.