Pull up, plug in ... and help reduce air pollution in North Texas.
Six electric vehicle, or EV, charging stations, will greet commuters in parking lots at Wooten Hall, Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building and the Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building.
All six stations should be operational by the start of the spring 2013 semester, according to the Office of Sustainability.
The idea for the stations was proposed and submitted to the We Mean Green Fund by student Matthew McCallum and staff member Brad Holt, videographer in the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing.
“I'd been planning to buy an EV as my next car for a while, but I was waiting for the technology and infrastructure to grow a bit more,” Holt said. “I was curious if there were any plans in the works to install EV charging stations around campus. I learned that the idea had been tossed around, but no real plans were in the works. It was then that someone told me about the We Mean Green Fund.”
The fund was approved by students in 2010 along with a $5 per student per semester fee for environmental projects. Projects - which may be suggested by faculty, staff and students - also have included recycling bin placement and filtered water systems.
A project summary by the Office of Sustainability, released in April 2012, states that the objective of the charging station project is to promote research and affect behavior change. Researchers will take the information from the current EV market and the infrastructure supporting the electric vehicles to identify models to improve the viability of electric vehicle purchase and use.
The installation of EV charging stations helps fulfill the mission of the fund, which is to reduce the amount of waste created on campus and to encourage sustainable behaviors.
The We Mean Green Fund approved additional funding for the station’s infrastructure of power lines and fiber optic cables.
ECOtality, the EV station manufacturer, will provide some funding through a Department of Energy grant.
ECOtality's Blink Pedestal Chargers, right, allow electric car owners to use a touchscreen to access a 240 volt AC input station. Payment is by mobile phone and credit card.
The charging stations mark the latest in initiatives that has led UNT to a place on The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges for two consecutive years. The projects include:
The university also was named the Best University Working for Clean Air by the North Texas Commission, a business and civic advocacy group.
- Buddy Price and Mollie Jamieson, News Promotions
(Photos by Michael Clements)
Posted on: Thu 10 January 2013