UVU gets greener with new EV charging stations

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Steffan King | Staff Writer

Photo credit: Collin Cooper | Photo Senior Staff | @coop.97


UVU unveiled four electric car charging stations at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 24. These stations, which were built with a matching funds grant from the Governor’s Office of Energy, are located in the visitor’s parking lot near UVU’s main entrance.

In attendance at the ceremony was Allen Mathewson, the director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality; Laura Nelson, the executive director of the Utah Governor’s office of Energy; and Ted Wilson, the director of the Utah Clean Air partnership.

“UVU is green in every way and we’re getting greener,” President Holland said at the ceremony.

These public charging stations help reduce emissions and help Utah County maintain cleaner air. Over a year ago public charging stations were available to the public, but accessibility was difficult; if you wanted to charge your vehicle you would have to travel to a car dealership or specific gas station. Now, only minutes off of I-15, the public can conveniently access these charging stations free of charge.

According to Blake Thomas from the Governor’s Office of Energy Development there are 500 registered electric cars in the state of Utah with a bulk concentrated along the Wasatch front and Washington County. The reason why UVU was chosen for the electric charging stations was because of its proximity and easy access to I-15 and the visibility the stations and electric cars will have among the students.

Val Peterson, vice president for administrations said, “UVU is providing the charging stations to the public free of cost to demonstrate our commitment to this project and improving air quality along the Wasatch front. This project is an important step in heeding the Governor’s call and turning a vision into reality from which all Utahns will benefit.”

This is not the first step that UVU has taken to adhere to the call from the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. Along with the addition of four charging stations to campus, Holland also announced the addition of two newly purchased Toyota Prius 2015 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to its fleet.

UVU currently uses geothermal energy to heat and cool the campus. The school is also in the processes of changing out light fixtures to LED lights. More than 3,500 of its students now ride the front runner to and from school, cutting down on emissions, and all new buildings on campus are LEED certified to ensure their sustainability on campus.

Since there will be 33,000 students enrolled this semester, UVU has rededicated its efforts to ensure Utah County’s air quality and cut down on its emissions. The hope is that these stations will create a more conscientious frame of mind among students.

The UVU administration wants to help students gain a better understanding and appreciation for reducing their own emissions and choose to go green.

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On August 31, 2015, this article stated that four EV charging stations were unveiled on Aug 24, 2015. There were only two stations unveiled.