There was a time when graduating from high school and starting at University or College meant it was time to say goodbye to your old friends, pile your stuff into the back of a beaten-up station-wagon or pickup truck, and head off on the adventure of your life.
These days, if you’re lucky, there’s a possibility you’re heading to university this fall in an electric car, either because you’ve chosen a local university and plan to commute from home every day or because you’re one of those lucky few who was given a brand-new plug-in car as a graduation present.
But which schools in the U.S. are most electric car friendly? Which colleges and university have the best provision for student and faculty electric car charging? And just how many electric car charging stations are there at universities across the U.S.?
According to charging provider ChargePoint, the number of electric car charging stations located at U.S. universities and colleges has risen by an impressive 35 percent in the past twelve months, up to 1,134 charging stations this year compared with just 838 last year. Given that the first charging station installed by ChargePoint at a place of learning was installed at the end of 2010 at the Pasadena City College, that’s a pretty impressive growth curve.
Today, UC Davis, California leads the charts when it comes to most electric car charging provision, with a total of 38 electric car charging stations on campus. In second place with 36 charging stations on campus, is Towson University in Maryland.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Californian universities would dominate the top five EV-friendly institutions, but only one other Californian university — Santa Clara University — features in the list with 26 charging stations. Instead, Western Michigan University comes in fourth place with 22 charging stations, with MIT placing in fifth place with 21 charging stations.
Although MIT might be a foregone conclusion given its area of expertise,the University of Western Michigan also has a good reputation for electric vehicle support. As well as its well-known electrical engineering department and relative proximity to the Lansing, MI plant where the famed GM EV1 was made, fifteen of the 22 charging stations on the WMU campus are powered by a 50 kilowatt photovoltaic solar panel array, meaning staff and students can get a truly zero emissions charge while they work or study.
“American universities are often our hubs of innovation and technology” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint in an official press release detailing the top five EV-friendly learning institutions in the U.S. “It is no wonder adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure has prospered on college campuses. Our data demonstrates which colleges and universities are leading the way when it comes to supporting low and zero emission vehicles. We hope this helps spur friendly competition between campuses to be the greenest institutions in the world.”
Naturally, there are plenty of other universities and colleges around the U.S. with electric car charging provision, which ChargePoint says you can locate using its station locator web app. To find non ChargePoint charging stations, you can look up your local university on the PlugShare and OpenChargeMap databases.
Are you heading back to University this fall with an electric car? Or perhaps someone you know is? Are you studying electric cars as a subject, or working on some other evolved transportation technology? Or are you perhaps even at one of those few, privileged schools picked by GM to be custodians of the famous EV1 electric car?
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