UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Charge it: New electric car charging station at UNCG

On April 4, UNCG saw the ribbon-cutting of a new sustainability resource: an electric car charging station in Oakland Parking Deck. The opening of the station is an important step in encouraging reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, making the campus and community more eco-friendly.

To kick off the celebration, several who played a key role in the initiative spoke to the crowd of students, faculty and staff. Associate Director of Campus Access and Travel Demand Management Suzanne Williams gave a welcome speech in which she mentioned UNCG’s national honors as a commuter workplace and accomplishments within the Campus Transportation Master Plan and Campus Climate Action Plan.

Following Williams were Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities and Chief Sustainability Officer Jorge Quintal and Joelle Linderman, an undergraduate student who helped lead the effort.

Campus Enterprises Communication Manager Natasha Toussaint distributed the scissors, and Sustainability Coordinator for Operations Shanna Eller and Academic Sustainability Coordinator Marianne LeGreco joined the speakers in cutting the ribbon. The ceremony was followed by charging demonstrations with several electric vehicles, a Tesla Model X, Tesla Roadster and Nissan Leaf.

Parking Operations and Campus Access Management (POCAM) collaborated with Facilities, Design & Construction (FDC) to install the Oakland station, but all who participated remarked on how the initiative came largely from students, and from support through the UNCG Green Fund.

“When students rallied last year and Green Funds became available a few months ago, we were able to move forward with our first installation at Oakland Deck,” said Williams. “We expect to see more electric vehicles on campus now, and anticipate installing more charging stations to meet growing demand, thus helping UNCG reduce our carbon footprint.”

LeGreco explained that while the Green Fund has only been funding projects for a year and a half, there are tangible results around campus, such as new LED lights, a new cistern and now the charging station.
“There are so many projects that students are proposing to make the campus more sustainable,” she said. “It’s rewarding to see Campus Facilities and Operations step up and say we want to do this too. It also gives students a chance to work with staff and facilities and to learn about what it takes to operate a university.”

“This progress forward to me is, in fact, electrifying,” said Quintal. “And I am very proud for UNCG to be able to add to our vehicle charging infrastructure as we drive toward sustainability.”

The charging stations are free, and open to anyone who has a deck permit or pays the parking fee of $2 for the first hour and $1 for every hour after that. The station has nine stalls, with five standard Level 1 chargers and four Level 2 chargers.

Director of Graduate Studies in Library Information Science Nora J. Bird was the first official “customer” of the new charging station.

“Thank the powers that be for this resource,” she said as she charged her 2012 Nissan Leaf. I know that there are only a few of us but there are new models coming out all of the time, so it is good to encourage zero-emission cars.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Susan Kirby-Smith