Western Michigan now has new public charging stations to keep electric vehicles going

As part of a collaboration with Consumers Energy, WMU (Western Michigan University) has erected new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The university claimed in a news release that the ten new dual-port EV chargers on campus can be able to power up to 20 vehicles at once.

“WMU has long been a leader in fostering sustainability and innovation,” stated President Edward Montgomery. “Our continuous commitment in those fields, as well as our desire to cooperate with the others who hold the same views and vision, is demonstrated by the growth of our EV charging stations.”

The solar array in front of Floyd Hall; south of the Miller Auditorium parking ramp; between Seibert Administration Building and Sangren Hall; at the Office for Sustainability; and on Stadium Drive close to Waldo Stadium are among the areas where the charges can be found.

The charging stations are open to the public and will charge $0.20 for every kilowatt-hour while in use. After 2 hours of charger use, a $1.50 per hour parking cost will be charged, which will remain until the car is unplugged and moved, according to the release.

The new electric car technology on campus was made possible thanks to a grant of $50,000 from Consumers Energy’s PowerMIFleet initiative. WMU, according to the university, has the highest number of public charges on the campus of any university in the state, according to the announcement.

“By 2030, Consumers Energy hopes to have one million electric vehicles on our state’s highways,” stated Sarah Nielsen, Consumers Energy’s executive director of EV programs. “We applaud Western Michigan University (WMU) for taking the lead in driving this renewable energy transformation. We expect others to follow the university’s lead and use these public EV chargers.”

According to the statement, in the summer of 2023, Jeff Spoelstra, who is the director of Western’s Office for Sustainability as well as co-chairperson of the Carbon Neutrality Committee, is going to spearhead usage research to reassess collecting fees in order to maintain equity, user pleasure, and network sustainability.

“We believe the price model will strike a compromise between affordability and accessibility and the long-term repair and replenishment of the charger network,” Spoelstra added.

The ChargePoint app provides a live map of campus chargers. The Office for Sustainability’s webpage will have instructions for utilizing the chargers as well as answers to commonly asked questions, according to the press release.

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