Bridgewater College to dedicate electric-vehicle charging station
Bridgewater College will officially dedicate an electric-vehicle charging station that is believed to be one of only a few at a Virginia college. College officials and local legislators will perform a ribbon cutting March 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the Stone Village parking lot. The public is invited to attend.
The charging station was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Transportation Electrification Initiative. The $6,000 grant to Bridgewater was part of an overall objective to accelerate the development and production of electric vehicles to substantially reduce petroleum consumption, reduce greenhouse gas production and create jobs.
The charging station will be used by the college’s fleet of fully electric campus utility vehicles, as well as by members of the faculty and staff, as well as students, who drive plug-in electric cars to campus. Eventually the station will be available to the public, as well.
“We would like for these examples of smart energy-use to have an impact on the perceptions of community members about the viability of electric vehicles,” said Teshome Molalenge, director of sustainability at Bridgewater. “Our hope is that others will be influenced to reduce their own energy use based on these examples.”
Molalenge added that the charging station will provide opportunities for students to learn about sustainability issues, such as how many kilowatt hours a typical electric vehicle consumes and how that compares to a gasoline-powered car in terms of cost per mile and effects on the power grid.
He said the addition of an electric vehicle charging station is a natural next step for the college, which has completed a comprehensive energy audit, created a center for sustainability and designated environmental and conservation issues as a key priority in its strategic plan.
“The addition of this charging station is consistent with the ongoing goals of the college and serve as a visible sign of its commitment to sustainability,” he said.
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,750 undergraduate students.