Owners of electric cars can now charge their vehicles on campus, thanks to a partnership between San Diego State University and ECOtality, a company that manages electric transportation and storage technologies.
“The installation of the electric vehicle charging stations is a progressive initiative for SDSU that meets the demand for the growing electric vehicle industry,” said Morgan Chan, Associated Students sustainability commissioner.
Charging services and locations
The chargers were made available by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and will go live this month. The electric vehicle charging stations, known as Blink chargers, are part of ECOtality’s Blink Network, an online program that allows drivers to remotely schedule and charge their vehicles with just a touch of their smartphone or mobile device.
The Blink chargers are outfitted with connector holsters, intuitive docking connectors and color touch-screens. The smart Blink charger determines the lowest times and rates available for charging, as well as providing real-time information about the electric vehicle and Blink charging stations.
A total of 14 parking spaces on campus will be designated charging stations. The charging stations are located in parking structures 4, 5, 6 and 8, as well as the SDSU Associated Students’ Children’s Center.
The charging stations will be available to SDSU faculty, staff and students. All vehicles parked in the stations will be required to have the proper permit for the designated parking structure. In addition, all vehicles must be plugged in while occupying the charging spaces. Any vehicles that are unplugged will be cited.
“It’s great to be a part of a project to make the campus sustainable,” said Robin Judd, director of the Children’s Center. “We hope that the presence of the parking spaces will encourage families to purchase sustainable vehicles.”
Sustainable culture and community
The electric car-charging stations are just one of the many environmentally friendly initiatives that are part of a full-scale movement to make SDSU and the surrounding communities sustainable.
In 2005, SDSU partnered with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to build an extension of the San Diego Trolley through campus, reducing traffic congestion and taking thousands of cars off the road.
Additionally, Associated Students' Green Love initiative, founded in 2008, provides carpooling and car-sharing services to campus including:
- Zimride, a carpooling website and Facebook app that allows students, faculty and staff to connect and commute together.
- Zipcar, an on campus car-sharing service that offers affordable, all-inclusive hourly and daily rates.
Beyond green transportation
Beyond transportation, Associated Students has funded the installation of solar thermal heating systems and solar panels at the Children’s Center, Aztec Recreation Center and Mission Bay Aquatic Center.
“Not only is Associated Students overcoming dirty energy through renewable energy projects, but AS and the Green Love Board have put forth strong efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation to and from the campus,” Chan said.
“The Green Love Initiative continues to progress with the passion and commitment to sustainability from our students.”