On-Campus Electric Vehicle Charging Station Now Available for Students, Faculty, Staff
Ferris is one of the leaders at General Motors behind the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle, and a few days before his visit, the campus welcomed a new addition to its physical plant: a new 240-volt charging station behind the Science Complex that can fully power a Volt's depleted battery in four hours.
The station, part of Bay Area-based Coulomb Technologies' ChargePoint network being rolled out across the country, also can accommodate a second vehicle charging at 120 volts—for Chevy's Volt, that means 10 hours to fully charge a spent battery.
"John pointed us in the direction and got us with the people to get it done very quickly," said Eric Beadle, the College's director of technical services. "Now it's a resource to the students, faculty, and staff, if they opt to go that route."
The charging station—which can also accommodate other electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf—normally operates through a smart card tied to an individual account, but currently the College is taking on the cost of electricity used to power up.
Beadle said the unit was seamlessly integrated into the College's electric grid. Could the future see more charging stations on campus? "We're going to be watching the use of it and adjust accordingly," said Beadle moments before Ferris' arrival. He then zoomed in on ChargePoint's Google map on his mobile phone to show the location of the Albion station. "Hey, it's charging now," Beadle said. "Oh ... he must be here!"