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NC State Charges Ahead

A sign marks an electric vehicle charging station outside the E. Carroll Joyner Visitor Center.

Electric vehicles have gotten a great deal of attention as a cleaner, more sustainable form of transportation. But it can be challenging to find places to charge an electric car.

NC State is trying to make it easier, with three free charging stations in place and five more scheduled to be available in May. Each station is capable of charging two vehicles simultaneously.

“NC State is committed to being a leader in sustainable energy, and that includes providing the infrastructure to support sustainable energy initiatives,” says David Dean, outreach and communications coordinator for sustainability and energy at NC State.

NC State opened its first charging station at the E. Carroll Joyner Visitor Center in 2010, with funding from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the university’s North Carolina Solar Center. The station is available free for public use, though those who use the station are asked to sign a log book in the visitor center to help researchers collect user data.

Two additional charging stations will be unveiled April 19 in the parking lot of NC State’s McKimmon Center, adjacent to the Solar House. The charging stations can be used by any full-sized plug-in vehicles – such as the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt – and can be used for free by the public. The cost for equipment and installation was provided by Progress Energy as part of a grant to study electric vehicle charging habits in a variety of environments. The units will be maintained by Progress Energy for two years while the company collects and analyzes data. The units then will become university property.

Five more charging stations are scheduled to open on Centennial Campus by late May. The stations will be located at the Partners I, Partners II and Research IV buildings, and at the Oval West and Partners Way parking decks. No decision has been made on whether a fee will be charged for access to these stations.

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