We are thrilled to announce Oakton’s first electric vehicle charging station has been installed on the Des Plaines campus. Located in Lot D near our LEED Gold certified Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center, this dual Chargepoint system will allow students, employees, and community members a convenient way to refuel their electric vehicles when they visit campus. Electric vehicle purchases are growing globally and in the U.S. and Oakton is excited to support the push towards greener transportation. Within the first hour of use, we already had drivers waiting to utilize the system!
(Above: Chargepoint dual charging station, two electric vehicles charging; Below: Professor David Arieti shows off his Chargepoint card while fueling up his electric vehicle.)
There are many benefits to driving electric vehicles. Here are a few from the U.S. Department of Energy:
- Energy Security–With 24% of petroleum coming from outside of the country, use of electric vehicles can reduce our dependence on imported petroleum and increase energy security.
- Fuel Economy–The efficient nature of electric vehicle motors mean drivers can get more miles per kWh than the equivalent mpg with gas.
- Infrastructure Availability–Because electric vehicles can be charged in a number of places like home or work, there is flexibility to fill up when and where it is convenient. There are currently over 35,000 Chargepoint stations alone!
- Costs–Although initial costs for buying electric vehicles are still relatively high, tax incentives at the federal level and in various states can help close the gap. The saving on gas and repairs though are huge!
- Emissions–Because they are not using gasoline and burning fossil fuels, the vehicles themselves emit no (in the case of electric vehicles) or very low (in the case of plug-in hybrid vehicles) harmful emissions. The best way to reduce association emissions though is when the electricity is coming from a renewable source like solar or wind.
And of course, driving electric means an overall reduction in greenhouse gases for transportation, even after considering the entire life cycle of the vehicle. (Read a great discussion of that assessment from the Union of Concerned Scientists here.) The charging station is one of the many ways Oakton is thinking about our environmental impact and taking action on climate. We hope you will visit soon!
For more details about the station itself and other green parking on options at Oakton, visit: http://www.oakton.edu/about/strategic/sustainability/green_parking.php
As noted in our Sustainability Guidelines, Oakton is committed to climate action, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting sustainable transportation. Beginning late summer 2017, students, employees, and community members who visit our Des Plaines campus will have more options for green parking. Keep your eyes out for new signage in some of these areas!
Electric Vehicle Charging
A Chargepoint Level 2 dual charging station is currently being installed on the Des Plaines campus at the south side of Parking Lot D (close to the Lee Center). Drivers of electric vehicles may park in one of the two designated spots while they are charging. Out of respect for other EV drivers, we ask that you move your vehicle to a different space when your charge is complete.
Once activated, Oakton station will be visible on all PlugShare maps.
Low-Emitting and Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking
A row of reserved spots for low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicle parking is located on the East side of the Lee Center on Des Plaines campus, in Parking Lot D. A second set of three spots will be available to employees only in Parking Lot C after July 1st (parking is currently reserved for the ECE Center).
Not sure if your vehicle is considered fuel efficient? Electric or hybrid vehicles and motorcycles are a quick yes! For other, gas-powered vehicles, find your car’s Green Rating using the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) guide. If your vehicle scores a 40 or higher, you are encouraged to park in these locations!
Youth Instructor for Greencorps Chicago
Greencorps Chicago is the Chicago Department of Transportation’s community greening and job training program run in partnership with WRD Environmental. Greencorps Chicago’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship and improve the quality of life in Chicago by establishing, maintaining and restoring natural and public spaces that are safe, healthy and sustainable through hands-on involvement with program participants.
The Greencorps Chicago Youth Program (GCYP) is a summer youth employment program, administered by the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Department of Family and Support Services. The Youth Instructor will spend the majority of their time teaching horticulture, landscape practices, tree care, bicycle maintenance, and bike safety to high school youth enrolled in GCYP. Instructors will work out of a Chicago Public School or other community based location, with significant components taught outdoors at a variety of project sites (such as community gardens or urban farms) throughout the City of Chicago.
In just a few short weeks, we will be welcoming students back to campus. Now is a great time refresh on our sustainability tips. Take a few minutes and learn how you can Go Green at Oakton!