Go Green or Go Home (To Charge)

in Opinion by

In a global environmental crisis caused by the gluttonous consumption of fossil fuels, many drivers have turned to electric vehicles, any vehicle that to a certain degree runs off an electric motor. This worldwide shift has increased the demand and necessity for electric vehicle charging stations in public places. Fortunately, we have such chargers right in the parking garage, but currently they are reserved for golf carts. I believe these chargers should be available to students and faculty during the day.

More and more companies are beginning developments for electric vehicle fleets, with sales of electric cars rising 54 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This, combined with fluctuating prices of gasoline, makes electric cars economically appealing as well as environmentally beneficial. The school could help promote the global green movement by allowing students to use the chargers for their own cars.

Statistics from the IEA report about 430,000 public use chargers in circulation worldwide in 2017. The lack of chargers at work or in other public places may discourage potential electric car buyers. In order to incentivize more people to drive electric cars and to fully utilize the chargers already in the garage, the school should allow students to use those chargers. Another way to incentivize students would be to offer those who would otherwise park in the remote lot the opportunity to pay to park in the garage if they have an electric vehicle.

Allowing students to charge their cars during the day would not defeat the chargers’ original purpose: to charge the golf carts. Because many of the golf carts are in use during the day, students could charge their cars in the garage during school hours and the golf carts could charge after hours.

Students would mostly want to charge their vehicles at school if they have a hybrid car or limited range electric motor that cannot take them to and from school on just one charge. However, considering students are more likely to drive hybrids such as a Ford Fusion Energi or Chevy Volt (both plug-in vehicles) than a fully electric long-range Tesla, a sizeable proportion of student electric vehicle owners could still take advantage of charging at school. Opening up the first floor garage chargers to electric vehicles would incentivize students to go green and to maximize the use of the chargers already installed.

Administration is open to the idea of the alternate use of golf cart chargers if students demonstrate sufficient interest. If the student and faculty need grows enough, perhaps the school will consider adding more chargers specifically designated for electric vehicles.

Olivia is a senior hailing from South Florida. In addition to newspaper, she has worked on the staff of Expressions Literary Magazine and is an editor of Spotlight Yearbook. Additionally, she is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Pressing the Future, an online international news organization. She has a passion for both journalistic and creative writing, but outside of the writing sphere she is a cross-country runner and social rights activist.

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