Pump up the Prius: Rider installs car chargers

By Theresa Evans 

 

Students charge their hybrid cars using Rider’s new electric car chargers, which were recently installed at the General Services Building.

For Rider commuters and residents on the go, repowering one’s hybrid car will now be as easy as plugging in a cell phone with the new electric vehicle (EV) chargers that have been installed on campus.

According to sustainability manager Melissa Greenberg, the electrical vehicle chargers are located on the General Services Building and were built with the hopes of eventually replacing gas and diesel vehicles altogether.

Rider’s ongoing partnership with Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) has allowed the university to benefit from renewable energy. Rider has 2,640 solar panels on campus through the partnership’s Solar4All program, according to Greenberg.

“While some may view this as a wasteful project, since our population of EV drivers is low, I feel it was a good project because it aligns with our goals,” said Greenberg. “It creates an incentive to consider an electric vehicle, it enables the Facilities department to green its fleet and most of all, it sparks a conversation about transportation, alternative vehicles and even climate change,” said Greenberg. “On top of all of that, this project cost the university nothing.”

Rider applied to the EV Charging PSE&G Pilot Program which “provides equipment for five electric vehicle charging stations and in turn, the equipment will transmit data to PSE&G for a study,” said Greenberg. “Simultaneously, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was offering funds through its Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Grant that I applied for and received. The grant covered the cost of installation for the five charging units.”

“Rider University has the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050,” said Jillian Spratt, graduate assistant of sustainability. “That means that as an institution, we won’t be emitting any net carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Any carbon that would otherwise be emitted, is being absorbed through various offsetting initiatives.”

For the eighth consecutive year, Rider was named an environmentally responsible campus by the Princeton Review’s Green College Guide.

“I have seen the growth of this department first hand,” Spratt said. “We have come such a long way since then in terms of what we’ve been able to accomplish, and these EV chargers are a great example of that. It feels good to work for and learn in a university that values our environment.”

The electric chargers are free to use with an account and pin number, Greenberg said.

“I think for an individual who was on the fence about purchasing an electric vehicle, the chargers could tip the scales. A big concern for people considering purchasing an electric car is worrying that they won’t be able to charge them conveniently. Well, for students and workers at Rider, it won’t be a problem,” said Spratt. “It’s like the saying, ‘build it and they will come.’”

 

Contact Melissa Greenberg megreenberg@rider.edu to set up an account and pin number for the electric chargers.  

 

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