Covered equipment and “section closed for maintenance” signs may be seen around campus, such as in the Collins Boulevard Parking Facility, in preparation for the 10 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that are being added.
The USF Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF) is funding the project through the semesterly $1-per-credit-hour student fee. Nainan Desai, the assistant director of Facilities Management, said operations for the EV charging stations will begin in one to two weeks.
According to the SGEF proposal form, the project will reduce 52,377.7 kilograms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and will have a carbon reduction of 57.73 tons.
The $216,079 project is funded through the $183,079 in the SGEF’s total project budget. The remaining costs will be funded by the Facilities Management, according to Desai.
There is no fee to use the EV charging stations as long as there is a parking permit on the vehicle, according to the Parking and transportation Services (PATS) website, however there is a four hour charging limit.
The electric cars are encouraged on campus, since they do not release carbon dioxide emissions, unlike gasoline-powered vehicles.
A total of two EV charging stations will be implemented in each new location.
The new EV charging stations will be in the Crescent Hill Parking Garage, Leroy Collins Parking Facility, Laurel Parking Garage, the athletics parking lot and the Social Science (SOC) parking lot.
The five current EV charging stations are being used to their exceeding capacity due to the estimated 27 users on campus, according to the SGEF proposal form.
According to the PATS website, there are two of EV charging stations located on the first level of USF Beard Garage, two are near USF Cedar Circle just east of the Marshall Center (MSC) and one is in lot 23B near the Patel Center.
In 2014, a petition that gained 1,200 student signatures was in full support of adding more EV charging stations on campus. The creators for the project believe that the EV charging stations are just as important today, according to the SGEF website.
Desai said once the chargers are operational, PATS will be enforcing the area and making sure that only people with electric cars are parking in those spaces. According to the SGEF website, the project leaders said that they are advocating for a separate parking pass to be made available by PATS so that the spots are not being taken advantage of.
The SGEF website said the 10 new EV chargers will further enable electric cars to be a viable means of transportation and reduce harmful emissions from the environment.
“The chargers will provide increased number of facilities for use of electric vehicles by students, staff, and visitors,” Desai said in an email to The Oracle. “It is hoped that this will provide cleaner environment for the campus and community.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ranoni