Energizing Education: Six Ways Schools and Colleges Benefit by Installing EV Charging
Updated: 3 days ago
A commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is evident in nearly all sectors throughout the U.S. The education industry is no exception. Schools and colleges are critical in influencing future generations as the world moves towards a more sustainable future. Beyond mere places of learning, schools and colleges have, at their very core, a mandate to foster a better world.
As such, installing EV charging stations on campuses is both a moral and practical commitment. What follows is an examination of the tangible and intangible benefits EV charging stations can deliver.
Get a Head Start on State-Mandated Transitions
California has implemented the Advanced Clean Cars II regulation, mandating that by 2035, all new passenger vehicles, including cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in the state, must be Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). This requirement extends to the state's fleet of vehicles. California has also committed to the Under2 Climate Coalition's ZEV Pledge for Public Fleets. This pledge sets ambitious targets for converting the state's fleet to ZEVs, aiming for a 100% transition by 2030 for buses and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), by 2035 for Light-Duty Vehicles (LDV), and by 2040 for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
As of now, a total of 13 states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington—along with the District of Columbia, have embraced California's standards for low-emission vehicles (LEV) and zero-emission vehicles (ZEV). Additionally, states such as Minnesota, New Mexico, and Nevada are progressing through their regulatory procedures and might shortly adopt these standards set by California.
Boost Student Enrolment
Students across the U.S. are actively committed to a more sustainable electric future—and they expect their schools to support the energy transition. Fully one-third of Gen Z vehicle owners surveyed by West Monroe report state that they own an electric vehicle, and 72% of Millennials plan to purchase an electric car for their next vehicle.
Providing EV charging stations demonstrates a commitment to clean energy and sustainability. According to The Princeton Review’s College Hopes & Worries Survey report, most respondents (64%) said having information about a college’s commitment to environmental issues would contribute to their application decisions, with 23% indicating it would contribute ‘strongly.’
But what about K-12 schools? According to a recent EdWeek survey, approximately 50% of teens want to learn about the science behind climate change and what they can do to lessen its impact. These young students are exposed to the impacts of climate change on the news and in their communities—but many feel powerless. They’re looking to their schools to provide. Having EV charging stations on campus offers a unique, hands-on learning experience.
Attract Top Teachers
Schools and colleges need innovative ways to attract teachers. Offering EV charging on-site is an attractive incentive. A commitment to sustainable solutions is proving to attract and retain top talent. A visible commitment to sustainability has never mattered more in the battle for talent—with 51% of employees stating they will no longer work for a company that doesn’t have firm social or environmental commitments. (Studies show that 91% of employers received positive employee feedback for installing workplace charging.)
As the sales of electric vehicles continue to rise, EV chargers are becoming a must-have amenity for the modern workplace. Providing workplace charging is also inexpensive compared to most other employee benefits, costing as little as $1.50/day for Level 2 charging.
Provide a Much-Needed Service for Students, Staff, and the Community
EV sales are booming. In 2022 alone, EVs accounted for almost 6% of all new car sales in the U.S. and are expected to reach 29,5/5 by 2030. Unfortunately, the number of EVs is growing faster than the number of EV charging stations available, creating a terrific opportunity for organizations offering on-site EV charging.
Offering EV charging also benefits the community. Allowing locals to use campus charging stations strengthens a school’s ties with the community—fostering positive relationships, building goodwill, and creating opportunities for collaborative sustainability partnerships.
Establish a Positive, Future-Focused Brand
Education stands at the crossroads of the future, tasked with preparing our youth for a world transformed by technological advancements, societal shifts, and global challenges. Adopting electric vehicle technology showcases a school’s commitment to technology, innovation, and sustainability. Embracing EV technology sends a powerful message to students, staff, and the community that this school understands the challenges we face today and is doing everything possible to prepare its students for the future.
EV charging stations also help to promote a greater environmental consciousness. A SmartEnergy study found that 4 out of 5 people describe themselves as “likely to choose a brand with a positive approach to environmental sustainability,” with 90% of respondents stating that “it is vital that society becomes more energy-conscious.” EV charging stations on campus are a daily reminder of the school’s commitment to a sustainable future.
Create an Additional Revenue Stream
There has never been a better time to install EV charging at your business or organization. In addition to the new Federal and State incentives, rebates, and tax credits, installing EV charging stations can deliver additional financial benefits.
EV charging stations installed in schools pay for themselves with the revenue generated from students, educators, and visitors using the chargers. While some schools offer students a per-semester fee for EV charging, others charge per kilowatt hour or session. Once revenue from the station has covered the investment, any extra income can be destined to fund school initiatives without dipping into annual budgets.
Electric charging at schools and colleges delivers both ethical and practical benefits for schools. They promote environmental consciousness, encourage EV adoption, attract students and staff, showcase technological leadership, and support campus sustainability goals. They provide valuable real-world learning opportunities and enhance community engagement. Since educational institutions play a critical role in shaping future generations, their commitment to sustainable practices by installing electric charging stations sets a powerful example for students, faculty, and the community.