EV Charging Coming To A School Near You

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common, and demand is on the rise. Over half of car sales are projected to be EVs by 2030. The need for a faster transition to electric cars has become more apparent than ever in recent months, with many Americans facing surges in the cost of fuel at the pump.

Higher demand for EVs means increased demand for charging options. But electric charging still isn't widely available. So it's clear the infrastructure needs to catch up – and fast!

As EV charging infrastructure expands nationwide, schools are one of the early adopters who are making it a priority to accelerate charging station deployment. With millions of students and staff coming in and out of schools daily, it's no surprise to find our educational institutions embracing the shift to electric vehicles.

Why schools are installing EV charging for teachers and students

Electric vehicles aren't an option for many drivers where charging infrastructure is under-deployed. However, more and more companies and destinations are opting to equip their buildings with electric charging stations across the country.

Many school-aged children don't drive. But the number of consumers that step foot on school grounds is significant between students, parents, and staff. The impact is even more apparent when it comes to higher-education institutions. As more and more Americans need easy access to charging stations, it simply makes sense for campuses to adapt to the new way of transportation.

EV charging infrastructure provides value, making schools more attractive for staff and students. It also signals a commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions within the community.

California schools lead the way

California leads the country with the greatest number of electric vehicles registered in the state. With the number of EVs on the roads, it's no wonder that schools in California are starting to see EV charging stations pop up across campuses.

However, there is still a lack of adequate charging options, especially in disadvantaged communities. To help address the infrastructure challenges, the Pacific Gas & Electric company is assisting 22 schools in the state to offer better access to charging stations for students, staff, and visitors.

Through the "EV Charge Schools" pilot initiative, PG&E has focused on bridging the charging gap across California. With over 40% of the new chargers located in disadvantaged communities, the pilot is a big step towards making EVs accessible to all.

Education is critical in fostering the adoption of EVs for the younger generations. Therefore, in addition to installing charging stations, PG&E's pilot program also includes an educational component. The curriculum encourages students to develop interest and awareness in the clean energy and technology sector. With over 4 million EVs to be expected in California in the next decade alone, electric vehicles are the future of transportation. This educational outreach will be important in equipping students to succeed in the new EV future of tomorrow.

How schools are funding EV charging stations

There's no way around it; installing EV charging stations is expensive. The average commercial Level 2 charging station can range from $2000 to $10,000 per charging port. Despite becoming a critical addition to public areas, the high cost of EV chargers means most schools require additional funding and resources to deploy EV charging stations. So how are schools funding these upgrades?

Private companies, including PG&E, are helping support underfunded schools with EV charging stations to make the transition to electric transportation more accessible. Moreover, there are also rebates and tax incentives available at the federal, state, and local levels for educational institutions (and other companies) willing to invest in EV infrastructure on campus.

The increasing number of private and government-funded incentives will help reduce the burden on schools making these significant infrastructure investments.

Yellow (electric) school buses

Many students across the country go to school by private vehicle; however, just as many rely on school-provided transportation choices. For example, over half a million school buses operate in the United States today. These buses, a crucial part of a school's transportation plan, frequently utilize diesel fuel, and unfortunately, their emissions affect the health of our communities and the environment.

Clean buses are the solution for helping propel America towards cleaner mobility and transportation.

As a result, we're seeing a slow (but steady) shift to lower-emission options for school buses. As of June 2022, 38 states have committed to a combined 12,275 electric school buses.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is also helping transition more buses to electric power through the Clean School Bus Rebate Program. This program allows public school districts to request funding to replace existing diesel buses with low-emission electric models.

Improving charging infrastructure

The increased demand for electric vehicles means charging needs to be more convenient and reliable. Despite the environmental and cost-saving benefits of electric vehicles, the lack of easy access to power for vehicles is a massive barrier for families and individuals looking to break into the EV market.

Improving charging infrastructure makes clean energy an increasingly viable transportation option for many Americans. With the number of Americans interacting with educational institutions regularly, it's an easy option to bolster charging options in the country.

The bottom line

The world of transportation is rapidly evolving, and the number of EVs on the road is growing by the day. While more infrastructure is needed across the country to support the transition to electric technologies, schools are a fantastic place to start.

Bringing EVs and electric education to young Americans is one of the best ways to build a foundation for a future in clean energy. The increase in EV charging in schools is an excellent step in transitioning to electric transportation across the United States.

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