KALAMAZOO, MI – Western Michigan University celebrated the installation of 15 electric vehicle charging stations and a solar array at a dedication and ribbon-cutting event on April 20. The Clean Energy Coalition (CEC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean energy technologies, provided the university with an approximately $700,000 grant to help install the charging stations, purchase five electric and two hybrid vehicles, and construct the solar array to power them, according to the CEC.
WMU’s EV fleet includes five Ford Transit Connects and a hybrid lift truck purchased with a CEC grant. Aaron Champion, project manager for the CEC, said the grant paid for the incremental cost of the EVs. For the Transit Connects, the cost difference was $39,000 per vehicle, and for the lift truck, which runs on diesel but has an electric-powered arm, the incremental cost was $53,400. The university took delivery of the vehicles in January, along with a hybrid Ford Escape also paid for with CEC grant funding.
According to the university, the new stations boost the Kalamazoo area’s number of charging stations to 37, more than a third of the total number for all of Western Michigan. The solar array is expected to provide more than sufficient power for the charging stations.