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USA: Electric car charger first project of its kind

An electric car charging station on the Emporia State campus is the first project of its kind between the university and Westar Energy.

Since March 26, the charging station has been in operation in the parking lot of the Beach Music Hall on the east side of campus.

“Several years ago, we had somebody coming to visit us on campus who said, ‘I have a hybrid car, where do I plug it in to charge?’ We were having to respond, ‘We don’t have anything like that,’ which got the ball rolling on this project,” said Richard Jensen, physical plant utilities manager of University Facilities.

The electrical infrastructure was installed last fall, but Jensen said it took a while to get all the components and agreements in place.

Shaina Hoffman, sophomore rehabilitation services and Spanish major, received a 2008 Toyota Prius as a gift from her grandparents. Her car is a hybrid, so it’s half electric and half fuel.

“It’s perfect for driving back and forth from Wichita to Emporia on less than a tank of gas,” Hoffman said.

The installation of the charging station was free for ESU, since Westar was also looking to work on the project.
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