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Published on June 27th, 2014 | by editor

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Wright Welcomes Statewide Electric Vehicle Road Trip

On June 25, Wright College joined 11 Illinois community colleges and the Governor’s Office in raising awareness for electric vehicle (EV) technology, infrastructure and network success. Click here for images from the event.

EV Arrival

Wright College students, faculty and staff welcomed the statewide Electric Vehicle Road Trip on June 25. Click here for more pictures from the event.

Dozens of Wright College students, faculty, staff and electric vehicle enthusiasts greeted a caravan of nine electric vehicles on Wednesday, June 25, which were participating in a statewide tour of community colleges with EV charging stations.  Wright College was the 10th and penultimate stop on the three-day, 11-college tour, designed to raise awareness for and celebrate the EV network throughout Illinois.

Wright College President Potash was among those who greeted and welcomed the tour participants. “Congratulations to Road Trip participants on logging more than 500 miles over the past three days,” said President Potash. “Our participation in the EV Road Trip is consistent with City Colleges of Chicago’s and Wright College’s continuing commitment to sustainability. From energy efficiency initiatives to sustainable building renovations and improvements across City Colleges to the environmental programs and practices here at Wright, our goal is to make the campus more sustainable while exposing our students to the technologies, designs, and concepts they will be working and living with in the near future.”

The EV caravan congregated around Wright’s electric vehicle charging station, located in the college’s Parking Lot D, just south of the parking structure. The participating vehicles charged up before heading to the tour’s endpoint at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.

Wright debuted its charging station in 2012, the result of a collaboration between the City of Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago, 38th Ward Alderman Timothy Cullerton, and the Berman family of neighboring Mid-City Nissan. The station is open for public use, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. There is currently no fee for usage.

Addressing the event participants, Dave Inman, the director of Wright’s Environmental Technology Program said, “We hope this public use of the Wright College Charging Station – one of about 75 within the City limits – is just the beginning. We look forward to the day when our region will have many more stations to accommodate a growing number of alternatively fueled vehicles.”

The electric vehicle charging station is one of many examples of Wright College’s commitment to sustainability. Wright College offers associate degree and basic certificate programs in environmental technology, as well as a program in Building Energy Technologies, which helps building engineers and operations staff get certified in energy monitoring. These programs have been recognized by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Wright recently introduced an Urban Agroecology course, which addresses current local food production challenges and explores opportunities and efforts for sustainable agriculture in the Chicagoland urban environment. Other examples of Wright’s campus sustainability initiatives include:

  • The Learning Resources Center’s roof replacement project, which will double the building’s insulation, increase natural light and greatly improve energy efficiency.
  • The photovoltaic array on the façade of the garage – a teaching tool in Wright College’s Building Energy Technologies certificate program.
  • The campus community garden, apiary, campus arboretum, and green roof and solar water heating system on the roof of the Science Building.

Eleven Illinois community colleges involved with the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) participated in the Electric Vehicle Road Trip, held June 23-25. IGEN is a consortium of all 39 Illinois community college districts across the state working to grow the green economy of Illinois.

“The electric vehicle has come a long way in just the last five years,” said Lewis and Clark Community College Director of Sustainability Nate Keener, lead organizer for the event. “With this trip, we hope to show that it actually is possible to drive great distances in electric and hybrid vehicles.”

The EV Road Trip started at the southernmost “charged” community college, i.e. the southernmost community college with an electric vehicle charge station – John A. Logan College in Carterville – and proceeded north toward the northernmost “charged” community college, the College of Lake County in Grayslake. The cars were staffed by community college sustainability professionals, students, and/or IGEN staff. Along the way, the road trip stopped at each community college with an EV Charge Station.

The effort was supported by the Illinois Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Offices, the Illinois Office of Tourism, the Illinois Green Economy Network, Nissan, Chargepoint, and Green Wheels USA.

Read more about the tour in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

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