The liberal arts and science university, Worcester State University (WSU), has developed a long history of education while practicing global awareness to reach various sustainability goals to “go green” in Massachusetts. WSU’s Climate Action Plan is focused on managing the impacts of society on the environment, strategizes ways of reaching carbon neutrality, and emphasizes various ways to strengthen sustainability efforts and practices. Through this report, WSU has implemented educational resources for students, faculty, and staff to learn about electric vehicles (EVs) and to ultimately make the electrification transition.
WSU’s Sustainability Coordinator, Steven Bandarra, works diligently to educate the campus community regarding the global climate crisis and the benefits of making the jump to an electric vehicle. There is both a technical and educational side to Bandarra’s work; from the technical standpoint, he is constantly seeking out new opportunities for the University, and takes advantage of available incentives. He also works to motivate the campus community to drive EVs and participate in workplace charging initiatives. This is all done as part of their commitment to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
WSU currently leases four battery-electric golf carts three out of four seasons to use for transportation around campus. The golf carts are heavily used and appreciated by the Facilities Department. In 2015, with support from National Grid, WSU installed their first dual-port charging station for all students, faculty and staff. Currently, WSU just unveiled four additional Level 2 dual-port charging stations that brings their total number of stations to eight (a total of 16 charging ports). Not only does the University provide EV charging, but they also have solar arrays on two roofs on campus in support of a sustainable environment.
The electricity we are using for our EV chargers is being offset by our extensive energy efficiency measures throughout campus. We also save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year because of those efficiency efforts. It’s important for us to further the State of Massachusetts’ Leading By Example initiative and help increase the adoption of electric vehicles, which is part of the reason why we don’t charge a fee for people to ‘fuel’ up their EVs on campus.
– Steven Bandarra
WSU Sustainability Coordinator
Each year, WSU holds a two-day sustainability fair and highlights EVs as part of the overall sustainable ecosystem. Students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to explore a variety of electric vehicles. In addition, WSU holds at least one EV event per year which includes test-drives. WSU also partners with neighboring Worcester institutions to promote EVs. In the future, WSU wants to ensure that additional charging stations are installed to continue the quest to aid and encourage Massachusetts to become more green, lower the carbon footprint, and contribute to cleaner air. As part of its five-year strategic plan, WSU plans to implement fully electric or hybrid vehicles for any new fleet purchases, for both light and heavy-duty vehicles.