EV Charging Keeping Pace with Utah's Fastest-Growing University




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Utah Valley University campus

It was only a matter of time before electric vehicle (EV) charging made its way to the Utah Valley University (UVU) campus. With nearly 40,000 students, UVU is the state’s largest public institution of higher learning. With enrollment increasing upwards of seven percent a year, it’s also the fastest growing. Located 40 miles south of Salt Lake City in Orem, UVU is in the heart of the “Silicon Slopes,” a region so-called because of the number of high-profile tech companies clustered there.

UVU Chooses a Reliable Solution

With summer temperatures in Orem well over 90°F in the summer and dropping to the low 20°s in the winter, UVU needed a reliable EV charging solution that could take the heat—and the cold. Reliability is one of the reasons university leaders chose ChargePoint. In the summer of 2015, the school unveiled its first ChargePoint® solutions—a dual-port level 2 charger for student and faculty charging and a single port level 2 charger to fuel the university’s then-brand-new fleet of two Toyota Prius plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). UVU also added a public DC fast charger—one of the first in the state—to serve EV drivers traveling on Interstate 15 (I15) along the Wasatch Front, a part of the country known for its epic landscapes and clear azure skies.

Build It and They Will Come...

While it’s often employed to assuage starry-eyed entrepreneurs, the (slightly misquoted) line from the film, Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come” is astonishingly prophetic when it comes to EV charging. In the beginning, there wasn’t much interest for EV charging on campus, says Stacy Hamm, the university’s project manager and chair of the sustainability committee. “I don’t think people were asking for it,” she says. “But over time some of the professors purchased EVs and inspired others to do so too,” Hamm says. Demand took off. In 2018, UVU added 5 additional level 2 dual port stations located in permit parking areas, including one more for facilities to fuel the school’s growing EV fleet.

...and They'll Keep Coming

Since installing the new stations, both the number of unique drivers and the number of charging sessions have surged—increasing by 45% and 43% respectively between August 2018 and April 2019. “We had 53 unique drivers at the beginning of the school year. We were up to 77 in April,” says Hamm. Charging sessions went from 385 to 550. Utah Valley University’s experience isn’t unusual. A US Department of Energy survey found people are 6X more likely to drive an EV when they have access to charging. Demand is growing so fast, in fact, UVU plans to implement ChargePoint’s Waitlist feature in the near future. Waitlist allows drivers to get in a virtual line when no charging spots are available. When a spot becomes available, they’ll receive a notification to their phone that one is reserved for them.

We want to be the greenest university in Utah. ChargePoint gives me an easy, self-explanatory report I can take to the sustainability committee.

Stacy Hamm, AIA, MBA, LEED AP BD+C

Stacy Hamm, AIA, MBA, LEED AP BD+C

Project Manager – Architect

Utah Valley University

Sustainable, Meet Affordable

Utah Valley University was able to fund its first EV charging installation with help from a grant from the Governor’s Office of Energy Development for the State of Utah, which covered 60% of the costs. For the second installation, the school worked with its local utility, Rocky Mountain Power, for funding. “Rocky Mountain Power wanted to create points from north to south along I-15 to charge,” says Hamm. “Our campus is located right off the freeway, so it was really convenient for commuters to just hop off and charge and continue on their way,” she says. Like many ChargePoint customers, UVU was surprised by just how affordable incentives, grants and rebates make it to provide EV charging. For example, the Rocky Mountain Power Electric Vehicle Incentives grant shouldered 70% of the cost of the university’s stations.

ChargePoint Delivered

  • Automated sustainability reporting showing station usage and GHG emissions avoided
  • The first ENERGY STAR certified charging station hardware for universities
  • User-friendly stations that meet customer demands + a proven solution adaptable for public, student and faculty use
  • A comprehensive portfolio of solutions, backed by a team of industry experts and a familiar brand that’s been focused on charging for nearly a dozen years
  • Charging stations: ENERGY STAR certified CT4000 and CPE250 DC fast stations
  • Cloud services: ChargePoint dashboard includes usage reporting

At ChargePoint, we believe stories have the power to change the world.

Our customers share their stories because they’re passionate about the often-unforeseen ways the electrification of transportation has impacted their organizations. Like many companies around the globe, they’ve discovered that what’s good for the planet can also be good for business.

E-mobility is here to stay. Perhaps it’s time to tell your own story. Reach out to us at sales@chargepoint.com and let us know. We’d love to hear it.

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