news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Participates in Duke Energy Program to Install Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station in University Commons

Avery Callan, a junior bio-med major, appreciates the convenience of having Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on campus.
Avery Callan, a junior bio-med major, appreciates the convenience of having Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on campus.

Second Station to Open Soon at Brinkley Amphitheater; Both Sites Open to the Public

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—In the next two years, CNBC reports that automakers expect to spend billions of dollars to bring more Electric Vehicles (EV) to market. In response to the increased production and the state of North Carolina’s goals for a cleaner environment, Duke Energy introduced the Park & Plug program. Through this Duke initiative, Gardner-Webb University has opened an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station at University Commons with three separate dispensers. Additionally, another EV charging station with two dispensers will open soon near the Brinkley Amphitheater. 

The EV charging stations are open to the public. Customers need to download the Shell Recharge App to their phones. Once the app is installed, the customer will scan the QR code on the port they are using and follow directions. 

Duke Energy installed the EV dispensers at no cost to the University, noted David Wacaster, director of Operations for Facilities and Maintenance. The rate is set by Duke and is $0.1515 per kWh. 

Logan Stewart Kureczka, Duke Energy lead communications manager, explained that the Park & Plug program supports North Carolina’s efforts to expand charge points. “Individuals who drive EVs can feel confident knowing they will be able to charge their EV where they need to along their route,” Kureczka observed. 

Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students Lesley Villarose said students and families welcome the convenience of having EV stations on campus. 

One of those students is Avery Callan, a junior bio-med major and member of the lacrosse team. She has owned her electric vehicle for a year and is happy that the new EV charging station is close to her GWU apartment. “I had to drive to Spartanburg (S.C.) or Charlotte (N.C.) to charge my car, or I had a portable charger, but that only gets 5 miles an hour, so this is going to be really nice for me,” she informed. “I can plug the car in overnight to charge.”  

Kureczka explained that sites for the EV charging stations were strategically chosen to help create a network of chargers across the state. “Sometimes this may be along a heavily traveled area such as off a highway, where drivers would typically fuel up, and sometimes it may be in a more rural or remote area,” Kureczka described. “We are working with stakeholders and public officials to ensure that as many N.C. customers as possible have access to public EV charging and can opt for an EV, if they choose.” 

In North Carolina, Duke Energy plans to place and install around 280 public charging stations across the state, including in multifamily dwellings and traditionally underserved communities. Kureczka said this project will include 40 fast chargers, 160 public Level 2 charging stations at key public locations, and 80 Level 2 charging stations at multifamily dwellings.  

“Park & Plug is an important step in making sure our communities have access to the public charging they need to help ensure people feel comfortable driving EVs for long distances and that ‘fueling up’ is convenient,” Kureczka asserted. “Duke Energy is designing and proposing many customer-focused EV programs to serve customers’ individual needs and lifestyles, offering a menu of options.” 

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu. 

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