Albright College moving to all-electric fleet

Albright College will collaborate with Evolution Energy Partners to utilize two Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Alternative Fuel Incentive grants, as well as a grant from the Berks County Community Foundation’s Met Ed Sustainable Energy Fund, to build 16 electric vehicle charging stations on campus and begin moving its vehicle fleet from gas to electric, beginning with five public safety and admission vehicles.

Each charging station will be able to accommodate two vehicles at a time and will be the first publicly-available stations in the city.

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Ten public charging stations will be available in the college’s visitor parking lot and Shirk Stadium parking lot, both located along North 13th Street — a principal road in Reading’s northeast quadrant, easily accessible by major highways, such as routes 12, 422 and I-176. Another six stations will be spread throughout campus.

A total of $95,000 — which includes $85,000 from the Pennsylvania DEP’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program for Infrastructure and $10,000 from Berks County Community Foundation’s Met Ed Sustainable Energy Fund — will offset an overall cost of $170,000 for the new charging stations.

Another $27,305 from Pennsylvania DEP’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program for Vehicles will offset the incremental costs of replacing the first five college-leased, gasoline-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. EEP was also able to obtain more than $45,000 in incentives to support the EV charging project.

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Albright will explore moving all of its 29-vehicle fleet to electric vehicles as existing lease agreements expire.

With a goal of increasing sustainability by promoting the use of electric vehicles and renewable energy, Albright’s charging stations will be available to the college community as well as the general public.

“The inclusion of energy efficient equipment and practices is consistent with Albright College’s overall commitment to environmental awareness and responsibility,” said Kera Wierzbicki, Albright’s environmental health and safety officer and chair of the college’s Committee for Sustainability and Stewardship.

An initiative of Albright President Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82, the Sustainability Committee initiates and support environmental policies, actions and programs at Albright, ensuring that environmental concerns, including energy conservation, are considered in all aspects of the college’s decision-making.

The college’s electric fleet and charging station project is the second phase of a strategic partnership with EEP, beginning as the first phase’s campus-wide lighting upgrade wraps up. While reducing energy costs, the conversion to LED lighting is improving lighting levels across campus and reducing the college’s carbon footprint by more than 3.4 million pounds of CO2 annually.

“Albright is a true leader in sustainability,” said Chuck Hurchalla, president of EEP, “We are proud to partner with Albright and continue to define new and innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”

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