(Update: Adding video, comments)
Central Oregon Community College’s Redmond campus held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the installation of its new electric vehicle charging station.
Electric car owners attended the event at COCC, and enjoyed refreshments and learned about electric vehicles.
There are two level-2 ChargePoint charging ports located in the campus parking lot (with two additional charging stations recently unveiled at the college’s Madras campus) allowing anyone with an electric vehicle to plug in for free. COCC, together with its sustainability committee and 350Deschutes, is working with installer Sunlight Solar to expand options for electric vehicles in rural parts of Central Oregon, thanks to generous funding from Pacific Power.
“Having these charge stations is a big deal,” said Ken Mays, director of COCC’s automotive technology program. “Anyone traveling to the Valley has some ‘range anxiety.’ And this is not only for our students and staff, but for members of the public.”
COCC is placing a strong emphasis on electric vehicles these days. The college’s automotive technology program, among its more than 15 certificates and degrees, now includes an associate degree that focuses on electric- and hybrid-power systems. And COCC’s motor pool includes a fleet of hybrid vehicles that college staffers can rent for commuting and conferences.
Some students have been able to turn their time in COCC’s hybrid and electric vehicle classes into careers.
“Many of our students are getting jobs with companies like Tesla, Mays said. “So they go through another 12 weeks of training with Tesla. That’s another option our students have, and we are excited about that.””
Two years ago, COCC and Rio Hondo College in California received a $779,000 National Science Foundation grant to jointly implement a national credentialing system for technicians working in the electric-powered automotive world, presently under development.
If you’re interested in Oregon’s clean vehicle rebate program, you can find more information here.