June 30, 2016

Louisiana State University: The State's First Workplace Charging Challenge Partner

Since the installation of the EV charging stations on campus, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of EVs owned by students, faculty, and staff. This has certainly bolstered our mission to enable the university to become more efficient and environmentally responsible, as well as promote alternative modes of transportation.      
Tammy Millican, Louisiana State University Office of Campus Sustainability, Assistant Director, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Students, faculty, and staff at Louisiana State University (LSU) have easy access to free electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, thanks in part to a collaboration between the Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF) coalition and LSU's Campus Sustainability department.

"Under our PlugIn Louisiana initiative, we assisted LSU Campus Sustainability in becoming Louisiana's first Workplace Charging Challenge partner," said Ann Shaneyfelt, LCF executive director. "But LSU didn't just jump on the EV bandwagon—this was the result of a nearly five-year partnership between LCF and LSU to provide reliable charging infrastructure on campus."

The first EV charging stations at LSU were introduced in 2011, marking the state's initial foray into the EV scene. Donated by local utility Entergy, the charging stations were paid for by its shareholders through a fund established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovative projects. As a project partner, LCF assisted with educational and promotional efforts.

Although there was clear excitement surrounding the campus's first charging station, the installation process also brought to light policy ambiguities associated with permitting and regulatory jurisdiction. For instance, utility regulator rules specify that only utilities (i.e., Entergy) can charge for electricity.

Initially, university administrators were also concerned that LSU would be responsible for exorbitant electric bills, but have since said their fears were unfounded because electricity prices turned out to be lower than expected.

"Given the success of Entergy's pilot program, LSU recognized the value of supporting EV drivers, and the university has committed to covering the cost of electricity used for its charging stations," Shaneyfelt said.

Today, the LSU campus has three charging stations. The latest station, installed in 2015, is situated next to the university's new Cypress Hall residence building, which also earned a green building certification.

"The relationship between LSU Campus Sustainability and Louisiana Clean Fuels has played a vital role in the success of our workplace charging program," said Tammy Millican, assistant director of LSU Campus Sustainability. "Since the installation of the EV charging stations on campus, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of EVs owned by students, faculty, and staff. This has certainly bolstered our mission to enable the university to become more efficient and environmentally responsible, as well as promote alternative modes of transportation."

"For LSU, Workplace Charging has been a win-win—in addition to helping the university meet its sustainability goals, LSU was able to attract a top-notch athlete who, upon learning the school had EV charging stations, gave up a scholarship for another school to attend LSU," Shaneyfelt said. "LSU Campus Sustainability is committed to supporting Louisiana's growing EV culture, and LCF is thrilled to support them in leading the way to more PlugIn Louisiana successes!"

A photo of a person in a tiger costumer and LSU jersey posing next to a charging station.