Green cars visit to test new chargers

edited.EV Cruise In _ Model 3 Tesla _ Tori ZieminskiBy Erica Quinones

Elm Staff Writer

Electric vehicles shocked Washington College students this week.

According to Director of Sustainability Greg Farley, six electric vehicle charging stations around campus became functional as of one month ago.

There are four behind Bunting Hall, one by the bridge to Kent Crossing, and another in the Kappa Alpha lot, with three more awaiting installation by Corsica Hall and the Talbot Hall parking lot.

To celebrate the charging ports, Farley invited several electric vehicle owners to WC on Thursday, Oct. 25. Faculty and visiting car-owners presented both hybrids and fully electric vehicles, including the Ford C-MAX, Chevy Bolt, and a Tesla Model 3 at the event, which took place behind Bunting Hall.

There were two C-MAX cars, owned by local Rick Schumacher and Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Eugene Hamilton, respectively. The C-MAX is a plug-in hybrid, which runs on gas and electricity.

According to Schumacher, the C-MAX can run for 20 miles on a fully-charged battery before switching to gas, on which the car averages 53 miles per gallon.

Next was the Chevy Bolt. The Bolt is an all-electric car with features that show the driver how many kilowatts are being used or produced, and a recharge system.

The recharge mode is simple with the car automatically braking when the driver’s foot is removed from the accelerator. As the car breaks, it converts the friction into electricity.

When permaculturist and beekping program coordinator Shane Brill drove the Chevy Bolt, the car reported generating upwards of 12 kilowatts of electricity.

After the drive, Brill demonstrated another feature that produces statistics on the driver’s performance. It rated everything from personal driving to terrain, calculating the trip’s efficiency. Brill scored high, but it was a trip around campus, without air conditioning, and without the radio playing, so it lacked the many contributors to lower efficiency.

The most popular car amongst students there was the Tesla Model 3, owned by Mark Emon from the Easton area. With full-periphery cameras, programmable speed-limits, and overnight software updates, freshman Liz Hay described it as a “spaceship.”

This technology attracted many students, including sophomore Ethan O’Malley, who said, “It’s kind of one answer, Tesla.”

O’Malley and Hay were two of the first students to drive the Tesla with its owner, Emon, and a third student, sophomore Nicolina Capitanio. Upon returning from a near hour-long trip, the three were full of excitement.

Their primary interest was the speed. While they tested how fast it could go, they were amazed by how quickly it accelerated.

When discussing driving the Tesla, O’Malley said it accelerated “instantly, you don’t feel it accelerate; it accelerates so fast.”

Capitanio agreed, expressing how easy it was to speed up without noticing.

“Once you’re there, there are times that I was going over, especially at a lower speed,” she said.

Hay said the easy speed and silent engine made “you feel like you’re gliding more than driving.”

While it was mostly students enjoying rides in the electric cars, most charging ports are not in student sections. When asked about this, Farley apologized and expressed his desire to install the remaining ports, all of which are planned in student lots. However, for the time being he said these spots are open to students.

“There is nothing saying students couldn’t park here, it’s a little intimidating,” Farley said, “but certainly, if a student had a car, they could come and plug them in here.”

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