By Jessica Kaiser
Electric cars are popping up on college campuses everywhere, and Franklin College is no exception.
Since Chevy released an electric car as an alternative to using fossil fuels in 2011, it’s not uncommon to see charging stations around campuses.
Susan Leach-Murray, technology and technical services librarian, is the owner of a Chevy Volt electric car. She charges her car using campus electricity.
The few electric car owners on campus pay for the electricity they use in an annual payment to the school.
“What I do pay in electricity to charge is about half of what my normal gas would be,” Leach-Murray said. “That’s a big advantage.”
Leach-Murray said she saves around $60 a month by not using gas in her car.
Franklin College has looked into installing commercial charging stations on campus through a company called ChargePoint.
“Currently, we do not have a commercial charging station,” Director of Facilities Tom Patz said. “They are becoming more common in larger cities like Indianapolis and Chicago, but they are still less common in rural areas like Franklin.”
It would cost the college around $13,000 to put in charging stations, Patz said.
Leach-Murray said she loves the car for more than helping the environment.
The 2015 Chevy Volt gets an advertised 101 miles per gallon in the city and 93 highway.
Her electric vehicle only runs a short range, just enough distance to get her to and from work.
“Chevy advertises that [the Volt] gets around 38 miles on a charge,” Leach-Murray said. “That varies depending on a couple of factors [like] how I drive the vehicle … [and] the weather. … I’ve seen it charged up to 45 [miles] when I leave home.”
Patz said electric cars aren’t just a phase, and their presence will grow more common.
“This is the future,” Patz said.