Last Monday, Purdue University and General Electric Energy-Industrial Solutions unveiled the first of (up to) ten electric vehicle charging stations that will eventually be installed on the campus' grounds. To celebrate the occasion, a slushy Chevrolet Volt, pulling straight in from the snow-covered streets and hooked up for a charge.

The Level II charging station, located between the Elliott Hall of Music and Purdue Armory, is a wall-mountable unit designed for indoor or outdoor use. Obviously, the charging station will allow plug-in vehicles to pull in for a "fill up," but that's not its only purpose. University students who are studying battery-powered technology will have access to the charging station and its data to conduct research related to plug-ins.

GE Energy-Industrial Solutions teamed up with the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium (I-AEVTEC) to make on-campus charging stations a reality. I-AEVTEC is funded by a $6.1-million grant issued under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Hat tip to Chris!

[Source: Purdue University]

PRESS RELEASE

Purdue, GE put new charging station to use with the Chevy Volt


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University and General Electric Energy-Industrial Solutions unveiled an electric vehicle charging station on campus Monday (Dec. 13) with a new Chevrolet Volt taking the first charge.

The charging station, located between Elliott Hall of Music and Purdue Armory, is the first of as many as 10 that GE Energy-Industrial Solutions will place on campus. Designed to recharge electric-powered vehicles quickly and easily, the GE EV charging stations will be used by various classes and researchers working on electric-powered technology and to recharge university-operated electric vehicles.

The Volt is the first electric vehicle with extended range.

GE Energy-Industrial Solutions has worked with the Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium (I-AEVTEC) to bring the charging stations to campus. GE and Purdue have a longstanding relationship, and GE is a key employer of Purdue graduates.

Funded by a $6.1 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, I-AEVTEC includes Purdue, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University Calumet and Indiana University Northwest.

It is developing curricula for vehicle technicians, bachelor's and master's degree programs for electric design and manufacturing engineers, and a certificate program in electric vehicle safety for emergency responders. It also is establishing an outreach program to secondary schools and a resource-driven public website about electric vehicles.

I-AEVTEC sponsors the EVGrandPrix for electric-powered karts. The first one was held last April at Purdue. This year, a preliminary event will be at Purdue in late April and an expanded EVGrandPrix, open to colleges and universities throughout the country, will be May 7 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"The GE Energy-Industrial Solutions charging stations are a key tool as we train students who soon will lead the way in developing alternative power for vehicles," said James Caruthers, a professor of chemical engineering and I-AEVTEC director.

Energy-Industrial Solutions introduced the EV charging station in July and said it would be piloted this year at commercial sites, along with Purdue and the University of California San Diego.

According to GE Energy-Industrial Solutions, the EV charging station, used either indoors or outdoors and mounted on a wall or a pedestal, decreases the time needed for recharging an electric vehicle from as long as 12-18 hours to as short as four to eight hours. It is designed to allow utility companies to implement a "smart" electrical distribution system to manage the impact of electric vehicles on local and regional power grids.

"While the electric vehicle industry is in its infancy, we believe teamwork among manufacturers, government, industry groups, educators and consumers is key to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles," said Luis Manuel Ramírez, CEO of GE Energy-Industrial Solutions. "GE and Purdue have had a long relationship, so we're extremely proud to work with this leading institution in developing technology innovations for electric vehicles."

The Volt is powered by electricity for the first 35 miles of gas- and tailpipe emissions-free driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. For longer-range driving, a highly refined gasoline engine powers the electric motors for an additional 344 miles.

General Motors will start selling the car in selected markets by the end of the year and will expand throughout the country over the next 12-18 months. The Volt has recently received several awards, including Motor Trend magazine's 2011 Car of the Year and Green Car of the Year from Green Car Congress.

Students from across campus were given an up-close look at the Volt and its propulsion system after Monday's unveiling.

"The development of a robust electric vehicle market will take collaboration from a variety of stakeholders, including academia," said Ken Morris, executive director of global vehicle engineering for GM. "Allowing students and faculty at Purdue to study the Volt will help develop curriculum for future engineers and designers and potentially help create new powertrain solutions."

Caruthers said, "We're fortunate to have the Chevrolet Volt here to demonstrate the charging station and give our students an in-depth look at the forward-looking technology that runs it."


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