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'DC fast charger' electric vehicle recharger installed at Bellevue College

Bellevue College has installed a rare direct current (DC) fast charger for electric vehicles on its campus.

Located near the I-90/I-405 interchange, the 'DC fast charger' is the Eastside’s first. It should help combat “range anxiety” experienced by electric vehicle drivers by providing a nearly full recharge in about half an hour. It’s the first fast charger on any college or university campus in the entire western United States.

“These chargers will go a long way toward encouraging people to consider getting an electric car. It makes a statement that Bellevue College is serious about doing everything we can to reduce vehicle emissions, which are a huge source of our carbon footprint,” said Deric Gruen, Bellevue College’s sustainability and resource conservation manager. “What’s great about this fast charger is that it gives us the capability to serve many more people. You’re more likely to find an open station now.”

DC fast chargers differ from conventional chargers by utilizing direct current to provide an 80 percent charge in approximately 30 minutes. By contrast, it can take several hours for the more popular level 2 chargers to provide a full charge, and even a full day for a level 1 charger that’s powered from a regular household plug.

There are only 87 DC fast chargers available for public use in the entire country as of this writing; this will be the 13th in Washington state.

In addition to the fast charger, BC installed two more level 2 chargers on its campus that join two existing chargers that were added this past summer. All five stations, which will be available for public use, are part of the Blink network and charge usage fees (visit www.blinknetwork.com for more information). To complement the chargers, the college also plans to add an all-electric Nissan Leaf as part of an on-campus car sharing program for students, faculty and staff.

The project was made possible primarily with a federal Department of Energy grant, and BC students picked up the balance of the cost with funds from a student sustainability fee.

To find the charger, go to parking lot C7 off of Snoqualmie River Road on the West side of the main campus. For more information, go to Bellevuecollege.edu

 

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