UCR installs electric vehicle charging stations

In collaboration with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), UCR has installed eight electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around campus. The stations are designed to make it easier for owners of EVs to commute to campus, while fulfilling a commitment to become a more environmentally-friendly campus.

The installation of the charging stations is part of a two-year project called New Grid, and is being executed by the Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT). The project is designed to, among other things, build solar energy arrays and sponsor the creation of a trolley system that runs on electric power.

Four of the eight charging stations are located in Lots 1, 6, 15 and 30; the other four are situated in the CE-CERT parking lot. Drivers who wish to use the charging stations must create an account at www.chargepoint.com. Charging is $1 per hour for the first four hours, and $3 for every subsequent hour, but people who regularly interact with the UCR campus are eligible for a $1 per hour discount.

“At this point, the EV Charging Program is a pilot program,” said Irma Henderson, alternative transportation manager at Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS).

In response to an inquiry about the cost of the program, Henderson responded, “It cost TAPS $30,000 to provide the eight charging ports.” Henderson also noted that, “The success of (Alternative Transportation) Programs like the UPASS program, where students can ride the bus for free, helps reduce the demand to build more parking which greatly affects parking permit rates.”


Power restored at UC Berkeley after explosion

After an explosion rocked UC Berkeley late Monday, Sept. 30, power has been brought back online and classes have returned to their normal schedules.

The explosion occurred in an underground utility room outside California Hall, the building housing the chancellor’s office, following an attempt by maintenance crews to try to end a several hours-long power outage. Both the explosion and power outage were thought to be related to the attempted removal of copper wire a week before the explosion.

Four students were injured in the explosion, one of whom was hospitalized for minor burns. The blast also resulted in a required campus evacuation.

More than 100 evening classes in three buildings were cancelled as a result of the outage and subsequent explosion. Eight other buildings, including the main library and numerous athletic facilities, were impacted by the power outage. Fire crews were called in to rescue 20 people trapped in dormitory elevators because of the blackout.

“The explosion was about two stories high and as wide as a two-lane street,” UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said. “We’re very fortunate there were no serious injuries.”