Winona State University installs EV chargers for campus and community

July 2020

Two high-capacity level 2 chargers are now available to Winona State University (WSU) students, staff, and faculty, as well as for City of Winona residents and visitors.

  • This installation was funded in part by a CERT Seed Grant awarded to the Winona Area Climate Action Network (Winona CAN).
  • The chargers are on campus in the parking lot at Kryzsko Commons and can be used via the AmpUp charging network.
  • Electricity for vehicle charging will be free for students, provided at cost (10 cents per kWh) for faculty and staff, and at cost plus a $1 charging fee for the general public.

Though the ambitious goal of the Winona CAN - Climate Action Network was to install a DC Fast Charger, it wasn’t possible to find equipment that fit into the project budget, said Nathan Engstrom, Sustainability Director at Winona State University. Engstrom shared that “going with high-capacity level 2 chargers was the best and most workable compromise.”

Tom Ezdon, primary CERTs Seed Grant applicant and member of Winona CAN, shared "Our grassroots organization’s primary goal was to remind residents that electric vehicles are a viable alternative in an area that is still an electric vehicle charging desert." The group is "dedicated to building a sustainable future" and had gathered a petition of support for the project in just one day with over 200 signatures. They ultimately partnered with WSU, who paid for the remainder of the project costs and owns the chargers.

Our grassroots organization’s primary goal was to remind residents that electric vehicles are a viable alternative in an area that is still an electric vehicle charging desert.

Tom Ezdon, member of Winona CAN - Climate Action Network

Engstrom shared, "Like most things with large state institutions, it was a bit of a long and roundabout process stretching back almost 3 years" to install EV chargers on campus. "Ultimately WSU’s Sustainability Committee, the Student Green Fee Grant Program, the WSU Sustainability Office, and the WSU Facilities departments were able to work together to persuasively develop a project proposal that the University could support," said Engstrom. "The CERTs Seed Grant and the partnership with Winona CAN put the project over the edge in terms of building support and demonstrating community good will" he continued.

WSU has a goal of carbon neutrality and vehicle electrification is part of their plan. They are awaiting delivery on their first to EVs, which will be Chevy Bolts, to be added to their rental motor pool fleet. They have also recently added two electric utility carts to ground maintenance fleet. The current pandemic restrictions on gatherings, and Minnesota State insurance restrictions may put a crimp in Winona CAN’s hopes for a ride and drive, but the two groups will be looking for ways to partner on opportunities to widely promote both the chargers and new fleet vehicles to campus and the wider community.

Winona State University installs electric charging stations

June 18, 2020: Winona State University (WSU) installed two new electric car charging stations. The stations, located in the Kryzsko Commons parking lot, are ready for use and open to students, faculty, staff, and the public.

Project Snapshot

  • Technology: EV charging stations
  • SE CERT Seed Grant: $3,030
  • Total Project Cost: $27,818
  • Other Funds: Student Green Fees; Facilities Budget
  • Project Team: Tom Ezdon and Janel Dean with Winona Climate Action Network; Nathan Engstrom and Jim Goblirsch with WSU Facilities; Liz Wilson with WSU Foundation; and 15 members of the WSU Sustainability Committee
  • People Involved and Reached: 8,000
  • Annual Energy Savings: 93,414,441 BTUs saved, 1,135 gallons of gasoline avoided

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