West Virginia University at Parkersburg installs first EV charging station on campus
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West Virginia University at Parkersburg installs first EV charging station on campus

May 29, 2023

Jun 5, 2023

A Wood County Technical Center student tests out the new electric charger at WVU Parkersburg by plugging it into an electric van that was provided by Phil Cunix of Astorg Auto. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Wood County Technical Center students held a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the Caperton Center with caution tape and an electric saw to inaugurate the opening of the new electric vehicle charging station at West Virginia University at Parkersburg Friday, May 26.

The students, who go by Amish Electric, were part of the Electrical Technology program, instructed by Mark Holbert. Mark Powell of Gexpro and Phil Cunix of Astorg Auto came to show their support. Cunix brought an electric truck and van to test out the charger.

"The charging station the class just completed gave the students the opportunity to take ownership of the project from the design phase to the completion of the installation," Holbert said.

Holbert said the electric tech program teaches students about various electrical fields including residential, commercial and industrial wiring.

"The students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with planning an electrical installation, installing electrical service, wiring a house, installing electrical devices, working with different switching configurations, conduit bending, wire-pulling techniques, motors, motor controls and many other electrical skills," he said. "The electrical field is always expanding into new technologies, some of them being green energy such as solar and wind, energy savings such as LED lighting and smart houses and electric vehicles."

Electrical technology instructor Mark Holbert, right, explains the process it took to connect power to the electric vehicle charging station at the WVU Parkersburg campus on May 26. (Photo Provided)

Director of the Wood County Technical Center and Caperton Center for Applied Technology Jason Hughes applauded the students for their ingenuity.

"I’m very proud of Mr. Holbert and his students for taking on this innovative project," he said. "This project illustrates the power and importance of partnerships in education."

Holbert said the charging station project has helped students prepare for a future career in the electrical industry.

"Skilled electricians are in high demand," he said. "Hopefully, with this program and the opportunity for the students to gain hands-on experience, like this EV charging station project, the students will be ready to pursue a good-paying career in the electrical industry after their education is complete."

Brayden Allen, Nathan Buskirk, Owen Collins, Jayden Dearth, Colton Floyd, Levi Gribble, Hunter Landis, Eli Law, Shamus Mahaney, Austin Ritchie, Isaac Sullivan, Bowen Taylor, Alex Tawney and Jeffery Waldron were among the students who attended the ceremony.

WVU Parkersburg President Torie Jackson, middle, stands with Wood County Technical Center students during a ribbon-cutting for the new electric vehicle charging station on the WVUP campus. Also pictured is Jason Hughes, right, director of the Wood County Technical Center and Caperton Center for Applied Technology. (Photo Provided)

"It was a really great experience," said Alex Tawney, from Williamstown High School. "We were able to do something new and learn a lot of new things."

Parkersburg South High School student Jeffery Waldron added, "It was good for us to have the experience, and it is great that the public gets to use the EV charger."

WVUP President Torie Jackson said the college would consider the need for additional charging stations in the future.

"The growth of electric vehicles in our area will result in additional EV charging stations in future years on the campus," she said. "We will monitor usage of this first station to know any necessary expansions of EV charging on the Parkersburg campus."

The station is listed on EV charging maps for public use and is across from the Caperton Center near the Walking Trail and the Welding Tower on campus.

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