Penn State University has landed a $3.3 million grant from the state that will help it replace diesel fleets with zero-emissions electric vehicles and round out its infrastructure.
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that PSU would use the money to replace five Class 6 and Class 7 box trucks with BEVs. Additionally, it will install four DC fast electric vehicle chargers and one Level 2 EV charging plug at three locations across the University Park campus located in State College, PA.
Funding was awarded from the Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Fleet Pilot Program, which is a part of the Driving PA Forward initiative, which aims to reduce emissions from diesel engines.
The program focused on “projects located in underserved and disproportionately impacted communities,” according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
StateCollege.com also spoke to Rep. Paul Takac, who stated that he was excited to “help support Penn State’s efforts to transition to electric vehicles in order to reduce their impact on the environment, while also saving money.”
Takac also said, “Sustainability and environmental responsibility are critical to the future of our Commonwealth and our world. As Pennsylvania’s land grant institution, Penn State’s commitment and leadership on this issue are critically important.”
Pennsylvania is rural, and around State College, the land is mostly comprised of farming real estate, and there is not a lot of EV adoption in the areas surrounding Penn State’s campus. This is mostly due to the region, which is heavy in coal and natural gas, but also the infrastructure has lagged behind other areas.
Rep. Scott Conklin of Centre County addressed this part of the challenge in a statement when he and Rep. Takac announced the grant to Penn State.
“Rural areas cover 97% of the country’s land, and with the lack of EV charging stations in rural Pennsylvania, it poses a barrier for rural Pennsylvanians and travelers with EVs,” he said. “Through this funding, we will address this barrier by building up infrastructure at one of Pennsylvania’s largest universities.”
I am super proud of my alma mater for taking this step! We Are!
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