Minced views surround issue of electric vehicle charging stations at school


Photo by Alex Grainger

Electric teslas have become increasingly common sights in the parking lot.

Electric cars are becoming more demanding due to higher gasoline prices, especially with the climate crisis. While the majority of student drivers do not drive an electric car, there area few. This raises the need for high schools to have designated spots for electric car charging.

Recent graduate Brandon Sun drove an electric car to school daily. He said he believes that this school should not offer charging for electric vehicles. “If Wootton offered charging, it could become problematic for those who don’t drive an electric vehicle,” Sun said.

Sun said that the cost to maintain the charger would become too expensive for the school’s budget. It would be more beneficial for the school to spend the money where it benefits everybody. “If Wootton spent their money on something expensive, It shouldn’t just benefit a select group of students,” Sun said.

If there were to be charging stations here, students who don’t drive an electric car would have no benefit. The school would offer fewer regular parking spots. This would give students who drive an electric car a higher chance of receiving a spot. “It would be unfair to those who don’t drive an electric car,” Sun said.

On the other hand, recent graduate Prahlad Shelvapille, who drives an electric car, wishes that there was charging at high schools in the county. There are cars that are sitting in the parking lot all day, and if charging were to be available it would benefit those who do drive an electric car. “It would be a simple addition that would go a long way,” Shelvapille said.

Offering charging stations at high schools would not just benefit the students, it would benefit other people who drive electric cars. The charging wouldn’t just be available to students, travelers or other locals could use the charging if it’s their closest option. “Sometimes charging stations can be hard to find, opening new charging areas could help the community,” Shelvapille said.

P Student drivers may think that if charging stations were put in place it could limit the number of regular spots. This would make it harder for students who don’t drive an electric car to get a spot. Shelvapille disagrees. “Just because there is a charger doesn’t mean other cars can’t park there, they can, they don’t need to use the charger,” Shelvapille said.

Recent graduate Karen Potts supports charging stations at high schools, though she doesn’t drive one herself. She said she believes that electric cars are better for the environment and that more convenient charging stations would further encourage people to invest in one. “Wootton offering charging stations would encourage people to drive electric cars to school,” Potts said.

If high schools were to install charging stations, students may have complications when trying to get a spot for the year. Opponents to charging stations may think It would just be easier to not have charging at high schools as it’s not a far drive and students could charge their cars elsewhere. “I support charging stations, but it’s unrealistic and students could fight over them,” Potts said.

However, electric car charging at high schools is unlikely in the foreseeable future. “I have not heard of any plans of any high schools in Montgomery county having charging stations,” freshman Administration Elizabath Rodgers said.