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UC San Diego Named National Leader in the Transition to Electric Vehicles


  • Lily Chen

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  • Lily Chen

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The University of California San Diego was recently the sole organization selected by the awards committee as a winner of Plug In America’s first annual Drive Electric Awards. The Drive Electric Awards was created to give special recognition to the people and organizations striving to accelerate the transition to vehicle electrification in the United States. UC San Diego has received many other similar awards, a testament to the work the university is doing to further the EV (electric vehicle) movement.

“We are proud to present the University of California San Diego with a Drive Electric Award,” said Joel Levin, Executive Director of Plug In America. “UC San Diego is a national leader in the shift to cleaner electric vehicles. From their large network of electric vehicle charging equipment, to their promotion of green technology, they have been a model for other universities and organizations to follow.”

Byron Washom, Director of UC San Diego's Sustainable Energy Initiatives, will accept the award on behalf of the campus in Los Angeles on Sept. 6. The ceremony will be held at the National Drive Electric Week Opening Reception at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator/La Kretz Innovation Campus.

“This award represents the continuing dividends of the bold private-public-academic partnerships that have spurred an unprecedented growth of the next generation of smart chargers,” Washom said. “These efforts help pave the way for others to adopt greener methods of transportation to cut harmful emissions, locally, nationally and globally.”

In June, UC San Diego was also honored with the 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Award for serving as an epicenter for research, development and commercialization on smart EV charging. The award was presented by Greentech Media, a leading information services company for technologies, markets and businesses shaping the future of the electricity sector. UC San Diego has collaborations with over 18 companies and organizations to provide 135 EV charging stations on campus.

“UC San Diego continues to make innovative strides towards decarbonizing energy, as we approach the milestone of becoming carbon neutral by 2025,” said Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning, Gary C. Matthews.  

Collectively, UC San Diego charges over 800 unique EV drivers each month, which represents a monthly reduction in 5,600 gallons of avoided gasoline being used. The number of such drivers is expected to continue to climb, as UC San Diego has experienced an annual growth rate of 150 percent in EV commuters to campus over the past three years.

For more information about Plug In America and the Drive Electric Awards, please click here. Learn more about UC San Diego’s sustainability efforts here.

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