As students return to school in the US, those attending West Aurora High, in Aurora, Illinois, will discover a new sight in the school’s parking lot: the first FLO electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the state of Illinois. The four CoRe+ Level II chargers installed during the summer are part of a unique program that the school developed on their premises, which teaches students, both through simulation and practice, how EVs work, how to charge them, and what benefits EV adoption brings to drivers and to the environment.
FLO is a leading North American electric vehicle charging network operator and a major provider of smart charging software and equipment.
Rose Lenoff, FLO’s Business Development Manager, Smart Cities and Government, said, “Supporting and accelerating widespread EV adoption is an integral part of FLO’s global strategy, and what makes our collaboration with West Aurora High School so exciting. Not only are we helping raise students’ awareness about the benefits of driving an EV, but we are supporting EV education for the next generation of drivers. In the end, we expect that their understanding and familiarity with EVs will turn them into ambassadors who can spread practical and relevant information about zero-emission transportation.”
More than 3,500 students from vast parts of the state attend the West Aurora high school, which is known for its diversity. Its students speak 45 different languages at home, with backgrounds stretching across six continents. Last year, the school applied for a grant from the Illinois-based utility company Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) to invest in electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure for educational purposes. The school then went on to win the grant, making it possible for 600 students to attend its EV education program.
Todd Gingerich, Head of Facilities at the West Aurora high school, said, “The EV Drivers’ Education class is part of West Aurora School District’s overall strategy to switch to clean energy. We recently installed solar panels on the school’s roof, and a geothermal system to produce the school’s energy. Working with FLO to install EV chargers on the school premises has been another major step in this strategy, as the school’s motto is: Learn, practice, and apply. That is clear in this class where students learn about EV driving in theory, practice it using simulation in the school lab, then get to apply all those learnings with real electric vehicles that they can drive and charge firsthand. Having solid, reliable EV infrastructure is the foundation of a great EV experience. We want our students to have that takeaway and to become EV drivers themselves once they are ready to take the wheel.”