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WJBD - Local News - Electric Car Drives Through Kaskaskia College, Is This the Future?

Electric Car Drives Through Kaskaskia College, Is This the Future?

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

It's 2014 and nearly everyone has seen an electric car driving around. The issue is, you never seem to see them drive very far. The Illinois Green Economy Network in Partnership with Illinois Community College System set out this week on a cross-state roadtrip in a 2014 Nissan Leaf, Nissan's Consumer Electric Car, to show that yes, you can drive electric cars anywhere.

The roadtrip will pass through 11 community colleges by it's end. Kaskaskia College was the second stop on the tour on monday. Kaskaskia College President Dr. Jim Underwood says that Kaskaskia College is doing what it can to prepare students for the future, with the automotive technology department now adding lessons in Electric Cars, Compressed Natural Gas, and Hybrid Vehicles.

"We're incorporating the technology into the autotech curriculum. We're preparing a grant for a charging station on this campus, and are excited about doing that" said Underwood.

The roadtrip will last three days, partially because of all the stops, and partially because the Nissan Leaf only has a range of about 60 miles per charge, and charging it takes between two and eight hours, depending on the charging station. Kaskaskia College Assistant Professor Chuck DeBernardi says the technology still has quite a bit of progress to make before it becomes a viable competitor to fossil fuel driven cars. 

After the ceremony, the Electric Car, driven by DeBernardi, Scroll Advisor Dale Hill, and Kaskaskia College English Professor Clint Stevens continued on its journey on to Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, where it will be charged at one of the local "fast charging" stations.

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