Prep Talk

Prep Students “Take Charge” and Make History

Posted September 14th, 2012


When it comes to being fully charged and ready to roll, St. Augustine Prep students Velty Koons and Jared Walters are that and then some as they get set to add two electric charging stations to their high school campus.  This effort is part of a year-long Caritas project that is required for all students entering their senior year at the Prep. Caritas projects challenge students to find tangible ways to make a positive difference in their community and world.

“As gas prices get higher and harmful emissions increase, electric cars make more and more sense,” says Velty Koons.  “It’s not a matter of if they will come, but when.  One of the biggest challenges is making sure there are enough charging stations nearby to keep the cars on the road, which is what this project is meant to tackle.”

Together, the boys conducted research, created a plan, met with school officials, secured sponsors and enlisted the help of Philadelphia based U-Go Stations to make this project a reality.  The two electric charging stations, due to be installed in October 2012, will be available for use by all St. Augustine Prep faculty, students and families.  A special smart card will be issued to any Prep staff, students and/or family members who own an electric vehicle.  They will be able to pull up to one of the charging stations and use the card to unlock and activate the service.  The car owner pays for the power that is used.

“Recent independent studies show that within four years, there will be nearly 1,000,000 electric vehicles on the roads in North America,” says Jared Walters.  “Within nine years, electric and related green vehicles will account for one third of all vehicles on the road.  What makes this so exciting are the many environmental, as well as financial benefits that this green technology can provide.”

Making this project possible are sponsors D’Ottavio M. Produce, Inc. of Vineland and GM Toyota of Vineland.  In addition, Palmieri Electric of Buena will donate all installation services.  Each charging station is estimated to cost $5,500.  The stations will be owned by St. Augustine Prep.  Funding for the first year of operations is being covered by project sponsors.  After that time, the stations will be self-sustaining with revenue derived from user fees.

An education program will be launched for all Prep students following the installation of the charging stations.  This program will encourage students to explore the green technology that exists in vehicles today and in the future.