This article appeared in the June issue of Ripples, our internal publication on The Center at Donaldson.
Electric car charging station attracts passing motorists
When we received a grant from the Marshall County Community Foundation to install an electric car charging station, we had three goals: offer charging as a service to co-workers, use the infrastructure for our own fleet, and provide some electrons for visitors as well.
I was walking by the other day and saw a new car plugged in at the station, a Chevy Bolt with out-of-state plates.
Curious, I snapped a photo and left my card on the windshield. The next day I got an e-mail from Stacey, the driver:
“Thanks for letting us stop and charge! We met the nicest people during our visit at the center. Sister Mary bought my husband and I lunch and Rachel and Matthew at MoonTree showed us around the campus, gallery, and art studios. What a cool place that you guys have! Our visit exceeded our expectations and we stayed much longer than we expected just because we were having a good time.”
It turns out that Stacey had found our charging station on a smartphone app and made a pitstop here on her way back from Chicago. Matthew later explained to me,
“They were quite pleasant people, a former army serviceman and artist and his wife, an architect. They had talked about how they are moving out of the Chicago and onto a farm. We talked about agri-tourism and eco-tourism and how we had prime location and resources for both and how his family farm ended up making enough money to keep the farm profitable doing fall-time agritourism (corn maze and pumpkin patch). All in all, quite the serendipitous encounter and a testament to something as simple as an electric charging port attracting certain type of people with similar values and ecological considerations.”
Sometimes, all it takes is a little “spark.” Here’s a big THANK YOU to all the departments and co-workers who make The Center at Donaldson a place of ministry and hospitality.
Does this increase the electric cost for PHJC?
Somewhat. As a large consumer we get bulk electric prices so the cost to us is reduced. I looked into putting in a payment system, but between all the annual connection fees from the companies and NIPSCO, we are better off with an unmetered system. Residents and co-workers pay a flat annual fee in order to use it.
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