Outdoor Discovery Center offers EV chargers

HOLLAND — The mission of the Outdoor Discovery Center is to advance outdoor education and conservation in West Michigan. 

Driven by this mission, our organization has a keen interest in transportation options that reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Thanks to advancing technology, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a cleaner, more efficient alternative to traditional combustion engine vehicles. 

Seeing an opportunity to provide drivers with entertainment, education and exercise opportunities while their batteries are recharging, the ODC installed its first EV charger in 2015.

Fast forward six years and the demand for use of our electric vehicle charger has grown beyond the single charger we had.

With contributions from a Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy grant program and the White Pine Fund, we recently installed two new charging stations providing a total of four standard charging plug-ins available for public use.

Each pedestal has two charging units, suitably named “Juice Box,” which are 40-amp commercial EV chargers. 

The Outdoor Discovery Center's new electric vehicle charging stations can charge four vehicles at once.

These chargers are powered in part by clean, renewable energy produced at the ODC.

Three solar arrays on the property produce over 40 percent of the electricity that the ODC consumes each year — even through Michigan’s cloudy winter season. 

One of the charging stations is sometimes occupied by our electric vehicle, a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt. We chose the Bolt because it leans into our mission of conservation and education while demonstrating the value of greener transportation options.

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