No longer the stuff of science fiction movies, electric vehicles are a reality, and they?re coming to Penn State Berks in the form of a donation of a Nissan Leaf from Eisenhauer Nissan. Pete Eisenhauer, owner of Eisenhauer Nissan, will hand the keys over to Penn State Berks Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk on Thursday, April 2, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. in front of the lion shrine, just outside the Thun Library.
The acquisition of the Nissan Leaf allows Penn State Berks to realize its goal of operating a solar-powered electric vehicle as part of its sustainability initiatives. The Leaf will operate as part of a solar energy generation and consumption system that includes solar panels, an inverter, and a charging station.
"The gift of the Nissan Leaf from Eisenhauer Nissan provides new and exciting opportunities for Penn State Berks to educate our students and the larger community about sustainability and alternative energy sources,? states Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk. ?We will use the vehicle to highlight the importance of sustainability and link to a number of other solar energy initiatives at Penn State Berks."
With its electricity use offset by the solar array?s energy output, the vehicle will provide an excellent opportunity for students and faculty to conduct research on sustainable technologies and showcase the practical benefits of clean energy. On average, the energy provided to the grid by the solar array will meet or exceed the energy taken from the grid to charge the vehicle?s battery.
Students will monitor how much energy is generated by the solar panels and how much is consumed by the car over the course of time. One of the objectives of the research will be to determine the optimal number of solar panels required to power an electric vehicle driven in the weather conditions that exist in southeastern Pennsylvania. Penn State will make the energy generation and consumption data available to the public via their website.
?When approached about the Penn State Berks sustainability project, we knew we had an opportunity to enhance the program with a unique vehicle like the Nissan Leaf,? explains Pete Eisenhauer. ?The vehicle should allow Penn State Berks to conduct research and study the opportunities of alternative fuel vehicles. Since Eisenhauer Nissan is the #1 volume Nissan Dealer in Pennsylvania for 2014, we feel it is important to support community projects within our area. We hope the Leaf enhances the Penn State Berks sustainability project and look forward to gaining insight into the data gathered by the University while studying the vehicle.?
In addition to using the car for research and relevant academic courses, the college also plans to use it for recruitment visits to high schools and community colleges throughout the region.
The Nissan LEAF® gets the equivalent of 126 miles per gallon with a 100% electric drive system powered by an advanced rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and nine range-maximizing features that help the driver go farther on every charge. It can be charged at a 240-volt charging dock, and it takes about five hours to go from empty to a full charge with the 6.6 kW onboard charger. The Leaf has zero tailpipe emissions and comes standard with a 110-volt charger that plugs into any regular outlet and a 80 kW AC synchronous electric motor.
Eisenhauer Nissan is located in Wernersville, PA and online at EisenhauerNissan.com. The dealership is an Edmunds Five Star Dealer Award recipient for 2015. DealerRater.com has named Eisenhauer the 2014 Dealer of Year for the Nissan Brand in the United States and a Pennsylvania dealer of the year for Nissan Brand in 2014 and 2015. Eisenhauer Nissan has also won the inaugural DealerRater Consumer Satisfaction Award. As of March 31, 2015 the Dealership has a 4.9 rating out of 5 on 248 reviews on Google.com.