Land & Environment

USU and Weber State University Join Forces to Improve Air Quality

An electric charging station has been installed at Utah State University.

Utah State University and Weber State University launched the Drive Electric Northern Utah Monday, Oct. 10. The program facilitates the purchase or lease of electric vehicles through Dec. 3. Community members in northern Utah will have access to a streamlined process and discounted prices.

The joint program is aimed at improving air quality and community health both today and for future generations, according to organizers. With almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles represent an important tool for improving air quality along the Wasatch Front, said Alexi Lamm, Utah State University’s sustainability coordinator.

The program’s Volunteer Steering Committee is made up of local community members with an interest in seeing increased adoption of electric vehicles. The Volunteer Steering Committee selected the participating car dealerships through a request for proposals (RFP) process, and secured discounts and other benefits for program participants.

“As a part of Cache Valley, we have a responsibility to practice environmental stewardship in our operations, but we also have the opportunity to reduce the barriers for others to make those decisions in their lives by assisting with the information people need to purchase electric vehicles for their own use” Lamm said.

To offer the program, Weber State University’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center and Utah State University’s Sustainability Council are partnering with Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit, public interest organization that works to drive the transition to a clean energy future.

The program is made possible by grants from the Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation, Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) and Patagonia Outlet of Salt Lake City.

“We at WSU view this as a great way to encourage the use of low to no-emission plug-in hybrid electric or all electric vehicles on our roads in place of more polluting and less efficient vehicles,” said Alice Mulder, director of Weber State University’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center. “It is more affordable to make the switch to electric vehicles than many people may be aware and the benefits of improving the air we breathe and reducing costs associated with vehicle maintenance are significant.” 

Car dealers are able to offer a discount because the program drives targeted customer demand during a limited timeframe. To those who enroll through the program, there will be discounts on BEV (battery-electric) or PHEV (plug-in-hybrid electric) car models from Audi, BMW, Chevrolet and Nissan. Discounts vary by vehicle make and model, but go up to 25 percent off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Participating community members can sign up for the program online. Once registered, participants work directly with any of the selected dealers to purchase or lease the electric car of their choice. Participants must sign a contract before Dec. 3, 2016, to guarantee the discount.

Interested community members are invited to attend one of the upcoming workshops, and can RSVP at the program’s website.

  • October 19 — Workshop at Logan City, 290 N 100 W, Logan, Utah, 84321 from 5:30-7 p.m.

  • October 20 — Workshop at Weber State University Davis Campus, 2750 University Blvd., Layton, Utah, 84041 from 5:30-7 p.m.

  • November 1 — Workshop at Weber State University, Shepard Union, Ballroom C, 2108 University Circle, Ogden, Utah, 84408 from 5:30-7 p.m.

About Utah State University’s Sustainability Council

Since its founding in 1888, Utah State University has evolved from a small-town college tucked away in the northern Utah mountains to a thriving research university with over 28,000 students state-wide. The university became a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007, leading to the formation of the Sustainability Council. The Council seeks to reduce carbon emissions, conserve resources, and enhance quality of life by promoting sustainability in USU’s academic and service missions.

About Weber State University’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center:

Weber State University (WSU) is an institution with over 25,000 students that is committed to sustainability in both the realms of education and practice. It became an American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment signatory in 2007 which led to the creation of the school’s Energy and Sustainability Office and the campus' Climate Action Plan that details steps for becoming carbon neutral by 2050. In 2015 WSU established the Sustainability Practices and Research Center or SPARC. The center aims to further and facilitate WSU’s aims of sustainability education, research, and very importantly, practice, both on and off campus.  It serves as a sustainability hub for the campus and wider community and is, together with the Energy and Sustainability Office, pleased to be a partner in the Drive Electric Northern Utah program

About Utah Clean Energy

Utah Clean Energy is Utah’s leading expert public interest organization working to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in a way that is beneficial not only for Utah’s environment and health, but also our economy and long-term energy security. Utah Clean Energy is committed to creating a future that ensures healthy, thriving communities for all, empowered and sustained by clean energies such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.


  • Mike Taylor, Volunteer Steering Committee Member –
  • Iain Hueton, Volunteer Steering Committee Member – (801) 391-8772,
  • Alexi Lamm, Sustainability Coordinator, Utah State University – (435) 797-9299,   
  • Alice Mulder, Director, Sustainability Practices and Resource Center, Weber State University – (801) 626-6198,
  • Clayton Johnson, project coordinator, Utah Clean Energy – office 801-903-2046,

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