The King of Prussia Mall has recently introduced a pair of parking spots specifically for owners of electric cars. The parking lot offers built-in charging stations for environment-friendly, battery-operated cars. This step is not only convenient and green, but it also won’t cost the drivers a penny. These days, everybody is trying to go green, and the King of Prussia Mall is no exception.
“We are pleased to offer shoppers access to convenient charging stations, while continuing our commitment to sustainability,” Robert Hart, general manager for the King of Prussia Mall, said.
“The volume and diversity of our retailer offerings attracts customers from all over the region,” Hart said. “Those with electric cars can now visit King of Prussia Mall and shop with ease, while reducing their carbon foot print, confident that their cars will be recharged for the return ride home.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in honor of the opening on Friday, Oct. 14. The parking lot is located on the upper level of the parking deck of the Plaza in front of Nordstrom. There are two more parking lots to come that will be built on the Court’s upper level deck.
“If electricity comes from a sustainable source, then it’s the best thing for the environment,” Dr. Caroline Nielsen, assistant biology professor and head of the Green Team, said. Nielsen went on to say that the major problem with electric cars is that the electricity has to come from somewhere. Unfortunately, most of it seems to be coming from coal and other fossil fuels that can still harm the environment.
Some students, however, have mixed feelings of the idea of electric cars at the mall.
“Here’s the deal about electric cars: they don’t burn anything, produce fumes, or use up our oil reserves by themselves,” Nick Murphy, graduate student and English secondary education major, said. “The problem is, of course, that electricity still has to be produced somehow, and that’s usually with a lot of natural gas or petroleum. So if you’re powering your car with electricity produced by plant burning oil, how exactly are you saving the environment?”
“The primary purpose of electric cars, hybrids, and the infrastructure/manufacture thereof is eco-snobs’ bragging rights,” Murphy said. “People don’t buy these cars to save money (the cost, even with government subsidies, vastly outweighs any potential fuel savings). They don’t buy them to save the environment. If they cared that much, they’d bike or bus or something. However, eco-snobs love the attention they get from all the sheep baa-ing “oooo… a Prius” or “oooo… an electric car! You must really love the environment. So basically, hybrid’s and electric’s primary purpose is to impress women.”
“We live in a capitalist society,” John Flager, graduate student and English secondary education major, said. “No company just works for the cause anymore. They have an agenda. While I do believe that they have good intentions, I don’t believe the good of the environment is the only reason they’re doing this.”
“This really is a turning point to help the environment,” Nielsen said. Nielsen also said that if charging stations increase like this, so will the number of electric cars along the highways.
“This is really more of a start than a big step,” Nielsen said. “This encourages a technology that offers an opportunity for the future. But the important question is where is all that electricity coming from? It’s a certain step along a very long path, but it is certainly not the end point.”