PITTSBURG — Representatives from Westar Energy visited Pittsburg State University on Monday, which was Earth Day, to unveil two new electric vehicle charging stations that are open to the public.

“From our viewpoint, we look at this as the future,” said Jeff Martin, vice president of customer and community operations for Westar Energy and Evergy, Inc. “Electric cars are going to be part of our future and we certainly want to provide the infrastructure to be able to charge those.”

The electric vehicle charging stations are located at the parking lot of PSU’s Kansas Technology Center. They will be open to the public 24 hours a day, but users will need a ChargePoint card or the ChargePoint mobile application to charge their vehicles at the stations. The stations will typically provide about 20 to 25 miles of driving distance per hour of charging.

Kari West, customer solutions manager at Westar/Evergy, said the new electric car charging stations are the first such stations in Pittsburg that are open to the public. “So we’re pretty excited that we were able to partner with Pittsburg State University and the Kansas Technology Center to be able to offer charging, especially with their automotive program.”

Jim Triplett, PSU’s special assistant to the president for sustainability, said installing the charging stations was a “huge start” for the university.

“I’ve known several people who’ve said ‘Where can I find a charging station? You know, I’m afraid to drive here if we can’t get it charged up in about three or four days.’ So this is a great opportunity and partnership,” Triplett said.

“We’ve got a little bit of molasses here and we’re going to draw flies,” Triplett added, “so hopefully the next thing we’re going to see is electric vehicles donated to our auto tech people so that our students can work on them.”