Two Electric Cars Added to City-College Fleet for Resident, Student Rental


Abe Frato

Electric Vehicles will be available at the AJLC for college and community use.

The Office of Environmental Sustainability will be making two new electric vehicles available to students and community members on Monday. The City of Oberlin has offered two vehicles for use by City residents and College students since April 1, 2021. During the first year, 280 students and 59 residents used the electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles have been available at charging stations at the Oberlin City Hall parking lot downtown and the George A. Abram Memorial Pavilion in the southeast corner of the City. According to OES Sustainable Materials Management Intern Naomi Friedman, the new vehicles will be available at charging stations in the Grey Gables parking lot northwest of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies.

“My understanding is that the first two are purchased by theCity and the second two are purchased by the College, but they’re functioning as if they’re all through the same system,” Friedman said. “So there isn’t, as a user, a separation between the two.”

Friedman hopes that the vehicles will be used by both College students and City residents.

“I think the hope with having some more on campus is that it is more accessible for everyone so you don’t have to walk as far,” Friedman said.

Prior to the addition of the new vehicles, it was often difficult for some who hoped to rent cars to do so.

“I’ve noticed people that have been trying to rent them and they’ve been taken,” Friedman said. “So [the] more cars that they have, the more people that can use them at once, which is very useful. You can rent them ahead of time, but sometimes if it’s more last minute then it can be harder.”

However, availability of vehicles is not the only barrier to use. Jules Lieberman, a second-year College student, said that they had considered using the electric vehicles, but they didn’t have a clean driving record and found the vehicles too expensive to use.

“I wish instead there were more public transportation available here,” Lieberman said. “I wish the College provided shuttles more regularly, and I wish they were free. If I used the electric vehicles, I definitely would have needed friends to augment the price somehow, by splitting through Venmo or something.”

Beyond cost and driving record, users also must have had their driver’s licenses for at least two years. Although the vehicles may not be accessible to everyone, Friedman believes they offer a good solution to some.

“If you have a few little appointments outside of Oberlin, I think it’s a really great option versus having to have a friend always drive you,” Friedman said.