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Alexandria Golf Cars makes a 'green' donation

Echo Press photo by Al Edenloff Alexandria Golf Cars owner Harold Koep (right) donated an electric-powered golf car to the Alexandria Technical College's Center for Applied Mechatronics, represented by Todd Zarbok (middle) on Monday. State Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (left) was also on hand to observe the donation, which he hailed as a prime example of pubic-private partnerships.

A donation from Alexandria Golf Cars will get good mileage - as a learning tool for students, a move toward green technology and a savings for taxpayers.

Harold Koep, owner of Alexandria Golf Cars, donated the 48-volt electric-powered Club Car to the Alexandria Technical College's (ATC) Center for Applied Mechatronics.

Students will use the golf car to learn how traditional industrial components have transitioned into the design and development of 21st century "green" machines, according to Todd Zarbok with the ATC.

Zarbok said electric vehicles, along with wind turbines and solar panels, have gone through a rapid rate of scientific and technological development over the past few years that have created a demand for highly trained mechanics and energy technical specialists.

"In fact, the Obama administration will invest a total of $2.4 billion in grants to accelerate manufacturing and deployment of the next generation of batteries and electric vehicles," Zarbok noted.

State Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, said the Alexandria Golf Cars donation is a good example of public-private partnerships that saves taxpayers' dollars because the new studying tool won't have to come out of the state's budget.