UW News

October 8, 2009

Department of Energy grant will assist UW move to hybrid, electric vehicles

The UW has received a $283,400 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy via the Clean Cities Coalition to help it purchase hybrid vehicles and construct an electric charging station to support its electric fleet.

The University plans to replace five diesel stepvans with five hybrid models to be used in Mailing Services distribution operations and replace one diesel para-transit bus with one hybrid para-transit bus to be used to transport those with disabilities in the UW Shuttles program.

The University expects to save about 32,915 gallons of gas and realize a $143,190 saving in fuel costs over a 15-year period with the hybrid vehicles.

The University will also build a charging station to support the conversion of UW Custodial Services’ fleet from full-size unleaded cargo vans to all-electric pickup trucks. (The University already has a fleet of three all-electric pickups.) Potential savings from switching to the all-electric vehicles is $74,000 over 15 years.

In addition to the fuel savings, the move to the hybrid and electric vehicles will result in a reduction in CO2 emissions — 369 metric tons in the case of the hybrids and 160 metric tons for the electric vehicles.

“We’re committed to providing our customers with greener transportation choices, even during these lean times,” said Josh Kavanagh, director of Transportation Services. “We’re grateful for Clean Cities’ support as it will help us to expand those options without adversely affecting rental rates, making it easier for our customers to choose greener vehicles.”

The funding the University received is part of Evergreen Fleets, a program which provides assistance to fleets to become “green” — and adopt sustainable practices and policies. In all, the funding will assist 21 fleets in acquiring more than 450 alternative fuel or hybrid-electric vehicles. It will also help build three alternative fueling stations, two solar demonstration sites, and at least 90 electric charging hubs.