Electric Vehicles Added to Facilities Fleet

Wednesday, February 4 2009

Feb. 4, 2009 Photos are available at www.today.uidaho.edu/PhotoList.aspx Written by Brandi Hayes MOSCOW, Idaho - The University of Idaho will operate a little greener while saving some green. The University has added five Miles Electric Vehicles to its Moscow campus fleet. The two cars and three trucks are electric and will be used by Facilities Services, Housing, and Parking and Transportation Services staff. The little white trucks, with a bulbous cab and small stature, will zoom around campus at a top speed of 25 mph with no trail of exhaust. The fully electric-powered vehicles can drive distances of 40-50 miles on a single charge. “This is just one of the many steps to help the University of Idaho achieve our goals in a variety of sustainability categories,” said Charles Zillinger, director of landscape and exterior services. These vehicles reinforce the University of Idaho’s commitment to sustainability; the cost to drive and maintain a gas powered vehicle is roughly one-tenth that of the regular fleet vehicles, which will save thousands of dollars in lifetime operating costs. Without a tail pipe, thousands of pounds of annual emissions are eliminated. The box truck will be used by Campus Mail to deliver mail on campus. The truck, equipped with ladder rack and tool boxes, will be used as a service vehicle. Housing’s truck comes with a ladder rack and will be used for their program needs. Building Trades supervisors will use one of the cars around campus in place of a larger service truck. The other vehicle is being used by Parking and Transportation Services. Though the goal isn’t to replace all the facility vehicles on campus, Zillinger said the university will look at additional purchases for other units in the future. However, depending on additional features needed to make the unit functional for a particular shop or department, electric vehicles cost about $25,000 each. “Hopefully, as more of these units come to market and the technology improves, they will get cheaper,” he said. “In the meantime, there is a long waiting period; we ordered these vehicles in July and received them in December. Demand is high as people try them out to see if they might work for their purposes.” The University of Idaho is joining the ranks of NASA, Stanford University, the National Park Service and several University of California locations in adding "green" vehicles to the campus fleet. # # # About the University of Idaho Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu. Media Contact: Brandi Hayes, University Communications, (208) 885-7251, brandih@uidaho.edu.

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.