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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
A male charging an electric car at one of the electric charging stations on campus

Photo courtesy of Communications and Brand Strategy

Green transportation

MSU is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by using and promoting clean transportation. The following types of “green” vehicles are available to use from Infrastructure Planning and Facilities’s Transportation Services department:

  • Ford Fusion hybrid vehicles
  • GMC full-sized Yukon hybrid vehicles
  • Ford Escape hybrid vehicles
  • Charter buses that run on biodiesel fuel
  • Ford C-Max hybrid vehicles
  • Chevy Express cargo vans (run on propane auto-gas)

To rent a vehicle or arrange a bus charter, call the Transportation Services office at call (517) 353-5280.

Diesel oxidation catalysts

A 2011 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded MSU diesel oxidation catalysts to install on 14 university vehicles. The DOCs reduce particulate matter (black soot) emissions by 20 percent, carbon monoxide emissions by 50 percent and hydrocarbons (unburned fuel) by 50 percent. The catalysts use a chemical process to convert harmful gasses such as nitric oxides and carbon monoxide into water. Read the full story here.

Electric vehicle charging stations

MSU is encouraging the use of eco-friendly transportation with five electric vehicle charging stations around campus: four stations in the south Spartan Stadium parking lot and one in the parking ramp of the Kellogg Center. They are compatible with the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Ford Focus Electric, BMW ActiveE and Nissan LEAF. Drivers simply access the station with a credit card, debit card or key fob and plug in the vehicle. It takes approximately four hours to charge a vehicle, after which non-charging cars can be issued parking tickets. A $2.50-per-hour cost covers charging station maintenance and parking, so paying again for parking in the lot is unnecessary. Just show the receipt from the charging station to the parking attendant to have additional parking fees waived.

To make it easier for drivers to find stations, websites and cell-phone applications such as Plug Share, Recargo, CarStations and ChargePoint will tell users where a station is, if a station is available and when their vehicle is done charging.

One of the main perks of electric vehicles is that they reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even though the vehicles are charged with power-plant electricity, it is still fewer emissions than burning the fuel directly. Additionally, they save drivers money at the pump.

Learn more about this story and read about MSU’s partnership with the Lansing Board of Water and Light for the Kellogg Center station.

Biking

Biking is a great way to travel around campus that is faster than walking and more environmentally-friendly than bussing or driving.

MSU Bikes is Michigan State University’s resource for all things bike related. Its mission is to encourage bicycling and provide the accessibility, support and education necessary to make biking an option for the MSU community. MSU Bikes has both new and used bikes available to rent or purchase, and the MSU Bikes Service Center, located on the south-side of Bessey Hall, manages all bike-repair needs as well as providing various parts and biking accessories for sale. In addition to plenty of bike racks around campus, two new MSU bike garages offer secure, covered parking for bicycles.

Insuring your alternative vehicle

Have you been considering buying an alternatively fueled car? This article from the Simple Dollar's education portal gives information about owning an alternatively fueled car, including insurance coverage, fuel/charging stations and savings bonuses.