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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

New fleet additions support sustainability on campus

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Oct. 22, 2018

Three Chevy Bolts have joined MSU’s 1,500 vehicle fleet. The all-electric Bolts are zero-emission, have a range of 230 miles, are highway legal and are available to faculty and staff for daily rentals.

The Bolts join 28 low-speed electric cars already in the university’s fleet, giving MSU a relatively large pool of sustainable cars. Out of new cars being purchased in the U.S., less than one percent are electric. It is predicted by 2027 that will increase to four percent, allowing MSU to be a leading example to other universities. 

“It’s really the right thing to do from the perspective of trying to have a green fleet initiative,” said Brian Watts, assistant director of IPF Transportation Services. “Part of that initiative is being sustainable, and electric vehicles are more sustainable than the typical vehicles we are seeing out on the road today. Part of our mission is to promote these values at the university, and allow people to get an opportunity to see and try the electric vehicles.” 

Four hundred of the university’s 1,500 vehicles are motor pool vehicles, which can be leased out through IPF Transportation Services. There are 100 motor pool vehicles used for daily rental purposes. Most of these vehicles are rented to faculty and staff, Residential and Hospitality Services, IPF and Athletics. One of the Chevy Bolts is permanently leased to IPF; the other two are used by faculty and staff for typical daily tasks. 

Outside of the motor pool vehicles, the fleet also contains department-owned vehicles, buses and utility vehicles (including trucks and trailers). Any rental longer than 90 days is considered a long-term lease. Out of the fleet, 270 vehicles are considered to be on long-term leases, some of which are permanent. 

Transportation Services has three main operations they run every day. The department manages a charter bus operation, in which there are six buses used for field trips and other occasions; runs the daily rental car operation, which can rent out up to 60 cars on a typical day; and manages a service garage that performs vehicle maintenance and repairs for the MSU fleet.