Taking charge

Author: Rachel Novick


Two new electric vans have recently made their debut on campus. The compact zero-emissions utility vehicles replace two conventional pickup trucks previously used by Building Systems engineers to make maintenance visits around campus.

These EVC1000 vans, designed by Vantage Vehicle International, were carefully selected. “We were looking for a practical vehicle that would work well for general maintenance trips around campus,” said Paul Kempf, Director of Utilities. “These vehicles are more affordable than some other electric vehicles as they have a maximum speed of 25 mph, which is fine for on-campus use.”

The addition of these electric vans will allow the University to take better advantage of the recently donated electric vehicle charging stations. The vans have a charging time of 4-6 hours and go up to 40 miles per charge.

Over the last several years, Transportation has become an important area of focus in reducing campus carbon emissions. Today, Notre Dame owns 11 hybrid vehicles and 4 Smart Cars, operates a Low Emission Vehicle preferred parking program, and partners with Zipcar, an international car-sharing service.

Transportation accounts for almost 30% of US greenhouse gas emission, and students, staff, and faculty interested in greening their own transportation methods have several options available to them here. Zipcar provides students with an alternative to owning a car, and is available for all University employees as well. Biking on campus has become increasingly convenient with the addition of new bike racks and showers in LEED-certified buildings. Transpo is free for anyone with a Notre Dame ID, and of course, carpooling is always encouraged.