What’s black and green, has zero emissions, and can comfortably seat five Rams — and their gear?
The new Colorado State University Nissan LEAFs! The four all-electric vehicles arrived in March and are the first zero emissions vehicles to be introduced to the CSU fleet inventory.
Two of the LEAFs were purchased by Housing & Dining Services to be used as check-out vehicles for staff who need a vehicle during the day to attend meetings, run University errands, or coordinate deliveries. The other two vehicles will be utilized by Facilities Management staff to travel between Main, South, and Foothills campuses, run University errands, and attend meetings and conferences along the Front Range.
“It’s important for staff to have access to electric vehicles for work-related trips to help reduce our carbon footprint and make vehicles available for staff who use alternative transportation to commute campus, and expose our staff to more sustainable modes of transportation that may translate to their personal lives,” said Tim Broderick, senior sustainability coordinator for Housing & Dining Services. “You’re much more likely to buy an electric vehicle if you’ve had a chance to drive one, so we want to create that opportunity.”
The University purchased the vehicles from Tynan’s Nissan; the dealership sponsored the vehicle branding. Nissan North America has also donated two charging stations.
To help Housing & Dining Services staff get comfortable with the LEAFs and learn how to drive them, two training events were held March 24 and 25 in partnership with Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC), a community-wide initiative that promotes the integration of electric vehicles in our region. Electric vehicle owners volunteer with DENC to host the Ride and Drive events to help people new to electric cars experience a test drive without the pressure of a sales pitch. The Ride and Drive events are focused on outreach and education.
Amber Sanchez, a customer service representative for Housing & Dining Services Operations, participated in the Ride and Drive event March 24. “I feel like I was driving a regular gas powered vehicle but had all the benefits that an electric vehicle provides such as no emissions and no fuel,” she said. “It was really cool.”
The LEAFs have a range up to 100 miles per charge and will be utilized primarily for transportation around campus, University errands across town, and the occasional tour for hiring candidates and campus guests.