North Central College has a new addition to its vehicle fleet: The College’s first electric car.
The College bought the all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle over the summer. Campus Safety is using the four-seat vehicle to escort students and conduct patrols around campus.
“By replacing one squad car and using this electric car, Campus Safety will greatly reduce its fuel emissions,” says Abby Hahne, the College’s sustainability coordinator.
The car is a 2007 model ZX40 distributed by Miles Electric Vehicles, a Southern California-based firm founded by “green” magnate Miles Rubin. With the purchase, North Central joins such institutions as NASA, the U.S. Navy, Yale University, Stanford University and UCLA that use ZX40s as part of their fleets.
“Purchasing the electric vehicle further reflects the College’s commitment to sustainability through the integration of alternative transportation into our current vehicle fleet,” Hahne says. “The Campus Safety Department patrols 24 hours a day, and this vehicle will allow them to continue with their efforts of providing a safe campus for our students, faculty, staff and visitors while reducing our impact on human health and the environment.”
The ZX40 is the first street-legal Chinese-made automobile sold in the United States. It’s classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, or NEV, and legal for use on roads with posted speed limits up to 35 mph.
The College’s first electric car is another example of North Central’s serious commitment to sustainability, but its boxy appearance and limited power capabilities have earned it a lighthearted nickname from some members of the campus community, who call it “The Brave Little Toaster.”
Learn more about the College’s sustainability initiatives at http://northcentralcollege.edu/content/sustainability-central.