Electric Vehicles Will Make Evergreen Still Greener

May 15, 2008

(Olympia, Wash.) For the traditional car enthusiast, the color red is red hot, but at Evergreen the best ride on campus comes with fewer emissions and more green.

While the new electric vehicle is not necessarily sporty, sexy, or speedy, it is efficient and the right vehicle for Evergreen. The ZX40ST, the first street-legal electric vehicle to arrive on campus, is produced by Miles Electric Vehicles (http://www.milesev.com). The model ZX40ST work truck comes in white and carries up to 1,100 pounds with a top speed of around 35 miles an hour.

Mark Kormondy, grounds and motor pool manager at Evergreen sees the truck as “a very convenient way to get into all locations on campus,” as well as important means to produce fuel savings and not produce additional greenhouse gas emissions.

Evergreen will introduce four more electric vehicles by the end of June says Paul Smith, director of facilities services. The additional electric cars will be financed in part with a grant from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).

Executive Director of ORCAA Richard Stedman says that his organization’s intent is to “prime the pump to get some of these technologies out to institutions that can use them... rather than gas-powered or diesel-powered trucks and service vehicles.”

The college is considering more electric vehicles, capable of handling various loads and carrying more people to replace some of its gasoline vehicles, says Smith. “We’re evaluating the options now and we are hoping to add as many as five more electric vehicles within the next biennium,” he adds. Smith says he sees the cars as part of a larger effort to “further our goal of achieving carbon neutrality.

With these larger goals in mind, operators of the unobtrusive white work truck are downshifting the carbon economy and turning heads. “The car gets a lot of attention around here,” says Kormondy “even if it is almost totally silent.”