The University of Connecticut currently owns and maintains approximately 500 vehicles including buses, emergency vehicles, and any vehicle that is owned by a UConn department. Of these 500 vehicles, there are currently 14 hybrids, and 11 fully electric vehicles. Although these vehicles only comprise a small percent of the current fleet, UConn is making great strides to incorporate more high efficiency vehicles.
The University was awarded a grant through the Connecticut Clean Fuel program, which reimburses a portion of the cost of a clean-energy vehicle. Some of the vehicles UConn has already purchased with the program are the new GEM (Global Electric Motorcar) Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs). These are small vehicles that have a top speed of about 25 mph and are fully electric – perfect for local, on-campus trips.
The University is also governed by federal and state mandates that require any purchase of a light-duty vehicle must be clean energy. All small vehicles and some trucks, regardless of whether or not they are eligible for Clean Fuel funding, must be what is called an E85 vehicle. E85 means the engine is compatible with E85 fuel, a type of ethanol blend. The Clean Fuel program, along with these federal and state laws, have helped the UConn fleet begin to increase the number of efficient, alternative-fuel, and hybrid vehicles on campus. Those numbers will continue to increase as UConn replaces its old fleet with new vehicles in the coming years.