University Spotlight: Penn State University11/10/2017
Sustainability is the smarter way to move, and colleges and universities across the country know it. Vehicles with sustainable power sources, street legal status and small vehicle footprints are providing campuses with the perfect solution for their transportation and maintenance needs. The Pennsylvania State University is no exception. Across their vast campus GEM cars can be found providing passenger transport, hauling equipment, and assisting with landscape management.
According to Bruce Cifelli, the Equipment Management, and Services Administrator, a priority for the purchase of electric vehicles was, “First and foremost… a vehicle that could perform a minimum of 8 hours on a single charge”. GEM’s array of battery options has provided Penn State the ability to select a battery system that does just that, without wasting time to go back and forth to charge up.
In addition to battery life, GEM provides a vehicle option with features much more comparable to a high quality automotive truck. The street legal status of these vehicles has decreased the need to drive utility vehicles on sidewalks, enhancing safety for pedestrians on campus. Cifelli notes that, “with more real on road vehicle systems (braking, suspension, etc.) …the GEM is a strong performer.” On top of GEM’s high quality relative to conventional trucks, its compact footprint differentiates it and allows users to easily maneuver between buildings and small pathways that large trucks cannot.
In the business of campus maintenance, time is money. Vehicles must be at peak performance to maintain efficiency and get jobs done; Cifelli realizes this and notes, “we have seen less maintenance on these vehicles specifically [with] oil and lubricant changes. Less maintenance means less down time or periods without a vehicle.” These time and cost savings go directly to the bottom line, making electric vehicles the perfect addition to a utility fleet.
When making the decision to purchase a utility vehicle, electric options have long been overlooked for fear of reduced capacity. GEM breaks that mold and is a testament to the power that can be provided by an electric option. With long-range battery options, regenerative braking, payload and towing capacities, and automotive style suspension – GEM accomplishes what a utility vehicle should, in places a truck can’t.