Two recent developments have boosted hybrid and electric vehicle use at SOU: the addition of two gasoline-electric hybrid pickup trucks to the university’s fleet of vehicles, and the completion of two new, dual electric vehicle charging stations to serve residents of Student and Family Housing.
The new hybrid Ford Maverick trucks have replaced a pair of conventional Ford Ranger pickups that were due to be rotated out of SOU’s vehicle fleet. The hybrids were considered the most sustainable pickup trucks currently available, and so far are averaging 38 combined miles per gallon – an improvement of about 75 percent over the 10 miles per gallon average of the earlier pickups.
The university is also in the process of procuring an electric vehicle for its fleet.
The two new EV charging stations are Level 2 dual-port chargers and are intended only for residents of Student and Family Housing, who should contact University Housing to receive a driver code to use the chargers – which are Enel X Juice Box stations, and are operated via the Enel X app. Level 2 stations charge electric vehicles at a rate that translates to about 18 to 28 miles of range per hour, so an average EV can be fully charged in about eight hours.
The total of four new charging ports bring SOU’s total number of EV ports to 16 – six dual-port stations on campus already are in operation. The Student and Family Housing charging stations were funded by the student “Green Tag Fee” – an assessment of $14 per student each term, approved in a student vote several years ago to promote sustainability projects.
SOU has plans to continue expanding its EV charging infrastructure, with two more Enel X Juice Box dual-port stations planned for installation near Central Hall within the next six months. Another four dual-port stations will be added as part of a solar project in the parking lot adjacent to The Hawk Dining Commons, which is funded by the Oregon Department of Energy and federal appropriations.
The university conducted an EV charging survey last spring, and aims to strategically plan and identify optimal locations for charging stations as the demand for electric vehicle charging increases on campus. The intent is to accommodate the distinct charging needs of students, employees and visitors to campus.