New Electric Vehicles Run Silently
by Pamela Mclaren
from Dateline ( January 30, 2003)
Willem van der Pol, director of physical
plant, shows off one of the 11 new electric vehicles now operating
on campus, thanks to the Ford Th!nk Neighbor Placement Program.
The vehicles are used by several departments on campus, including
Parking and Transportation, Public Safety and Instructional
They run quietly and efficiently along the
roadways and passages of the campus carrying staff members on rounds,
to appointments and to escort evening students from class to their
With four wheels, upholstered seats, covers that keep
out wind or rain, and enough power to be run on city streets if
need be, “they” are 11 new electric vehicles provided
to Cal State Fullerton by the Ford Th!nk Neighbor Placement Program.
University administrators heard of the program and
applied last summer. Shortly afterwards, they received word that
they had been granted the 11 carts. Cal State Fullerton is one of
eight CSU campuses to take part in the program.
“We use them where we don't want to take
trucks,” says Willem van der Pol, director of physical plant,
which operates five of the two- and four-seat vehicles. “Physical
Plant uses them principally to move people around campus, like the
custodial manager who needs to go from building to building to complete
For classroom technology support, technicians use
a four-seater to move equipment to and from classrooms.
“It's a whole lot faster to use this vehicle,
especially when we are responding to a repair call at the Engineering
and Computer Science buildings from our offices in McCarthy Hall,”
reports Pat Ames, director of academic facilities and classroom
technology. “It's also street legal, so we can use the
vehicle to get to and from College Park.
“One of the nice things is the cover, which
keeps the seats clean and protects the drivers in rainy weather,”
Parking and Transportation uses one and shares another
with Environmental Health and Instructional Safety, while Public
Safety operates two – one on the main campus and one at El
“We use them where
we don't want to take trucks.
“These are excellent vehicles for use in a number
of different assignments, all related to administrative activities
such as student escort, community service officer field assignments
and general transportation of our administrative staff,” says
Lt. Will Glenn. “At El Toro, the vehicle is used by parking
officers for parking and general lot checks.”
“Each department is responsible for charging
their own vehicles,” says Van der Pol. “The vehicles
can run for approximately 30 miles at a top speed of 25 miles an
hour before needing to be recharged.
“They run well and need very little maintenance.
The only major maintenance is the replacement of batteries about
every five years,” adds Van der Pol. “The vehicles will
easily last 10 to 15 years and I suspect, up to 20 years.”
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