Glasser didn’t stop at the EV stations: he also sought and got for the university money for five all-electric Ford Transit Connect service vehicles as well as an electric hybrid-hydraulic bucket truck for use by the campus facilities staff.
With a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Transit Connect has a range of roughly 80 miles on a full charge. The vehicle has a payload of just over 1,000 pounds, and has a top speed of 75 mph, although it’s unlikely the vans would ever need to use that speed on campus. Ford began selling the vans last summer.
“Electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles are still in their infancy, but WMU is leading the way to support widespread adoption,” Glasser said in a university statement. “The current situation is akin to when the density of gas stations was one of the limits to widespread adoption of the automobile. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Clean Energy Coalition to provide clean, green electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the campus community and everyone who visits our campus.”
A local firm, The Green Panel, designed, furnished and installed the Western Michigan system, and also provided the customized inverter and charging station monitoring systems.
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