ashland.news
July 23, 2024

SOU takes steps toward sustainability

Southern Oregon University recently acquired a pair of hybrid Ford Maverick pickup trucks, able to run on either gasoline or battery power. SOU photo
November 2, 2023

Two new hybrid vehicles added to university fleet

Ashland.news staff report

Southern Oregon University is continuing to aim for sustainability on its campus, including in its vehicle fleet.

SOU on Tuesday announced it has added two hybrid (gasoline-electric) pickups, in addition to the completing two new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to serve residents at Student and Family Housing. 

Both 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, according to the university. The hybrids are considered the most sustainable pickups currently available, and so far are averaging 38 combined miles per gallon — a significant improvement over the 10 miles per gallon average of the earlier pickups.

The university is also in the process of procuring a fully 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 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, according to a news release. Those stations will be funded by the Oregon Department of Energy and federal appropriations.

The university conducted an EV charging survey last spring, and intends 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.

Learn more at news.sou.edu/2023/10/sou-takes-steps-in-sustainable-vehicle-use/.

Email Ashland.news reporter Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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