Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly more common on the road. You can now even find them on the School of Medicine campus! In 2022, the School of Medicine has taken big steps in transitioning to a more fuel-efficient fleet. Two Ford E-transits, which are fully electric vehicles, were added to the Operations and Facilities Management Department (OFMD) fleet, purchased by Mail and Receiving Services (MaRS) and Custodial Services.
MaRS and Custodial Services leadership worked with the Office of Sustainability to display signage on the vehicles (see below). As a major win-win, the EVs have also collaborated with two WashU sustainability programs: the MaRS van was featured as part of the 2022 WUSM Earth Day Festival, and the Custodial Services van was used to bring scrubs gathered from the Scrubs Recycling Drive to a local textile recycling facility, Mednik Riverbend, where the scrubs were recycled into industrial grade cleaning cloths.
Steve Smith, Mail and Receiving Services Manager, says “The MaRS van is working out great for us! Easily the best vehicle we’ve ever had. We can drive around campus performing deliveries for two weeks off a full charge.”
Making the switch from a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle is one of the most impactful things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint quickly. As the electric grid becomes cleaner through additional renewable energy sources, EVs will have an even more reduced environmental impact. There are currently 22 Level 2 Chargers available on the Medical Campus to encourage the use of electric vehicles by School of Medicine employees. An additional 36 Level 2 chargers will be installed in the Neuroscience Research Building garage, bringing the total number to 58. The School of Medicine will continue to add more fuel-efficient vehicles to their fleet where possible as vehicles are retired.
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act will likely bring about a surge in electric vehicle purchases and infrastructure development through the Clean Vehicle Credit and Alternative Fuel Refueling Property Credit. Stay tuned for how this will impact our WashU community!