Transportation Sustainability: Lehman College’s Vehicle Fleet
Lehman College owns approximately 35 vehicles that are used for everything from intra- and interstate transportation of our sports teams to serving as a mobile B&G “shop” for our mason. Types of vehicles in the fleet include heavy-duty pickup trucks, passenger vans, hybrid passenger vehicles, electric vehicles for on-campus use, Public Safety vehicles (passenger vehicles, K9 vehicle and a heavy-duty “police-package” vehicle). The College also owns many pieces of equipment with diesel- and gasoline internal-combustion engines (earth-moving machinery, front loader, emergency generators, forklifts, tractors etc.). Internal-combustion vehicles and equipment are essential to College operations.
Careful thought and analysis goes into every vehicle purchase to ensure that funds are spent wisely by every metric. Multiple departments and individuals (Buildings & Grounds, Financial Operations, Public Safety, Purchasing) participate in the selection of vehicles, with specific vehicle choices made on the basis of required features, proposed use, sturdiness, safety, reliability and maintenance.
Over the past ten years, issues of environmental sustainability have become part of vehicle-selection criteria: preference given to diesel, electric- and hybrid vehicles and vehicles with improved fuel economy and lower emissions. New York State now requires special permission for NYS entities to purchase gasoline-powered vehicles. In the past few years, Lehman College has replaced older vehicles slated for replacement with new vehicles that are more energy efficient and require less maintenance.
Another consideration in vehicle selection is whether the College’s infrastructure can support a specific vehicle. For example, the College would love to be able to use more diesel vehicles and all-electric vehicles. Diesel vehicles have the highest fuel economy and lowest emissions due to the nature of the fuel and the mechanics of the diesel engine. Electric vehicles don’t even use fuel (= excellent “fuel economy” and zero emissions). Although the campus currently does not have a dispensing diesel fuel tank or electric vehicle charging stations, this equipment has been proposed for long-term projects in the future.
Gasoline consumption on campus has been slowly decreasing at a rate of approximately 5% annually. The College will continue to implement additional transportation sustainability measures in the coming years.
- United States Energy Information Administration: Use of Energy in the U.S. Explained: Energy Use for Transportation
- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Electric Vehicle Programs
- NYSERDA Support and Discounts for electric and hybrid vehicles
- NYSERDA Clean Transportation Program