Butler University has added a 100 percent electric truck to its fleet. The Ford Transit Connect, which will be used by locksmith Napoleon Watkins in the University’s Structures Shop, can travel about 80 miles on one charge and will save an estimated $700 a year in fuel costs.
“We looked for hybrid service vehicles but the actual fuel savings were very low compared to the investment. When the offer came in from Pearson Ford, we had the opportunity to get the 100 percent electric Transit Connect at virtually half the retail cost, so the decision to proceed with the purchase was an easy one.”
The 100 percent electric truck cost about $7,000 more than a standard gasoline-powered vehicle, thanks to a substantial discount from Pearson Ford, Borden said. But the truck will pay for itself over time. He said the electric truck is a first for Butler, but it likely won’t be the last if the cost of electric vehicles continues to decrease and the truck proves durable.
In addition, Borden said Indianapolis Power & Light Co. (IPL) installed a free high voltage charging station at the Butler Service Center as part of its EPV (electric powered vehicle) grant, so charging time has been cut in half.
Campus Engineer Rich Michal said that as part of a grant, IPL is installing two rapid-charging stations in the far-southwest corner of the Hinkle Fieldhouse/Health & Recreation Complex parking lot at no cost to the University. (Users of the charging stations will pay for the electricity.) The stations will be open to Hinkle parking permit holders and the public, except on game days when parking is restricted in the Hinkle lot.