More than one-third of the campus vehicle fleet runs on alternatives to fossil fuels. Alternative fuels, synthetic lubricants, and more efficient vehicles have reduced Carolina’s annual petroleum consumption by 23% relative to 2005.
In 2010, Facilities Services was awarded a $55,510 grant from the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology Project in order to replace four combustion-powered vehicles in the campus fleet with electric vehicles. UNC now has 27 electric vehicles on-campus as part of an increasingly fuel-efficient fleet. Zone shops are distributed strategically across campus and reduce travel back and forth to Facilities Services’ main complex for both parts and personnel. Travel from the zone shops to job sites can be done in smaller electric vehicles, thereby reducing both fuel use and parking space requirements.
In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law requiring all state vehicle fleets to displace 20 percent of their petroleum with alternative fuels or energy efficiency measures. Since then, petroleum consumption at Carolina has fallen over 23 percent, surpassing their goal. In FY 2008, Facilities Services installed a 4,000-gallon tank to store an 85 percent ethanol/15 percent gasoline blend (E85). The University has 348 flex-fuel vehicles that use the E85 blend.
Increased consumption of 20 percent biodiesel fuel, and switching to synthetic motor oil, have also contributed to the decline in petroleum use. The Point to Point bus fleet that circulates campus at night runs on B20 fuel and is funded through the student transit fee. UNC has 25 diesel vehicles that run on the B20 blend, which contains 20 percent vegetable oil.
Purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles, incorporating street-legal electric vehicles into the housekeeping, grounds, and maintenance fleets, and relying more on “zone shops” has also resulted in savings. Zone shops are distributed strategically across campus and reduce travel back and forth to Facilities Services’ main complex for both parts and personnel.
The University also reduces costs and environmental impacts by providing transportation alternatives to employees. In addition to Motor Pool vehicles available to departments and organizations, the ZipCar on-demand car rental program is now self-supporting and includes 10 cars located across campus.