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MSU transitions toward greener campus with new electric vehicle fleet

25 electric gray and white cargo vans and cars parked side by side in several rows on a green lawn.
Derrick L. Turner
Photo courtesy of Michigan State University
MSU Spokesperson Dan Olsen said most of the university's newly acquired electric vehicles have arrived on-campus, with the remaining expected to arrive soon. The university purchased 40 fully electric vehicles in an effort to transition toward greener transportation.

Michigan State University has acquired a fleet of 40 new electric vehicles. The new fleet is part of a transition toward greener transportation at the campus.

The move was made possible in part through a public-private partnership with the state of Michigan and Consumers Energy’s PowerMIFleet program.

MSU Spokesperson Dan Olsen said the transition is part of the university’s 2030 Strategic Plan that outlines a more sustainable future.

“As part of that we are transitioning 369 internal combustion engine vehicles to fully electric vehicles over the next decade,” he said. The school’s current fleet size is 1,100, according to Olsen.

The shift to electric vehicles will help the university reach climate neutrality by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% of its 2010 baseline, Olsen said.

“That over the long term reduces our carbon footprint by nearly 18, almost 19,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, to put that into perspective that’s the equivalent of planting more than 312,000 trees,” he said.

The total cost of the 40 newly arrived EVs is around $1.7 million according to Olsen. He adds the university plans to purchase more vehicles when the price of electric vehicles decreases. The new vehicles will be a mix of sedans, minivans and light-duty pickup trucks.

To support the transition, the university increased the number of non-public use charging stations to 50. MSU is also adding two fast rapid charging stations at the CATA Multimodal Gateway for public use by the end of the year.

The new electric vehicles will be on display on-campus on Sept. 24 inside the “TuckTown” fan plaza before the MSU football game.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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