By Dan Hounsell, Editor
Manufacturers of utility vehicles have revamped their offerings in recent years to meet the changing purchasing environment in many organizations, so managers now have an even wider array of features and functions to help them address sustainability. Electric vehicles are among the most popular options.
Landby's crews use four utility vehicles, which replaced pick-up trucks workers had used for transporting people and materials. Two of the vehicles — purchased in 2005 and 2007 — run on electricity, and one benefit has been dramatic.
"Our fuel consumption dropped precipitously when we switched to (the electric vehicles)," Landby says. In addition to the environmental benefits of the two electric vehicles, their smaller size allows workers to get into tighter work areas more easily, Landby says.
Bolick's department also has made the transition to more electric grounds equipment.
"We have one electric utility vehicle," he says. "We have been very pleased with it and will be requesting another one in next year's budget. Our two golf carts are also electric. All the other utility vehicles are gasoline-powered."
Compared with gasoline-powered vehicles, he says, "Electric units are comparable in terms of power and everything else. They're quieter, too."
The vehicles also have presented fewer maintenance challenges, Bolick says, largely because mechanics do not have to devote time to such tasks as checking and changing oil, air filters and spark plugs.