Weighing Benefits and Drawbacks to Electrical Utility Vehicle Specification
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Considering Electric Utility VehiclesPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Gauging Electrical Utility Vehicle PerformancePt. 4: Adapting for Utility Vehicle SuccessPt. 5: Product Focus: Grounds Care
While some departments take a careful look at electric vehicles to weigh the potential benefits against the possible drawbacks, that is not the case for every department.
"We really did no research on this," Spradling says. "The maintenance staff asked if they could have electric golf carts, and I thought it would be a good idea and cut down on them using gas-powered vehicles."
For Salt Lake Community College, the vehicle specification process was more involved.
"In 2006, when I did some research on our first purchase, I actually went to an alternative-fuel conference in Las Vegas, and they had demos of all these different types of vehicles," Benson says. "I went to the conference for three or four days, and after I came back, I met with Bob, and we determined to get a couple."
Adds Askerlund, "We did test one for several weeks, and (the crews) loved it. We got it out and around to everyone and let them try it before we made that decision. (The manufacturer was) very good about letting us test it, and we got to use it a little bit. So that helped make our decision, as well."
In addition to green benefits, climate was an important factor in the decision.
"Weather dictates a little bit for us," Askerlund says. "Salt Lake has a pretty harsh winter climate, so an enclosed or open golf cart doesn't really work well for us. (One of the electric vehicles) tends to replicate other vehicles that we have that are gasoline-powered, and our folks like those, so they were a natural extension of using those vehicles."