Nine new electric shuttles have been added to the transportation system at Tulane University, providing a cleaner and more sustainable mode of transportation for students. These shuttles were made possible through a grant awarded to Tulane by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of their Innovative Vehicle Technologies Projects.
The “Demonstrating Electric Shuttles for the New Orleans Region” project, which received over $730,000 in funding, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by promoting the use of electric vehicles. The core teams involved in the project include the Department of Shuttles and Transportation, the Office of Sustainability, the ByWater Institute, Entergy, Model 1, and the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership.
Preparation for the introduction of the electric shuttles included designing the shuttles and charging stations, site preparation, electrical service upgrades, and fleet accessory upgrades. Tulane is now ready to showcase the capabilities of these electric vehicles and gather data on their environmental impact and financial costs.
One concern raised by opponents of electric vehicles is the cost associated with producing and powering them. However, Tulane addresses this concern by using clean sources of energy, adhering to the Renewable & Clean Energy Portfolio Standard. They are confident that these electric shuttles will provide a net benefit over time.
Director of Sustainability Jordan Stewart states that the electric shuttles are expected to outperform their conventional counterparts due to their zero tailpipe emissions. As cleaner methods of generating electricity are adopted, the carbon emissions performance of the shuttles will only improve.
The introduction of these electric shuttles aligns with Tulane’s commitment to sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The university has set ambitious goals, aiming for a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and climate neutrality by 2050. The implementation of electric vehicles, high-performance buildings, and energy management plans are just some of the strategies Tulane is employing to achieve these goals.
Not only do the electric shuttles contribute to a greener campus, but they also offer a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for students. With faster, smoother rides and improved air conditioning, students have expressed their satisfaction with this new addition to the transportation system.
Tulane’s initiative in adopting electric shuttles not only benefits the university community but also aims to provide valuable lessons for fleet managers in the New Orleans area. By showcasing the practical use of electric vehicles, Tulane hopes to inspire others to transition to cleaner modes of transportation.
– Tulane News: Nathan Rich, October 12, 2021