New Jersey City University’s (NJCU) Department of Facilities and Construction Management completed the capital purchase of three electric vehicles (EVs), replacing one vehicle used for mail deliveries and two vehicles used for campus patrol with three battery-electric Nissan Leafs.
The mailroom vehicle, a gasoline-powered 2007 Dodge Caravan, was replaced November 2017 with a 2017 Nissan Leaf EV. The vehicle is used by mailroom staff for traveling to and from the main post office and for delivering mail and packages to university departments. To maximize rear cargo space for packages and mail, the rear seats were removed and replaced with a large cargo cover.
The average annual cost of gasoline for the Dodge Caravan was $574, compared to an average annual electricity cost of $118 for the Nissan Leaf. Maintenance on the Caravan averaged $2,526 per year (based on three years of data). In comparison, maintenance on the Nissan Leaf costs an average $600 per year maintenance (according to Edmunds). In total, the Nissan EV could potentially cut operating costs by $2,382.
Public Safety Vehicles
Two gasoline-powered patrol vehicles were replaced with 2018 Nissan Leaf EVs in September 2018. The vehicles are used for campus patrol, and were outfitted with LED light bars that include a solar panel; left, right, front, and rear take-down lights; and siren.
These vehicles cost less to operate and maintain than the replaced vehicles, especially since patrol vehicles tend to have longer idle times and increased stop-and-go driving. Fueling up the previous patrol vehicle cost $3,588 per year, compared to average electricity cost average of $711 per year for the Nissan Leaf EV. Maintenance on the previous vehicle averaged $4,506 per year (based on three years of data). Maintenance on the new EV costs $600 per year (according to Edmunds). In total, that’s a $6,783 reduction in operating costs per vehicle, per year.
NJCU’s Sustainability Initiative
NJCU will continue to transition its fleet toward EVs and other clean-burning technologies by replacing older vehicles as they reach full lifecycle. The fleet will likely be a mix of battery-electric cars and extended-range or plug-in hybrids. This does not include specialized vehicles — such as snow plowing vehicles — that can be replaced with engine start-stop systems and other fuel-saving features.
About the Author: Patrick Bartole, CAFM, is the automotive fleet manager for New Jersey City University. During his tenure as fleet manager, he has proactively built the fleet department from its foundation. Bartole is a 15-year NAFA Fleet Management Association member. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.