ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Michigan is investing millions of dollars in sustainability efforts, including the purchase of 37 hybrid vehicles, seven of which are buses. The majority of the vehicles are hybrid sedans that will be available for use by faculty, staff and students for authorized university business travel (local and long distance). The university received federal funding to help cover the additional cost of a hybrid over a conventional vehicle.

For the buses, these 40-ft. models use a roof-mounted battery system to supplement their diesel engines. They get 5 mpg, which U-M said is a 30-percent improvement over conventional diesel-fueled buses.

The university stated that its long-term goal is to replace existing vehicles in its transportation fleet with new alternative energy models when the current vehicles are retired.

The university stated it operates one of the largest alternative energy vehicle fleets among universities in the United States. It has 545 vehicles running on E-85 fuel, 96 vehicles using bio-diesel, 29 hybrid sedans, and 15 all-electric vehicles. Renewable energy sources comprise 16 percent of the total transportation energy at U-M, according to the university.