TUCSON, AZ – Pima Community College (PCC) purchased three new Toyota Prius hybrid sedans in order to reduce the college’s carbon emissions and energy costs. The Priuses were bought under PCC’s vehicle fleet lifecycle-replacement program and are part of the College’s 109-vehicle fleet. They will be used by College employees who need to travel as part of their jobs, according to a release from the PCC.
“We see the purchase of these hybrid vehicles, which get an EPA combined-cycle of 50 miles per gallon, as another way to become leaner and more efficient with our fuel budget,” said William Ward, assistant vice chancellor for Facilities. “Ultimately, they will help us save taxpayer dollars while doing something good for the environment.”
Prior to purchasing the Priuses, PCC evaluated the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Ford Fusion Hybrid. Ward explained that the College chose the Prius because of its long range, reliability, and ease of operation.
Cost was another factor. At approximately $27,000 each, the Priuses were relatively inexpensive compared with the other options.
The College is taking other steps to reduce the cost of maintaining its vehicles while becoming more responsible stewards of the environment. For example, Ward said PCC is replacing some full-size V-8-powered work trucks with smaller four- or six-cylinder trucks and is tracking its trucks with GPS to optimize efficiency.
“We reject the idea that it’s not easy being green,” Ward said. “For us, being green has a direct impact on the operational costs of a College that has six campuses and numerous learning centers throughout Tucson.”
Other efforts at going green include an ongoing project to upgrade and modernize College restrooms with automatic sinks, low-flow toilets, and waterless urinals, according to the release.
Founded in 1969, PCC serves more than 75,000 students annually and is the eighth largest community college in the United States.