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USU Adds Hybrid Vehicles to its Fleet

Thursday, Oct. 02, 2008

USU's hybrid cars

Several of USU's hydrid are ready for use. A portion of the university’s recycling efforts can be seen in the background.

As gas prices continue to rise and air quality declines due to greenhouse gas emissions from cars, transitioning to more fuel efficient options seems inevitable. In 2006 Utah State University began incorporating hybrid vehicles into its fleet of nearly 700 as part of its move toward sustainability.

During spring 2008, Kevin Phillips, manager of USU’s fleet and resource recovery, ordered eight new hybrid sedans for the university. Three of the new sedans will go into the central rental fleet and will be available for use by all campus departments.
 “We hope that having these vehicles available for faculty and staff will ease any anxieties about transitioning to a hybrid car and encourage departments to upgrade their vehicles,” Phillips said.
While the hybrid sedans cost anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 more than a comparable vehicle, their benefits more than make up the difference, Phillips said. The new cars get an average of 48 miles per gallon — using fewer natural resources and emitting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Phillips is a member of USU’s Sustainability Council, which formed in 2007 after USU’s President Stan Albrecht was the first in Utah to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. This document holds the university responsible for developing a plan to work toward climate neutrality. Phillips chairs the transportation and recycling subcommittees on the council.
For more information, visit the sustainability Web site or the USU recycling Web site.
Contact: Kevin Phillips, 435-797-1973,

Writer: Annalisa Purser, 435-797-1429,

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