FHSU leads the charge on going green


Think back to the 1970s -- Led Zeppelin, bell-bottom jeans, 'Star Wars,' and cheap gasoline. Gas prices in the 70s were around 75 cents per gallon. In contrast, the current average gas price today is about $3.70 a gallon -- almost five times as much.

Electric vehicles, also known as zero-emission vehicles, operate at only 2 cents per mile, or 75 cents per gallon. Think of it as a way to travel back in time, minus the bad hair.

Recently, Fort Hays State University's grounds department purchased two electric pickups for jobs around campus. The pickups feature an enclosed cab with a stake-side bed.

"The trucks haul equipment and supplies to different job sites and provide transportation to and from projects," said Jim Schreiber, director of grounds. "One of the pickups is assigned to the environmental/safety office and the other is assigned to building maintenance."

The pickups run on electricity generated from batteries. This means they do not emit any air pollutants, making them a natural extension of FHSU's commitment to sustainability and innovation.

The vehicles have a top speed of 30 miles per hour, a range of 40 miles per charge, and a charging station on campus.

"Since these are the first ones we've owned, there is a learning curve. We are planning to track the operational costs of the pickups to see how they compare to a gasoline pickup," said Schreiber.