U of W Testing Eco-Friendly Vehicle on Campus

University of Winnipeg president Dr. Lloyd Axworthy test drives an electric vehicle on campus Thursday, June 30, 2011. (HANDOUT)

A low-speed, small electric truck is roaming the University of Winnipeg campus as part of a pilot project between the university and the Province of Manitoba.

The vehicle was unveiled Thursday and will be used by physical plant and security employees to transport goods from building to building.

The truck reaches speeds up to 40 km/h and will be tracked by GPS. It recharges by being plugged into a normal electrical outlet.

“We want to see how this particular battery-powered, small utility truck operates in mixed urban traffic and handles our climate, especially over next winter,” Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said in a release. “We hope to learn more about how we can use these vehicles to ensure transportation becomes more sustainable in Manitoba.”

“One of our key objectives at UWinnipeg is to achieve zero net greenhouse-gas emissions. Piloting the use of electric vehicles to move across our campus is a tangible demonstration of our ongoing commitment to green technologies,” said U of W president Dr. Lloyd Axworthy.

The $120,000 cost of the demonstration program is being shared equally between the university and province.

The campus may see up to four electric vehicles operated by March 2013.

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