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Vanderbilt Replaces Shuttle Buses With Zero-Emission Fleet

Through a partnership with Electrada and Holman, electric shuttles will be in service on the Tennessee campus in August. The switch from gas-powered buses is part of a university initiative to go carbon neutral by 2050.

Source: Electrada
Starting this fall, Vanderbilt University’s shuttle service will be powered by electricity, not gasoline, officials announced Thursday.

The new fleet of "VandyRide" buses will be operating on the Nashville campus when the 2023-2024 academic year begins in August. The school’s partnership with Electrada is the latest step in an ongoing effort to become more environmentally responsible, Lindsey Ganson, Vanderbilt’s assistant director of mobility and transportation, said in a news release.

“Vanderbilt is committed to lowering its carbon footprint, so switching to electric vehicles in our shuttle fleet is a top priority,” Ganson said.

Electrada, based in Cincinnati, offers a “360 charging-as-a-service (CaaS)" model where it pays for infrastructure and clients pay to use it. Clients are assured that the per-mile transportation costs are lower than those of liquid fuels “on day one.” That eliminates upfront costs that might otherwise discourage organizations such as Vanderbilt from adopting EVs. An additional company involved with this partnership, the automotive services company Holman, will manage the Vanderbilt fleet.

“Universities around the country have instituted sustainability goals to reduce or eliminate their carbon footprint. Fleet electrification is a visible, ROI-based means to materially advancing these objectives,” Electrada CEO Kevin Kushman said in the statement. “We’re proud to support Vanderbilt’s unique FutureVU efforts as a national leader in higher education.”

According to its website, Vanderbilt University in 2019 launched an aggressive plan to entirely power its campus with renewable energy and become carbon neutral by 2050. So far, the school has created more green spaces on campus, reduced waste consumption, invested in sustainable infrastructure and, with this partnership with Electrada, decreased the carbon footprint from vehicles.