CampusParc plans for fully electric fleet by 2030

The Lantern
CampusParc intends to transition 10 percent of its fleet to electric vehicles. Credit: Zachary Rilley | Photo Editor

Gas stations may become a safe zone from CampusParc ticketing, as the organization will switch to electric vehicles over the next decade.

CampusParc, the parking operator and manager of the university parking systems, plans to transform “100 percent” of its fleet — including vans, pickup trucks and utility vehicles — from gas to electric vehicles by 2030, Nikole Thomas, CampusParc’s communications and public relations manager, said.

Thomas said part of the organization’s mission is to reduce carbon emissions.

“We have maintenance vehicles and/or compliance vehicles that are always going to be out and about. So, that was just one step that we could take, is by electrifying,” Thomas said.

The organization signed a 50-year contract with Ohio State and is currently in its 10th year of the partnership. CampusParc “oversee about 17 parking garages, about 190 surface parking lots,” Keith Palma, CampusParc’s executive director of business operations, said.

“Our journey started about three years ago when we identified a few vehicles that have come into the market that would be a perfect fit for our fleet,” Palma said.

Palma said after doing research on efficiency and cost, they chose the model Nissan LEAF as the adequate replacement. CampusParc began replacing diesel-powered vehicles with the Nissans in 2022. He said six of 23 total vehicles have been converted to EVs thus far.

Palma said the biggest challenge the organization faces is the “electric pickup truck market cost,” which is greater than “what they can efficiently afford.”

“It’s a journey I think a lot of companies are in the middle of,” Palma said.

Heidi Shull, senior lecturer in the Fisher College of Business, said she is working with student groups to analyze data to determine the impact of converting the fleet to EVs.

“We’re working on a carbon net-zero plan for our organization that will help us understand what our current carbon footprint is and what some of our additional initiatives — not just with our fleet, but other initiatives — will provide us in order to get to carbon net-zero,” Shull said.

Thomas said the organization wants to align its own “sustainability goals with those of the university.”

“Electrifying this fleet will allow us to see how many hours of electricity we’re using,” Thomas said.

Ohio State’s Climate Action Plan detailed emission trends, such as being net-zero by 2050, and sources at Ohio State, but it did not include CampusParc in its report.

According to the report, transportation accounts for roughly 27 percent of the university’s carbon emissions, and the university will “create new incentives to reduce impact of driving to and from campus, including expanding campus user access to electric vehicle fueling stations.”

Although EV’s have been a largely focused initiative for CampusParc, they have also been working to reduce emissions by converting all garage lights to LED lights and have placed recycling containers at pickup locations for the university composting program, Palma said.

“You’ll see a few of these initiatives start to take hold and uncover some additional opportunities in the future,” Palma said.

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