all-electric trucks

Ahead of the Curve and All Electric

Coming to campus: all-electric trucks.

The two new Ford F-150 Lightning work trucks move F&S people and equipment using no gas. The vehicles will hit campustown roads in the fall.

F&S Garage mechanics will attend training sessions from the manufacturer directly.

These two trucks are among the first delivered in the region. They were “born” on May 4, only 2 ½ weeks after the first Ford Lighting rolled off the assembly line.

 “We’re proud to use and promote electric vehicles, and we are excited to continue to move toward more sustainable transportation options,” said Pete Varney, director of Transportation & Building Services.

“Work vehicles remain essential tools used daily to move people and resources. F&S is demonstrating to the campus and community this great way to be more sustainable,” said Morgan White, associate director for Sustainability. Increasing the use of electric vehicles (EV) is part of the objectives of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP).

Truck Tasks

People and Materials

One vehicle will move tradespeople, like carpenters and plumbers, to job sites on campus. The Ford truck will move equipment; power outlets are in both the bed and cabin, including a 220-volt option.

“It’ll be kind of like a ‘gopher’ vehicle to help F&S get work done on campus,” said Shawn Patterson, transportation manager.

At Abbott

Professionals at Abbott Power Plant will use the second truck. It replaces an existing gas-powered truck and supports daily plant operations. F&S will brand their truck with a graphic wrap, turning it into a constantly moving—and buzzing—gasless billboard.

Students should be aware, for instance: Originally constructed in 1940, Abbott Power Plant supplies 70-75% of the energy demand for the Urbana campus. This cogeneration facility simultaneously produces both steam and electricity for the campus with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and environmental responsibility. Then there’s the collection of solar, wind, and other renewables, notably the Solar Farm 1.0 and 2.0 arrays, which are producing power on campus and supplying that power directly to campus.

F&S will also add a charging station for university vehicles on Abbott property.

“We have to build the infrastructure,” said Patterson. “Thankfully, F&S has charging stations at Garage and Car Pool. We installed them about 8 years ago as the Chevy Volt came into our fleet. We have to get more charging stations in other parts of campus.”