UA Parking Services Testing Electric Vehicles on Campus

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Gasoline may soon be a thing of the past at The University of Alabama.

According to Dennis “Van” James, director of transportation services, UA’s first electric car arrived on campus this spring, furnished by the Alabama Power Company.

“We’re looking at these electric vehicles as a clean, efficient mode of transport to replace some of the gas engines on campus,” James said. “Because technology will continue to improve, this will be a viable opportunity in the future.”

James said UA’s electric car is approved for use on any roadway whose speed limit does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

“The car we have now is a two-seater model,” James said. “It has a 25-mile driving range and can be re-charged anywhere because it uses a standard 110 volt plug.”

James said the electric vehicle’s retail cost is about $9,000.

The car’s manufacturer, Global Electric MotorCars LLC, a North Dakota-based company, also makes a four-passenger model and two different types of utility vehicles.

“Right now we’re using the car to attend various meetings on campus,” James said. “The parking monitors are also using it to cover their areas. It’s worked really well for that.”

Eventually, the two-passenger vehicle may be used to replace some of the golf carts used in the maintenance department.

In addition to the current car, James said a second electric vehicle, a fully equipped Ford Ranger pick-up truck, has been ordered. He hopes it will arrive in late July or in August.

“We see the Ranger replacing some of the other things in our vehicle fleet, not just the golf carts,” James said.

The truck can travel up to 50 miles before it needs to re-charge. Its top speed is 75 miles per hour.

The Ranger’s power source is a lead acid battery. The battery can be recharged using a 208-240 volt, 40-amp circuit, similar to the power source for a household stove or an electric clothes dryer.

It takes approximately six hours to recharge the truck from empty, but an 80 percent charge can be reached in only three hours. The battery also can be “opportunity charged” — or charged whenever it is not in use — without harming the battery


Amelia Parker or Linda Hill, Office of Media Relations, 205/348-8325


Dennis "Van" James, 205/348-5471