Green Gown Awards 2015 Facilities and Services - Edinburgh College - Highly Commended

Tags: sustainability | green gown awards | Scotland | transport | facilities and services | Edinburgh College | EVs | pool cars

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eCar Project – Taking the plunge with electric pool cars

Edinburgh College’s fleet of electric pool cars provide staff with a sustainable, low-carbon, low-cost transport option for intra-campus and other corporate travel. Significant impacts have been made in reducing the number of trips carried out in staff members' own cars - the 'Grey Fleet' - with quantifiable and corresponding reductions in CO2 emissions and fuel expenses.

The pool car fleet has positively changed attitudes towards EV’s. It’s also fully integrated with our curriculum, offering students hands-on experience which benefits their understanding of environmentally friendly transport technologies. In addition, paid scholarships have been created.

This innovative, successful project demonstrates practices that can be replicated in similar FE, HE, and other institutions. The advantages are real and easy to duplicate, enabling quick wins and immediate beneficial impacts.

Since 2012, the fleet has covered a distance of over 90,000 miles, saved over 29.0 t/CO2e GHG emissions, and £30,000+ of equivalent fuel costs.

Top 3 learnings

1 Engaging students in the eCar fleet offers exceptional opportunities for further learning and positive destinations. Our electric car project has opened minds to ultra-low emission technology, infrastructure, and careers 

2 We encouraged staff to ‘Try out’ electric vehicles during all-staff days and by providing inductions for all new users of the fleet. These dispelled myths that EVs are glorified ‘milk-floats’ and removed many barriers to their use by proving that they were fit for purpose

3 Provision of infrastructure to support an electric fleet is as important as selecting the right vehicle. We created our own posts initially, but upgraded through ChargePlace Scotland to offer a number of charging posts that our staff, and the general public can use.