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WKU President supports Green Initiatives by driving a Volt

News from Western Kentucky University

BOWLING GREEN, KY - When it comes to green initiatives at Western Kentucky University, one of the biggest proponents has been Gary Ransdell. Now the WKU president is being even more visible by becoming the first person in Bowling Green to lease a Chevrolet Volt.

"I believe in setting an example and when I had the opportunity to lease an electric car with an extended range, I thought this would be a great way to show my commitment to our planet," Dr. Ransdell said.

Dr. Ransdell took possession of the Volt on Friday (Nov. 4) from Campbell Chevrolet in Bowling Green.

"We at WKU are constantly looking for ways to be more energy efficient and reduce our carbon footprint," Dr. Ransdell said. "The Volt offers new technology that makes it a more practical option for me."

The five-door, four-passenger Volt is designed to be a family's primary vehicle, providing the benefits of gas-free electric driving for most daily commutes with the capability to make long trips when needed.

The Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, it can drive gas free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gasoline-powered engine seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 244 miles on a full tank.

"This is an ideal setup for my daily commute to the campus, plus it has the capability of making longer trips when necessary," Dr. Ransdell said.

WKU has been recognized on several occasions for its energy conservation and sustainability efforts, including being named in Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges in 2010 and 2011; being named a Tree Campus USA; and becoming a pilot campus in the Alliance to Save Energy/TVA Green Campus Network.

WKU has initiated an Energy Savings Performance Contract to reduce energy consumption; converted the central steam plant from coal to natural gas; adjusted break periods to reduce energy costs; and made a commitment to build to LEED standards in all new construction and renovation.

"We have reduced our energy consumption 15 percent since 2005 even as we've grown our campus and campus population," Dr. Ransdell said. "This is one of the most visible measures of our commitment to sustainability and being good stewards of our resources."

Dr. Ransdell said the fact that Volt is made in the U.S. was an additional factor in his selection. "I like driving an American-made vehicle and supporting jobs in the U.S.," he said.

This story was posted on 2011-11-04 10:42:47
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