Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

PCC staff find creative way to introduce new all-electric delivery van

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The new Ford van has saved PCC 350 gallons of fuel in six months.

The new Ford van has saved PCC 350 gallons of fuel in six months.

Deliveries at Portland Community College are getting much more sustainable.

Last year, PCC added a Ford All-Electric E-Transit Van to its delivery fleet – the first zero emissions vehicle to be used by the college’s Central Distribution Services (CDS) for inter-campus mail deliveries. To date, the van has saved 350 gallons in six months, which equates to a savings of $1,592.50 based on the average cost of gas.

“CDS is taking a leading role in PCC sustainability – from operations and administration, to education and encouraging sustainable behavior change,” said Carlo DeMarco, CDS manager. “We believe that electrifying our fleet is taking the next giant leap in fulfilling our mission as well as goals for the college’s Climate Action and Strategic plans.”

The department found a great way to call attention to their effort and promote sustainability. PCC’s Marketing Office teamed with the Planning & Capital Construction (P&CC) and Sustainability offices to design a wrap of the vehicle that symbolized the college’s climate commitment. Senior designer Heidi Stanley created an eye-catching design that combines the zero emissions feature and a tree theme.

Dr. Bennings in driver's seat

Dr. Adrien Bennings toured the new e-van.

The colorful tree pattern celebrates the college’s designation as a Tree Campus USA awardee. PCC conducted a tree survey of all of its campuses and locations in 2019, documenting roughly 3,800 trees on the college’s campuses. The findings were uploaded to ArborScope, Bartlett Tree Experts’ interactive landscape management website. On this site, information is searchable for integration of the college’s canopy coverage with PCC’s Climate Action Plan by the college’s Campus Tree Advisory Committee (made up of students and staff).

“The combination of commitments to Tree Campus USA and to green vehicles contribute to cleaner and healthier air for those living in our communities,” said Steph Fregosi, PCC sustainability analyst.

PCC staff typically drive an average of 4,500 miles per vehicle on its delivery vans every year. For gas vans, fuel costs are approximately $3,000 and maintenance costs are roughly a little more than $2,000. The Ford All Electric E-Transit Van, which needs little maintenance, provides a cost savings of about $5,000 as well as emits zero fumes.

DeMarco said that additional Ford E-Transit vans and hybrids are coming this spring for his fleet thanks to funds from P&CC. This is in addition to a Ford Lightning (F-150) truck for the college’s grounds crew and an E-Transit Van for PCC Food Services. Eventually, PCC will transition more of its fleet to electric or hybrid models within the next few years.

Tree design

Senior Marketing Designer Heidi Stanley created an eye-catching design that highlights PCC’s commitment to sustainability.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »