Bowdoin students and employees now have the option of using a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) when they need to leave campus. This winter, with a grant from Central Maine Power, Bowdoin added a 2013 Chevrolet Volt to its fleet of cars and vans.
CMP supported Bowdoin’s purchase of the Volt because of the relatively high visibility the hybrid car will have in the midcoast area, according to Keisha Payson, Bowdoin’s sustainability coordinator. “It’s a unique opportunity to bring awareness of PHEV technology to a wide variety of constituents,” she said.
Bowdoin has approximately 925 authorized drivers, including 400 students. Students drive throughout the region to field research sites and to volunteer at nonprofits and schools.
CMP will outfit the car with a data logger to collect information on the vehicle’s use and performance. Payson said the Chevy Volt should achieve the equivalent of 98 miles per gallon when running on the electric motor and 37 miles per gallon when running on gas alone.
Bowdoin contributed half of the roughly $30,000 cost of the five-passenger sedan while CMP covered the rest. Additionally, a Bowdoin graduate will be donating an electric charging station to the college to decrease the amount of time it takes to recharge the Volt.