T.J. Woods, transportation, warehouse and logistics manager, and Solomon T. Franklin, assistant director of business operations, issued a purchase order last week for 35 Max-EVs (electric vehicles). The purchase of these small electric carts is part of the first phase to replace some of the combustion-engine vehicles within FM and work toward a reduction of the campus’s carbon footprint through a 90% electric fleet in the future. The first vehicles to be replaced are loud, gas- and diesel- engine carts — which will be sent to surplus and permanently removed from campus. In addition to supporting FM, some of the new Max-EVs will be available for campus customers to reserve for special project needs or to demo for a few days to decide if the vehicle meets their needs.
Another goal of this transition to use more electric vehicles and carts is to ease vehicle repairs. Part of the agreement with the supplier is that they will have all “wearable or consumable” parts, such as brake pads and rotors, in stock at their parts facility at all times. This should ease the supply-chain issues that the University has experienced in the past, especially during the pandemic. FM’s automotive technicians will also receive technical support and training from the vendor and the Max-EV manufacturer to ensure they are properly trained and equipped with the skills and tools to perform any maintenance needed for the vehicles. FM technicians have already received the vehicle manual to review so they are familiar with the vehicles before they arrive. Technicians will also receive diagnostic equipment for the Max-EV — something our technicians have not received in the past.
“This is a very exciting time in FM as we continue to set the standard for other universities and ‘shape what's next,’” said Woods. “None of this would have been possible without assistance from the Purchasing Office, especially the full support of Scott Brechtel and his team.