Q: The Department of Human Services just received an electric car. Can you tell me about the vehicle and how it was obtained? A: The electric car was manufactured by E-ride Industries and is a 4 passenger vehicle provided to us at no cost by the Department of Central Services. It operates on nine 8-volt batteries and will run for 30-40 miles between charges, costing about 5 cents per hour to charge during off peak times. Its top speed is 25 mph and it is street legal on any street with a maximum speed limit of 35 mph.
Q: What is it being used for?A: We are using the car for short-trip mail runs and deliveries, and also as a back-up shuttle for employees traveling between buildings.
Q: What are employees’ initial impressions? A: Employees have shown enthusiasm and interest in the car. There is generally strong support for being more environmentally aware.
Q: Is this part of a larger effort to "go green”? A: The agency has undertaken several initiatives to reduce electric and gas usage in our offices through lighting retrofits, installation of motion sensors and HVAC adjustments. In addition, we hope to replace certain HVAC equipment with more efficient equipment as funding becomes available. We are also beginning to purchase hybrid cars as vehicles in our fleet are replaced. There are plans to expand our imaging program for paper and storage space savings, and we continue to recycle paper through the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center, our facility in Enid which employs the developmentally disabled. We are trying to take a sensible and budget-conscious approach to incorporating environmentally friendly practices, being always open to new ideas and technologies.
JENNIFER PALMER, BUSINESS WRITER