SHU Saves Money, Environment with Hybrid Cars

Officer Bing Benson drives one of the hybrids.

News Story: April 17, 2013

Since 2010, Sacred Heart University has traded in six gas-guzzling Ford Explorers and replaced them with hybrid Ford Fusions and Escapes. The result has been thousands of dollars in savings and a boost to the environment.

“The hybrids are perfect for the kind of driving we do in Public Safety,” said Officer Benjamin (Bing) Benson. “We do a lot of short routes and stop-and-go details, and when we do those, the electricity kicks in. And the cars are easy to drive around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods and easy to park.”

He estimated that the cars are saving the University $20,000 to $30,000 a year in fuel alone. “With the increase in gas and the added patrols that we’ve instituted over the past few years, we easily would be spending that much more in fuel without the hybrids,” he said. “We run three shifts 365 days a year, and these cars have been a homerun for us.”

Benson said that Public Safety will continue to replace older vehicles with hybrids. Campus Operations has also begun to purchase more efficient vehicles. Ed Dobransky, manager of Support Services, said Campus Operations has exchanged six standard tradesman vehicles for Transit XConnect – XL vehicles. “We’ve been able to reduce our gas consumption from two weekly fills to one bi-weekly fill since making the change,” he said.

“The future of SHU is to purchase hybrid vehicles. It’s a win-win for us,” Benson concluded.