DEP Grant Awarded to Penn State for Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will receive over $3.3 million from a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant to provide for electric vehicles and infrastructure.

The DEP awarded $3,305,011 to the University to replace five Class 6 and 7 diesel-fueled trucks with battery electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure for those trucks at three locations on the University Park campus. Three of the new box trucks will be for Housing & Food Services, one box truck for Lion Surplus, and one box truck for the Office of Physical Plant. “This project is a group effort, and I am very excited that it is moving forward. I’d like to thank the Commonwealth for their support and also credit the assistance of our on-campus units — such as Transportation Services, Lion Surplus, Housing and Food Services, Office of Physical Plant, and Penn State Sustainability — for their contributions,” said David Snyder, associate vice president of Auxiliary and Business Services.

This grant provides the opportunity to begin to electrify the University’s medium and heavy-duty truck fleet — a key component to Penn State’s Carbon Emission Reduction Task Force’s recommendation to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2035.

Penn State currently owns 23 hybrid electric and 18 fully electric vehicles, but does not currently own or operate any electric Class 4-8 trucks.

“Penn State is continually working toward improving its environmental performance, and infrastructure like our vehicles and how we fuel them are crucial elements to that progress. I greatly appreciate the Commonwealth’s support for this project,” said Lara Fowler, chief sustainability officer at Penn State and director of Penn State Sustainability.

The vehicles that will be removed from service emit approximately 115 tons of CO2-equivalent annually, as well as contribute to ground-level ozone that affects human and ecosystem healthOnce the new vehicles are in service, the net decrease in greenhouse gas emissions will be approximately 48 tons CO2-equivalent annually and the local air quality will improve.

Four of the five trucks could be in place and operational within the next 12-18 months, with the fifth truck in place in 18-24 months. Four DC fast EV chargers and one Level 2 EV charging station will be installed on the Penn State campus. The charging stations will be at the Housing and Food Services Building receiving dock, the Lion Surplus building receiving dock, and on the east side of the Physical Plant Building.

Penn State’s Strategic Plan includes the foundation of Ensuring a Sustainable Future, and this project falls in line with the University’s ambition for innovative programs that reduce impact on the environment.