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Some of the eco-friendly university vehicles on display at Tuesday's announcement
Some of the eco-friendly university vehicles on display at Tuesday's announcement.

‘Genesis 2015’ plan to create petroleum-free fleet

The University of South Carolina unveiled its “Genesis 2015 Initiative” Tuesday (Dec. 1) that will create a college campus with 90 percent fewer carbon-dioxide emissions from its fleet of vehicles within five years.

The plan puts Carolina among the nation’s first campuses committed to reducing its dependence on petroleum by introducing alternative fuels to power the buses, cars, trucks, motorcycles and maintenance vehicles needed in the everyday life of the university.

The comprehensive plan is ambitious, but doable, said University President Harris Pastides.

“Today, we are making a commitment that will drive Carolina into a new era of environmental responsibility,” Pastides said. “This is another important initiative supported by our faculty, staff and students to create a campus that will be climate neutral.”

The university has about 400 vehicles that are used for business, maintenance and transportation of students, said Derrick Huggins, associate vice president for transportation.

Within five years, all vehicles on the Columbia campus will be powered by ethanol, biodiesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), electricity or hydrogen fuel cells. A hydrogen hybrid bus will become part of the university’s shuttle service in January.

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'Genesis 2015 Initiative'

  • What: Major effort to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from university's vehicle fleet
  • When: Ninety percent reduction by the year 2015; hence, the name

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