UC San Diego’s Fleet Services – Pushing for Sustainable Solutions in Vehicle Operations

UCSD Fleet Services logoThe following content is republished with full approval of Cuong Huynh and CleanCarTalk.com.

I had a chance to visit with Jim Ruby, Manager of Fleet Services, and Greg Nishihira, Business Manager of Fleet Services at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD.) We talked about fleet operations at UCSD that support numerous university functions and the many programs that Jim and Greg are spearheading to achieve sustainable transportation for the school.

UCSD is reducing its reliance on conventional, gas-powered vehicles, and capitalizing on new technology by:

  • Replacing older vehicles with hybrid and electric models
  • Running its shuttle fleet on 20% biodiesel or compressed natural gas
  • Installing diesel particulate traps on shuttle buses to significantly reduce particulates
  • Collaborating with students on biofuel research

By changing purchasing and maintenance procedures, UCSD’s Fleet Services has become a California certified Vehicle Service & Repair Model Shop. This is the Model P2 Shop Program (P2 for Pollution Prevention,) California’s implementation program to eliminate or reduce waste generation at automotive repair shops.

Among Fleet Services’ improved maintenance and repair procedures are:

  • Recap tires on shuttle fleet, which require 30% less energy and 66% less oil to produce and cost 30% to 60% less than new tires
  • Synthetic transmission fluid lengthening shuttle fleet service intervals and decreasing hazardous waste

Below is part 1 of our conversation, with Fleet Services photos showing electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in action in and around the UCSD campus.


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