By Jim Bona
(Hamilton, NY – Oct. 2012) We have a new vehicle at work. It is an electrically powered golf cart, equipped with a cab and cargo box. It is good for the very regular short hop around campus to move equipment, get to buildings and general running around. It can handle small to medium sized stuff very easily and can carry three people, if necessary.
Since it is a completely battery powered vehicle, recharged by alternating current, we can plug it in anywhere to recharge it, although it has a dedicated charging station where it sits overnight. Instead of using a gasoline-fueled vehicle to do our running around, battery power is cheap, clean, and efficient.
There are a few drawbacks, though. One is that it is slow going up the hills here on campus. (If you are behind it, please be patient. Honking won’t make it go faster. Sorry). Another is that it doesn’t have a heater either. So far, that hasn’t been an issue, but once the temperatures drop below freezing, I am sure we will not only be scraping outside windows, but the interior ones too. We may even have to keep that pair of gloves on when we are driving.
Since it is only for use on campus, you won’t see it around the village on a doughnut, burger or pizza run. It is a great alternative for short hops around campus when speed is not an issue. Although I have used it a few times, I am so used to walking everywhere when I am at work that I feel just a little guilty riding around in it.
Having lugged my fair share of equipment, some of it rather heavy, it is a welcome relief for my aching joints and bones.
I am thinking that in the near future, some more of these vehicles will be making their appearance here on campus. It is much better than driving a gas-fueled vehicle around for very short distances and most likely getting very bad gas mileage. I think it is only a matter of time before we have docking stations all over campus to recharge anyone’s electric powered vehicle.
Jim Bona is a technician at Colgate and passionate about all things green. He can be reached at email@example.com.