N.C. State Fair adds two electric vehicles to fleet
When instructing his crew to fuel up the work trucks at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, Matt Daly can now add “Plug ‘em in” to his instructions.
The State Fairgrounds recently added two electric vehicles to its fleet of maintenance and security trucks, thanks to a Clean Fuel Advanced Technology grant awarded by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University.
“These vehicles are so quiet, and still powerful enough to keep up with our full-sized, gas-powered trucks,” said Daly, fairgrounds facilities supervisor, as he showed off each vehicle’s heavy-duty battery packs where an engine, transmission and gas tank would be.
The E-Ride EXV2 Neighborhood Electric Vehicles can haul more than 1,000 pounds, and run as far as 55 miles on one charge. When plugged into a 220-volt outlet, the vehicles can be fully charged in only three hours, or six hours on a 110-volt outlet. They produce no tail pipe emissions, and are street-legal in 35-mile-per-hour zones.
Security officers patrol the grounds with one of the vehicles, and the maintenance crew uses the other. Daly also plans to use the clean fuel vehicles for educational outreach, and will lead a show-and-tell program for Cub Scout day campers at the fairgrounds in June.
“The State Fair continues to look for more efficient ways to operate,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “These electric vehicles are an environmentally friendly way to get the job done.”
Daly hopes to add more electric vehicles to the fleet in the future, and possibly solar panels to power them. “It seemed like a no-brainer to us to apply for the grant from the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology project,” Daly said. “On our 344-acre campus, we have to rely on vehicles to get around and transport landscaping and maintenance equipment, as well as to patrol for security. Electric vehicles make a lot of sense in light of record-high gas prices, and help reduce our overall environmental impact.”
In addition to electric vehicles, the fairgrounds also uses biodiesel to power the Gov. Kerr Scott Building year-round, as well as some midway rides during the annual State Fair. The fair also recycles cooking oil and animal manure, and hopes to expand water recycling efforts in the near future.
The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology project is sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation, N.C. Division of Air Quality and the State Energy Office with support from the N.C. Solar Center, Triangle J Council of Governments and Centralina Council of Governments.