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July 29, 2003


OSWEGO -- SUNY Oswego has received five electric cars under a statewide drive to boost environmentally friendly operations while cutting costs. DaimlerChrysler and the New York Power Authority donated a total of 130 zero-emission Global Electric Motorcars to 26 SUNY campuses.

At Oswego, the cars are used for a variety of maintenance tasks. "They augment the normal maintenance vehicles, and they allow staff to get back and forth and let supervisors get into the field," said George Stooks, SUNY Oswego's director of facilities, maintenance and operations. "They are excellent for short distances around the campus."

The donated cars are five-horsepower vehicles that reach maximum speeds of around 25 miles per hour. Three are four-passenger vehicles, and two hold two people. One is assigned to each of five areas: Romney Field House (for use with all athletic fields), the utilities division, custodial, operations and the central heating plant.

"The response has been very positive," Stooks said. "My staff was anxious to get them in use."

SUNY-wide, State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King said, "The use of these donated GEM cars on SUNY campuses will reduce by thousands of pounds the emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other gases to protect the environment. It will also help SUNY control costs by eliminating the use of more than 15,000 gallons of gasoline per year."

The gift to SUNY campuses was part of a DaimlerChrysler and the New York Power Authority donation program that put 300 electric vehicles in service at 40 locations around the state.

The Power Authority saw the joint venture as "the perfect match" for SUNY needs. "These low-speed electric vehicles will replace an array of combustion-powered vehicles now operating on SUNY campuses," said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA president and chief executive officer.

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Photograph of Mary DePentu driving one of the college's new electric vehicles

Mary DePentu of the operations staff at SUNY Oswego test drives one of five electric cars recently donated to the college. DaimlerChrysler and the New York Power Authority donated a total of 130 Global Electric Motorcars to 26 SUNY campuses. The vehicles are expected to reduce polluting emissions and save on fuel. (Photo by Jim Russell)

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