Chevy Bolts arrive at UW Fleet Services
UW's Fleet Services is helping keep campus green

Faculty, staff and students interested in renting UCARs for short-term transportation needs while on official university business will find it even easier to go green now that UW Fleet Services has added more electric vehicles to its cadre of cars, minivans, SUVs and trucks.

And with about 50 new charging stations installed during the past year, the campus community can help the University preserve the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“UW Fleet Services continues to work to electrify the fleet to meet the campus business needs and support sustainability efforts,” says George Donegan, Assistant Director, Business Mobility, Transportation Services.  “Every future vehicle addition or replacement to the fleet is evaluated for the potential of electrification.”

Transportation Services started its UCAR program in 2006 and supports vital university functions including academic fieldwork, housing and food services, shuttle services, mail delivery, lab medicine and official business travel.

Membership in UCAR requires a valid NetID, with renters then paying only for the time they use. Members register for a car online, write down a code, go to where the car is parked, type in the code and get the key to the car. Reserving a UCAR for more than 30 days is also possible, and requires a long-term vehicle request form.

The UW began electrifying its fleet in 2015 by purchasing a mix of 17 all-electric vehicles (EVs) and 24 plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs). Today, Fleet Services maintains 37 EV and 41 PHEV vehicles, making up a total 11 percent of the fleet. The rest of the fleet includes 90 hybrids, 50 biodiesel vehicles, 215 using ethanol flex-fuel and 261 vehicles using conventional gas.

Fleet Services is currently replacing 10 of its hybrid Prius sedans with all-electric Chevy Bolt sedans, for an estimated fuel savings of $12,000 annually.

Getting charged up

The campus provides 97 Level-2 charging stations, 20 of which are available for all customers with a UW parking permit for short-term use without any extra fee. Five of these stations for public use have just been added near the main gatehouse of the Central Parking Garage. The rest of the charging stations are designed to support the university’s fleet of electric vehicles.


The plug-in hybrid takes five and a half to six hours to fully charge when plugged into a 110-volt socket; with the 220-volt charging station, it only takes about two hours.

With Level 2 charging, used for both EV and PHEV vehicles, it typically takes two to three hours for a full recharge.

On the near horizon, Fleet Services will partner with Laboratory Medicine to electrify its courier vehicles.

Do you want to know how and where to borrow a UCAR? Make your first stop here for more information.