Flinders makes an electric pledge

Flinders University has joined the South Australian government and other leading organisations in taking the EV Fleet Pledge, to transition their fleets to electric vehicles and lead the way in helping South Australia reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The pledge is the latest example of Flinders’ ongoing commitment to sustainability as outlined in the Sustainability Plan to 2025, which has already seen the Flinders security and pool vehicle fleet transitioned to fully electric vehicles.

Vice-President Corporate Services Mark Gregory says the EV Fleet Pledge is one of several commitments the University has made to improve sustainability.

“Flinders University is electrifying its fleet of vehicles as part of a range of emissions reductions and sustainability initiatives set out in our 2025 Sustainability Plan. Our Bedford Park campus is already powered by 100% renewable energy, so our EV fleet is now charging every day on sun and wind – which is cleaner and lower cost,” says Mr Gregory.

The University will soon begin a trial of 20 bi-directional “vehicle-to-grid” chargers, to export spare battery capacity generated by the fleet of EVs back into the electricity grid, with the eventual goal of constructing a circa-650kW “virtual battery” on campus.

“The vehicles, which aren’t typically on the road in the early evenings, will export some of their spare battery capacity into the grid, just when South Australia’s electricity demand is high and solar production is down,” says Mr Gregory.

“Scale this up and our cars will be providing our electricity when it otherwise would be generated from burning natural gas.”

Through these initiatives and more, Flinders University is on track to become one of Australia’s first climate-positive tertiary institutions, and well on its way to reaching its goal of reducing direct emissions in line with science-based targets and decreasing the University’s footprint beyond net-zero.

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Corporate Services Property Facilities and Development Sustainability