SPSCC security goes green

SPSCC Security’s new Nissan Leaf. Photo by Maggie Angel.

SPSCC Security’s new Nissan Leaf. Photo by Maggie Angel.

This year, the South Puget Sound Community College security department purchased a new electric vehicle to replace an existing car. The new vehicle is a Nissan Leaf that runs completely on electricity. The department also purchased a charging station for car, installing the station outside Building 23.

The entire system cost about $30,000 from the college’s equipment fund, said Lonnie
Hatman, director of security.

According to Hatman, the equipment fund budget committee reviews every request for new items and ranks them in order of priority each year. This year, the committee agreed to fund this project because the security department needed it, said Hatman. The previous car was old and cost more and more to maintain each year, he said.

The security department decided to consider an electric vehicle because of the campus’ specific needs, said Hatman. He said the main function of the security vehicle is to patrol the campus, never over a speed of 20 mph. An electric vehicle is ideal for this, he said.

The car would need to have highway capability in order to travel to SPSCC’s Hawks Prairie satellite campus occasionally, he said.

This requirement narrowed the decision down to two vehicles, the Chevy Volt or the Nissan Leaf, Hatman said. After extensively researching the benefits and limitations of each model, the department found the Nissan Leaf to be the best choice, he said.

The advantages of this new electric vehicle is its lack of typical maintenance problems, including engine, muffler, or lubricant dysfunctions, Hatman said.

Hatman said that though needing no gasoline is also an advantage, there is one problem with an all-electric car: if the power was to go out for any length of time, the vehicle would be rendered useless. For this reason, the department will most likely look to hybrid alternatives for future replacements, he said.