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Central Stores unveils hybrid service vehicle

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

“Hybrid Efficiency – Breaking Through The Fuel Barrier” 

President Feridun Hamdullahpur stands next to the Central Stores hybrid service vehicle.

Central Stores unveils hybrid service vehicle

When the University’s senior leaders were looking for a service-related department to consider alternative energy vehicles, Central Stores answered the call and has added a hybrid service vehicle to its fleet.

This hybrid van will be used to transport Central Stores staff around both on and off campus, primarily using electric power. The van will support Central Stores’ services, including freight and mail pickup and delivery, bulk mailing, shipping, receiving, office/departmental moves, event setup, and other initiatives.

Central Stores previously used a Dodge Caravan as a people mover, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was seen as a suitable replacement.

“In the service sector globally, there is a high demand for energy and fuel to perform daily tasks,” says Joel Norris, manager of Central Stores. “Currently, electric vehicles have a limited range, and in the commercial service sector they could be exhausted prior to the end of a working day. A hybrid vehicle gives a backup fuel source when the electric power is depleted, and if extra energy is required, the gasoline engine can take over.”

Central Stores has a charging station dedicated to this vehicle located at East Campus Hall.

Vice-President, Administration and Finance Dennis Huber, Rob McMurren of Central Stores, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, and Joel Norris, manager of Central Stores with the new van.
Vice-President, Administration and Finance Dennis Huber, Rob McMurren of Central Stores, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, and Joel Norris, manager of Central Stores with the new van.

Central Stores sees this hybrid vehicle technology as a way of extending the unit’s Green Initiative portfolio, which currently includes:

  • Campus E-waste Collection Program – electronic waste is collected, processed and made available to a contracted approved e-wasted recycler. These items do not end up in landfill sites and records of destruction are provided on the Central Stores website.
  • Office Paper Recycling Program – office paper is collected in partnership with Plant Operations Custodial staff, picked up at all campus buildings by Central Stores and processed in our facility. A contracted approved paper waste recycler processes the paper converting it into other paper products like toilet tissue and hand towels. The current provider is also the University’s main supplier of toilet tissue and hand towels. Paper diversion reports are available on the Central Stores website.
  • Confidential Shredding Console and Box Program – Central Stores staff collects office paper designated for shredding on demand in packed boxes and from designated confidential shredding consoles. Consoles are supplied upon request and at no charge to any University department. The secure shredding process is performed in Central Stores – ECH, under video, using a government-approved commercial shredder and is further processed through the Office Paper Recycling Program.
  • Used product handling (Surplus) - Central Stores handles the re-distribution, disposal, storage and recycling of used products and equipment made available by the University of Waterloo community. Re-using as much product as possible on campus is environmentally responsible and a cost savings for many faculties and departments.


President Hamdullahpur and Vice-President, Administration & Finance Dennis Huber were the driving force behind this initiative, says Norris, and Ron Coulter of Plant Operation’s Sign Shop created the van decals that identify this as a University vehicle. The slogan “Hybrid Efficiency – Breaking Through The Fuel Barrier” is being used to promote Central Stores’ green commitment.

This is not the end of Central Stores’ green efforts. “Adding commercial-use hybrid or electric-only box trucks or cargo vans to replace our gas-only units will be a priority when the technology is both available and practical,” says Norris. Central Stores is also committed to working closer with other University departments and student groups to enhance green initiatives on campus.

“Starting the process to move to alternative energy vehicles, for environmental reasons, is the right thing to do and it will pave the way to when the technology enables commercial vehicles to use electric power,” says Norris.

Norris notes that this hybrid passenger van has been numbered 1-1, indicating that this is the first of hopefully many hybrid vehicles in the University’s fleet.

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