Making CSU history: Chico State adds all-electric street sweeper to its fleet

Enlisting a newcomer to Chico State to pick up fallen leaves from the 2,700 listed trees of the campus arboretum at the height of the foliage fall may seem unfair, but that’s exactly what the management and services are all about. installations were made last fall.

Two months later, the unit is pleased to announce that its new electric sweeper, the first of its kind in California State University’s 23-campus system, is up to the task.

Thanks to the exhortation of FMS Associate Vice President Mike Guzzi and full buy-in from the university administration, the department has added a D.Zero2 street sweeper from Dulevo International to its fleet of vehicles. who clean campus grounds, collect and mulch leaves, and provide general housekeeping.

The purchase made history when Chico State became the first CSU to use a fully electric street sweeper. It also aligns with the University’s strategic priorities for resilient and sustainable systems and is an important step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the campus carbon footprint and achieving the University’s goal of climate neutrality by 2030.

“The campus and its leadership are committed to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals by investing in things like this,” said Guzzi (Civil Engineering, ’06). “Our goal is to upgrade as many of our vehicles to all-electric as possible, so purchasing this great piece of equipment is a big step in the right direction. “

FMS operators quickly acclimated to the digital dashboard of the all-electric Dulevo sweeper. (Photo by Mike Alonzo)

The University’s street sweeper typically operates five days a week, for about four to six hours a day, patrolling the 12-acre boardwalk and pathways on the 130-acre campus. In addition to maintaining a sanitary environment and a neat aesthetic, it prevents the clogging of storm sewers, the risks of slips and trips and the coloring of the landscape. From October to December, its workload peaks when the sycamores, maples, and hundreds of other species on campus drop their leaves for the year.

When FMS Logistics and Transportation Director Jeff Hensley went looking for the right street sweeper for campus needs, the Dulevo vehicle caught his eye because it was small enough to fit anywhere on campus. on campus, it can comfortably accommodate two operators, has the power and capacity to handle the volume of debris picked up during the fall and winter months, and is fully electric. The new sweeper was acquired using FMS vehicle replacement funds and ultimately replaces its diesel-powered predecessor.

Lands and Landscape Services Supervisor Mike Alonzo (Agriculture, ’07) noted that there were some initial concerns with a new all-electric vehicle, including longtime staff learning about brand new technology. Battery life was also an issue – using a four-phase charging system, the Dulevo takes several hours to reach a full charge – especially with the large number of fallen leaves on campus.

“With that vehicle, we were like, ‘Will this thing get through the day?'” He said. “We put him there until the end of our leaf season and he did his job. So if he can handle that, we know he could handle the normal job of cleaning up areas on campus. “

An all-electric sweeper picks up leaves on a rainy road.
FMS put their new fully electric street sweeper to work in the fall and it passed the test with flying colors.

Even in the first few months of use, the Dulevo sweeper reaped measurable benefits. While it will save an average of 475 gallons of diesel fuel that the old street sweeper used per year, the new unit will also allow an annual reduction of 860 pounds of carbon dioxide. In addition, the Dulevo is 13 decibels quieter than its petrol predecessor.

“It slides right into this priority of being a sustainability conscious campus,” Alonzo said.

Alonzo said bragging about CSU’s first electric sweeper inspired other campuses to look for similar electric vehicles.

“It’s nice to be a leader in this area,” he said. “We have presented ourselves as a leader in substantiality, so it’s good to be able to support him. “

FMS is also responsible for many other campus initiatives related to the environment, from the planning and construction of new buildings with energy and water efficiency to cutting edge design, to the maintenance of solar panels, to the composting of leaves and mulch plant material which then feeds and benefits campus landscaping. He also maintains the majority of vehicles on campus, including electric golf carts and mail delivery vehicles, as well as landscaping equipment.

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