Wrexham Glyndwr University unveils electric vehicles as part of extensive decarbonisation projects

Wrexham Glyndwr University is continuing to move forward with environmentally-friendly solutions after securing a £1.6m major capital funding boost.

New electric vehicles have been rolled out as part of a raft of decarbonisation, green economy and digital learning Infrastructure projects at the university.

WGU has secured £1.6 million of funding from the Welsh Government for the projects, which will address decarbonisation, green economy and digital priorities.

Facilities Manager Dennis Powell said: “This funding is a massive leap forward for our green agenda and has allowed us to replace our entire fleet with more environmentally sustainable vehicles”.

“The vehicles and other projects are part of our wider commitment to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable environment across all our campuses.”

The electric fleet consists of two Vauxhall Vivaro e-life minibuses, two Nissan e-NV200 maintenance vehicles, a pair of Nissan Leaf staff pool cars and a site utility vehicle.

The Students’ Union has been heavily involved in WGU’s Sustainability Action Working Group who discuss green issues, and WGUSU Sustainability Officer Daniel Holmes welcomed the introduction of electric vehicles.

“I’m over the moon that we have been able to bring in these vehicles,” he said.

“When I first came here one of the things I noticed was that we had diesel minibuses which travelled to and from our various campuses.

“We wanted to have more efficient modes of transport that reduced our environmental impact and air pollution.”

The Welsh Government funding also sees the installation of electric vehicle charging points at Plas Coch visitors car park, charging for minibus/maintenance vehicles next to the Students’ Union building, and another charging point at the Regent Street campus. Also included are fast charging points at Northop and St Asaph.

Meanwhile, photovoltaics panels – where light is converted into electricity –are to be installed at the ALIVE Hub and St Asaph site. The new ALIVE Hub will also boast carbon neutral roofing.

The funding also covers LED lighting for the sports hall, engineering workshop, metrology lab and the library.

The university has also introduced a host of digital measures, which includes a new university website platform, lecture capture systems, new PC’s in the IT labs and Video Conferencing facilities amongst many other things.

WGU Vice-Chancellor Prof Maria Hinfelaar said that the funding, which comes via the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, is a “real step change for the university”.

She said: “As an anchor institution in North East Wales, we aim to take a leading role in promoting the sustainability of our region and one of our ambitions is to minimise the adverse impacts of our activities and built estate, as well as contributing positively to the local community and natural environment.

“Every mile we drive with these vehicles will be a mile that we’re not contributing to the pollution of the environment.”