District Managers Drive Hybrid Cars Where They Count Most

Posted on Jul 27 2012 - 10:22pm by Brent Hardy

District Managers Drive Hybrid Cars Where They Count Most

 

Rural areas are great for many things, like large backyards graced with hammocks and armadillos crossing the road, but I don’t think they’re the best places for hybrid vehicles to have the most impact.

While driving a hybrid in a rural or suburban area helps somewhat with gas savings, the car may still create nearly the same amount of pollution as a completely gas-powered car. That’s because generally when hybrid cars are driven at speeds exceeding 40 miles per hour, the internal combustion engine, not the electric motor, typically takes over.

 

We all know how gasoline-powered engines create carbon emissions, right? Yet, in major metro areas, where drivers in heavy traffic typically don’t exceed speeds of 40 miles per hour, hybrid vehicles are a great fit. This is based on how hybrid cars work.

 

Extra Space Storage Pilot Program for Hybrid Vehicles

We have a fleet of about 60 cars used by our district managers throughout the US. Some of those cars are driven in heavy-traffic areas where hybrids make more sense, so we decided to test how switching to hybrids in those areas would work for us.

As part of our pilot program, six district managers in urban areas have been driving either a Toyota Camry hybrid or a Chevy Malibu hybrid. The test areas include New York City, downtown Boston, downtown Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey and Washington, DC.

 

Hybrid Cars Going Forward

I’m set to review the efficiency of our pilot program for hybrids this fall. We started out with Toyota hybrids, and our district managers have had a positive response to them, but going forward, we might stick with the Chevy Malibu hybrid, which is more price competitive. We may also explore Ford hybrids.

As always, my goal will be to make a smart decision for the environment, but also for our investors. Each hybrid upgrade costs between $5,000 to $7,000 dollars, so converting all 60 of our cars to hybrids would be a poor business decision without a proper return on investment. After all, many of those cars are driven mostly on the highway.

Going forward, the number of hybrid vehicles driven by our district managers will be determined, in part, by our market expansion. Even if the number of hybrids we end up using is small, I believe that smart implementation of our hybrid program with a modest decrease in our carbon footprint benefits both the environment and our investors.

Will your next car be a hybrid? If so, which hybrid vehicle are your leaning toward?

 Brent Hardy

District Managers Drive Hybrid Cars Where They Count Most

About Brent Hardy

VP Facilities Management
Extra Space Storage

Brent Hardy has been with Extra Space Storage since 2001. He currently oversees all corporate construction & facilities management activities for Extra Space Storage. Brent has been the driving force for corporate responsibility with energy management and sustainability programs. His successful management in these areas has directly contributed to the growth of Extra Space Storage. Brent’s green initiatives have included solar power, implementing energy efficient lighting systems and daylight harvesting on a corporate scale for over 800 properties. He enjoys fishing, water skiing, avoiding airplanes and spending time with his wife and four daughters. Brent began his career in self-storage after spending several years with various firms in construction and operations management both in Salt Lake and New York City.

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