BLACKSBURG, VA – Virginia Tech Fleet Services has added four new hybrid vehicles to its inventory. This inclusion is a step toward a gas-electric hybrid platform that is expected to enhance the fuel efficiency of the entire fleet, according to

The Green Fleet Initiative is Fleet Services’ effort to make the Tech fleet not only more fuel efficient, but also more environmentally friendly. It involves new vehicles, new parts, and new disposal practices. This is in accordance with the university’s desire to make the whole campus more environmentally sustainable.

The new Chevy Malibu cars will be joining one hybrid vehicle that has already had nearly two years’ tenure as a test model in the Tech Fleet. The Ford Hybrid Escape has accomplished its mission, achieving an average of 10.3 miles per gallon more than the gasoline-only model.

Recently, Fleet Services invited faculty and staff to test-drive the new vehicles.

“They all seemed to like them,” said Gene Reed, director of Fleet Services. “Most of them were not familiar with their operation, so we had to show them that.”

In addition to the hybrids, Fleet Services is making other acquisitions in keeping with its sustainability mission. One addition will be flex-fuel vehicles, which can run either on gasoline or on a blend of 85 percent ethanol (a corn-based alcohol) and 15 percent gasoline. High-mileage tires will also be purchased, with treadwear ratings of 45,000 miles to 60,000 miles.