A select group of UCLA carpoolers will get to drive a Toyota fuel cell vehicle for 3 months before handing over the vehicle to the next group of drivers. Toyota decided to team up with UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability to get real world feedback about driving their FCHV-adv fuel cell vehicle under normal conditions.
UCLA’s “gutty little Bruins” who test drive the vehicle will be located in Irvine, Burbank and Torrance, California, which are three cities that already have hydrogen fueling stations operational for the drivers to use. UCLA has a long history of using alternative fuel vehicles on their campuses. Since the 1980’s over 40-percent of the vehicles on the campus run on alternative fuels such as low-speed electric or compressed natural gas.
According to UCLA, “The first carpools will begin commuting together by the end of October, once they’re trained to operate the vehicle and fill up the tank. Three cars will go on the road, and one will stay at UCLA as a back-up. Transportation selected the carpoolers by contacting parking-permit holders who live within a few miles of the chosen hydrogen stations. After checking for people with similar work schedules – and clean driving records – carpools of three to four people per car will be created.”
UCLA has stated a couple of reasons to engage with Toyota on this project are to cut emissions at the campuses and convert students into carpoolers (and perhaps in the future converting them into buyers of alternative fuel vehicles as well). And there is one more study that UCLA intends to conduct and that is to find out, “… more about what motivates people to take the leap to green transportation.”
UCLA has posted an FAQ section about this project for more information.