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Norfolk State Expands Work Vehicle Fleet with Polaris GEMs
Print Article Contributed by BSM Staff

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- When Norfolk State University’s facilities management set out to reduce operating costs, cut emissions and noise, they turned to Polaris Industries to improve the safety and efficiency of their low-speed-vehicle (LSV) fleet.

The school now owns and operates 22 Polaris GEM LSV vehicles to help with grounds maintenance and utility support. The work vehicles are also used to transport passengers around the campus. 

In 2014, NSU acquired their first GEM vehicles. The fleet of 10 were used primarily for maintenance on and around campus. That initial purchase proved to be the start of a growing fleet, adding 12 more GEMs by the end of 2017, including a six-passenger transport vehicle.

Continued attention to improvements along the way has meant the addition of great features – such as three-point safety belts and larger capacity batteries. These features have truly expanded the way NSU and other campuses are using the GEM. 

Dia M. Hendricks-Hayes, director of Administrative Services at NSU, the goal of acquiring the GEM vehicles was to reduce emissions and noise while containing operating costs and improving fleet safety.

GEM vehicles helped NSU meet all those requirements with the added benefit of street legal features that provide flexibility in day-to-day operations. NSU employees can move around the campus quickly, in traffic, sidewalks and even across turf. 

Hendricks-Hayes adds that employees who regularly use the vehicles love them, especially the flexibility, range and maneuverability around campus. As a result, the number of departments purchasing GEM vehicles has increased, adding to the university’s fleet.

By choosing clean and sustainable GEM vehicles, NSU has eliminated the need for volatile fuel storage and oil changes within their LSV fleet. Maintenance workers can now focus on the needs of the campus, rather than spending time maintaining the fleet that allows them to do their work – effectively lowering ownership costs by saving on maintenance. The University is also promoting energy independence by using alternative fuel vehicles with no emissions.

For more information, go to GEMCar.com. 

Polaris Industries Inc. is a global powersports and commercial vehicle leader with annual 2016 sales of $4.5 billion. Polaris Commercial provides the largest offering of work vehicle solutions, serving facilities managers, maintenance managers and workers with the Polaris GEM electric vehicle, BRUTUS and RANGER utility vehicles, and Taylor Dunn electric, gas, diesel and LPG-powered machines.








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