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Rental Sedans Show Shades of Green at Transportation Services

Transportation and Parking Services converts entire fleet of rental sedans to EPA Certified SmartWay Vehicles.

The rental sedans available at Transportation and Parking Services have been expanded from six to ten 2009 Dodge Avengers. All ten sedans are EPA Certified SmartWay vehicles.

What does SmartWay mean? It’s a notable designation earned by those vehicles that score a 6 or better on each of the Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Scores. Higher Air Pollution Scores indicate vehicles with reduced levels of emissions that cause smog and health problems, and higher Greenhouse Gas Scores indicate vehicles with reduced levels of emissions that cause greenhouse gases.

Additionally, people driving SmartWay vehicles enjoy better fuel economy– upwards of 10 to 15%– making their operation not only environmentally, but also economically, pleasing. The SmartWay vehicles have 2.4 liter, four cylinder engines and are classified as partial/zero emissions vehicles (PZEV).

The introduction of the Avengers, which started earlier in 2008 and will continue up until early 2009, helped phase out the 2006 Chrysler Sebrings. The Avengers not only came as SmartWay vehicles, but had competitive rebates and more amenities.

Chris Christian, director of transportation and parking services, explained why Lehigh moved from the Sebrings to the SmartWay Avengers this year. “Basically it was the best value for Lehigh. They are safe, high quality cars, and they support the environmental initiatives we’ve been pursuing as a university.”

The SmartWay Avengers are equipped with a sport-tuned suspension, electronic stability and traction control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a higher seating position. The Avengers also have side-curtain and side seat-mounted air bags. Pleasing upgrades include Garmin GPS and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Transportation and Parking Services regularly phases out older cars. Cars are typically traded out when they are a year and a half to two years old or have 40,000 miles. “Our mechanics are beyond meticulous with our upkeep,” Chris says, “but, at Lehigh, our rentals are used so heavily that it’s in our best interest economically to turn them over and get new ones when they are available to us.” Chris also commented that drivers expect safer, newer, more efficient vehicles when they look for rentals.