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The New Bolt Comes to Campus

A black Chevrolet Bolt EV with the University of Minnesota, Morris wordmark on the door
Jenna Ray
Publication date: 
July 31, 2017
“[Morris i]s the perfect place to test new solutions and set a new best practice for colleges across the state.”—Matt Privratsky ’11

This week brings a first for the University of Minnesota, Morris: a fully electric vehicle is being added to its fleet. Alumnus Matt Privratsky '11 was instrumental in bringing this car to campus.

One of the first fully electric Chevrolet Bolts in the region, Morris's newest vehicle is one of 22 purchased by the Minnesota Department of Administration, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Council, Ramsey County, and the City of Minneapolis, for fleet use. The new Bolt EV can go up to 238 miles between charges. It's fully electric—so it doesn't burn gasoline—and low-maintenance, which means the Bolt will save the University thousands in operating expenses.

"The Bolt will help us act as better stewards of our environment and is a smart investment for the University," says Bryan Herrmann, vice chancellor for finance and facilities. "It will build on our achievements in sustainability and promises significant savings."

At the center of this purchase was Privratsky, senior communications and government affairs specialist at Minnesota nonprofit Fresh Energy. There he helps provide in-depth research and analysis on energy issues across the state. When the Bolt was scheduled for production, Privratsky knew Morris needed to have one.

"Morris was a natural target not just because they've shown such incredible leadership in their journey to being carbon neutral, but also because of their location," he says. "The new Bolt is the first all-electric model on the market that works just as well for a fleet manager in Morris as it does in Minneapolis."

Privratsky says that, given the Bolt's low fuel and maintenance costs, it's ideal for use in a public fleet. So he and his team worked with the State to develop a Fleet Action Plan that took advantage of new electric models that could lower costs and emissions, and invited organizations like the University of Minnesota to make their fleets more sustainable and cost-effective, too. He was proud to see his alma mater among them.

"As an alum, I was thrilled to see one of the first Bolts in the entire state go to Morris," he adds. "It's the perfect place to test new solutions and set a new best practice for colleges across the state."

Morris's Bolt is one of five purchased by the University of Minnesota. Facilities Management worked closely with Tony Bittner, UMTC Fleet Services, to bring the car to campus. To learn more about Morris's fleet, visit