Gardening with Electric Bikes

Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $84,888

Letter of Intent:

The University of Washington contains one of the premier campuses in the country. Grounds Management at the University of Washington currently contains 19 vehicles that run on gas including various trucks and gators (small utility vehicles). These vehicles are used throughout campus on a variety of jobs aimed to improve the campus’s aesthetics. On average, the vehicles used by grounds management burn 6,000 gallons of gas a year which release 120,000 pounds of C02 into the atmosphere.

Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing our planet today. In 2016, transportation contributed up to 28.5 percent of the damage ( As one of the country’s leading institutions, it is the University of Washington’s obligation to lead the charge in the fight against climate change. Grounds maintenance is an area that burns a significant amount of fossil fuels. Finding ways to keep the productivity of grounds management high, while reducing its fossil fuel consumption is currently a high priority. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels while keeping our productivity high will show other Universities that going green can be financially advantageous.

Our goal is to vastly decrease the carbon footprint of Grounds Management on campus by reducing our reliance on vehicles that burn fossil fuels. The majority of jobs completed by Grounds Management can be accomplished without the need of high consumption vehicles (such as the trucks and gasoline powered utility vehicles supplied to the gardeners). We would like to add electric E-Bikes to our green fleet which already includes three electric club cars. Recently, a grant was received by UW Mailing services which provided them with an E-Bicycle-Mail & Package Delivery Program. This grant has been extremely successful and it is a desire of Grounds Management to emulate its success. Although a truck will be required for the occasional job, we are proposing to reduce our reliance on them with the goal of using 2,000 less gallons of gasoline per year. The reduction of 2,000 gallons of gas per year will decrease the amount of C02 put into the atmosphere by 40,000 pounds and will save grounds management $6,000 dollars per year (at $3 per gallon of gasoline).  Over time we will review how many trucks are used per day and the amount of gas we have reduced through this program. Grounds management consists of nine crews each consisting of two vehicles. We propose to reduce the crew’s reliance on these vehicles by supplying each crew with an electric hatchback bicycle and two bicycles to be shared throughout the shop (11 total). Of these 11 vehicles, 9 will be electric with a hatchback, and two will be small fold up electric bikes (for attending meetings and other non-laborious tasks). We will also require miscellaneous accessory items such as helmets and u-locks.

This would be one of the first University Grounds Management Operations to run predominately on electric and man powered vehicles.

This project will look to involve students in all of its facets. The project is currently facilitated by a graduate student research assistant from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences with the title Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Sustainability Coordinator. The IPM and Sustainability Coordinator will attend sustainability events and will develop educational and outreach components for the program. The graduate student will be responsible for record keeping, costs and the productivity of the project.

In addition to the graduate student involvement, this project will utilize the UW Engineers without Borders program. The salvage wood project through grounds management was extremely successful in main part due to the collaboration with UW Engineers without Borders. Similar to the salvage wood project, (run by Grounds Management) the UW Engineer students will contribute to the project by building multiple required structures. For example these students will build the shed for bike storage and the trailers attached to the bikes. We will also team up with art students to paint the bike trailers with the CSF logo incorporated into the design.

The E-Bicycle Mail & Package Delivery Program established a partnership with the HUB Graphic Design Office where student employees created the designs for our education outreach material. We will look to expand this partnership to include grounds management. Overall, this project will include students from multiple facets of campus including the College of BuilT\t Environments, the School of Art, and the school of Art History and Design.

Below you will find an estimate of costs associated with this project. Including the bicycles, annual maintenance costs, and bicycle supplies, the amount requested from CSF totals to $84,888.

We have been in contact with the company Electric & Folding Bikes Northwest. We have come to the conclusion that the bikes most suited for our needs are the Specialized Como 2.0 Electric bikes and the Gocycle electric folding bike. 

We’ve included 5 years of maintenance in this proposal through an annual bike maintenance fee.  After which, the UW Grounds Shop will assume responsibility for maintenance.

Thank you for your consideration in this proposal!  


Item Cost per Item Quantity Total Cost
Initial Costs for Bikes and Trailers      
Specialized como 2.0 Electric Bikes (w/ one year of service) including tax 2,850 9 56,258
 Rear Cargo Boxes with Trailers 2,428 9 21,854
Gocycle Electric folding bicycle 3,082 2 6,164
Total     64,270
Annual Maintenance Costs including supplies 1475 5 7,375
Rain Caps 50 6 300
Water Resistant Gloves 100 6 600
Helmet 100 11 1,100
Kryptonite standard U-Lock 100 12 1,200
Storage Shed 6,000 1 6,000
Total     16,575
Project Subtotal     80,845
Contingency Fee (5%)     4,043
Project Total     84,888

ESTIMATE: Project Completion Total: 


Primary Contact First & Last Name: Michael Bradshaw