$300,000 Donation from BP Includes Solar Vehicle

Solar-Powered Buggy Part of $300,000 Gift for Research, Academics to be Presented at UH Men’s Basketball Game

The University of Houston's commitment to green initiatives will receive a welcome boost tonight when BP America presents UH President Renu Khator with an environmentally friendly solar utility vehicle. The international energy company also will give Khator a $300,000 donation to the university in support of research and student success.

The gifts will be presented during halftime of tonight's UH men's basketball game against East Carolina University, which begins at 7 p.m. at Hofheinz Pavilion.

"We are proud to support the University of Houston's engineering, research, math and science programs as part of its vital efforts to attract and train the students who will become the next generation of engineers and leaders in American business and industry," said Gabe Cuadra, BP manager for compliance.

"BP strongly supports UH's outreach to students with diverse backgrounds in seeking the talent and skills for building the economy of the future," Cuadra said.

BP's gift, to be presented by Cuadra and Gerald Balboa, BP senior vice president for BP North American Gas & Power, represents the second installment of a $750,000 pledge the company made in March 2008.

The donation for the Cullen College of Engineering, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the C.T. Bauer College of Business will support the university's efforts to recruit and retain diverse students, attract National Merit scholars and support an internship program.

"BP America has made significant investments in the University of Houston that have fueled UH research for more than 30 years," said UH's Khator. "These generous gifts reflect the quality of the energy-related programs at UH, and we are grateful to BP for its continued support of these efforts.

"We share with BP a social responsibility to find better ways to develop safe, clean and sustainable energy for the future, as well as renewable energy products that reduce environmental impact. This new solar buggy to support our commitment to UH Green initiatives, the environment and renewable energy sources is a great example of social responsibility in action."

The BP solar buggy is equipped with two electric motors with 30 horsepower, delivering more than 170 pounds of torque and making it one of the most powerful all-terrain vehicles available in its category.

BP Solar's 185-watt, photovoltaic solar panel augments the vehicle's battery system, giving it more operational range. It offers a quiet, yet powerful mode of transportation with no noise and pollution than most ATVs. The buggy, with standard four-wheel drive, seats up to four passengers and boasts a load capacity of 880 pounds. 

The solar buggy will be on display on the concourse of Hofheinz Pavilion near the Holman Street entrance.


WHAT: BP donation of solar buggy, $300,000 to UH President Renu Khator
WHY: To support research, student activities
WHEN: During halftime of the UH-East Carolina University men’s basketball game
WHERE: University of Houston, Hofheinz Pavilion, off Cullen Boulevard and Holman Street


About BP
BP is one of the largest producers of domestic oil and gas in the United States and one of the nation's largest energy investors.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities.  UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.

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