The city of Denver is planning to add 200 more EVs to its fleet by the year 2020.
According to The Denver Post, the plan will save the city an estimated $800,000 over the next 10 years, as well as cutting 2,300 metric tons of emissions over the lifetimes of the vehicles.
Right now, Denver has just three EVs in its fleet. Starting in 2018, the city will start replacing out-of-service cars with the EVs.
“Ultimately, it’s going to have a lot of benefits for the city,” Tyler Svitak, energy and transportation administrator with Denver’s Department of Environmental Health, told the Post. “Both financially and from the environmental perspective, it puts the city in a leadership position.”
Twenty-four state and local governments have followed the Obama administration in an effort to boost both public and private investment in EVs. Denver has also set goals for sustainability by 2020 and this move will contribute to that effort.
Each car will potentially cost $4,000 more than a comparable gas-powered car, but the city estimates that each vehicle will save the city $4,800 over its lifetime – and the typical lifetime of current gas-powered fleet vehicles is about seven years. The EVs should last that long or longer. A grant from Charge Ahead Colorado may pay for 80 percent of the additional costs, and money received from a settlement with Volkswagen over its emissions-cheating scandal could help pay for charging stations.
Transportation emissions are Denver’s leading source of air pollution. Denver (and by extension, the state of Colorado) has tried to make itself an attractive city for EVs – new building codes require garages to support EVs and there’s now a $5,000 tax credit at the time of purchase for EVs, for example. The addition of charging stations for the fleet vehicles will also help Denver have more support infrastructure for EVs, assuming they’re accessible to the public.