Staff, council members and Mayor Nancy Backus welcome into the city’s fleet its first four, all-electric cars during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. COURTESY PHOTO, city of Auburn.

Staff, council members and Mayor Nancy Backus welcome into the city’s fleet its first four, all-electric cars during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. COURTESY PHOTO, city of Auburn.

City welcomes four Chevy Bolts, the first step toward an all-electric fleet

Auburn plugging into a cost-effective future

Day in and day out, all-electric vehicles cost much less to run than their gas-powered forebears.

And keeping them going costs a fraction of what the gas-guzzlers cost.

Pretty good reasons for the city of Auburn to start to transition its fleet to all-electric, said Dana Hinman, the city’s chief administrative officer.

Last week, city officials formally welcomed into the fleet four Chevy Bolts as replacements for five, 15 year-old hybrids that had reached the end of their lives.

Elaborating on the savings, Hinman noted that the vehicle cost is about 4 cents per mile compared to a gas vehicle’s 15 cents per mile (22 miles per gallon at $3.50 gallon).

Without an internal combustion engine, a transmission and standard drive axles, Hinman continued, mechanics can keep the Chevy Bolt ship-shape at a fraction of the cost.

And finally, without tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles will help the city reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are excited about going all electric,” Hinman said. “We hope this is the first of many all-electric vehicles to be added to the city of Auburn’s vehicle fleet over the next few years.”

City staff recommended the change at a City Council meeting in May 2018, asserting that doing so would require a charging station. To find it, look behind City Hall, where City Council members used to have several dedicated parking spots.

There are two other pluses about the purchase: the Chevy Bolt has a driving range of 235 miles on a single charge, and can comfortably carry four passengers; and the city was able to get significant federal credit for purchasing them.

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