Green Fleet

Eugene Water & Electric Board Adds All-Electric Transit Connect to Fleet

September 02, 2011

EWEB expects to save money in the long run by purchasing the all-electric Ford Transit Connect.
EWEB expects to save money in the long run by purchasing the all-electric Ford Transit Connect.

EUGENE, OR - The Eugene Water & Electric Board added an all-electric Ford Transit Connect van to its fleet to be used for courier services. The old courier van was due for replacement and Fleet Supervisor Gary Lentsch determined this was the best fit for an electric van due to the consistent and relatively high miles the vehicle is driven daily. The estimated electric cost per mile is just 3.2 cents, as opposed to 36.8 cents per mile for gasoline.

"In the anticipated 10-year life expectancy of the van, we expect to save money by purchasing this type of alternative transportation," Lentsch explained. "Plus, we will save 9,200 gallons of fossil fuel and 77.6 metric tons of CO2 emissions."

EWEB's in-house designers created eye-catching graphics for the van, which made its public debut as part of EWEB's centennial-themed entry at the Eugene Celebration parade.

The vehicle will be charged with a Level 2 charging unit that has capability of charging two vehicles at the same time. The vehicle was paid for through EWEB's vehicle replacement funds, and Lentsch said he anticipates the all-electric Transit Connect to be "maintenance-free for several years to come." He added that he anticipated purchasing more units like this over the next several years.

EWEB is also planning to install public EV charging stations in the future. Eugene is one of the cities involved in the U.S. Department of Energy's EV Project, a mass deployment of electric vehicles and charging stations.

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