-  File photo

File photo

The Spokane (Washington) Fleet Services Department is funding the charging infrastructure needed as it transitions to electric vehicles (EVs) through a fuel surcharge. The city council approved the move at a recent meeting, according to its website. The surcharge will support Spokane's Green Fleet Implementation Plan, which requires the city to replace all of its vehicles with electric models or other clean fuel vehicles by 2030. 

The surcharge, which took effect on March 1, establishes an added charge of 34 cents per gallon of unleaded fuel, and 46 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. The total per gallon charge will be calculated to be no greater than the difference between the average local retail fuel prices and the gas and diesel charges of Fleet Services, including markup and applicable taxes. That's meant to ensure city-supplied fuel prices remain below the prices charged at retail gas stations.

The Green Fleet Implementation Plan, created by Frontier Energy, estimates the minimum requirement for the installation of the EV service equipment (EVSE) will be $1.26 million over the next five years. The surcharge is estimated to yield just over that and will be placed into a reserve account to be used on charging stations. The charging stations will be available for both government vehicles and for members of the public.

State law requires that all local government agencies use electricity and biofuel for their fleet vehicles "to the extent determined practicable," with some exemptions. A 2018 report suggested that many agencies were not in compliance.

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