The proposed infrastructure project will allow the city to install electric charging stations as the Salem's EV fleet grows.  -  Photo: Kindel Media

The proposed infrastructure project will allow the city to install electric charging stations as the Salem's EV fleet grows.

Photo: Kindel Media

The city of Salem, Oregon, is looking to transition all of the city's fleet to electric vehicles (EV) with a priority emphasis on first replacing gas-powered vehicles.

To move this plan along, the city will be applying for grant funds from the Portland General Electric Make-Ready program. The city council also approved authorizing the use of matching funds from the city.

The addition of EVs to the city’s fleet requires EV charging infrastructure with a projected cost of $357,983. Portland General Electric's “Make-Ready Infrastructure” grant program would fund $185,609 of the total cost. The program requires matching funds of $172,373 from the city and a ten-year energy commitment. 

Salem has already ordered its first EV even though "no significant electric charging infrastructure exists," according to city council documents. The proposed infrastructure project will allow the city to install electric charging stations as Salem's EV fleet grows.

A study conducted by Portland General Electric (PGE) on two city fleet parking locations, proposed infrastructure for twenty level 2 chargers in one location and sixteen level 2 chargers at a second location. This was based on the city purchasing thirty-six electric vehicles over the next five years. Each location would begin with one dual head charger with two charging cords installed at the city’s cost. Additional chargers would be installed as the city acquires new electric vehicles.

The study projects a potential net savings of up to $895,148, compared to conventional gas-powered vehicles.

Total city expenditures for this project, with one dual head charger at each location, is estimated to be $181,374.

The Make-Ready program requires a ten-year agreement to utilize a combined energy commitment total of 662,890 kWh, estimated to cost $61,614. The city’s portion of the project would be funded out of the Fleet Services operating budget.

Construction completion for the infrastructure is currently projected for early 2024.

See how other cities are expanding their EV charging capabilities
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