The vehicles were purchased at a cost of $315,737. Approximately $220,000 was allocated from the General Fund and the remaining $95,000 was allocated from the French Quarter Improvement Fund (FQIF). The three vehicles purchased from the FQIF will exclusively be used in the French Quarter for the Supplemental Police Patrol Program, according to a press release.
Citywide Effort to Curb Emissions
“The purchasing and arrival of these electric vehicles is a major win for our city in our efforts to become more sustainable and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “This also directly aligns with our goal to fully transition to only purchasing no-emission vehicles for our city’s fleet by 2025. Electric vehicles require less upkeep, which will ease the burden on our Equipment Maintenance Division, as well as save the City thousands of dollars over time. The investments we make now and over the next five years will pay dividends for the next 50 in terms of making our city greener, more resilient and more equitable overall.”
In 2019, the city joined the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative, a group that helps cities negotiate lower vehicle prices, to more easily procure EVs. These are the first EVs to enter the city's fleet since the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, chaired by Councilmember Helena Moreno, passed an ordinance last year that states the city must lease or purchase low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles in 2023 and exclusively purchase EVs or other no-emission passenger vehicles by 2025.
“As we said when we passed the clean fleets law last year, a zero-emissions city fleet isn’t just good for the climate, it’s also good for the city’s budget,” Councilmember Moreno said. “Clean vehicles are cheaper to fuel, cheaper to operate and require less maintenance downtime. We’re encouraged to see the City following through on our shared commitment to a cleaner, more efficient New Orleans.”
The city noted several benefits to using EVs, like lowering fossil fuel emissions, which leads to better air quality for residents. They are also more cost effective, requiring less maintenance and saving money in the long run. City officials anticipate 75% of the city's fleet to be low or no-emission vehicles by 2035.
The city council provided the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) and Office of Resilience and Sustainability (ORS) with $200,000 in funding in the 2023 budget to complete a citywide EV strategic plan. ORS is looking to bring on a FUSE fellow to manage the plan, with an anticipated start date in May 2023.
"This purchase is an important first step towards a cleaner, greener local government,” ORS Deputy Chief Resilience Officer Greg Nichols said. “Decarbonizing our city-owned fleet is a major goal of our new Climate Action Plan, which outlines our city's path to a net-zero carbon future. The Office of Resilience and Sustainability is excited to help lead the fleet transition, especially now with an unprecedented amount of federal investments in renewable energy and electrified transportation options."
The EVs will be distributed to the following departments:
- Three vehicles to the New Orleans Police Department.
- Two vehicles to the Department of Safety & Permits.
- One vehicle to the Historic District Landmarks Commission.
- One vehicle to the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board.
- One vehicle to the Department of Code Enforcement.
- One vehicle to the Office of Resilience and Sustainability.
- One vehicle to the Department of Parks and Parkways.