The City of New Bedford, Mass., has replaced 10 of its passenger vehicles with Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (EVs), the city announced. This represents 14% of the cars in the municipal passenger fleet of 70 vehicles.
With financial assistance from the state, the leases on the vehicles cost the city only $73 per vehicle per month. The $26,150 total cost of leasing the 10 EVs is much less expensive than purchasing or leasing conventional vehicles, according to a city release. When the three-year lease term expires, the city intends to continue its commitment to EVs.
Financial incentives come from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program and the state Department Energy Resources.
This move will allow the city to retire 10 older models purchased in the early- and mid-1990s that have exceeded their useful life.
Fuel savings from conversion to 10 EVs are estimated at $10,202 annually based on 12,000 miles driven per vehicle and gasoline prices at $2.75 per gallon. Environmental benefits from the 10 LEAFs include a decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and smog-forming emissions; 110 barrels of oil saved annually; and reduction of approximately 114,700 lbs. of carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere annually. Maintenance needs are expected to be lower.
City Health Department inspectors will use the vehicles. The cars achieve the equivalent of 126 miles per gallon on city roads and have a driving range of 84 miles.
The city is also expanding the number of electric car charging stations to 17 total stations.
Officials believe the city has more EVs in its passenger car fleet than any other municipality in the state.
“What is not to love about a move that saves money, modernizes an aging city fleet, and is good for the environment," said Mayor John Mitchell. "When we set out to modernize and professionalize city government four years ago, we knew there were great opportunities if we just found the right partners and developed a good team that could get the job done."