Cobb County, Ga., has leased 16 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles (EVs), a move that is expected to save the county approximately $246,000 over gasoline-powered vehicles and displace more than 1 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions, Cobb County Fleet Management announced. The savings is expected from fuel cost reduction, maintenance and repair cost reduction, and the leasing contract.
The city is leasing the vehicles for $259 each per month but has opted to pay the entire lease up front. The county chose to lease due to tax credit incentives and the flexibility of leasing, said Al Curtis, fleet management director. After the three-year lease term ends, the county plans to continue leasing electric vehicles.
County departments now offer 16 zero-emission, plug-in cars to the tax assessor, senior services, juvenile court, property management, and the tax commissioner office. These vehicles utilize the newly installed county charging stations; in the event there are no county stations available, each Leaf has a charge card furnished by Nissan that provides no-cost charging for the term of the lease when a county site is unavailable.
The 16 Nissan Leafs are a part of a pilot program to see how electric vehicles will integrate into the use patterns of county employees. Cobb County will evaluate the performance and fit of these vehicles over the term of the lease and deploy more if the results are favorable. The vehicles were delivered in March, and he said the county plans to add an additional 10 Leafs to the fleet in 2016.
Fleet management hosted a ride-and-drive for the user departments to allow first-time EV drivers to drive the cars and give feedback and ask questions. A representative from the Nissan dealership was also present to offer clarifications to the more technical questions.
The Leaf’s average driving range is approximately 70 miles per charge.