Electric vehicles deliver environmental boost and cost savings

Posted on Tuesday November 24, 2020

Electric vehicle parked

New City fleet investments aren’t just delivering savings for taxpayers, they are saving the environment.

This fall the City purchased its first fully electric vehicles, three 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EVs. The purchase of the vehicles, which replace the trucks that were utilized by Municipal Works supervisors, comes as the City continues efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change. Having declared a Climate Emergency, the City has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 under its Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan.

In 2018, gasoline and diesel consumption represented 15 per cent of the City’s corporate energy consumption and almost 30 per cent of the City’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions. With a target for future vehicle replacements to be fully electric, whenever operationally possible, the switch to electric vehicles will deliver heavily on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The purchase of three more fully-electric vehicles is planned for December, for use by the City’s Fire Prevention Office.

“The reduction in emissions isn’t the only environmental win for us either,” said Municipal Works Director Darrell Smith, adding, “there is a whole range of waste chemicals avoided through their use, these vehicles don’t need engine coolant, oil, transmission fluid, differential oils and more, all of which need to be replaced and disposed of routinely with combustion-driven vehicle use.”

Beyond the environmental benefits the vehicles also deliver a win for taxpayers when it comes to the City’s operational costs. The average fuel savings for just one of the vehicles per year is $1,927, translating to a total of $19,270 across a 10-year replacement plan for the vehicle.

Maintenance cost are also considerably lower. Other than tire replacement, the new vehicles don’t have the maintenance costs associated with the transmissions, differentials, drivelines and steering components of traditional vehicles.

“Really it’s a win-win, these vehicles meet our operational needs, they are helping us build a greener future, and from a cost perspective they are cheaper to maintain and run,” said Smith.

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines