City of New Westminster to purchase electric vehicle

A city-owned electric vehicle (EV) could soon be hitting the streets of New Westminster.

On Monday, council approved the purchase of an electric vehicle for the city's light duty fleet that will cost cost between $33,000 and $50,000. A staff report to council said the city would seek provincial funds of up to $5,000 to help reduce the cost.

Council also gave staff the green light to apply for other provincial funding for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at city facilities.

"It's a good way to go. We need to start looking at alternatives," said Coun. Chuck Puchmayr.

The report said the cost of electric vehicles comes at a premium compared to gas-powered cars or hybrids, but other local governments have gone ahead with purchasing them.

The average cost of installing charging stations is $8,000, said the report, with potential sites being City Hall, the city works yard and the Downtown parkade. The city hopes to get $12,000 from the province to help with the installations.

"Incorporating electric vehicles into the city's fleet and providing initial charging stations within the city will help to put New Westmisnter alongside other leading municipalities in preparing for the B.C.-wide deployment of electric vehicles," said the report written by city environment coordinator Jennifer Lukianchuk. "The goal is that the presence of initial EVs and charging stations will inspire residents and local businesses to switch to cleaner emission vehicles."

Lukianchuk said it will be up to the city's fleet manager to chose which electric vehicle on the market to buy.

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