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Vancouver boosts electric car fleet 0

MICAHEL MUI, 24 HOURS

Vancouver's title of owning the "greenest fleet" of cars nationwide was trumpeted by Mayor Gregor Robertson Wednesday, who announced the completion of a $364,000 purchase by the city.

Thirteen Mitsubishi i-MiEVs - electric cars with a range of about 150 kilometres - are now expected to patrol the streets for parking enforcement and shuttling materials between workers, among other duties.

They take between 30 minutes to eight hours to charge, depending on each outlet's voltage, and could herald an additional 17 i-MiEVs being considered for purchase next year.

"It proved to be a very useful, very effective and cost efficient vehicle to use in our fleet," Robertson told reporters.

"The operations are so much cheaper when you're not buying the fuel."

The city estimates the new purchases would save $20,800 annually in fuel and maintenance costs. Savings over 17.5 years would offset the initial purchase costs.

"Based on total annualized costs of vehicles . these EVs are essentially equivalent in cost to a similar sized gasoline powered sub-compact car," city spokeswoman Alex Russell said in an email.

Vancouver now owns 61 electric vehicles of various kinds, all part of its plan to become the greenest city worldwide by 2020.

Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation applauded the new purchases as "good stewardship" of city equipment and tax dollars.

"If their numbers line up and they're going to break even or save money over the lifecycle of these vehicles, then kudos to them," he said in a phone interview.

"All the back padding on greenest city, that's all irrelevant to taxpayers. What's important here is whether or not we're going to get value for money."


Email: michael.mui@sunmedia.ca


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