Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced an expansion of Chicago’s commitment to green vehicles for its own fleet, including plans to add 20 electric vehicles to the fleet in the coming years.
“The City of Chicago is committed to an environment in which energy efficient vehicles are the norm, not the exception, and we are honoring that commitment with our own fleet,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By purchasing various types of all-electric vehicles for our fleet, the City of Chicago is maintaining its position as a leader in the use of alternative fuel vehicles while evaluating new ways of providing high-quality services more cost-effectively. This will save taxpayers money by reducing the reliance on diesel fuel and promote a cleaner, more efficient city.”
The announcement comes at the tail end of a week in which the City has made several announcements regarding electric vehicles and batteries. On Tuesday, Mayor Emanuel announced an incentive program using federal funds to facilitate fleet conversion ($15M). On Wednesday, Mayor Emanuel announced that Smith Electric will open a factory in Chicago to build electric trucks, that will create 200 jobs. On Thursday, Mayor Emanuel announced a new procurement strategy to encourage companies to “green” their fleets.
Then, Friday morning, the Department of Energy announced $120 million in funding to Argonne National Laboratory, just outside of Chicago, to build a battery and energy storage research hub. This is a major announcement that will dramatically transform the way that electric batteries are researched and constructed in the United States, and one on which Mayor Emanuel was directly focused, particularly relative to the element of the application in which the private sector will work directly with the Hub throughout the process.
“My goal is to make Chicago the epicenter of the electric vehicles and batteries industry,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am committed to every phase of this industry, from the research to the construction of vehicles to the presence of vehicles on our streets.”
The City of Chicago has purchased, entered into contracts, or begun the procurement process for the following all-electric vehicles:
The City’s purchase of these all-electric vehicles fits directly with the City’s on-going efforts to buy green fleet alternatives. The City currently has more than 2,200 green alternatives in its fleet, including flex-fuel, hybrid, and compressed natural gas vehicles.
The growth of green vehicles in the City’s fleet falls in line directly with goals laid out in the Mayor’s environmental plan for the City, which calls for the city to increase by three percent annually its share of green alternatives in its on-road vehicle fleets. The City is on track to exceed this goal in 2013, continuing to improve on the 31 percent share of green alternative vehicles in the City’s on-road fleet.