Going Green City-Wide in Fort Collins, Colorado

February 13, 2015

44238099001_4028682761001_video-still-for-video-4028843547001The municipalities of Northern Colorado could financially benefit from electric and hybrid car technology. This could be the case if such municipalities are patient enough to reap the savings the technology brings. Although it is initially costly to purchase green vehicles, cities such as Fort Collins have claimed that this cost is eventually worth the payoff. Hybrid car’s on average cost between $3,000 and $4,000 more compared to a gasoline-fueled counterpart. An electric car may cost between $5,000 and $7,000 more. These figures were given by the Fort Collins Operation Services’ Assistant Director, Tracy Ochsner.

Electric and hybrid cars make just more than 5% of the street-legal fleet in Fort Collins. Based on lifetime costs of the vehicle, a Ford Fusion bought in 2012 by Fort Collins will be cheaper than its gasoline fueled counterpart bought by the city in the same year by $11, 460. A Nissan Leaf bought in 2013 by the same city will result to projected savings of $21,625 over the gasoline fueled Ford Fusion. Because of the mentioned savings, Ochsner noted that when the city plans to replace a city vehicle it considers an electric, hybrid or other fuel cars. Fort Collins government started buying hybrid cars in 2000 and currently, there are 37 hybrid cars. The city started buying electric vehicles in 2013 and currently owns seven.

Ochsner said that the city is always in search of vehicles that are fuel-efficient and that operate efficiently. In this way, money will not only be saved on fuel, but the city will depend less on foreign fuel. Emissions are completely eliminated or greatly reduced. The major goal of the city is minimizing greenhouse gases. Fuel-efficient cars can achieve this goal of minimizing greenhouse gases. There are seven fleet-specific charging spots in Fort Collins city. Three more charging stations will be put up this year. Another notable fact about the city is that all its cars are run to approximately 90,000 miles prior to putting them up for sale in an auction. A gasoline fueled car lasts 7 to 8 years in the city while a hybrid car lasts ten to twelve years. Electric cars last ten to fifteen years, partly because of battery limitations associated with an electric car’s mileage. Ochsner added that the city plans on buying more hybrid cars as there are many vehicles that need replacements. As battery ranges increase the distances covered in travel, additional pure-electric cars will be bought. Many of the hybrid and electric cars in question are for in-town and daily tasks.

 

 

 

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