The city of Las Vegas has purchased a Chevrolet Volt electric car as part of a program to test the new, environmentally friendly vehicles for use in the city’s fleet. The car is one of four electric vehicles that the city will purchase by the end of the first quarter of 2012. The city is believed to be the only government agency in the state to test an electric car.
Electric cars recently began hitting the market and are a clean alternative because they don’t rely on gasoline. The Volt is an electric hybrid vehicle, which runs in all electric mode for approximately 30 miles when fully charged. When the Volt's electric range has been used up, a gas engine works with the electric motors to extend the driving range to more than 350 miles. The Volt is typically charged for all trips and uses only minimal amounts of gasoline, resulting in the city currently getting 156 mpg since it has been in use.
The Volt was paid for with federal funding secured by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV), through a Department of Energy grant, and additional city funds as necessary through the Green Building Special Revenue Fund, which receives revenue through utility rebates, energy savings and incremental increases in franchise fees.
In addition to the electric vehicles, the city is also installing electric vehicle charging stations that can be used by the public at facilities around the city.
“We know that electric cars are the wave of the future, so as we’re building new facilities, we’re installing charging stations so drivers can fill the batteries of their car while doing business or recreating at a city facility,” said Sustainability Officer Tom Perrigo. “Thanks to the assistance from Senator Reid and Congresswoman Berkley, we are able to further show our commitment to building a sustainable community for current and future generations.”
The city of Las Vegas has been a leader when it comes to alternative fuel vehicles and sustainability. More than 90 percent of the city’s fleet of more than 1,150 vehicles run on alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen, compressed natural gas, biodiesel and hybrid technology. In 2007, the city’s innovative approach to alternative fuel use was recognized as the winner in the Transportation Category at the World Leadership Awards in London, England.
In 2002 the world’s first hydrogen energy station was built and put into operation at the city’s Northwest Service Center. The city has helped to prove the viability of hydrogen technology, and our successes are now being duplicated across the country.