Tuesday, November 25, 2008
url: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/news/20081124ElecCarFleet.asp The City of Minneapolis has taken the expansion of its green vehicle fleet to a new level, by adding two new 100-percent electric cars. The cars are charged by plugging them into an outlet, and they require no additional fuel. The electric cars will be used by Regulatory Services inspectors in their work around town, and will travel up to 25 miles per hour on city streets. They are the latest additions to the existing Minneapolis Green Fleet, which includes one converted plug-in hybrid, 50 hybrids, 238 E-85 vehicles and 10 clean diesel vehicles. One of the new electric vehicles is an e-ride EXV4 manufactured in Princeton, MN. The other is a ZENN (zero emissions no noise), made in France and retrofitted with an electric motor and batteries in Canada. The estimated five-year cost for a ZENN and fuel is $19,000. For comparison, a Ford Taurus costs $33,515 and a Chevy Cobalt costs $25,290 for five years (assuming 10,000 miles per year at $3.50 per gallon for fuel). The vehicles have a range of 20 to 35 miles on a full charge. A full charge takes an estimated 7 kWh of electricity, which costs just $0.56. The electric engine uses alternating current (AC). Electric motors require very little maintenance – no oil changes, no filters to replace, no radiator to fix and no tune-ups. Electricity is more efficiently produced than burning gasoline, has fewer pollution emissions and can come from a variety of low- or no-emissions sources (wind, nuclear, solar). The CO2 release per mile for an electric car is less than half that of a gas car that gets 25 mpg. In June 2008, the City of Minneapolis approved new limits on vehicle idling that aim to reduce air pollution in the city. The new ordinance limits most vehicle idling to three minutes, except in traffic. Reducing vehicle idling in Minneapolis translates into less air pollution, protecting the public health and the environment and saving money in fuel. Vehicle motors release particulate matter, dirt, nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the air.