Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has signed an executive order requiring the city to purchase either electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles for its non-police fleet. It is the first city in the US to enact such a requirement, according to the mayor’s office.
Ballard’s mandate is part of a plan to modernize the entire city fleet to electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2025. The city fleet of about 500 non-police fleet cars will be replaced, as needed, saving about $12,000 per vehicle over the 10-year lifecyle of each car, according to the mayor.
Ballard also proposed two other initiatives aimed at weaning the city off of oil. The city is currently working with non-profit energy industry initiative Energy Systems Network and finance experts to convert its heavy fleet, including snow plows, trash trucks and fire vehicles, to compressed natural gas.
Indianapolis also is looking to partner with one or more automakers to develop a plug-in hybrid police vehicle that meets safety, power, electronic and range needs of a modern urban police force.
If a plug-in hybrid electric car could achieve just 40 miles per gallon and meet the needs of police officers, the city would save up to $100 million per year, according to the mayor’s office. The city’s current police vehicles average 10 mpg.
Earlier this year, Energy Systems Network, Toyota Motor Co. and Duke Energy launched a smart grid pilot project in Indiana. The project aims to equalize power load on the grid and establish an optimized vehicle-charging scheme through a demand response system.
Toyota will provide five Prius plug-in hybrid vehicles for regular use by consumer households supplied by Duke Energy in the Indianapolis area. In addition, a charging station and a home gateway communication system will be installed in each household to allow monitoring and optimization of charging.