St. Paul Adds All-Electric Vehicles to Fleet
St. Paul is one of the first cities in the United States to add all-electric vehicles to its fleet-thanks in part to Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, Inc.
On Tuesday, City of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman unveiled three new Ford Transit Connect vehicles purchased with both federal and local funds. The vehicles are expected to reduce the city's carbon emissions by 3.5 tons and save an estimated $1,300 per vehicle each year on fuel costs.
The vehicles and charging stations are being paid for through a variety of sources-including $286,000 in federal stimulus money, $60,000 from the City of St. Paul, and $60,000 from Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, Inc.'s Chairman's Fund. Xcel Energy is helping to fund the vehicles for several municipalities, government agencies, and businesses committed to buying them and demonstrating their clean-energy technology.
Xcel worked with Oak Park, Michigan-based Azure Dynamics Corporation, which develops proprietary electric drive technology, to make the vehicles available in Minnesota, according to the City of St. Paul.
In conjunction with the announcement about the electric vehicles, Drive Electric Minnesota-a partnership consisting of various government, business, and nonprofit entities-said that it plans to install 30 plug-in charging stations throughout the Twin Cities metro area, four to six of which will be solar-powered. The stations will be available for public use, and many will be located along the proposed Central Corridor light-rail route connecting the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul via University Avenue. The stations will be located in ramps, on flat lots, and at on-street locations.
According to the City of St. Paul a gasoline-powered model of the Transit Connect vehicle is estimated to generate $10,000 in fuel costs over a six-year period. By contrast, the Transit Connect model's electricity costs over that period are estimated at $2,600.
“With the arrival of the electric vehicle in St. Paul, we are paving the way for a greener future,” Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement. “As a national leader in sustainability, we will continue to lay the infrastructure for electric vehicles across the metro, ensuring that cleaner vehicles are a viable option for all residents.”