Encinitas to upgrade city fleet with environmentally friendly vehicles

ENCINITAS — Encinitas is moving forward aggressively to convert its vehicle fleet to more environmentally friendly cars and trucks.

The City Council on March 14 approved several recommendations that establish a plan for converting vehicles from gasoline and diesel to electrically powered or alternative-fuel vehicles, authorizes the purchase of several new hybrid or electric vehicles this year, authorizes an agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric to install 10 EV charging stations at the public works yard and upgrades the existing charging stations at City Hall and OKs a donation of two beach cruiser bicycles for use by city lifeguards.

Encinitas has been one of the leaders countywide in combating climate change and takings steps to reduce greenhouse gases. The recommendations approved on Wednesday were part of the city’s ambitious climate action plan approved in January that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 41 percent in 2030.

The priciest of the recommendations was the purchase of the seven new fleet vehicles to replace their counterparts in the parks and recreation, public works, fire and marine safety departments.

The city approved replacing a Ford Ranger in the parks department with a Ford 150 truck with a plug-in hybrid conversion kit, a Ford Windstar van, Ford Escape hybrid and a Ford F-350 unleaded truck in public works with a Chrysler Pacifica hybrid, Ford Focus electric version and a F-350 diesel truck, respectively.

Several of the vehicles didn’t have electric or hybrid counterparts, but officials opted for more efficient models, and in the case of the two Ford Ranger pickups used by the Marine Safety department, the city replaced them with Toyota Tacoma trucks because they have a wider viewshed.

The city will purchase the vehicles from National Joint Powers Alliance, a National City contracting agency that leverages the buying power of its member agency to get lower costs and a streamlined purchasing process, for no more than $295,000 and up-fit costs of no more than $180,000.

The council’s vote also authorized City Manager Karen Brust to enter into a license agreement with SDG&E to install 10 EV charging stations at the public works yard at a cost of $6,300 to the city, and to upgrade the three charging stations at city hall at a cost of $5,500, for a total of $11,800.

Finally, the City Council also accepted a donation of two beach cruiser bicycles from locally based Electra Bicycle Company that will be used by the Marine Safety department to transport lifeguards and supplies to remote lifeguard towers for non-emergencies. The bicycles were valued at $1,840.

This story has been corrected to reflect the correct cost of the EV charging stations at the public works yard, which originally was reported as $11,800. It is $6,300. 

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