AP NEWS

Boulder County Promises Transition to Electric Government Vehicle Fleet

November 14, 2018

Saul Basri charges his electric car at Boulder Nissan on Oct. 23. Boulder County commissioners on Tuesday pledged to the eventual electrification of the county's entire vehicle fleet.

Learn more

For more information about the GoEV campaign visit goevcity.org .

Boulder County commissioners on Tuesday morning pledged to the eventual electrification of county government’s entire fleet of vehicles

A resolution approved by commissioners states that “100 percent of the new light-duty vehicles purchased by the county will be electric vehicles when the technology accommodates the needs of the vehicle use.”

That includes goals that all new sedans the county buys will be electric starting in 2020, all new SUVs will be electric by 2025, and all new pickup trucks will be electric by 2030.

The term “electric vehicles,” as defined in the resolution, can include battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

The resolution approved by Commissioners Elise Jones and Deb Gardner further promises that the county “will transition to medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles and off-road equipment as these vehicles become available in Colorado.”

Commissioner Cindy Domenico was absent.

“It is clear that our transportation system needs to not only be cleaner and more environmentally friendly, but also less costly in regards to maintenance costs,” Jones said in a county news release. “Electrifying our vehicles is a solution that solves these needs and Boulder County is committed to leading this change.”

George Gerstle, county Transportation Department director, said, “We have been working to electrify our county fleet because it saves taxpayer money over the life of the vehicle. Electric vehicles require less maintenance, use less fuel, and are better for the environment.

“As more vehicle models become available, we will be moving towards electrifying our pickup trucks, vans, and heavier equipment. We’ll also be advocating that RTD and other transportation providers, like Lyft and Uber, use electric vehicles,” Gerstle said.

The commissioners pledged Boulder County to be a “GoEV County,” the name of an effort to accelerate transitions to electric vehicles being promoted by a coalition of organizations that include the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, or SWEEP; the Sierra Club; Conservation Colorado, Clean Energy Economy for the Region and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group.

With that vote, Boulder County became “the first local government to join the GoEV Cities and Counties campaign,” according to a separate news release from SWEEP.

Former Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor, SWEEP’s transportation program director, presented information to the commissioners about the GoEV program.

“Electric vehicles are starting to take off in Colorado, which has the fifth highest electric vehicle market share in the country. But, in order to achieve clean air in the Front Range, and meet state goals for reducing dangerous greenhouse gas pollution, we need to turbocharge the adoption of electric vehicles,” Toor said in a statement after Tuesday’s meeting.

“We hope that Boulder County’s bold step forward to be the state’s first GoEV county will inspire many other cities and counties to join in,” Toor said.

The commissioners’ resolution goes beyond a commitment to eventually shift county government to an all-electric fleet. Boulder County will try to work with school districts and other government agencies to do the same, with the resolution stating such goals as:

• Advocating that the Regional Transportation District transition all bus routes within Boulder County to electric buses by 2030.

• Advocating that the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts transition to fully electric school bus fleets by 2040.

• Working with Uber, Lyft and taxicab companies to transition these shared fleet vehicles to fully electric fleets by 2030.

• Working with the entire Boulder County community on programs, policies, incentives and regulatory approaches to transition 30 percent of all vehicles within the county to zero emissions by 2030, and 100 percent of all vehicles by 2050.

Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc

AP RADIO
Update hourly