Mayor Coleman Unveils City’s Electric Vehicle

Mayor Coleman Unveils City’s New Electric Vehicle

SAINT PAUL – As gas prices rise to the highest level since 2008, Mayor Coleman unveiled the newest addition to Saint Paul’s vehicle fleet, the all electric Ford Transit Connect. With three electric vehicles coming to Saint Paul, the City will reduce its carbon emissions by 3.5 tons and save an estimated $1,300 per vehicle each year on gasoline. Today, Saint Paul received the first of eight vehicles made available in Minnesota by Xcel Energy through the Azure Dynamics Corp. “Lead Customer” Program. Xcel Energy is helping to fund the vehicles for a number of municipalities, government agencies and businesses that committed to purchasing the vehicles and demonstrating this clean energy technology. The event was hosted by Drive Electric Minnesota, a partnership of local and state government, Xcel Energy, private business and nonprofit groups working together to bring electric vehicles and plug-in charging infrastructure to Minnesota. Standing in the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Mayor Coleman was joined by Governor Dayton, Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Mayor R.T. Rybak as well as representatives from Xcel Energy, Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics. “With the arrival of the electric vehicle in Saint Paul, we are paving the way for a greener future. 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,” Mayor Coleman said. “I salute Mayor Coleman for his outstanding leadership in bringing this exciting initiative to St. Paul,” Governor Dayton said. Currently, more than a third of all Minnesota’s air pollutant emissions come from cars and trucks. Electric vehicles produce zero emissions from the tailpipe, improving air quality and lessening the negative health risks associated with air pollution. Also, with a more efficient motor than a combustion engine, electric vehicles are less expensive to operate, costing only two to three cents per mile for electricity to power. For the Transit Connect, the fuel costs over six years for the gasoline powered model are estimated to be almost $10,000 compared to $2,600 in electricity costs to power the electric model, a savings of $7,400 per vehicle. “Investments in clean energy technology like Saint Paul’s electric vehicle project are clearly the right thing to do for the air we breathe, but they’re also the right thing to do for our bottom line. Cleaner air and costs savings add up to a win-win for taxpayers,” Congresswoman Betty McCollum said. "Ford's Transit Connect Electric is an ideal choice that will help Saint Paul on its road to become a greener city,” said Mary Culler, Ford's Government Affairs Director. “We believe collaboration between utilities like Xcel Energy, municipalities like Saint Paul and automakers like Ford is critical to accelerating acceptance of electrified vehicles to reduce emissions and increase energy security." “We are excited to support this program that allows our key partners and communities to be among the first in the nation to experience and promote this new technology,” said Judy Poferl, president and CEO Northern States Power Co.- Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “Everyday use of these vehicles will also help us better understand the impact of the technology on our system and how we can prepare to serve a large EV market in the future.” Drive Electric Minnesota is also in the process of installing 30 charging stations throughout the metro area in ramps, flat lots and on-street locations. Four to six of these public charging stations will be solar powered. Many of these plug-in charging stations will be located in the Energy Innovation Corridor adjacent to the light rail line that will connect the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. “Minneapolis is excited to be a partner of Drive Electric Minnesota, joining a private and public partnership that is making critical early investments to advance electric vehicle capacity in the metro to grow clean energy jobs and build the clean energy sector. Soon owners of electric vehicles will be able to visit Minneapolis, Saint Paul or the airport in confidence that they will have the infrastructure in place to make their visit productive and enjoyable,” Mayor R.T. Rybak said. The City is leveraging $286,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for the electric vehicles and charging stations. In addition, Xcel Energy’s Chairman’s Fund and the City will each contribute $60,000 toward the purchase of the Saint Paul vehicles. ###