City of Sioux Falls to be connected to a new vehicle
SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – The city of Sioux Falls is planning to purchase its first electric vehicle.
“We’re not sure of the model, but we know it will be a sedan,” said Holly Meier, the city’s sustainability coordinator.
Meier said the vehicle will likely be a Level II plug-in electric vehicle (EV) that will take a few hours to charge.
The vehicle would be one of several hundred in the state.
The city of Brookings has just signed a purchase agreement for its first plug-in hybrid fleet vehicle, said the city’s public information officer, Chelsie Bakken.
The vehicle is slated to join the Sioux Falls city fleet in early 2022, Meier said.
There are “many reasons” to add an electric vehicle, said Meier.
The auto industry is switching to more electric vehicles, she said. The city can add an EV and be ahead of this shift, said Meier.
Several studies have also shown the maintenance cost savings and environmental savings of electric vehicles, Meier said.
The city of South Sioux City, Nebraska, has benefited from reduced maintenance with its four electric vehicles, said deputy city administrator Oscar Gomez.
The city of 14,000 people bought four electric vehicles seven years ago, Gomez said. It bought an electric motorcycle last year.
“The only thing we’ve really done for a maintenance piece is new tires,” said Gomez. “In terms of maintenance, it’s really a saving.”
“The benefits gained are a committed effort towards more sustainable practices and learning from Environmental impact within our local government as well as greater fuel economy that saves taxpayer costs, ”Bakken said of an electric vehicle in Brookings.
Some details of the Sioux Falls purchase plan were shared by Mark Cotter, the city’s public works director, at the August 3 budget meeting.
“I am very pleased that you are purchasing an electric vehicle,” Councilor Janet Brekke said during the August 3rd session. “For me this is a signal that we are really committed to air quality.”
Brekke said electric vehicles are a way for the city to prevent and / or reduce air pollution.
If the city of Sioux Falls “gets it right,” said Brekke, it could be the only city that never has an air pollution problem.
Meier said studies show that electric vehicles can improve air quality because electric vehicles don’t have the emissions that fossil-fuel cars make.
Several South Sioux City department heads use the vehicles to travel between work or city locations, Gomez said.
The city’s community resource officers are using the vehicles to check for nuisance issues like illegal parking, weeds and the like, Gomez said.
“Our intention is that it will be placed in a department,” said Meier of Sioux Falls.
The city wants the electric vehicle to be used regularly on a daily basis so that costs can be compared to a vehicle with normal fuel consumption, she said.
One question the city is asking about electric vehicles is how they deal with winter.
South Sioux City charges vehicles overnight as a precaution in winter because it doesn’t want a discharged battery during the working day and because very cold temperatures can drain the battery faster, Gomez said.
The charge can take several days in the summer, but in very hot temperatures the charge discharges faster, he said.
Sioux Falls will use a federal tax credit incentive to buy its electric vehicle, Meier said. The incentive helps to lower the cost of the vehicle.
Although the market share of electric vehicles has increased globally, the US owns only 17% of the world’s total inventory of 10.2 million electric vehicles, according to the Pew Research Center, which the International Energy Agency cited.
South Sioux City used a Nebraska State Department of Energy grant to buy its electric vehicles, Gomez said. It is planned to apply for a grant to buy two more vehicles.
Nebraska is one of the most states that has programs to buy electric and hybrid vehicles or to charge electric vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.
The state of Nebraska offers incentives and other entities within the state do so as well. The Omaha Public Power District, the Nebraska Public Power District, and the Southern Public Power District have incentives.
North Dakota, Kentucky and West Virginia do not, according to the National Council.
South Dakota does not have an electric vehicle purchase program for the general public and its vehicle program applies to electric trucks and buses.
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) has not received any applications to buy electric trucks or buses, said Brian Walsh of DANR.
The state has provided Volkswagen trust funds for the electric vehicle infrastructure through the DANR. Applicants can get up to 80% reimbursement for charging stations installed in locations across South Dakota that are open to the public.
There are different charging levels for electric vehicles, ranging from minutes to hours.
Level 1 uses a standard power outlet. Vehicle owners would typically use this type of charge for overnight charging at home. The others vary depending on the time and device.
South Sioux City has a fast charging station that charges in about minutes, Gomez said. This charger can be found at a local grocery store.
The other seven chargers last about four hours, he said.
Drivers pay to use the chargers, Gomez said.
The Brookings Electric Charger is located in the county and city administrative center.
“The electric charging station is used almost every day and often several times a day” said Bakken.
Like South Sioux City, Brookings bills the public for using the charger.
The public parking lot for charging stations is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Bakken said. The price is $ 1 for the first three hours and $ 2 for each additional hour.
The average charging process takes around four hours for most electric vehicles, Bakken said.
Residents pay for their charge using the Chargepoint app or a ChargePass card, Bakken said.
Although South Sioux City plans to request the purchase of two more electric vehicles, Brookings has no immediate plans.
“The City of Brookings is always looking for ways to become a more sustainable community and will consider purchasing more fuel efficient and sustainable vehicles in the future,” Bakken said in an email to KELOLAND News.