The Town of Huntsville is considering adding electric vehicles to its fleet, but not until more suitable options are available.
Town staff were asked by members of council to prepare a report regarding options for using electric vehicles within the municipal fleet.
In a report shared with Huntsville’s Operations and Protective Services Committee at its Jan. 29, 2020 meeting, Chris Allen, the Town’s yard and fleet administrator, noted that in the current fleet program a vehicle is used for administrative purposes for the first five years of its 10-year life cycle before moving into the Town’s fleet of work vehicles. Because of that dual purpose, the Town often purchases pickup trucks.
The only all-electric pickup truck currently in development is Tesla’s Cybertruck; other companies have models in the works which are expected to reach the marketplace in 2021.
In addition to the lack of currently available options, the report noted that challenges that should be considered by the Town include the availability of charging locations and service locations, reduced battery life in cold climates, and the higher purchase cost of electric vehicles.
“It is anticipated that over the next 3-5 years, all of these challenges will be lessened due to demand, market exposure, competition, etc.,” noted the staff report. “In an attempt to ensure that the Town of Huntsville is being environmentally responsible when procuring new vehicles, we do ask for specifications on fuel economy as part of the tendering process as well as any ECO options.”
Staff will continue to monitor the availability and compatibility of electric vehicles for future consideration in the municipal fleet.
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