GOSHEN — The City of Goshen has bought its first electric vehicle in what officials say is an effort to test alternative fuel cars and their impact on both the budget and the environment.
The City’s Central Garage Department purchased a Tesla Model 3 after doing some research.
The $35,000 model has a range of up to 325 miles per charge, giving it some of the the longest range for its pricing, according to the announcement from the city Wednesday.
Carl Gaines, fleet manager at the Central Garage, said his department expects considerable savings on maintenance costs since electric vehicles do not require change in fluids and the car has minimal moving parts.
The long term plan is for the car to be shared among department heads and staff for driving to meetings within the region. A charging station also will be installed outside of City Hall, 202 S. 5th St., which the public can also access.
“Goshen City Council has set a carbon neutrality date, for Goshen City government, of 2035,” Mayor Jeremy Stutsman said in the announcement. “In an effort to work toward that goal, we will continue to move forward with initiatives like upgrading our fleet to electric or hybrid cars wherever it is feasible. Using the data we collect over the next six months of utilizing the electric car, will help guide how we move forward with fleet changes into the future.”
Stutsman currently drives a 2018 Jeep Cherokee, but calculated that switching to the Tesla for official business would save the city about $1,200 on gas every year. It would also keep about 5.4 metric tons of tailpipe emissions out of the air per year.
The city already has a number of Toyota Prius hybrids, which some staff members use by to commute and drive around town. The Police Department is also in talks with the Central Garage about acquiring hybrid vehicles in the near future, according to the announcement.
Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley, head of the city’s new Department of Environmental Resilience, said the growing electric and hybrid fleet will serve as an educational tool to help people learn about the various models of alternate fuel vehicles.
“We want residents to know that choosing an electric vehicle can be reasonably budgeted, and that there are benefits to going electric, aside from lowering greenhouse gas emissions,” he said in the announcement. “Being able to see an electric car up close, knowing how it works and how much they cost can help the public make educated choices if they want to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle.”