In Newtown, the local health department uses a Chevrolet Bolt to get to restaurant inspections. In New Haven, the mayor zips around the city in a Nissan LEAF. In Middletown, students are ferried to school on an electric bus. And in Westport, the police department is eagerly awaiting the delivery of its second Tesla.
Motivated by public interest in zero-emission vehicles and potential long-term cost savings, a small but growing number of Connecticut towns and cities are incorporating electric vehicles into their municipal fleets. Flush with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, some municipalities say that now is the perfect time to make deep investments in electric-powered vehicles.
“Aside from the fact that it helps to reduce the carbon footprint, it’s good for the next generation coming along, it’s good for the environment — those are all plus things,” said Fred Hurley, Newtown’s director of public works. “But if you want to get very parochial about it, they don’t need servicing like other vehicles do. Their operating costs are much lower.”