Gov. Peter Shumlin, attending a Drive Electric Vermont celebration of electric vehicles in Vermont, today announced that the State Fleet program will launch a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle to further Vermont's goals to reduce reliance on gasoline and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The electric sedan -- a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid -- was plugged in today at a new charging station located near the State House on Governor Aiken Avenue.
"Supporting electric-drive transportation in Vermont helps our environment by reducing greenhouse gases, increases our smart transportation choices, and provides an important boost to the state's economy by saving money on gas, keeping dollars that would have been spent on imported oil right here in Vermont," the Governor said.
This newly installed electric charging station is capable of charging two electric plug-in vehicles simultaneously. While one space will be reserved for the Fleet vehicle, the other space is available for public use. By making public charging stations convenient for residents and using plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the State Fleet, Vermont continues to lead the way and expand its commitment to the environment while reducing the cost of operating state vehicles. Electric vehicles can charge at any conventional electric outlet, but public charging stations enable a quick and convenient way to recharge during the day.
According to Drive Electric Vermont, there are already nearly 250 electric vehicles registered in the state, which represents an almost threefold increase since Vermont first started keeping track just nine months ago. There are also 18 public charging stations operational in Vermont, with seven more slated to come online in the next six months, and many more in the planning stages.
"Vermonters can be really proud of the leadership Governor Shumlin and his partners in the Legislature are showing on electric vehicles," said Karen Glitman of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, lead partner in the Drive Electric Vermont effort. "Homes and businesses in our state could save hundreds of millions of dollars annually through the reduced cost, and more efficient use, of energy for powering their travel."
The new electric plug-in hybrid sedan will be available in Montpelier for State business travel through the Department of Buildings & General Services Fleet Management Services (FMS) motor pool program. FMS will assign the vehicle to employees based on their travel destination in order to best utilize the vehicle's electric range capabilities while concurrently limiting its fuel consumption.
This pilot vehicle investment will allow the State Fleet to collect real-time data of vehicle life-cycle cost, fuel consumption, tailpipe emission reductions and overall vehicle performance. This is the first step to incorporating electric vehicle and charging infrastructure into the State Fleet in an effort to create a sustainable transportation system by reducing Vermont's reliance on imported petroleum and by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Drive Electric Vermont is a project of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation in partnership with the State of Vermont, Project Get Ready, and a broad array of stakeholders advancing electric vehicle technology. For more information, please visit driveelectricvt.com.