First and foremost, the city of Atlanta is adding a free, publicly accessible plug-in vehicle charging station near City Hall. Why? Because the city is looking to spend as much as $2.7 million in tax dollars to support its new battery-electric vehicle-sharing program.

The city has announced that it will lease 15 battery-electric vehicles and 35 plug-in hybrid vehicles through Vision Fleet Inc. The vehicle-sharing program is being run through Atlanta's Office of Sustainability. Atlanta is partnering with Georgia Power Co., Clean Cities Georgia and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE).

One reason for the new EV car sharing fleet is because Atlanta is looking to cut its city government's vehicle emissions by 20 percent by the end of the decade and says each shared vehicle can reduce fuel use by as much as 600 gallons a year. The leases could run for eight years (including extension options) and will be worth as much as that aforementioned $2.7 million.

Vision Fleet is also working with the city of Indianapolis on its own municipal plug-in vehicle-sharing program (different than BlueIndy), which kicked off earlier this year and is slated to grow next year. The Indy program put 195 vehicles to use in July and will include 425 vehicles by early 2016. The fleet replaces vehicles that were said to get an average of 17 miles per gallon (eesh!), so the city should see some substantial emissions reduction. You can take a look at the city of Atlanta's press release below.

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City of Atlanta sets National Example by Launching Electric Vehicle Fleet Program

City fleet to include 50 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today it will deploy one of the largest municipal fleets of electric vehicles in the United States by the end of 2015 under legislation approved this week by the Atlanta City Council. The measure is part of Mayor Kasim Reed's agenda to ensure that Atlanta is one of the nation's leading cities for sustainability, and will reduce the city's dependence on fossil fuels while saving taxpayers thousands of dollars per year.

The new fleet deployment complements the existing efforts of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability to support electric vehicles such as the recent installation of the first public charging station on Mitchell Street near Atlanta City Hall. The charging station is free and open to the public.

"Replacing our current cars with clean-fueled vehicles, powered by cutting-edge technology, is a historic step for the City of Atlanta," said Mayor Reed. "The program is yet another example of how we are fully invested in making Atlanta a healthier and more prosperous city."

Spearheaded by the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, the new vehicle fleet program is aligned with the City's Power to Change Plan which seeks to reduce vehicle emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020.

"This is the start of a long-term program to develop policies and programs that will encourage employees, residents and businesses to consider using electric vehicles," said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. "We are grateful to our partners who helped with the passage of this program, including the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Clean Cities Georgia, NRG eVgo and Georgia Power's Electric Transportation Team."

In partnership with Vision Fleet, a plug-in vehicle fleet company, the City of Atlanta developed an innovative financing structure that bundles together all the expenses of purchasing, fueling and maintaining the electric vehicles into a guaranteed rate that is a lower cost than conventional vehicles. Additionally, Vision Fleet will utilize its comprehensive suite of technology, data analytics, and provide operational support designed specifically for reducing the cost of ownership of alternative fuel vehicles.

The City of Atlanta fleet vehicles will include 100 percent electric models, such as the Nissan LEAF, as well as plug-in hybrid models like the Chevrolet Volt and the Ford Fusion Energi. Cars will be distributed throughout the city's fleet based on the needs of each department.

"This project will have enormous impacts on fuel consumption and fleet service costs," said Vision Fleet CEO Michael Brylawski. "For example, each of the 50 electric vehicles deployed will save at least 550-600 gallons of gas annually. In addition, fuel costs for the new electric vehicles will be about one-third of the old gas vehicles costs, and maintenance will be reduced by approximately 40 percent."
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed


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