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Town of Blackfalds looking at electric vehicles

Blackfalds looking at replacing two vehicles with electric versions

Another central Alberta community is going electric.

Town of Blackfalds plans to replace two of its vehicles with electric vehicles. A vehicle used by Municipal Enforcement is to be replaced with an electric version, as well as an administration vehicle.

Town staff undertook “extensive research” into the suitability of going electric with its Municipal Enforcement department, says background information provided for the 2023 capital budget.

“Distances driven daily are ideal for an EV (electric vehicle). The cost of ownership over the life of the vehicle is considerably less with the current gas prices, oil changes and general maintenance than that of a gas-powered vehicle.”

The town will be able to tap $19,000 worth of government grants to offset some of the cost and a local vehicle dealership has expressed interest in sponsoring the administration vehicle. Adding in the amount the town hopes to get from selling its existing vehicles, $54,500 can be put towards the $144,500 budget for the vehicles.

Charging stations for electric vehicles are also planned, with a federal grant program covering $48,000 of the $104,000 cost.

Blackfalds Mayor Jamie Hoover would not be surprised to see more municipalities adding electric vehicles to their fleets.

“I think municipal vehicles in particular are well-suited for that,” he said, noting they are usually used only during the day before being parked for the night and generally travel short distances.

Hoover said he has long advocated replacing some of the town’s fleet with electric vehicles. The federal and provincial grants make the timing right.

He expects the move to electric will go over well in the community. “I think there’s going to be some residents who value that we’re trying to be green.”

A rest for proposals for electric vehicles will be going out. Council will then vote on whether to accept bids and go ahead with the project.

Red Deer County recently announced it was adding an electric vehicle to its fleet and building a pair of charging stations with the help of provincial and federal grants.

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