Bellevue adds 31 hybrids to its fleet

Thirty-one fuel-efficient vehicles have rolled into the city of Bellevue’s fleet, including Ford Escape, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry hybrids. Also as part of its Environmental Stewardship Initiative, the city will acquire 60 more hybrid and electric vehicles next year, to make 35 percent of its light-duty vehicles fuel-efficient models (hybrids, flexible-fuel and electric).

With 116 fuel-efficient vehicles in its fleet by the end of 2011, the city hopes to save $570,000 in fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,105 metric tons over a 10-year period – an annual savings of 15,500 gallons of gas.

The 31 new vehicles that arrived in July are being fitted with equipment to meet the specialized needs of their departments. Bellevue already had 44 hybrid vehicles, so it now has a total of 75 – 23 percent of its light-duty vehicles.

A portion of the funding for the new fuel-efficient vehicles comes from a $1.29 million federal Department of Energy grant and $185,000 from the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition.

The Department of Energy grant is made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Bellevue is also contemplating an investment in electric vehicle infrastructure to support an expected surge in EV sales toward the end of this year and into 2011.

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