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The County’s Great Green Fleet will deploy 16 alternative fuel vehicles by the end of FY 2017

As part of Montgomery County’s commitment to achieving energy efficiency, the County announced it has purchased 16 new Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles (EV) – at a cost of $622,254.40 – that will be used by the Montgomery County Department of General Services (DGS) and other agencies for miscellaneous purposes. The announcement was made May 6, at the third annual Montgomery County GreenFest celebration, at Bohrer Park in the City of Gaithersburg.

During the County’s GreenFest celebration, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett revealed the County’s first Chevrolet Bolt EV, the first production EV with more than 200 miles of range.

“I am committed to modernizing this government while lowering our carbon footprint,” said Leggett. “I want to modernize the buildings, equipment, vehicles, and other resources available to the men and women who serve this County every day. What we are showing today is an important step in a larger effort to expand the County fleet of alternatively fueled vehicles and equipment over the next several years.”

The Chevrolet Bolt is a 100%, electric-powered vehicle that utilizes energy stored in a lithium-ion battery pack produced by LG Chem. These 16 new Bolts are replacing 15 Chevrolet Cavaliers and Cobalts, and a Toyota Prius that are all being retired from service to the County.

“The replacement of 16 gasoline-fueled vehicles with Chevy Bolt electric vehicles in the Montgomery County fleet is another example of the County’s commitment to sustainability and leadership among local governments, “said DGS Director David Dise. “These electric vehicles reinforce General Services’ ongoing plan to reduce environmental impact by maximizing the use of low and no emission vehicles, while significantly lowering maintenance costs. This purchase is evidence of our plan to increase the use of electric vehicles and expand charging stations at County buildings.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy EVs, which run on electricity only, have several advantages over conventional vehicles. EVs convert 59% – 62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert 17% – 21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels. They are more environmentally friendly than fossil-fuel vehicles as they emit no tailpipe pollutants; and EVs provide quiet, smooth operation and stronger acceleration and require less maintenance that internal combustion engines.

A number of State and Federal incentives are available to encourage the expansion of the U.S. fleet among consumers and commercial buyers, as well as to further develop the nation’s charging station infrastructure.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Bolt EV has achieved an EPA Certified SmartWay Elite status with a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) rating of 10, and, with no tailpipe emissions, a minimum smog rating of “10,” where a vehicle with a “1” produces the most emissions; and a “10” produces no emissions. By comparison, a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, being replaced by a new Bolt EV, has a GHG Rating of 7, which translates to 274 – 312 grams/mile of carbon dioxide emitted from the tailpipe. The vehicles being replaced by the Bolt EVs traveled approximately 1,300,000 miles. At an average of 293 grams/mile of carbon dioxide, that amounts to about 420 tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the County’s air by 15 gasoline-burning automobiles since 2002.

The vehicles being replaced used approximately 56,900 gallons lifetime, at a cost of $133,000. The 2002 Cavalier traveled, on average, about 230 miles on a tank of fuel. The Bolt EV uses no gasoline, and can travel an EPA-estimated 238 miles on a full electric charge.

With these 16 Bolts, the County will have a total of 243 electric and gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles with 29 charging stations throughout the County. DGS also installed idle-reduction software on 35 additional vehicles and has realized a 5 percent increase in fuel economy on those vehicles.

Click here for more information on the Chevrolet Bolt EV.