Los Angeles is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint, and a new city-operated fleet of electric vehicles is going to help it do so. Mayor Eric Garcetti has just announced his intentions to lease 160 pure battery EVs — a move that would position LA as proud owner of the largest electric fleet in the nation.

128 hybrid plug-ins will also be leased as part of the mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn, the LA Times reports. “When we laid out our sustainable city plan ... we promised that 50% of new city fleet vehicles purchased each year would be EV by 2017,” Garcetti said at a news conference Friday outside the LAPD headquarters. “Now we’re fulfilling that promise ahead of schedule.

The EVs will be divvied amongst the fire, police and general services departments and the Department of Water and Power, while the DWP and General Services Department will lease the hybrids, the LA Times reports. But the big winner today is the LAPD, which will not only receive the lion’s share of the battery EVs, it’s being loaned a Tesla Model S P85D and a BMW i. The new cars will be speedy (and quiet!) enough to sneak up on suspicious individuals, Garcetti was eager to point out.

Over the years, other cities made clever use of rideshare programs to help reduce the number of government-operated cars on the road. LA’s growing commitment to cutting its carbon footprint comes at a time when the city’s environmental woes — brutally hot days, unyielding drought and apocalyptic wildfires — have begun to receive national attention. A fleet of green cars won’t solve everything, but it’s a step in the right direction.

“We’re all hot today,” Garcetti said. “We’re hot because these are the hottest years on record and if we don’t, as human beings, as cities, as governments, do something about it — this is going to be the new normal.”

[LA Times]


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