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Municipal Services Committee Approves Purchase of Gasoline-Powered Vehicles, But Not Before Discussion About Electric Fleet

Published on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | 8:57 am

The City Council’s Municipal Services Committee voted to approve a purchase order with 72 Hour LLC for 17 vehicles (eight sports utility vehicles and nine trucks).

Proponents of climate change once again called on the city to invest in electric vehicles instead of purchasing gasoline-burning vehicles.

“There are at least six different electric garbage trucks models available which could meet the city’s requirements, some with higher capacities for trash and more power than the eight recently purchased trucks,” said  Benjamin Garza.

The call for climate-friendly vehicles comes as temperatures continue to soar and wildfires rage out of control in parts of the country.

In July, the City Council voted to send the item to the committee after advocates raised the same issue.

“We have carefully read the draft memo dated September 20, 2021, concerning the proposed purchase of fossil fuel vehicles for the Pasadena fleet,” wrote Martha Zavala of the League of Women Voters — Pasadena Area. “We remain concerned that the process used for the procurement was perfunctory, did not appropriately consider non-fossil fuel alternatives, and gave too much deference to an outdated single-source vendor contract.”

As part of the approved FY 2022 Operating Budget, a three-year fleet replacement plan is being implemented to address the city’s aging fleet. This three-year plan prioritizes the city’s vehicle replacement needs in support of each department’s operations, ensuring safe modes of transportation and vehicle equipment for staff to perform their duties and services, decreasing fleet maintenance and repair costs, and simultaneously allowing a consolidated effort to group similar vehicle types for economies of scale and efficient purchasing process.

Currently, there are no electric vehicles that contain the necessary equipment the city needs. The SUVs will be used for public safety.

“It seems very short-sighted to invest in a fossil fuel fleet of vehicles at a time when our future welfare depends so crucially on transitioning to clean energy.” wrote Mary Hayden. “We urge you to buy new EV SUVs and trucks and to lease instead of buying those models that will soon be released in electric versions. It is hard to overstate how important decisions like this will be for our collective wellbeing as we move into greater peril with the impact of climate change.”

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