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Health, Science, Environment

St. Louis Mayor Signs Executive Order To Boost Number Of City-Owned Electric Cars

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson signs her executive order changing the city's stance on purchasing electric vehicles on the hood of the first city-owned electric car on Thursday.
Kayla Drake
/
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson signs her executive order changing the city's stance on purchasing electric vehicles on the hood of the first city-owned electric car on Thursday.

St. Louis is starting to replace its fleet of gas cars with zero-emission electric ones.

Mayor Lyda Krewson signed an executive order Thursday requiring all city departments to prioritize buying electric cars when the price is within 5% of the cost of a gas car. Krewson said investing in electric cars will save money and improve air quality in the long run.

Krewson said the switch is in line with the city’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“It’s very critical that the city of St. Louis continues to model its own behavior to be ready for the future and to truly lead the way,” she said during a press conference.

St. Louis purchased four Chevrolet Bolts as the first city-owned electric cars. Feb. 25, 2021
Kayla Drake
St. Louis purchased four Chevrolet Bolts as the first city-owned electric cars.

The city has purchased four Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles so far, costing about $100,000. The city used money from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Volkswagen Trust Settlement Fund to pay for the cars.

It will be a long time before the entire fleet is replaced. The city owns a total of 3,600 vehicles, and electric models of heavy-duty cars and trucks have yet to become cost-competitive.

Chris Amos, commissioner of equipment services, estimated the city will buy 40 electric vehicles in the next five years. The Board of Public Service will be in charge of maintaining charging stations for city-owned vehicles.

Over the next two months, the city will install nine charging stations. The four Chevrolet Bolts will go to different divisions, including the Health Department and Supply Division.

The city’s municipal fleet accounted for 9% of local government greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

Last year, Krewson signed legislation that would require developers to install electric charging stations on new properties starting in January 2022, in anticipation of a rise in electric car usage.

By 2030, electric vehicles could account for nearly one-third of cars sold globally, according to a study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

That’s why it’s important to invest in electric car infrastructure now, Krewson said.

Correction: The City of St. Louis owns a total of 3,600 vehicles. A previous version of this St. Louis Public Radio report misstated the size of the city fleet.

Follow Kayla on Twitter: @_kayladrake

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