Sioux Falls town plugs in with new vehicle


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – The city of Sioux Falls plans to purchase its first electric vehicle.

“We’re not sure what the model is, but we know it will be a sedan,” said Holly Meier, the city’s sustainability coordinator.

Meier said the vehicle will likely be a Level II plug-in electric vehicle (EV) that will take a few hours to recharge.

The vehicle is said to be one of several hundred in the state.

The city of Brookings has just signed a purchase agreement for its first plug-in hybrid fleet vehicle, the city’s public information officer Chelsie Bakken said.

The vehicle is expected to be added to the Sioux Falls city fleet in early 2022, Meier said.

There are “a lot of reasons” to add an electric vehicle, Meier said.

The auto manufacturing industry is shifting to more electric vehicles, she said. The city can add an electric vehicle and be ahead of or in phase with this change, Meier said.

Several studies have also shown the maintenance cost savings and environmental savings of electric vehicles, Meier said.

The city of South Sioux City, Nebraska, has received reduced maintenance with its four electric vehicles, said deputy city administrator Oscar Gomez.

The city of about 14,000 residents bought four electric vehicles seven years ago, Gomez said. He bought an electric motorcycle last year.

“The only thing we’ve really done for a service part is new tires,” Gomez said. “As far as maintenance is concerned, it’s really a saving.

“The benefits obtained will be a dedicated effort towards more sustainable practices and a lesson in environmental impact within our local government as well as greater fuel economy saving taxpayer costs, ”Bakken said of an electric vehicle at Brookings.

Some details on the Sioux Falls purchase plan were shared by Mark Cotter, the city’s public works manager, at the August 3 budget meeting.

“I am so happy to see that you are purchasing an electric vehicle,” Board member Janet Brekke said at the August 3 meeting. “It is a signal to me that we are making a real commitment to air quality.”

Brekke said electric vehicles are a way for the city to prevent and / or reduce air pollution.

If the city of Sioux Falls “gets it right,” said Brekke, it could be the only city that never has an air pollution problem.

Meier said studies show that electric vehicles can improve air quality because electric vehicles don’t have the emissions that fossil-fueled cars do.

Several department heads in South Sioux City use the vehicles to travel between construction sites or sites in the city, Gomez said.

The city’s community resource officers use the vehicles to check for ordinance issues such as illegal parking, weeds and the like, Gomez said.

“Our intention is for it to be hosted in one department,” Meier said of Sioux Falls.

The city wants the electric vehicle to be used regularly on a daily basis so that the costs can be compared to those of a regular fuel vehicle, she said.

One question the city is asking about electric vehicles is how they handle winter.

South Sioux City charges vehicles overnight in winter as a precaution because it doesn’t want a battery to drain during the work day and because very cold temperatures can drain the battery faster, Gomez said.

Charging can last for several days in the summer, but the charge flows faster when temperatures are very hot, he said.

Sioux Falls will use a federal tax credit to purchase its electric vehicle, Meier said. The incentive reduces the cost of purchasing the vehicle.

Although the market share of electric vehicles has increased globally, the United States holds only 17% of the total global stock of 10.2 million electric vehicles, according to the Pew Research Center, which cited the International Agency. Energy.

South Sioux City used a grant from the Nebraska State Department of Energy to purchase its electric vehicles, Gomez said. She plans to apply for a grant to purchase two more vehicles.

Nebraska is among the majority of states that have electric and hybrid vehicle purchasing or electric vehicle charging programs, according to the National Conference of State Lawmakers.

The state of Nebraska offers incentives and other entities within the state do as well. The Omaha Public Food District, the Nebraska Public Food District, and the Southern Public Food District have incentives.

North Dakota, Kentucky and West Virginia do not, according to the National Council.

South Dakota does not have a program that allows the general public to purchase electric vehicles, and its vehicle program applies to electric trucks and buses.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) has not received any requests to purchase electric trucks or buses, DANR’s Brian Walsh said.

The state made Volkswagen trust funds available for electric vehicle infrastructure through DANR. Applicants will receive a refund of up to 80% for charging stations installed in locations in South Dakota that are accessible and available to the general public.

There are several charging levels for electric vehicles ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.

Level 1 uses a standard plug. Vehicle owners typically use this type of charge to charge at home overnight. Others vary by weather and device.

An electric car owner prepares to charge his car at an electric car charging station on September 23, 2020 in Corte Madera, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

South Sioux City has a fast-charging station that recharges in about minutes, Gomez said. This charger can be found at a local grocery store.

The other seven chargers take about four hours, he said.

Drivers pay to use chargers, Gomez said.

The Brookings Electric Charger is located at the center of county and city government.

“The electric charging station is used almost every day and frequently used several times a day., ” Bakken said.

Like South Sioux City, Brookings charges the public for the use of the charger.

The charger’s public parking lot is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Bakken said. The rate is $ 1 for the first three hours and $ 2 for each additional hour.

The average charge takes around four hours for most EVs, Bakken said.

Residents pay their fees using the Chargepoint app or a ChargePass card, Bakken said.

Although South Sioux City is considering seeking the purchase of two more electric vehicles, Brookings has no immediate plans.

“The Town of Brookings is always looking for ways to become a more sustainable community and will consider purchasing fuel efficient and sustainable vehicles in the future,” Bakken said in an email to KELOLAND News .

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