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Keller wants to switch most of city fleet to alternative fuels

Mayor Tim Keller announces the first electric vehicles in the city fleet, as well as plans to switch 50 city vehicles to alternative fuels by the end of 2020. (Source: City of Albuquerque)

Correction: This story has been updated to say that the newest electric vehicles unveiled by Mayor Keller during the Saturday press conference was a Chevrolet Bolt.

You can’t see it. You gotta feel it. But you know it’s there. It’s electric.

And now Mayor Tim Keller’s administration plans to boogie woogie woogie its way into having the majority of the city’s cars using alternative fuels by the end of next year.

On Saturday, Keller unveiled the first-ever electric vehicles to be added to the city fleet and signed an order to shift at least 50 of the city’s “eligible vehicles” to electric, hybrid or alternative low-emissions fuels by 2021, according to a news release.

“We can’t afford to wait for someone else to take the kind of bold action on climate change we need to protect our community,” Keller said in the release. “Any realistic effort to fight climate change has to include steps to reduce the impact of vehicles on our air quality and public health.”

According to the release, the change will reduce carbon emissions, save money on fuel, and improve air quality and public health while reducing Albuquerque’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Johnny Chandler, a Keller spokesman, said the new vehicles will be Chevrolet Bolts and Nissan LEAFS. Bolts cost around $33,000 and LEAFS cost just under $30,000, according to the manufacturers’ website.

Chandler said those prices will be cut by the tax rebate for electric vehicles, and the new fleet will be purchased with $1.6 million of capital implementation program funding.

The release states that the transition is being done as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Climate Cities Challenge, and Keller’s plan will go a step further by taking additional eligible gas-powered vehicles off the road as they come up for replacement or when new vehicles are purchased.

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