March 9, 2023

Story originally published in NOLA Newswire.

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today announced the arrival of 10 new Chevrolet Bolts that will be dispersed to various City departments. These electric vehicles (EVs) were purchased at a cost of $315,737 – approximately $220,000 was allocated from the General Fund and the remaining $95,000 was allocated from the French Quarter Improvement Fund (FQIF). The three vehicles purchased from the FQIF will exclusively be used in the French Quarter for the Supplemental Police Patrol Program.

“The purchasing and arrival of these electric vehicles is a major win for our city in our efforts to become more sustainable and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This also directly aligns with our goal to fully transition to only purchasing no-emission vehicles for our city’s fleet by 2025. Electric vehicles require less upkeep, which will ease the burden on our Equipment Maintenance Division, as well as save the City thousands of dollars over time. The investments we make now and over the next five years will pay dividends for the next 50 in terms of making our city greener, more resilient and more equitable overall.”

“The City of New Orleans is excited to add 10 new electric vehicles to our fleet,” said Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño. “Climate change is a real threat to New Orleans, and this initial electric vehicle purchase is an important step in our strategy to reduce the City’s carbon footprint. We look forward to continued progress in transitioning our fleet to include more electric and hybrid vehicles in the months and years to come.”

In 2019, the City joined the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative, a group that helps cities negotiate lower vehicle prices, to more easily procure EVs. These are the first electric vehicles to enter the City’s fleet since the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, chaired by Councilmember Helena Moreno, passed an ordinance last year that states the City must lease or purchase low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles in 2023 and exclusively purchase EVs or other no-emission passenger vehicles by 2025.

“As we said when we passed the clean fleets law last year, a zero-emissions city fleet isn’t just good for the climate, it’s also good for the city’s budget,” said Councilmember Helena Moreno. “Clean vehicles are cheaper to fuel, cheaper to operate and require less maintenance downtime. We’re encouraged to see the City following through on our shared commitment to a cleaner, more efficient New Orleans.”

There are several benefits to using electric vehicles, such as lowering fossil fuel emissions, which leads to better air quality for our residents. They are also more cost effective, requiring less maintenance and saving money in the long run. City officials anticipate 75 percent of the City’s fleet to be low or no-emission vehicles by 2035.

In the 2023 budget, the City Council provided the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) and Office of Resilience and Sustainability (ORS) with $200,000 in funding to complete a citywide EV strategic plan. ORS is looking to bring on a FUSE fellow to manage this plan, with an anticipated start date in May 2023.

“This purchase is an important first step towards a cleaner, greener local government,” said Greg Nichols, ORS Deputy Chief Resilience Officer. “Decarbonizing our city-owned fleet is a major goal of our new Climate Action Plan, which outlines our city’s path to a net-zero carbon future. The Office of Resilience and Sustainability is excited to help lead the fleet transition, especially now with an unprecedented amount of federal investments in renewable energy and electrified transportation options.”

The EVs will be distributed as follows:

  • Three vehicles to the New Orleans Police Department
  • Two vehicles to the Department of Safety & Permits
  • One vehicle to the Historic District Landmarks Commission
  • One vehicle to the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board
  • One vehicle to the Department of Code Enforcement
  • One vehicle to the Office of Resilience and Sustainability
  • One vehicle to the Department of Parks and Parkways