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Cincinnati will mostly buy electric vehicles from now on

Chevy Bolt logo
Becca Costello
The city of Cincinnati has 20 electric vehicles in its fleet, including this Chevy Bolt

The city of Cincinnati will only buy electric vehicles from now on — as long as that's an available option. The goal is to have an entirely electrified fleet by 2035.

Cincinnati has about 20 electric vehicles in its fleet of about 2,400. The Police Department also has 30 hybrid cruises in operation, with another 20 on order.

Mayor Aftab Pureval says it will be a few years before specialty electric vehicles are available, like fire and garbage trucks. Although an electric vehicle costs more up front, city officials say they can save up to $10,000 over the car's lifetime.

Pureval says the city is also looking into using federal dollars to electrify neighborhoods.

"The administration is launching a request for information to identify public-private partnerships for providing electric charging stations across city infrastructure; in our neighborhood parking lots, in our garages, and street parking spaces that residents use every single day," Pureval said. "We are working to make sure that all 52 neighborhoods have reliable access to EV charging stations."

The city is in early stages of updating the Green Cincinnati Plan, which has a goal to reduce Cincinnati's carbon emissions 80% by 2050. It gets a refresh every five years and is due in 2023.

Council Member Meeka Owens says she wants to spend $100,000 for community engagement this year.

"This investment comes at no additional cost to the city because it's being allocated from the first rebate received from the Dynegy greenback program," Owens said.

This is the first year for a rebate from the Dynegy electric aggregation program. Owens' ordinance would direct future rebates, up to $100,000 a year, to the Green Cincinnati Fund, which is administered by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. The ordinance will be considered in the Budget and Finance Committee on Monday.

Officials are starting community engagement with an online survey about climate change and its effect on neighborhoods.

Michael Forrester, director of the office of environment and sustainability, says it's clear climate change is already impacting the city.

"Over the past 10 years, there have been nine 100-year rain storm events," Forrester said. "We have spent over $150 million in addressing basement flooding and hill slides."

The online survey is available at greencincinnatiplan.org.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.