Sarasota to start investing in electric vehicles

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The city of Sarasota is paving the way to replace its fleet of cars with all electric vehicles in the next few years.

City manager Tom Barwin has put out a directive to all departments- within the next five years, the goal is to have 90% of all new vehicle purchases to be electric vehicles.

“This will include police vehicles, light duty trucks and even heavy trucks, if the industry can respond,” said Barwin.

The idea is to help the environment and reduce carbon emissions.

City officials say motor vehicles are the single largest air polluters in the Sarasota city limits, responsible for 37% of all carbon emissions.

The city fleet of 584 vehicles are a big contributor to those emissions.

“The cost of climate change and rising sea levels are going to be dire if we don’t act and act quickly. So that’s one thing we can do, the other thing is to plant more trees to eat the carbon that’s already in the air and eventually we want to address buildings as well because buildings also produce a lot of carbon,” said Barwin.

“I expect them to do that within current cost parameters and to make sure we have adequate re-charging station infrastructure in place in time to meet our goals,” Barwin added.

The goal goes beyond just vehicles. The city is even working to replace lawn mowers and leaf blowers with electric devices.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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