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For Immediate Release
July 13, 2017

County Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions with EVs

Two new electric vehicles are the latest step in renewable energy commitment

San Rafael, CA – After making significant strides over the past decade to reduce the County of Marin’s carbon footprint, the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) took the opportunity last week to further its commitment by purchasing two electric cars. The pair of new 2017 Chevrolet Bolts will save about 640 gallons of gas and cut 5.6 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year for the County’s fleet.

One of the two new Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles gets charged at the Public Works garage.One of the two new Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles gets charged at the County Public Works garage.
The purchase is another step in a larger strategy of the County’s Climate Action Plan, which includes the goal of bringing GHG emissions from municipal operations to 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. 

The two Bolts each cost about $38,000 with 13 percent covered by Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) and state rebates. They join a selection of six other electric cars and 80 hybrid vehicles in the fleet. The County has eight charging stations at its Civic Center garage, including a recently acquired, solar-powered Envision Solar EV ARC station. While those stations are reserved for fleet vehicles only, the County offers seven charging stations for public use at several San Rafael locations: the Civic Center, the Marin Center Exhibition Hall, the Health and Wellness Center, the North San Pedro Road campus, and the Los Gamos Drive campus.

In addition to TAM’s assistance in the recent Bolt purchases, TAM awarded grant funds to DPW for prior electric vehicle purchases, the Envision Solar EV ARC station and the charging station at the Health and Wellness Center.

The garage, which has operated on solar power since 2003, has been transforming the fleet by replacing inefficient gas powered vehicles with eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible. This process is aided by quarterly auctions of old County vehicles, freeing up space and funds for new, environmentally conscious purchases. With advancements in the electric vehicle field, such as the Bolts’ extended range of 238 miles, the possibilities are rapidly expanding for the County’s usage of green transportation.

“The technology is advancing so fast and we are constantly trying to find new ways to use it to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Larry Laino, DPW Fleet Manager. “We’ve been using bio-diesel since 2003 but recently moved to 100 percent renewable diesel. There’s always progress to be made.”

The switch to the new diesel is estimated to save 162 tons of GHG per year, Laino said.

In the new 2017-18 fiscal year, the County will transition to Deep Green power, a 100 percent renewable energy service provided by MCE. This transition to Deep Green energy is expected to cut 2,200 tons of GHG annually. Based on historic annual electricity usage for the County’s buildings, the service will cost an additional $150,000 per year, but it will be offset by energy efficient upgrades and solar projects. 

Several energy-related projects recently were completed. Two solar panel arrays were installed on County buildings earlier this year, one at the DPW’s Nicasio yard in West Marin and the other at the Health and Wellness campus in San Rafael. In May, more than 2,000 ceiling lights in the administration wing of the Civic Center were retrofitted with energy efficient LED panels. The three projects combined will trim about $60,000 in annual energy costs.

By 2018, two years ahead of the goal set in the Climate Action Plan, the County’s combination of the fleet improvements, solar energy developments and the switch to Deep Green are expected to put GHG emissions at 16 percent below the 1990 levels for municipal operations. 

Contact:

Larry Laino
Vehicle Fleet Manager
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7380
CRS Dial 711
Email: Larry Laino
Public Works webpage