How the conversion of Largo to an electric fleet, with the help of Duke Energy, is part of a larger plan to use renewable energy
Northampton, MA – News Direct – Duke Energy
The Largo Florida Police Department has become more efficient. The force recently added two new Zero electric motorcycles to its fleet, as part of the city’s transition to fully renewable energies.
The city’s commitment to a fleet of light electric vehicles by 2030 is part of Largo’s Environmental Action Plan. Largo plans to convert 100% to renewable energy as a government by 2035 and as a community by 2050.
Duke Energy, which has a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, provided a grant to help fund the motorcycle project.
“When we heard this was important to the Town of Largo, it was really exciting for us to support and fund,” said Sharon Arroyo, vice president of government and community relations for Duke Energy Florida. “Largo has really stepped up and led the way in the area of green initiatives for their community.”
Laura Thomas, administrator of Largo’s sustainability program, said the commitment will reduce fleet fuel and overall maintenance costs compared to traditional vehicles. In addition, it opens up opportunities in the green economy sector.
“And by switching our fleet to electric, we are improving the air quality and the public health of our residents and workers,” she said, “which is especially important to our members. most vulnerable community. ”
Traffic officers say electric motorcycles are smoother, faster and quieter.
“It allows us to patrol the parks and the trails,” said Sgt. Mike Blickensdorf, “without disturbing the citizens while not emitting exhaust fumes”.
A 2018 report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change these emissions must be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to reduce warming.
Metro areas, including Atlanta, Seattle, and Los Angeles, are shifting municipal fleets, including fire trucks, buses, and other vehicles, to electric vehicles. Duke Energy eTransEnergy The subsidiary is working with municipalities, government agencies and others to switch to electric vehicle fleets. Duke Energy has provided nearly $ 1 million in grants to Greensboro, Asheville and the Triangle area of North Carolina to switch their municipal bus fleets to electricity.
In Florida, the EV opportunity is great. The state is home to more than 21 million people, and passenger vehicles are responsible for 50 percent of air pollutant emissions, according to a report by Atlas Public Policy and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Due to its warm climate and hundreds of miles of coastline, Florida is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change – sea level rise, high temperatures and storm surges.
The state is progressing. As of March 2020, 1.6 million electric passenger vehicles had been sold in Florida, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and investment in the sector is on the rise. About 62,000 electric vehicles were in circulation in Florida as of June 2020, the Southern Alliance said.
In addition to the zero-emission electric motorcycles, Largo police have added 23 Ford Interceptor hybrid SUVs. About 11% of the municipal fleet uses alternative energy sources.
With more electric vehicles, a new need is emerging: charging stations. Since 2018, Duke Energy’s Park and Plug program has installed more than 600 charging stations for electric vehicles – 13 in Largo – in businesses, apartment complexes and other collective housing. About 10% of the new charging stations serve vulnerable communities.
Thomas said the stations installed at Largo have had more than 4,000 individual uses. “We are really excited to see the public adopt and use it so frequently,” she said.
The new police transport also had unexpected benefits.
“What I love about this project is that the motorcycles have become a magnet for the community,” said Arroyo. Since the motorcycles hit the road, residents often stop officers and ask questions about the motorcycles, sparking non-confrontational conversations.
“The public wants to know more and really cares about greener and renewable resources,” she said. “It’s a way to help a community not only achieve its goals, but also connect with residents. This is an excellent result.
See the source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/electric-police-motorcycles-help-florida-city-meet-sustainability-goals-502974157