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Building an electric fleet

Klamath, Lake counties chosen to participate in Oregon’s electric truck program

H&N Staff Reporter

Klamath County’s inability to meet
state air pollution requirements may become an investment opportunity for local fleet vehicle
operators.
Oregon Department of Transportation has $4 million in pass-through federal funding to help fleet operators buy electric trucks weighing 5 tons or more.
Operators must retire a comparable diesel truck, and ODOT will redeem a voucher that could help make up the cost difference.
On June 22, Oregon Department of Transportation announced its program that could potentially put 200 commercial electric vehicles on the road in areas struggling to meet DEQ requirements on carbon monoxide and particulate pollution, including Klamath Falls, Lakeview, Grants Pass, the Rogue Valley, La Grande, Oakridge and Portland.
In Klamath Falls, city officials have already considered adding alternative energy vehicles throughout the government’s fleets.
Mark Willrett, the city’s public works department director, said department heads have been informally researching whether they’ll purchase electric- or compressed natural gas-powered vehicles since the price for diesel and gasoline has been on the rise.
Fuel consumption
Two of the city’s largest users of vehicles, the Klamath Falls Police Department and Klamath Falls Public Works Department budgeted more than $90,000 and $157,000 for diesel and gasoline in the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended Saturday.
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