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New Leaf Unfurled – Partners ‘Charged’ Over Green Effort

Community partners stand in front of shared electric car, l-r UNBC President George Iwama, Northern Health VP Human Resources & Corporate Services Jane Lindstrom, Prince George Mayor Shari Green, Fraser Fort George Regional District Board Chair Art Kaehn

Prince George, BC – ‘Drive Clean, Breathe Green’ is the main slogan emblazoned on the side of the new 100-percent electric vehicle that will be shared by the City of Prince George, Northern Health, UNBC, and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.

To the applause of those gathered at a BBQ on the front lawn of City Hall to celebrate the acquisition this afternoon, Mayor Shari Green and the heads of the other agencies drove up in the Nissan Leaf.

“How much fun was this?” said Northern Health’s VP of Human Resources and Corporate Services, Jane Lindstrom. (click on photo at right for a video clip)

Lindstrom said she has been to many presentations, but has never been escorted in a state-of-the-art vehicle. The City of Prince George purchased the $44-thousand dollar vehicle and four charging stations with a grant from the Community Works Fund – the fund provides federal gas tax funding to communities to support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The City was also able to take advantage of a $5000 incentive from the provincial government.

The four community partners have a Memorandum of Understanding that sees each one use the vehicle on a quarterly basis and share associated operating costs.

Lindstrom said it was a natural partnership for Northern Health. “We are looking at refreshing our fleet and we’re paying very strong attention to vehicles that are safe for our staff to drive and are efficient for the economic reasons – because that frees up more resources for direct care – and this has the additional benefit of reducing our carbon footprint.”

The City’s Manager of Supply and Fleet Services, Scott Bone, said the car was purchased locally from Northland Nissan and the dealership will provide all technical and warranty support.

“This vehicle has zero emissions. This vehicle does not operate on engine oil. Maintenance cost for this vehicle is approximately 60-percent lower than a comparable gasoline engine,” Bone told the crowd. The cost of electricity to operate the Leaf for a year will be about $300, compared to annual fuel costs of as much as $3100 for a comparable gasoline vehicle.
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