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Los Gatos: Five new town vehicles will plug in to fill up

Los Gatos has five new all-electric vehicles that residents may already have seen being driven around town. The Los Gatos vehicles are Mitsubishi i-MiEV models that get approximately 112 MPGe. The “e” stands for equivalent and allows people to compare the fuel efficiency of electric vehicles to gas-powered vehicles.

Mayor Barbara Spector was among the first to check out one of the new vehicles. She took a couple of test drives around the civic center parking lot before she and town manager Greg Larson headed off to a June 25 meeting.

“When Greg and I got in, we thought we had it on, but it wasn’t,” said Spector. “We couldn’t tell because it was quiet–they’re weird because they’re so quiet.”

Three of the Mitsubishis will be used by the police department’s community service officers and the Volunteers in Policing group. The remaining two will be used by town staff, such as code enforcement, parks and public works and planning employees.

The vehicles are being charged using regular 110 outlets and can also be “filled up” at the library’s quick charge station. Plans are being made to add charging stations at the civic center, the police operations building and the corporation yard on Miles Avenue.

Spector said the new vehicles will help promote the town’s sustainability goals. “In addition to being nearly 40 percent less expensive to fuel, these vehicles will significantly reduce the town’s greenhouse gas emissions–over three years our five vehicles will avoid nearly 20,000 pounds of CO2,” she said.

The i-MiEVs are four-door four seaters with a small hatchback.

“It’s roomy,” Spector said.

The town is leasing the vehicles for three years, but the first year of the lease is free and the town will receive rebates for most of the second year of the lease.

Spector, Larson and assistant town manager Pamela Jacobs joined officials from San Jose, Campbell, Mill Valley, Mitsubishi, the Bay Area Climate Collaborative and Gov. Jerry Brown’s office at a July 27 news conference touting the vehicles’ energy-saving qualities.
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