The newest vehicles in the City of Bellingham fleet will be the easiest on the environment. With the recent arrival of three electric vans and additional hybrid police utility vehicles (PUV), there are now dozens of alternative fuel vehicles in use by the City of Bellingham.
Upgrading the City’s fleet of vehicles to electric and hybrid options is essential to achieving the City’s climate goals, according to Bellingham Public Works Director Eric Johnston. The City is choosing electric and hybrid vehicles for all new and replacement vehicles as part of its commitment to achieving the Climate Action Plan.
“Our vehicle fleet, along with city buildings, represent our largest environmental impacts,” said Johnston. “Under Mayor Fleetwood’s leadership and consistent with City Council direction, we are taking steps to mitigate our carbon footprint in all the ways we can, including our vehicle purchases.”
The Public Works department, which purchases and maintains all City vehicles, recently received three replacement vans and has now 18 police utility vehicles bringing the number of alternative fuel city vehicles to 48.
City vehicles are used for a variety of purposes from maintaining streets and responding to water main breaks to emergency response.
“Vehicles are vital to our work in law enforcement. They must be able to withstand intense use,” said Bellingham Police Chief Flo Simon. “We appreciate the work of the City’s Public Works department and our team of officers to ensure these hybrid utility vehicles are not only fully functional for public safety needs, but also help to achieve our city’s climate goals.”
Bellingham’s first alternative fuel vehicle was purchased more than 20 years ago. Since then, the City has been one of the very first in Washington state to purchase in quantity hybrid PUVs introduced by Ford. According to Johnston, every vehicle purchase is an option to make an environmentally responsible choice.