Business

City of Snoqualmie kicks the tires on two electric vehicles

Gary Stevens, street and stormwater staffer for the city of Snoqualmie, takes a test drive in an electric car, powering it around the public works building. The city is considering adding an electric vehicle to its fleet this summer. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Gary Stevens, street and stormwater staffer for the city of Snoqualmie, takes a test drive in an electric car, powering it around the public works building. The city is considering adding an electric vehicle to its fleet this summer.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Snoqualmie Public Works Director Kirk Holmes has got love for the electric car.

“I’m hooked on this right here,” said Holmes, tapping the symbol of a crossed-out gas pump on the side of the Miles truck, an electric model that uses no gasoline.

The city of Snoqualmie held an open house on a recent Friday at the public works department, checking out two all-electric vehicles, a car and a truck. The city plans to add a green car to its fleet within the month.

“City government is where the rubber meets the road,” said Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson.

He signed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in Seattle last fall, and sees the city building a greener fleet as following up on that commitment.

But putting the environmental reasons aside, Larson said there are solid economic reasons to going electric.

A typical gas-powered car, like the aging Crown Victoria that an electric model will replace in the city fleet, costs about 38 cents a mile to run. The Miles car runs for three cents a gallon. A standard car weighs about 5,000 pounds, but the Miles car weighs several thousand pounds less. There’s no hefty engine block: the car runs off a small motor powered by six batteries, good for about 25,000 miles. To fuel it, you simply plug it in to a standard wall outlet. Top speed is 25 miles per hour.

Costing about $19,000, an electric car would pay for itself in about four years.

Electric cars and trucks are already being spotted in vehicle fleets in other Washington cities and state parks.

Locally, it would be used to transport city staff and supplies around town.

“We definitely have uses for something like that,” Holmes said.

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