OLYMPIA, WA – The City of Olympia received $11,000 from the Olympia Regional Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) to purchase its first electric vehicle, according to The Olympian newspaper. Ruth Snyder, a city inspector, will be using the new vehicle for her work in the downtown area and South Capital neighborhood.

It plugs into any 110-volt outlet, has a maximum speed of about 30 miles per hour and runs about four hours on a charge, said Keith Stahley, the city’s director of Community Planning and Development.

It joins a fleet of about 275 vehicles, and 44 percent of the city’s passenger cars are hybrid electrics. More than 60 use biodiesel, a cleaner-burning fuel that the city has used since 2003. At the end of 2007, the city had reduced its emissions to below 1990 levels, achieving the Kyoto Protocol.

Last year, ORCAA awarded a grant to the City of Olympia to install catalytic converters on all heavy-duty construction equipment.