INDIAN WELLS, CA --- The Indian Wells City Council on May 21 voted to join the Coachella Valley Clean Cities Coalition in a regional effort to request Department of Energy funds for alt-fuel vehicles and natural gas infrastructure projects, the Desert Sun reported.

The city of Indian Wells hopes to secure federal funds to purchase two electric vehicles and to construct recharging stations. Located in Southern California's Riverside County, the city is best known to sports fans as the host of the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament.

The new vehicles would cost about $50,000 each, and the recharging stations would come with a $50,000 price tag as well, city officials told the newspaper. The electric vehicles would be used by the city's building inspectors and code enforcement officer. The city already operates a CNG vehicle.

The Coachella Valley Clean Cities Coalition is part of Clean Cities, a government-industry partnership formed in 1993 by the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program.

Palm Springs was the first city in the region to join Clean Cities in the effort to request federal dollars for alternative fuel vehicles. Palm Springs has asked for $800,000 to purchase alt-fuel vehicles.

Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Coachella Valley Association of Governments, La Quinta, Palm Springs and Palm Springs Disposal all plan to request funds through the coalition. They intend to use the funds for such purchases as CNG pickup trucks, dump trucks and public safety vehicles, Suzanne Seivright, the coordinator for Coachella Valley Clean Cities Coalition, told the Desert Sun.

"By bundling these requests, it greatly increases our prospects," said Indian Wells Mayor Larry Spicer.

The coalition plans to apply for the Energy Department grants through the South Coast Air Quality Management District, whose jurisdiction covers Orange County, the urban portions of Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.