RICHMOND, VA - Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced Oct. 28 that the City of Richmond will launch an electric vehicle pilot for the its fleet. The announcement coincided with a visit from Ford Motor Company as part of Ford's "Charging into the Future Electric Vehicle Tour," which debuts the Transit Connect Electric demo vehicle at 14 cities, according to a release from the mayor's office.

"We plan to purchase and test up to four all-electric vehicles in our city motor pool fleet. And if the pilot is successful, we may replace as many as 40 vehicles with all-electric vehicles as the fleet vehicles are scheduled for replacement over the coming years," Mayor Jones said at a press conference.

The City will procure passenger sedans through a competitive purchase. Mayor Jones said the pilot project will depend on when vehicles are available, but he anticipated the start date to be mid to late 2011.

Mayor Jones test-drove the Ford Transit Connect Electric demo vehicle manufactured in conjunction with Azure Dynamics.

In addition to the electric vehicle pilot, the City has implemented a number of efforts designed to operate more efficiently, reduce energy and fuel use, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes transitioning the City's fleet of garbage trucks from diesel to compressed natural gas and reducing the number of trucks from 37 to 25, according to the mayor.