SAINT PAUL, MN - Mayor Christopher Coleman unveiled the newest addition to Saint Paul's vehicle fleet, the all-electric Ford Transit Connect, on Jan 18. The vehicle is the first of three EVs to be delivered to Saint Paul this year and will be used in the Parks and Recreation department, according the mayor's office.

With acquisition of the three vehicles, the City expects to reduce its carbon emissions by 3.5 tons and save an estimated $1,300 per vehicle each year on gasoline.

A total of eight vehicles will be made available in Minnesota by Xcel Energy through the Azure Dynamics Corp. "Lead Customer" Program. In addition to the three vehicles to be used by Saint Paul, the City of Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota, Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Arts Commission, and Xcel Energy will each take delivery of one Transit Connect, according to Anne Hunt, environmental policy director for the City of Saint Paul.

Saint Paul is leveraging $286,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for the electric vehicles and charging stations. Xcel Energy's Chairman's Fund and the City will also each contribute $60,000 toward the purchase of the Saint Paul vehicles.

"With the arrival of the electric vehicle in Saint Paul, we are paving the way for a greener future. As a national leader in sustainability, we will continue to lay the infrastructure for electric vehicles across the metro, ensuring that cleaner vehicles are a viable option for all residents," Mayor Coleman said.

Drive Electric Minnesota, a multi-organization partnership working to bring EVs and plug-in charging infrastructure to Minnesota, hosted the unveiling ceremony and is also in the process of installing 30 charging stations throughout the metro area in ramps, flat lots, and on-street locations. Four to six of these public charging stations will be solar powered, according to the mayor's office.