In a city usually known for big industry and emissions, newly elected Mayor Gayle McLaughlin has committed to turning Richmond into a flagship for sustainability and environment with the introduction of three electric trucks from Bay Area electric car pioneer ZAP.
With a pledge to ask the Richmond City Council to create a Department of Environment within 4 years, McLaughlin also announced her commitment to fight global warming by demonstrating Richmond's new electric vehicle pilot program.
The City of Richmond and ZAP are launching a pilot fleet program to demonstrate ZAP electric trucks in a city fleet. These trucks will be used on the historic Bay Trail restoration project with the city's Public Works Department.
"As the first fleet in the country to incorporate all-electric city-trucks we are proud to promote zero emissions vehicles," says Mayor McLaughlin. "We're signaling a direction. Our legacy for the young people of Richmond is lower green house gas emissions, cleaner air, less pollution and a greater commitment to make Richmond vibrant and sustainable."
ZAP calls the XEBRA sedan and truck "city-cars," an electric car design for inner city driving up to 40 MPH. Able to plug into any standard electrical outlet, the XEBRA was designed to quickly and affordably fill the need for all electric cars and trucks brought on by recent high gas prices. The XEBRA is manufactured through a strategic partnership with a Chinese auto manufacturer and available through ZAP's authorized dealers at a price of about $10,000.
"Cities around the world are mandating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and we want to thank the city of Richmond for its environmental leadership as the first city fleet in the nation to use ZAP trucks," said ZAP Chairman Gary Starr. "We are also excited that Richmond has agreed to join our Million Tree Challenge."
ZAP has challenged the world to join in planting one million trees by 2010 and the City of Richmond Parks Department has answered by planting a tree as part of the Mayor's announcement and dedicating all its tree-planting efforts through 2010 towards the challenge.
Learn more about ZAP's campaign at www.zaptrees.org.
Starr noted that electric vehicles add cost-benefits to city fleets with rising gas prices, citing record oil prices for 2007 at $64 a barrel.