The Fraser Valley Regional District also has a charging station for its electric vehicles at its Chilliwack headquarters. Abbotsford is exploring the cost to convert its fleet to greener fuel sources. Photo: Paul Henderson/Black Press

The Fraser Valley Regional District also has a charging station for its electric vehicles at its Chilliwack headquarters. Abbotsford is exploring the cost to convert its fleet to greener fuel sources. Photo: Paul Henderson/Black Press

Abbotsford wants to know how much it will cost to buy greener vehicles

Study commissioned to consider benefits of buying natural gas trucks, electric and hybrid cars

The City of Abbotsford wants to know how much it will cost to convert some of its vehicles to natural gas or electric power.

The city has commissioned a study to evaluate the feasibility of creating a green fleet of vehicles. The acquisition and use of such cars and trucks would figure into the city’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 per cent by 2025 and 40 per cent by 2040. It’s also part of the ongoing emission-reducing activity needed for the city to be eligible for refunds on its carbon tax payments.

Nearly every local government in the province has signed the British Columbia Climate Action Charter, which commits municipalities to finding ways to reduce greenhouse gases. In exchange, municipalities, including Abbotsford, get a grant equivalent to the amount of carbon tax paid.

According to a request for proposals posted online earlier this month, the study would consider the feasibility of converting “a selected group of heavy duty vehicles” to compressed natural gas, and light and medium duty vehicles to electric and hybrid fuel sources. It would also evaluate the cost of creating fueling stations for the vehicles.

The city maintains a fleet of 612 vehicles used by various departments, along with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Services, Abbotsford Police Department, Abbotsford International Airport and Abbotsford/Mission Joint Water & Sewer Services.

It would also consider how many air contaminants would be reduced by such a move, how much maintenance of the vehicles and stations would cost, and whether the public should be able to use any city-run fueling and charging stations.

Several public electric charging stations that exist around Abbotsford, mainly at schools and libraries, are focused on public use. The Fraser Valley Regional District also has a charging station for its electric vehicles at its Chilliwack headquarters.

Abbotsford City Hall