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Government set to buy more electric vehicles

One of the first electric buses on show outside the Cabinet building. (Photograph Akil Simmons)

The Government is to “lead by example” by purchasing 13 new electric vehicles.

It was announced in the Budget debate in February that the Government would transition to purchasing electric vehicles.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, said the transition to a fully electric fleet of Government vehicles, including the ministerial fleet, would be “cleaner and greener” for the island.

The age of the government vehicle fleet is between 11 and 23 years old and vehicles are routinely out of service for repairs.

Colonel Burch said: “Our decision to purchase these electric vehicles is a significant step towards achieving a more sustainable future for our island.

“We are determined to demonstrate that responsible and eco-friendly transportation is not only possible but also economically advantageous.

"We recognise that it's our responsibility to lead by example, especially when it comes to environmental sustainability.

“By gradually transitioning our fleet to electric vehicles, we reduce our carbon footprint and promote the adoption of electric vehicles across the island."

The RFP for electric vehicles

The RFP, published on the Government’s procurement website on Friday, calls for proposals for the procurement of 13 electric vehicles.

“The Ministry of Public Works, Department of Works and Engineering is responsible for procuring all vehicles for the Government of Bermuda,” the RFP stated.

“The fleet of over 600 vehicles includes motorcycles, cars, trucks and various medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

“The Government has an immediate need for 13 new sedan-style fully electric passenger vehicles (cars), either TCD Classes F, G or H as well as a three year post warranty maintenance agreement for each vehicle.”

The deadline submission for the RFP is 5pm on October 27.

The potential purchase would not be the Government’s first foray into electric vehicles. The Ministry of Transport introduced 30 electric buses to its fleet in 2022, with additional electric buses arriving this year.

The Government claims there would be a potential reduction in carbon emissions of 58 per cent, or four tonnes of CO², avoided annually for all vehicles.

It said repairs for traditional vehicles were becoming more costly because sourcing new or second-hand parts was difficult for vehicles more than ten years old.

A government spokesman said: “On average, it costs the ministry thousands of dollars to maintain the current fleet of ageing vehicles.

“Other examples of this transition are the purchasing of electric buses by the Ministry of Transport and the newest additions to the government fleet, the fully electric Kia Souls.

“It is anticipated that these new purchases will save the Government approximately $55,000 per vehicle over its lifetime in maintenance and fuel costs, giving a total savings of $715,000 for the 13 cars.”

Colonel Burch said the Ministry of Public Works would be issuing more RFPs for the procurement of electric vehicles through a phased approach.

Wayne Furbert, the Minister of Transport, said in May that investments in electric buses had saved Bermuda $222,000 per bus in place of diesel.

There were 30 electric buses added to the fleet in April of last year and a further 40 electric buses have been arriving in groups of ten since July 2023.

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Published September 18, 2023 at 7:53 am (Updated September 18, 2023 at 7:53 am)

Government set to buy more electric vehicles

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