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Bedford to See Electric Cars, Charging Station Soon

Officials are testing the new equipment in parking enforcement and will use the results to gauge whether it would be appropriate for additional offices in the future.

Bedford officials are looking forward to what they say will be a sort of test-run when it comes to the use of electric cars.

Within about a month, the town will acquire two of the automobiles for use in the Parking Enforcement Department. About half of the cost of the vehicles will be covered by a $35,000 grant, via the Green Fleets Program Agreement from the New York Power Authority, according to officials.

"I think it's an idea whose time has come," Supervisor V.A. Roberts said, noting that the Town already owns several hybrid vehicles. "This is our first shot at it."

Also happening before or around Jan. 1 will be the installation of a charging station, between the two town-owned buildings on Bedford Road. ChargePoint, an international network of independently-owned charging stations, is providing the facility at no cost, beyond the price of an electrician for installation.

The two electric cars will replace a 2000 and a 2005 Chevrolet Impala, which carry about 127,000 and 116,000 miles, respectively. The protocol in the past has been to retire aging Police Department vehicles that are no longer reliable enough for 24-hour patrol, like the Impalas, to civilian-run departments, which typically put fewer miles on the car.

"We're hopeful that this is going to be a good fit," Lt. Jeffrey Dickan said, adding that parking officers generally do not drive more than 70 miles in a day. Most electric cars can go at least 100 before needed a charge.

Mark Thielking, Bedford's director of energy resources, said the town is considering the Ford Focus and the Nissan Leaf. He said upkeep on these types of cars is "virtually nothing."

"In fact, the scheduled maintenance on the Ford Focus for the next three years is to change the cabin filter," he told Patch. "There are no oil changes."

Theilking said that once all the elements are in place, officials will be able to gauge whether electric cars are a good route for other departments, too.

"This is a huge win for the town."

D.S. December 07, 2012 at 07:03 PM
There are times now during certain parts of the year where we have black outs because too many people are using their air conditioners and such.....now you want everyone to go green with electical vehicles.....where is all this extra power going to come from? When the next hurricane sandy comes through or anything that cripples out electrical wires ( downed trees etc.) how will we charge our cars then? We lost our power for a few days, what about those people that are still without electricity? This is just another way for the government to waste more of our money.....

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