Mountlake Terrace gets first of 6 hybrid cars

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Creating a cleaner, greener environment is high on the city’s list this year.

Mountlake Terrace recently received the first of six hybrid vehicles it’s planning to purchase this year.

The city’s police department already began using the new vehicle, a 2009 Chevy Malibu sedan, said Curt Brees, the city’s public works director.

“We are being experimental,” he said. “Not too far in the future, we’ll probably look at some all-electrical vehicles.”

The city has ordered three Toyota Prius sedans and is seeking quotes for two Ford Escape sport utility vehicles, all of them 2008 or 2009 models, Brees said.

The decision came after a study last year looked at whether the city’s vehicles are right for their respective jobs.

Analysis revealed that many were a less than perfect match, Brees said.

As a result, the city decided this year to replace a total of 12 older and less fuel-efficient vehicles — half of them with hybrids.

Between $150,000 and $175,000 had been allocated for the hybrids, Brees said.

Like with any other major expenditure this year, setting aside funding was a challenge. “We are pretty confident that the fuel savings will make up for it. Over time, this will save us money,” Brees said.

A 2008 Toyota Prius, for example, averages about 46 miles per gallon.

The city was able to take advantage of tax credits and bought the Chevy from a local dealership for a little more than $23,400, Brees said.

Moving to a green fleet is part of the city’s sustainability strategy, Brees said. One of the goals is to reduce oil consumption by 2.5 percent from 2007 figures.

The city also recently began using biodiesel fuel for heavy-duty trucks and implemented a no-idling policy to reduce emissions and save gas.

Reporter Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452 or kyefimova@heraldnet.com.

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