Going green isn't cheap. The city plans to add 27 new hybrid cars to their fleet at a cost of $603,920.
When you're using tax-payer dollars to make such a big purchase, it's easy to ask - Why not just buy the cheapest car out there? City leaders do admit it is more expensive to buy a hybrid; but in long run, they claim, it's worth it.
Since 2002 the city has bought 326 energy efficient cars. Jorge Perez, Director of Building and Equipment Services, says the benefits are so apparent, he's ready to buy 27 new hybrids at a cost of $603,920.
"Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the savings in fuel,” Perez told us. “Over the last year, just to give you a snap shot, since June of 2011 we measured to last week [and] the city has saved approximately $160,000 worth of fuel."
Hybrid engines are designed to help save fuel by not wasting an ounce of energy.
"When you accelerate, perhaps you get to a certain speed, that's when you're drawing out of the gas engine. But most of the time the electric portion of the hybrid is what's making the vehicle function,” Perez explained.
The new hybrids boast at least 50 miles a gallon and the cost to maintain them is minimal.
"So, when we compare we take all those factors and compare on a span of seven years or up to 70,000 miles and the savings are significant. In some cases they may vary between $3,000 and $4,000 worth of savings,” Perez added.
Add in the environmental benefits and Perez says it's money well spent.