Kent is spending $ 2.2 million to replace 42 aging city vehicles


If you own 446 vehicles, as you do in the city of Kent, many of the police SUVs and public works and trucks wear out every year.

Because of this, the city’s adjusted budget for 2022 calls for $ 2.25 million of Kent’s share of federal aid under the American Rescue Plan Act (COVID-19) to be used to buy 42 new vehicles. The city will receive a total of $ 28.2 million in aid, including $ 14 million in June and an additional $ 14 million in June.

Mayor Dana Ralph has included the fleet vehicle replacement item in her draft budget and the city council agreed that the money is well spent. The Council is due to adopt the budget on November 16.

“The city provides funding every year to replace vehicles within its fleet,” said Dave Brock, deputy director of public works for the city, in an email. “The number of vehicles that can be replaced depends on the resources available and the cost of the new vehicle. If the Council approves the budget adjustment for the replacement of the 42 vehicles, these 42 vehicles will be replaced over the next 12 months. ”

The replacement vehicles include three hybrid SUVs for police chase, valued at $ 73,000 each, and seven 1-ton public works pickups, priced at $ 65,000 each. The rest of the vehicles range from $ 43,000 for a small hybrid SUV to $ 63,000 for a van. The average cost is $ 52,380 per vehicle, with about 28 of these pickups.

Brock said urban vehicles are assessed for replacement based on multiple data points, including age and mileage (or engine hours). Other data points taken into account are maintenance / repair costs, overall condition, reliability and area of ​​application.

“As a general guideline, police vehicles have an expected life of 10 years and vans / pickups have an expected life of 12-15 years,” Brock said.

Electric vehicles

City councilors Marli Larimer and Brenda Fincher asked at budget workshops for information on buying more hybrid or electric vehicles and how many of these types of vehicles are currently being used in the city.

Brock said at the council’s public works committee meeting on Nov. 1 that the city owns 51 hybrids and will purchase 18 more hybrids with federal aid funds in 2022. Most hybrids are smaller half-ton pickups, while the electric vehicles are SUVs or sedans.

State lawmakers passed a measure this year requiring all passenger and light commercial vehicles sold in the country to be electric vehicles by 2030.

During a press conference at an international climate conference on November 7th in Glasgow, Scotland, Governor Jay Inslee announced an executive order for Washington State‘s public fleets to switch to a 100% emission-free (electric vehicle) light fleet by 2035. He also added that medium and heavy state fleets should be fully electric by 2040.

Brock said the automotive industry has not yet produced any larger hybrid or electric trucks for sale, but he anticipates this will happen in the future.

In recent years, legislators have taken measures to oblige cities and counties to convert their fleets to electric vehicles. Brock said the state Department of Commerce has put rules in place so cities aren’t required to buy electric vehicles when it’s impractical to buy or when charging issues or other multiple factors are a challenge.

Fincher looks forward to more electric trucks becoming available.

“There should be more choice by the end of 2024 or 2025,” Fincher said. “I am happy with the numbers we have and that we are buying electric vehicles.”

According to a report by Environment America Research & Policy Center released Nov. 10 by Environment Washington Research & Policy Center, Washington had a total of 65,611 electric vehicles on the streets in 2020, compared with 1,203 in 2011.

“Washington is setting the pace in the race for 100% clean and renewable energy, especially in transportation,” said Mandy Apa, environmental protection officer at Environment Washington Research and Policy Center, in a press release. “Washington residents can look forward to a cleaner, healthier future thanks to our state’s leadership in the adoption of electric vehicles, zero-emission regulations and electric vehicle discounts.”

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A Kent Public Works city picks up for service at the city maintenance facility. The city plans to buy around 28 pickups in 2022 to replace aging trucks. PHOTO WITH PROMOTION, City of Kent


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