Pinellas County goes electric
To reduce our carbon footprint and stay current with emerging technologies, Pinellas County is gradually replacing our gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. We currently have nine fully electric vehicles (EVs), three hybrid vehicles and about 25 electric utility carts for County operations, with more on the way. We aim to transition our whole light-duty vehicle fleet to EVs over the next 10 years.
There are eight publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations at County facilities as part of Duke Energy’s Park & Plug program, and we are developing an electric vehicle charging infrastructure master plan for both County operations and public use.
Case Study: Department of Solid Waste’s Chevrolet Bolts
In 2021, Pinellas County’s Department of Solid Waste added two fully electric Chevrolet Bolts to its fleet. The carbon footprint of two Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles is about two-thirds lower than that of the average new gasoline vehicle, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s greenhouse gas emissions calculator. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions benefits our environment and public health and helps lessen the impacts of climate change.
Powered by your trash
Pinellas County’s Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles are used by Department of Solid Waste staff and charged at the County’s Solid Waste Disposal Complex, which includes the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facility. The WTE facility turns trash from Pinellas County residents, businesses and visitors into electricity, which is added to the local electric grid and is enough to power about 45,000 homes and businesses every day.
The WTE facility also helps prevent greenhouse gas pollution caused by waste breaking down in landfills. These facilities produce less emissions than sending waste to a landfill would, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Reducing operational costs
Purchasing two electric vehicles has the potential to save the County more than $3,000 in fuel costs over the course of the cars’ lifetimes, according to Duke Energy’s Fleet Electrification Calculator.* Maintenance costs are also lower for a fully electric vehicle due to fewer moving parts, fewer fluids to change and reduced brake wear.
*This estimate assumes a gas price of $2.68, an energy cost of $0.11 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and 75 miles driven per week.
Considering an electric vehicle for yourself?
Making the switch to an electric vehicle is one way to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Driving an electric vehicle not only reduces greenhouse gas pollution but can also save you money in in the long run on both fuel and maintenance costs. Learn more about electric vehicles with the resources below.
General electric vehicle (EV) information and resources:
- Duke Energy – Electric Vehicles
- Electrify the South
- Plug In America
- U.S. Department of Energy – Electric Vehicles
Electric and hybrid vehicle options:
- Plug In America Electric Vehicle Guide
- Sierra Club Electric Vehicle Guide: Which electric vehicle is right for me?
Electric Vehicle Tax Credit:
Federal tax credits of up to $7,500 are available for many electric and hybrid plug-in vehicles. View the latest tax credit amounts for each vehicle.