Behind the Times: State of Utah Buys First 2 Plug-In Vehicles

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 4

I See Your 1

I See Your 1

Better late than never, right?

And Raise You....1 More

And Raise You….1 More

Officials in the state of Utah have finally come around to the idea that electric vehicles can help to curb pollution and so have decided that it’s time to add a couple of Nissan LEAFs to the state’s vehicle fleet.

Utah’s Division of Air Quality is asking residents of the state to limit driving this summer as ozone levels there are approaching the highest levels ever recorded in the state.

But asking residents to drive less doesn’t sit well when the state’s fleet of vehicles are spewing out emissions.

Therefore, the state decided to take a more proactive approach and it’s one that certainly shows they’re trying to do something about rising ozone levels, too.

The state purchase two Nissan LEAFs, which become the first zero-emissions vehicle in Utah’s fleet.

Bryce Bird, director of Utah’s Division of Air Quality, say this of the LEAFs:

“It drives exactly like you’d expect a car to drive.  What you notice is smoother acceleration, and of course the quiet ride.”

Additionally, Utah is now mainly purchasing either conventional hybrid or natural gas vehicles for it fleet as replacements for its aging gas- and diesel-burning autos.

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4 responses to "Behind the Times: State of Utah Buys First 2 Plug-In Vehicles"

  1. Martin T says:

    Ok for the state officials – but not for your typical Utah large family of 10 kids + 2 adopted ones?

  2. Stuart22 says:

    Utah is just above Arizona, and it does get hot there.

  3. Ivan Tcherniaev says:

    How about installing some chargers? There is not a single one downtown Salt Lake!

  4. Charles Whalen says:

    Utah “behind the times”? I don’t think so. Quite the opposite, in fact. All the way back in the middle of the last decade, under the leadership of then Gov. Jon Huntsman, Utah was way out ahead of other states and led the nation in diversifying the state’s transportation fueling network away from petroleum, both for the state’s own fleet and for the public retail passenger fleet. More than 6 years ago, Gov. Huntsman spent his own money to convert the governor’s official vehicle to run on CNG, moved the state fleet towards doing the same, encouraged the public to do likewise, with a great many following the governor’s lead, and built out a statewide alternative fueling network so extensive that one could drive anywhere in the state without needing to use gasoline or diesel. Utah became the most successful alternative fuel market in the country. Even today, more than 6 years later, I’m not aware of any other state (besides Utah) whose governor’s official vehicle runs on anything other than gasoline. Natural gas is abundant and cheap in Utah, cheaper than anywhere else in the country.

    I don’t live in Utah, in fact at the other end of the country, but for over 8 years now my family has been driving EVs powered primarily by natural gas (currently 70% of our regional grid generation and heading towards 80%). Whether the natural gas is burned in the Utah governor’s official vehicle or is burned at the power plant and converted to electrons that charge my family’s EVs, it’s the same domestically-sourced natural gas. Likewise with those two new Nissan Leafs that are the first two EVs that the state of Utah has just purchased for its state fleet — they will similarly be powered primarily from natural gas, produced in Utah. Which is all good!