Board Approves Village's First All-Electric Vehicle In Buffalo Grove

January 19, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

BUFFALO GROVE, IL — Despite at least one trustee expressing some concerns about reports of charging stations not working amid the recent stretch of cold weather in Chicagoland, the Buffalo Grove Village Board approved the purchase of its first all-electric vehicle at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, to be purchased from Arlington Heights Ford, will cost just over $53,000. The vehicle will replace an existing part of the fleet, a 2008 Ford F-350 pick-up truck, currently assigned to the Forestry and Grounds section of the Department of Public Works. According to officials, $70,000 had been approved for the replacement in the 2024 budget.

“With the evolving operations of our forestry and grounds section, this is the perfect opportunity for the Village to purchase an all-electric vehicle for our fleet,” Jim Warnstedt, deputy public works director, said during a presentation to the board.

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The Village is anticipating the purchase will save $17,000 in fuel, oil and oil filter savings over the course of the next decade. Warnstedt described the buy as a “strategic move that aligns with the Village’s commitment to sustainability and should provide staff with real world data to support future electric vehicle purchases within our municipal fleet.”

Warnstedt said the vehicle will be used daily for contract management, customer service, tree risk assessment, natural areas management, and supervision of crews.

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Officials said the current electrical infrastructure of the public works’ building on Raupp Boulevard will accommodate the charging requirements for the new vehicle, as will the department’s future home at 1650 Leider Lane. They anticipate “minimal costs” associated with adding one designated electrical circuit, which will be installed by an in-house electrician.

Trustee Andrew Stein referred to recent issues in the Chicago-area where charging stations for Tesla drivers were not working due to the freezing cold. WLS-TV reports charging stations near 95th Street and Western Avenue (Evergreen Park area) left electric car owners stranded with dead batteries earlier this week.

“I don’t think the timing could be more perfect for our situation. With building the new public works facility, we’ll have space to host all of our vehicles inside a warm garage right next to the charger,” Warnstedt said in reference to Stein’s concerns, while also referring to the purchase as a first step for the Village to gauge potential future electric vehicle purchases across the DPW and other departments.

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