The change wouldn't be immediate but it would be noticeable.  Leaders at the City of Superior are considering a switch in their fleet vehicles from traditional gasoline-powered ones to those using electric-energy.  The proposed switch was unveiled at Superior Mayor Jim Paine's State of the City address at Earth Rider Brewery on May 27.

Apparently the 'talk' is coming with 'action'.  Behind the scenes some of the preliminary efforts needed for the undertaking are already taking shape.  According to an article in the Superior Telegram, city leaders are looking at converting a "small fleet of passenger vehicles assigned to various departments for use around the city" to more "environmentally-friendly" electric versions.  Because those vehicles would be primarily used for travel within the city-limits, the longer-term questions and problems of finding charging stations could be eliminated.

Whatever happens, it won't be overnight and an finalized plan would occur in steps.  Superior City Councilor Jenny Van Sickle explains that "[w]hen it comes to the weight of conversion, we're thinking of a very measured approach".  That measured approach would probably start with so-called 'hybrid' vehicles - those that could also be fueled with more traditional methods (gasoline).  That move makes the most sense to city leaders because right now "it doesn't have the infrastructure for electric vehicles".

That infrastructure that Superior lacks right now is electric charging stations.  But there are also plans moving forward to research those:

"[Superior] Public Works Director Todd Janigo said he's been working with Superior Water, Light and Power and an electrical contractor to get information on the costs of installing charging stations for fully electric vehicles in the city.  ....Initially, the city is looking at a couple of public charging stations in the Government Center parking lot and a couple in the side lot used for city and county government vehicles."

The savings could be important to the city's bottom line - both environmentally and financially.  The article in the Telegram details an example from Van Sickle - comparing a current gasoline vehicle the city operates and a similar hybrid one; while the two vehicles are exactly "apples-to-apples", there is the potential to cut carbon dioxide emissions per year in half and go through about 100 gallons less of fuel in the same time period.

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All of the city leaders involved agree that no definite actions will be taken until more information is gathered.  However, they also are in agreement that this is the time to act.  Van Sickle shared that "...with 12 of the city's passenger vehicles older than 12 years....it's something for the council to consider when those vehicles are replaced."

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