COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The City Council voted Tuesday to approve acceptance of a $187,500 state grant for developing an electric vehicle plan.
The grant money, which comes from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, will combine with more than $60,000 in local funding to hire a consultant to study and develop a plan.
"We hope to have the consultant hired and start the process during the first quarter of 2020," said Ryan Trujillo, the support services manager for the city.
Among the city's goals are to convert an unspecified percentage of the fleet of city and Colorado Springs Utilities gas powered vehicles to electric, said Trujillo.
"There are around 4,000 vehicles in the fleet," he said.
Another goal is to start a framework for providing charging stations for private vehicles across town.
The council voted 7-2 in favor of the grant. Some members said they support the city preparing for increased use of electric vehicles in the future as population and traffic continue to increase.
The city has received $3.1 million in grant funding for electric vehicles mostly to provide charging stations.
Andy Pico cast one of the dissenting votes.
"The application made it seem as if they're trying to convert the entire fleet to electric," he said. "That's not feasible, especially when you still need a power plant of some kind to charge those vehicles. Solar power isn't enough to do it. When you factor in the need for a power plant, those vehicles will still require an 80 percent emission rate. So making it electric doesn't make it 0 percent."
Pico also said he doesn't believe it's the government's role to provide charging stations to private vehicle owners.
Trujillo says a consultant will provide more specifics about how the city's plan would look.
"It's possible that we could provide charging stations for free," he said.
The city has nearly 50 public charging stations; 12 are in the three downtown parking garages and free to use.
The city recently received another grant to convert buses to electric.