Hennepin County soon will begin using an all-electric cargo van to deliver interoffice mail, part of an effort by the Drive Electric Minnesota partnership to promote electric vehicle technology.
The county purchased the $59,000 cargo van, a Ford Transit Connect model, with the help of a $20,000 grant from Xcel Energy, fleet manager Mike Judkins said.
Others getting Transit Connects include the state, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Ramsey County and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
The Transit Connect van uses an advanced lithium-ion battery to go 60 to 80 miles on a single charge. The vehicles can be recharged at either 240- or 120-volt outlets.
Judkins said the county could save an estimated $16,000 in fuel costs and $6,000 in regular maintenance over a seven-year period.
Hennepin County has installed a public charging station for electric vehicles in the 4th Street underground parking ramp at the downtown Minneapolis Central Library.