An electric Chevy Volt charging in a Santa Barbara City lot. | Credit: Paul Wellman

The changeover from internal-combustion to all-electric vehicles for Santa Barbara County government is not a matter of if but when. As a first step on March 19, supervisors voted unanimously that when county fleets need new nonemergency sedans, those cars must be electric. “It’s an important move for the county to begin this transition,” said Supervisor Gregg Hart, echoing the board’s conceptual direction to staff to move toward a carbon-free fleet, understanding that costs would be high out of the gate but would save money over time in fuel and upkeep. Supervisors also encouraged staff to squeeze more miles out of existing county vehicles, which are typically replaced with new models after 100,000 miles. Staff was directed to return to the board next year with an update.


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