SAN FRANCISCO - October 31 - Not to be outdone by Marin County, the City of Berkeley today placed a soft fleet order for 40 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Last month, Marin County placed a similar order for 22 of the vehicles, according to Plug-In Bay Area, a new initiative aimed at putting more of the fuel efficient cars on Bay Area roads.
Plug-in Hybrids, which are capable of 100+ miles per gallon, add battery power and a plug to a conventional hybrid while retaining a flexible fuel gas tank. This allows for all-electric, zero-emissions driving locally, and the ability to shift to gas for longer distances. “Plug-in hybrids give us an opportunity to dramatically improve the fuel economy of Berkeley’s fleet,” said Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley.
“Plug-in hybrids will help our city save money and improve air quality while contributing to national efforts to break our oil addiction. I encourage the automakers to start building these innovative vehicles soon so that we can turn this soft order into a real one.”
“By placing this soft order, Berkeley is enhancing its reputation as a national leader on environmental and energy security issues,” said Rainforest Action Network’s Jodie Van Horn, coordinator of Plug-In Bay Area. “With Marin, Berkeley and other soft orders being placed around the country, automakers can no longer deny the growing demand for plug-in vehicles. We encourage the rest of the Bay Area to hop on the bandwagon so we can finally get these cars on the road and break our addiction to oil.”
Plug-In Bay Area is the newest chapter of Plug-In Partners, a national grassroots initiative intended to demonstrate to automakers the burgeoning demand for plug-in vehicles via “soft orders,” which are declarations of intent to purchase plug-ins once they are commercially available. Plug-in hybrids, which combine liquid and electric fuel, offer an exciting and timely solution to the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, high gasoline costs, poor air quality, and climate change. By building demand for plug-ins via soft orders, advocates are pressuring the auto industry to make the vehicles commercially available.
Regional Plug-In Bay Area organizers include Rainforest Action Network, Bluewater Network, PG&E, CalCars, San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association, and Plug-In America.