IPSWICH — Town Manager Anthony Marino and Police Chief Paul Nikas report that the Town of Ipswich has purchased a new electric police vehicle, the latest effort to increase the use of green energy in town and to decrease municipal government’s overall carbon footprint.
The new Tesla Model Y will be used by Chief Nikas for administrative duties. The Tesla replaces a 2011 Ford Taurus that was scheduled for replacement this year in the town’s Capital Plan.
This is the sixth electric vehicle the town has purchased once a municipal vehicle was scheduled for replacement.
The Tesla’s cost has been offset by a grant of $10,000 from the Ipswich Electric Light Department and a grant of $4,290 from the Green Community Program. The grants reduce the cost to taxpayers to about $39,000,which is comparable to gas-powered options and slightly less than the amount budgeted by the town.
The town estimates the Tesla will cut carbon-dioxide emissions by up to 87 percent compared to a gas vehicle and anticipates saving up to $13,000 in fuel and maintenance costs over 10 years.
The town also anticipates a health benefit from electric police vehicles as gas cruisers often idle for long periods.
Ipswich officials have taken many steps in recent years to reduce community use of fossil-based fuels.
- The ELD has replaced five late-model vehicles with electric vehicles: an electric Hyster forklift for the department garage; Chevrolet Bolts for use by the department engineer, town conservation agent and town Building and Health Department; and a Toyota RAV4Plug-in hybrid vehicle for the ELD manager. ELD estimates the electric vehicles have reduced operating and maintenance costs by several thousand dollars and cut gasoline usage by about 1,000 gallons.
- The town has installed electric vehicle charging stations at the parking lots on Elm Street and Hammatt Street, Town Hall, and the Utilities Department. More charging stations are planned as funding opportunities become available.
- In February 2020, the state certified the town as a “Green Community” with the goal of reducing municipal energy use by 20 percent within five years.
- The Select Board and the School Board recently adopted a resolution developed by the Town’s Climate Resiliency Committee, which commits to eliminating municipal use of fossil fuels by 2040.
The town does not anticipate purchasing another electric vehicle in the near term but expects that those purchases will become standard town practice as electric vehicles evolve.