A Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Government Alternative Fuel Fleet Program grant application for the purchase of electric vehicles was approved for submission by Round Rock City Council on June 10.

According to the meeting packet, if awarded the grant, it would give the city $180,000 to purchase 12 vehicles to add to its fleet and implement charging infrastructure. That is $12,000 per vehicle plus an additional $1,500 per vehicle for infrastructure, according to Chad McDowell, Round Rock General Services director. McDowell had previously stated at the June 8 packet meeting the grant would provide $3,000 for infrastructure, but said at the council's June 10 meeting it was actually half that.

“Most of these vehicles will just need a cord plugged in, but it needs either a 20 amp or 30 amp breaker plugged in,” McDowell said at the packet meeting. “We'll have one out there at the new Bob Bennett building for sure. We'll have one at the streets department; we'll probably have one at the part yard because it's required. Also, we did have one in my shop as well. [It is] pretty simple infrastructure.”

With the council's unanimous approval, the application will now be signed and sent off to the TCEQ for consideration.

“I do feel like the time is right, and electric is here to stay,” McDowell said.

McDowell said at the June 10 Council meeting the electric vehicles being considered, which are manufactured by Ford Motor Co., would require up to 40% less maintenance when compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles.

The meeting packet states funds from the grant would supplement monies already earmarked for vehicles on the city’s replacement list for fiscal year 2021-22. Instead of purchasing gas-powered vehicles, the city will use the additional funds to purchase electric vehicles if awarded the grant.