October 31, 2023

As the nation transitions away from gas-powered engines in favor of more sustainable solutions, The City of Dover is using a $500,000 grant from Energize Delaware’s EV Fleets for Local Governments program to pilot a new fleet of electric vehicles and electric lawn equipment.

“Our crews are very excited to put this new equipment to the test,” Dover City Manager Dave Hugg said. “Before we invest taxpayer money in this still relatively new technology, we want to make sure the EVs are able to perform as needed and withstand the usage that we put on our vehicles. The grant from Energize Delaware is allowing us to try before we buy and make sure this equipment is right for our needs.”

Using the Energize Delaware grant, the city purchased two commercial Greenworks electric riding mowers, a Chevrolet Bolt, six Ford F-150 Lightning pick-up trucks, and upgraded their electric

infrastructure for charger installations. The vehicles are spread throughout different divisions in the City to test their feasibility. For instance, the Planning and Inspections Department is using the Chevrolet Bolt, the six pickup trucks will be divided amongst the Fire Marshal’s Office, Police, Electric, Grounds, Public Works and Metering Departments.

“As the capital of our state, we’re excited to work with the City of Dover and pilot electrification of their fleet and lawn equipment. This equipment will allow the City to pilot mowers, vehicles, and chargers to better understand their benefits, usage patterns, emissions reduction, and chart a future path for the City. It is our hope to provide these pilots to nearly half our municipalities” said Drew Slater, Executive Director of Energize Delaware.

To date the Energize Delaware funding supported the opportunity for nearly 20 local and county governments to pilot electric vehicles in their communities. The grant helps alleviate the logistical concerns of installing the infrastructure to maintain the EV fleets. Energize Delaware is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to inspiring sustainable energy solutions for a thriving environment and economy.

Dover also received more than $11,000 from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Delaware Electric Vehicle Charging Rebate Program to assist with the project.

“As Mayor, we are pleased to have received the grants that will give us this opportunity to see if electric vehicles will result in a cost savings to our citizens, reduce our carbon footprint and increase our productivity. We have assigned the vehicles throughout various divisions with people in those departments then taking turns and evaluating their experience monthly. They will be documenting the pros and cons, as well as any additional expenses so that we can evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of the electric vehicles.” said Mayor Robin R. Christiansen.

“This large grant shows the power of partnership between our City and Energize Delaware and I’m excited to see electric vehicles in our city supporting our employees and reducing emissions,” said Representative Sean Lynn.

The city will complete installation of fleet chargers in the coming weeks and hopes to subsidize an additional six public chargers.

“I’m thrilled that the City of Dover is taking the lead in exploring the many advantages provided by EV equipment, whether that’s reducing our reliance on petrochemicals or cutting the noise pollution so commonly associated with lawn equipment,” said Sen. Trey Paradee, who represents the Dover area and serves as a member of the Senate Environment, Energy and Transportation Committee. “We all have a role to play in building a more sustainable future for our children and I want to commend the City of Dover and Energize Delaware for working together to launch a pilot program that I think will benefit us all for years to come.”

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