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City health inspectors 'going green' with electric cars

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2016/4/8 2:10:00 (1156 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowBy DAN EAKIN

The City of Lewisville has made one more step in helping the environment and economizing at the same time, by purchasing four 2016 Nissan Leaf electric cars.

The cars are being driven by city health inspectors John Offenbaker, Othel Ross and Jason Hunt, and by Drew Christ, rehab specialist.

Chris McGinn, city health inspector chief, said, “We are very excited to have these cars to help the city go 'more green' while at the same time saving the taxpayers money.”

He said the cars, which use no gasoline, can go 84 to 107 miles on a single charge, depending partly on how much the air conditioner, radio and other features on the car are used.

He said each city inspector travels about 30 or 40 miles a day or 150 to 200 miles per week.

Francis Mascarenhas, city internal services manager, said the city purchased the four electric cars from Nissan for a total of just over $88,000. The MSRP on a 2016 Nissan Leaf is $29,000, and the city purchased them for a little over $22,000 each.

Mascarenhas said the purchase was included in the 2016 city budget, and is a part of the city's 2025 Plan.

Cleve Joiner, Lewisville director of neighborhood services, said Nissan installed charging stations for the Leafs both in the Lewisville City Hall and Lewisville City Annex parking lots.

He said charging stations are also available free of charge at the Nissan dealership. Also, the vehicles can be charged from a 110 volt outlet, but Joiner said that takes much longer.

McGinn said there are 512 food service establishments in the city which the health inspectors may inspect, including restaurants, school cafeterias, and at day care centers, fitness clubs, convenience stores and supermarkets.

The city also has 200 swimming pools or hot tubs in public or semi-public places which may come under the scrutiny of the health inspectors. That would include at apartment complexes and fitness centers.

A health inspector may also go to a construction site, such as to a 7-Eleven now being built on Plano Parkway, to make sure proper requirements are going to be met for the food services which will be offered there.

Nissan started making the Leafs in 2014, so they are now in their third year on the road.

McGinn said, “We believe we will be able to use these cars for several years.”

City health inspectors have been using somewhat larger gasoline-empowered cars.

However, McGinn said one of the cars which was being used was a Toyota Prius and that the Leaf has as much or more room in it than the Prius.

Photos: Nissan Leafs at new charging stations in the parking lot just North of City Hall. Photos by Steve Southwell

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