By GABRIELLA DRAGONE
PATERSON, NJ – Mayor Andre Sayegh and Fire Chief Brian McDermott announced Thursday that the City of Paterson is going green by purchasing 35 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.
The vehicles are intended for local travel by city employees in divisions and departments such as Community Improvement, Economic/Community Development, Health, Fire, and others that conduct inspections.
“The future has arrived here in Paterson,” Sayegh said. “We’re taking a major step forward in our country’s future and being part of the solution to eliminate pollution.”
Paterson is participating in the Sustainable Jersey Program where cities receive points for going green.
McDermott believes in being conscious to the community and the climate, he said, adding that the vehicles are cheaper than most cars. Further, he added, at about $22,000 each the Nissan Leaf vehicles are the most reliable compared to other electric car brands.
“There is no gasoline for us to consume,” McDermott said. “Which is great both financially and it’s great for the environment. That is my number one driving force right now, is that we get to leave our legacy here, just as they did on a much grander scale with the Industrial Revolution.”
McDermott expressed that this is only the beginning of the effort. There are still 83 vehicles that need to be changed out, and an initiative is underway to purchase electric fire trucks and ambulances.
The Leaf will be charged by 110 volts, which is similar to that of a cellphone and will be backed up by level two chargers. These chargers will charge the car in roughly eight hours to full capacity, allowing them to travel approximately 147 miles.
“People might say, ‘that’s it?’,” McDermott said. “Well, the City is only 8.4 miles, so they’re not going to drive 147 miles every single day.”
The vehicles will be charged overnight or as needed.
“I look forward to us working on this,” McDermott said. “I’m very excited for it.”
“Paterson is becoming a 21st century city with electric cars,” Sayegh said. “I feel electrified by the fact that, finally, we’re getting to where we need to go as a sustainable city.”