Olympia leases electric vehicles

City in state to plug into new program

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Olympia is the first city in Washington to join a lease program that will bring more electric vehicles to the municipal fleet.

A two-year arrangement with Nissan signals a push for Olympia to accommodate more electric vehicles in the public and private sectors. The city will lease six Nissan Leafs from Bruce Titus Automotive Group under a Municipal Lease Program.

So far, three of the vehicles are on the road with three more coming in 2014.

The Leaf is an all-electric five-door hatchback that hit the U.S. market in late 2010. The car produces zero greenhouse emissions and logs the equivalent of 115 miles per gallon of gasoline.

Nissan also gave Olympia four charging stations with an estimated value of $28,000. The ChargePoint stations will be located at City Hall, the Justice Center on Plum Street and the Maintenance Center on Eastside Drive. The public will have access to the first two stations. The location for the fourth will be announced early next year.

Each vehicle will cost the city about $7,400 for the two-year lease after the city's federal tax credit of about $7,500 per vehicle.

Western Washington Clean Cities played matchmaker between Nissan and Olympia. The city's move is expected to encourage leasing of electric vehicles by cities across the state.

The custom lease from Nissan leads to fewer upfront costs and quicker savings on fuel, said Stephanie Meyn, program manager for Western Washington Clean Cities.