Updated Sept. 28

The City Council
will consider (Oct. 1) purchasing 10 electric vehicles for use by the Community Development department. Independence Power and Light will loan the funds for the purchase with repayment made from the city’s general revenue. No decision has been made on electric charging stations.

City May Lease Electric Charging Stations & Vehicles

The City of Independence plans to lease 10 electric charging stations and 10 Chevrolet Bolt all-electric vehicles under a five-year contract with MCPower.

The proposal is a five-year lease contract at an annual cost of $131,400 or $657,000 over the five years.

Many vendors were interested in the city's Request for Proposal (RFP) which was issued in May. MCPower actually received the lowest score from IPL evaluators, but responded with an alternative proposal which is being recommended for approval.

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The initial RFP requested 25 electric charging stations with an option for either outright purchase or a lease option.

The MCPower alternative reduced the number of electrical charging stations from 25 to 10 charging stations but added 10 electric vehicles which would be used by city staff. It is not clear whether the other vendors were allowed or encouraged to submit alternative proposals including electric vehicles.

In April, the city issued an Invitation to Bid on on electrical and hybrid vehicles, but in August canceled the bids. The Electric Bolt in the lease agreement is an all-electric vehicle with an estimated range of 238 miles on a single charge.

MCPower's best and final offer stressed the advantages of no upfront capital costs and a flexible way to access new technology and ongoing support under a monthly subscription model through a MCPower partnership with Sparkfund.

Separately, Missouri is looking to expand electric charging stations along highways as part of the $41 million settlement which Volkswagen will pay over 10 years for violations of the Clean Air Act for selling diesel vehicles having emissions defeat devices.

The summary plan provides $6 million for electric charging stations with funds allocated based on competitive proposals. Read background on the national settlement agreement.

Kansas City Power and Light has been a national leader on electric charging stations.

MCPower is also the vendor responsible for the city's aggressive community solar program which generates 11.4 megawatts from two locations - one on Bundschu Road and the former Rockwood golf course. A recent analysis shows the city can expected to lose over $15 million over a 25-year period.

The council action to add electric charging stations and vehicles references an earlier city council resolution to become the "greenest city in America."

A major source for the city's energy are two long-term coal contracts - Nebraska City 2 (Omaha Public Power District) and Iatan 2 (Kansas City Power and Light) in Platte County. The two power plants provide over 60% of IPL's power and the long-term contract expire in 2049 and 2050 respectively.