From the Racine Post 2/2/08
Neighborhood Electric Cars...
This just came in from Aldermen Greg Helding and Aron Wisneski. This is in response to our article on the state approving Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, but them being illegal in Racine. Here's the release:
Racine’s streets may soon be buzzing with zero emissions electric vehicles, if two Racine Alderman have their way. Aldermen Aron Wisneski and Greg Helding are working on an ordinance to allow the operation of “Neighborhood Electric Vehicles” in the City of Racine.Wisconsin’s DOT recently approved the vehicles for state licensing, but did not mandate that they be allowed on city streets – leaving the decision up to local officials. “People in Racine are being squeezed by high gas prices,” said Alderman Aron Wisneski. “City government shouldn’t stand in the way of this market-driven solution to that problem.”Specifically designed for localized use, these cars produce zero emissions because they are 100% electric. The car’s batteries provide only enough power to reach a top speed of 25MPH and a maximum range of 35 miles with a single charge. Despite these limitations, they are gaining in popularity because they are affordable. With a retail price under $15,000 and an estimated annual fuel cost of just $200, they make for a very low cost second car. “These vehicles are perfect for people who do all of their driving in town,” said Alderman Greg Helding. “They are inexpensive, clean, and quiet. I can’t think of a reason we would not want to allow them.”The Aldermen submitted a request to the city council asking for an ordinance to be drafted that would allow the operation of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. The request will be introduced at their February 5, 2008, meeting. “At that point, we will refer it to a committee so we can study the proposal and get feedback from city departments, including Pubic Works and the Police,” said Wisneski. “This is the first step, but we would like to see the ordinance adopted sometime this spring.” If the ordinance is adopted, Racine will join about 35 other Wisconsin communities that allow the vehicles, including Green Bay, LaCrosse, Eau Claire, and Beloit.