Archived Outdoors

Dillsboro ups the ante as a green town

Two electric vehicles will soon be tooling around the town of Dillsboro thanks to a state grant aimed at reducing air pollution from vehicles.

Dillsboro hopes the move will raise its profile as a “green” town. The vehicles will be plugged in and recharged rather than running on gas. They have zero tailpipe emissions.

“The electric vehicles will act as a constant advertisement for environmentally sound strategies at every level of town living, and will be the first taste many of our visitors have of the town’s unique character, at once both historic and modern,” according to Kelly McKee, Dillsboro town clerk.

The $30,000 grant will purchase an electric shuttle to move tourists from off-site parking into downtown during festivals. The second one will be an electric maintenance truck to replace the town’s only current vehicle, a 1975 Dodge pickup.

It is estimated that over seven-year cycle, including fuel and maintenance, the two electric vehicles will save a total of $2,000 versus similar conventional vehicles. The town hopes to have them in place by August.

The Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grant was applied for through the Sustainable Mountain Initiative, a coalition of Dillsboro and the Jackson County Green Energy Park.

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