The leases on 23 city-owned Toyota RAV4 all-electric vehicles were renewed last week, as Santa Monica council members awarded more than $90,000 to the automotive company as part of a one-year lease extension.
Officially $90,459, the purchase order was awarded to Toyota Motor Credit Corporation and extends the leases through October 2012; the previous leases expired in October and November 2012.
Each of the vehicles are used for City of Santa Monica business. Among the departments that use the all-electric vehicles include airport administration, Building and Safety, Engineering, Facilities, the Office of Sustainability and the Environment, Resource Recovery & Recycling, and Water Resources.
“The use of electric vehicles furthers the City’s sustainability goals of decreasing toxic emissions,” a staff report stated.
City Hall has leased Toyota RAV4’s since Fiscal Year 2001-2002.
According to a discussion on the issue during council’s Feb. 14 meeting, each leased vehicle will cost about $376 per month. Staff further added “the new lease term … is retroactive to its in-service date in October and November 2011.”
“The Toyota RAV4s have been reliable and cost effective to operate,” the staff report to council member stated. “There is no immediate alternative to replace these vehicles with other electric vehicles. This lease extension would allow staff time to continue exploring a new generation of electric vehicles.”
Indeed, staff indicated in its report that it will “explore replacement of these vehicles with a new generation of electric vehicles, recommend an additional lease extension, or pursue another vehicle before October 2012.”
As part of the lease, any portion or all of the vehicles can be returned at anytime to Toyota; should City Hall return any or all of the vehicles before the lease expires, the remaining balance of the lease will be credited back.
Part of the consent calendar, all four council members present at the Feb. 14 meeting approved moving forward with the new lease terms. Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis and Council members Bob Holbrook and Pam O’Connor were not present.