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Shelby County Commission passes ordinance to eliminate fully-gas fleet passenger vehicles by 2033

According to the Shelby County Mayor's Office, the Green Fleet Ordinance is aimed at taking the county's new fleet vehicles to electric or hybrid within a decade.
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MEMPHIS, Tenn — The Shelby County Commission unanimously passed a new ordinance Monday to combat climate change in the Mid-South.

According to the Shelby County Mayor’s Office, the Green Fleet Ordinance would eliminate all purchases of “fully gas-reliant passenger vehicles” by 2033. The goal is for the county’s new fleet to go hybrid or electric within a decade.

Here’s a look at the timeline set out by the ordinance:

  • By 2027, a minimum of 5% of the fleet will be green vehicles.
  • By 2028, a minimum of 50% of all new fleet purchases will be electric or hybrid.
  • By 2033, no more exclusively gas-reliant vehicles unless “it’s financially reckless to do so.”

According to the mayor’s office, the county will use funds available through the Inflation Reduction Act.

In 2022, Mayor Lee Harris signed a Green Fleet Executive Order, which aimed to move the county toward an electric/hybrid fleet.

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change and we will soon feel the heat even more, unless we do something about it. Right now, we have millions of dollars devoted to critical flood mitigation projects designed to help reduce the impact of climate change on homes and neighborhoods. We aren’t going to stop preparing for the worst. … The largest emitter of harmful climate change causing emissions community-wide is on-road transportation,” said Harris.

“We’re doing this to save taxpayer dollars and create a clean energy future for our next generation,” said Shelby County Budget Chairman Commissioner Michael Whaley. “By transitioning to more clean energy sources and investing in green vehicles, we are making a big difference in our shared environment.”

“Shelby County is about to experience significant economic development due to substantial private and public investments in electric vehicle manufacturing and sales. By purchasing and operating electric vehicles in this market the County will become a partner in this new economic activity and promote those industries,” said Dr. Carl Richards, Chair of the Sierra Club Tennessee Chapter Chickasaw Group.

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