Mayor Ed Lee buys electric vehicle

July 6, 2011 12:09:50 PM PDT
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is now traveling in a snazzy new vehicle that is also better for the environment -- it's a plug-in hybrid that he said will hopefully use little to no gasoline each day.

Lee made the announcement about the new electric car, a Chevrolet Volt, on Independence Day to symbolize his support for a future that is independent of foreign oil.

The mayor talked more about his new wheels in an impromptu interview with reporters at City Hall Tuesday afternoon, saying the car is turning heads around town.

"People are staring at it for sure, they don't know who is there behind the tinted glass," he said. "I'm sure they're expecting some teenager, not some 60-year-old mustache guy."

After being fully charged, the Volt -- one of the most fuel-efficient compact cars sold in the U.S. -- runs for 40 miles on electric power before switching to gas, and Lee said he will try to keep it under that number "so I don't ever have to use a drop of gas."

He said he is trying to get a charging station installed at the garage where the car will be parked at City Hall.

The car cost $39,000, half of which was paid for by grants and the rest was paid for by trading in another car in the city's fleet, Lee said.

He said he wants to switch more of the city-owned cars from gas to electric power.

"I think we have enough gas-using cars," he said. "We should be able to trade those out."

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