Silver Lake declines to participate in free EV program

By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

SILVER LAKE — Town council on Wednesday afternoon chose not to participate in a program that would have provided electric vehicles free of charge.

The government program, run through the Michiana Council of Governments, is targeted toward smaller communities and offers free vehicles and chargersa rarity in the grant world.

Eleven communities in Michiana have been looking into the program, including four in Kosciusko County.

Winona Lake Town Council has already opted to participate. Other local communities expressing interest are Pierceton and North Webster.

Silver Lake’s utility department expressed interest in the program for its utility and police departments, in part, because the program was presented without any costs.

But town council members expressed skepticism about the program.

They questioned the reliability of electric vehicles in frigid weather, long term sustainability and possible maintenance issues.

The program required participating towns pay the initial costs upfront and then wait to be reimbursed.

Some town council members worried the reimbursement program would include a lag in repayment.

Another pointed out reports that many electric vehicles struggled during the recent cold snap in Chicago.

Council Member Hugh Murphin said he’d rather take a wait-and-see approach and consider something similar in the future depending on how Winona Lake’s participation works out.

Council Members Jean Carroll questioned the vehicles’ reliability while Nicole Taylor said she had little faith in electric vehicles.