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updated: 9/17/2013 8:47 AM

Illinois set to begin purchasing electric cars

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois is about to begin purchasing more electric cars.

Lee Enterprises reports Illinois' purchasing agency recently signed a nearly $1.6 million contract with a Chicago electric car dealer that could bring an additional 60 of the vehicles into the state's fleet.

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Illinois Department of Central Management Services spokeswoman Anjali Julka says the agency has determined that electric vehicles are a better deal for taxpayers than some conventional, gasoline-powered vehicles.

However, a pilot project using 15 electric cars purchased with federal funds has highlighted some limitations of using battery-powered vehicles. With a limited 60-mile range, Agriculture Department spokesman Jeff Squibb an electric car is unlikely to be used by meat inspectors and other agency officials who travel longer distances from the main office in Springfield.

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