The Dallas City Council passed a resolution on Wednesday to spend $12 million in taxpayer funds to establish and maintain electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

After previously paying for a fleet electrification feasibility study by the National Renewal Energy Laboratory, the City adopted an item during its meeting on June 28 to build infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations.

The item passed in the consent agenda without debate. The $12 million will go to a 10-year deal with the Ford Motor Company through the Florida Sheriff’s Association Cooperative Agreement to purchase and maintain charging infrastructure and technology.

According to the resolution, “the electrification of the City’s Fleet is in alignment with the Comprehensive Environmental Climate Action Plan.”

Similarly, “the Environmental Commission, Environment and Sustainability Committee and the City Council are supportive of alternative fuels and lowering emissions and associate conversion and electrification of the City’s fleet.”

“It is in the best interest of the City to contract with a third-party that can provide high quality electric vehicle charging infrastructure and charging software management and to create a long-term partnership that is flexible,” the resolution continued.

The purchase of the EV charging infrastructure is part of the City of Dallas’ move away from gas vehicles. Currently, the City owns roughly 5,400 vehicles.

“The City of Dallas purchased its first alternative fueled vehicle in 1992,” Green Dallas, an arm of the Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability, noted. “Today, about 40% of the City fleet is comprised of electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles.”

As a part of its “Smart Cities Initiatives,” Dallas estimated that demand for EV charging stations will grow from a few thousand to nearly 20,000 over the next five years.

With the expansion of taxpayer-funded electric vehicle acquisition for the City’s fleet, the demand for charging capabilities will undoubtedly grow.

Dallas’ push toward plans and policies that allegedly are better for the environment has drawn criticism from some environmental activists who suggest the City is approaching the issue in the wrong way.

Harold Burnett, the director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, previously told The Dallas Express that many of the City’s climate-related actions were “idiotic” and “virtue signaling.”

“It adds cost to the system,” he explained. “Who’s paying for that cost? We know that it costs the Dallas city taxpayers.”

Suggesting the City has more pressing concerns, Burnett continued, “We have a huge homeless problem here in Dallas. … Our schools are inadequate, we have high crime, all sorts of problems in Dallas that these people could be spending time dealing with.”