American Cities Drive Fleet Electrification Efforts Across United States

    Originally posted by Ben Prochazka, Vice President of the Electrification Coalition | July 19, 2019 | Bloomberg Philanthropies | Original Article

    In recent years, the transportation sector has become the leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S., accounting for approximately 29 percent of total annual emissions. [1]  Additionally, the transportation system is a major contributor to increased air pollution that negatively impacts our health – and, with the volatile nature of our oil markets, oil’s monopoly on our transportation sector also threatens our economy. The problem is clear: a gas-guzzling transportation sector presents risks to our economy, public health, and environment.

    Thankfully, huge advances in technology are providing a path to a new transportation future. The widespread electrification of vehicles will greatly reduce our reliance on oil, slash carbon emissions, and improve public health. In addition, the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) will also save money for consumers and municipalities, because EVs cost less to operate and maintain.

    The growth of EVs in the U.S. has been impressive. With the hard work of advocates, cities, states, and champions in the private sector, there are already more than one million EVs on the road. But with over 250 million light duty cars and trucks on the road, it is going to require more investment and new strategies to rapidly accelerate EV adoption.

    U.S. Cities are Leading the Way with Fleets

    Last month (June) at the 87th Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Meeting in Honolulu, HI, fleet electrification in cities took center stage. The Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative (the Collaborative) showcased incredible growth in the past year, highlighting the expanding number of cities and commitments made to purchase EVs for their municipal fleets. The U.S. Conference of Mayors also unanimously passed a resolution committing to fleet electrification and calling on more cities to transition their fleets to EVs.

    Hitting New Milestones for Fleet Transition

    During the Climate Mayors Summit, the Collaborative announced that 127 cities and 15 counties from across 38 states have committed to purchasing more than 2,100 EVs by the end of 2020. The Collaborative is building on this success by looking to recruit additional cities to make bulk commitments to electrification. To do so, the Collaborative has created a platform that will ensure cities follow through with these commitments by making it cheaper and easier to go electric.

    The commitments made by these cities and counties to transition their fleets to electric will have a significant impact by:

    • Cutting gas usage by up to 1 million gallons each year;
    • Transitioning to 25 million electric miles driven each year; and
    • Adding more than $75 million in purchasing power to the electric vehicle market.

    The Collaborative also announced plans to place a competitive bid on electric school buses by the end of this year, which will enable all electric school bus manufacturers to offer any public school system in the country access to equal, competitive bus prices. With more than 480,000 school buses operating across the country, this represents an enormous potential to both decrease transportation emissions associated with traditional school buses, and provide educational opportunities for students.

    The announcement in Hawaii showed the continued expansion of the program—growing the number of cities making near term commitments to electric options and expanding the program to meet the expanding interests of fleets. With the future addition of buses and school bus options to the platform, we’re excited to bring even more electric vehicle options to our platform to ensure the program evolves to both accelerate electric vehicle deployment and meet consumers’ needs.

    Read the full article on the Bloomberg Philanthropies website.