Electric Vehicles

Electric Fleet Vehicles

Fleet Vehicles for governments are coming! “The best day to start was yesterday…Your next best opportunity is tomorrow…” Federal and state mandates are looming.  Big fleets and small fleets; some municipal governments are already running/testing electric vehicles and hybrids.  Almost everyone is thinking about lowering their vehicle carbon emissions and asking a lot of questions. 

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One size does not fit all–should your fleet be battery electric, gas, diesel and/or hybrid?   Most cities are going to start with a mix of approaches to electric vehicles from battery EVs to hybrids to staying the course on the heaviest vehicles with gas & diesel being the the most viable  choice in the near term. 

Carbon-friendly green energy is an imperative for most governments and municipal agencies from administrative to public safety, schools, public transportation, school buses and public works.  Many local governments have already laid out strategies and started to take delivery! Most are in the planning and evaluation phase.

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Fleet Electrification

Everything from the environmental benefits of a zero-emission vehicle fleet to the total cost of ownership (“TCO”).   Review your current fleet and divide it into functional categories, e.g. administrative, work & service vehicles, hauling & delivery, public safety, public transportation, utility vehicles, construction and maintenance, and public safety from police cars to fire trucks.  Leasing program benefits checklist icon For most governments, electrification will be a winding road to an ultimate destination. TOC (total cost of ownership is likely to be lower), but new vehicle operations and implementation costs may likely go up initially. (Will it be “in the budget?”). Operating costs will likely decline. There is lots of talk about grants and third-party funding, but those programs can be uncertain and fraught with red tape and bureaucracy. There are financial benefits.

Electric Fleet (EV) Planning Strategy

1) Fleet Overview. How many vehicles do you operate, and how do they fit into your daily operations? Most cities have everything from passenger vehicles to police cars to dump trucks and street sweepers.

2) How many miles does each type of vehicle travel on a “typical” day? What kinds of routes and what kinds of material are moved?

3) Where would EV charging infrastructure and maintenance facilities be? Haw fax can electric vehicles be charged? Is your facility L1 or L2?  Can your facilities and staff be transitioned from ICE (internal combustion engines) to electric and battery?

4) Can your electric utility partners assist? Will they incentivize off-hours EV charging energy use to lower your costs?

5) Can all (100%) electric vehicles fit within your charging constraints, or will you need to integrate hybrids? Passenger vehicles are plentiful,  and light trucks, transit buses, sweepers, and even garbage trucks are coming online, but the options may be more limited on mission-critical police vehicles and fire trucks as well as your largest truck and heavy equipment (snow plows, road graders, etc.) or, it will probably be a “mix” to start.

6) Are you able to track usage more closely with vehicle telematics data that will allow you to plan your acquisitions?

7) Will you “pilot” limited transitions within one or more departments to gauge benefits and/or operating hurdles–before diving in?

8) Do you have an implementation time frame (or has one been established for you)?  Get in the queue, the clock is ticking.

Electrification Start Up Costs Can Be High

But that’s exactly where we can assist by spreading your start-up costs over multiple budget periods.  Vehicles can be more expensive out-of-the-box than what you’ve spent in the past on vehicles with the internal combustion engines (ICE) they’re replacing and the new charging and maintenance infrastructure.  First Capital will smooth out the cost of entry as you scale up and your total cost of ownership (TCO) scales back.

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