Electric Vehicles

Calif. Agencies Roll Out 90 All-Electric Vehicles

July 14, 2014

Officials and agency employees gathered for the announcement of the rollout on June 8. Photo courtesy of Alameda County.
Officials and agency employees gathered for the announcement of the rollout on June 8. Photo courtesy of Alameda County.

Ten government agencies in the Bay Area of Northern California will add 90 battery-electric vehicles into their fleets, a roll-out the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) is calling the largest municipal fleet deployment of electric vehicles in the U.S. to date.

The public agencies receiving vehicles include Alameda County, Sonoma County, San Francisco, Concord, Santa Rosa, San Jose, Oakland, Fremont, the Marin Municipal Water District, and Sonoma County Water Agency. The Transportation Authority of Marin also participated with additional support for the Marin Municipal Water District.

The all-electric vehicles — projected to be 64 Ford Focus sedans, 23 Nissan LEAF sedans, and 3 Zenith vans — were purchased with $2.8 million in funding support from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which offset the incremental cost of the EVs and charging infrastructure. Local agency vehicle replacement funds made up the balance of the investment.

The rollout of 90 all-electric vehicles is expected to yield operational cost savings of more than $500,000 and avoidance of 2 million pounds of CO2 over five years, according to the BACC. This supports the region’s efforts to establish the Bay Area as the "EV Capital of the U.S." and helps meet Governor Jerry Brown's goal of 1.5 million EVs on California roads by 2025.

Alameda County has led the collaborative procurement effort for the vehicles and the forthcoming procurement of charging equipment later this year. The County will receive 26 of the 90 vehicles — raising the number of electric or hybrid vehicles in its fleet to more than 50. Alameda County also received recognition this year for its EV work with the Ready, Set, Charge! Bay Area EV Readiness Award in the Most EV-Ready Large Community category.

Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Water Agency purchased 27 vehicles through the program. The addition brings the county's alternative fuel fleet vehicle total to more than 300, encompassing more than 30% of the agencies’ cars, vans, and light-duty trucks and creating one of the largest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fleets in the country.

"We are excited to add these vehicles to our fleet," said Jose Obregon's Sonoma County's director of general services. "On the average, with our onsite stationary fuel cell, we are able to operate these vehicles at a fuel cost that is 83% lower than a conventionally powered vehicle."

The number of vehicles being acquired by each agency is as follows: Alameda County: 26, Concord: 10, Fremont: two, Marin Municipal Water District: one, Oakland: three, San Francisco: 14, San Jose: three, Santa Rosa: four, Sonoma County: 22, and Sonoma County Water Agency: five.

"Our fleet vehicle routes are ideally suited for EVs," said Ron Leone, Concord's vice mayor. "The EV proposition makes a lot of sense for our fleet, and our fleet managers are excited to have vehicles that have far less maintenance required than gasoline powered cars."

The Ford Focus and Nissan LEAF sedans each utilize lithium-ion batteries to power the vehicles and use regenerative braking to recover energy while driving. The Focus is assembled in Wayne, Mich., has an EPA-estimated rating of 110 city, 99 highway, and 105 combined MPG equivalent, and an EPA-estimated range of 76 miles on a fully-charged battery.

The LEAF, assembled in Smyrna, Tenn., has estimated driving range of 84 miles and MPG equivalent ratings of 126 city, 101 highway, and 114 combined. The Zenith Motors 350 Cargo utility van is assembled in Crestview Hills, Ky., and has a range of 120 miles per charge with a payload capacity of 3,000 lbs.

The participating agencies were brought together by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), a public-private initiative of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group established by the Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland to accelerate the clean energy economy. The BACC is providing coordination and technical support for this deployment as well as communication and education to other agencies on the benefits of EVs for their fleets.

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