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Calif. Bay Area governments roll out EVs

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(Bay Area Climate Collaborative photo)

OAKLAND, Calif, (July 15, 2014) — In a collaborative effort, several local governments and agencies in the Oakland Bay Area have added 90 all-electric vehicles to their fleets.

Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Keith Carson, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), and 10 other public agencies announced the rollout they’re calling the largest government electric vehicle (EV) fleet deployment in the U.S. to date.

The number of vehicles being acquired by each agency is as follows: Alameda County: 26; Concord: 10; Fremont: 2; Marin Municipal Water District: 1; Oakland: 3; San Francisco: 14; San Jose: 3; Santa Rosa: 4; Sonoma County: 22; and Sonoma County Water Agency: 5. The Transportation Authority of Marin also participated with additional support for the Marin Municipal Water District.

The deployment is one in a series that the BACC and its partners are undertaking to assist public agencies in incorporating EVs into their fleets. The groups claim the rollout will yield operational cost savings of more than $500,000 while reducing CO2 by some 2 million pounds over five years. The effort “supports the region’s efforts to establish the Bay Area as the ‘EV Capital of the U.S.’” the groups said, and also helps meet California Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of 1.5 million EVs on the state’s roads by 2025.

Alameda County has led the collaborative procurement effort for the vehicles and the forthcoming procurement of charging equipment later this year, according to the BACC. With the addition of its 26 EVs, the county’s fleet of electric or hybrid vehicles increases to more than 50.

“By replacing older fleet vehicles with clean EVs, we’re greatly reducing pollution while saving our taxpayers money on fuel costs,” Alameda County’s Mr. Carson said. “By combining some of these EVs with on-site solar power charging stations, we are one of the nation’s leaders in the use of green vehicles.”

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

“Today’s rollout is an important milestone,” according to MTC Chair Amy Worth. “One of the cornerstones of MTC’s Climate Initiatives program is promoting the adoption of EVs. The introduction of EVs into public agency fleets gives hundreds more drivers the chance to not only experience electric, but to tell their friends, neighbors and co-workers about their advantages.”

Sonoma County’s and the Sonoma County Water Agency’s purchase of 27 vehicles through the program brings their alternative fuel fleet vehicle total to more than 300—encompassing over 30 percent of the agencies’ cars, vans and light-duty trucks while creating one of the largest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle fleets in the country.

The participating agencies were brought together by the BACC, which is providing coordination and technical support for the vehicle deployment and communication and education to other agencies on the benefits of EVs for their fleets.

Rafael Reyes, executive director of the BACC, said “these vehicles add to a series of fleet projects facilitated in the Bay Area by the BACC for a total of 140 electric vehicles in the past 12 months, with more to come, so agencies can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower costs and insulate themselves from gas price hikes.

“These municipalities are demonstrating great leadership, showing the benefits of EVs in fleets and providing a model for other fleets to follow.”

The BACC is a public-private initiative of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group established by the mayors of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland to accelerate a clean energy economy for the region. Major partners include Bank of America, Pacific Gas & Electric, Environmental Defense Fund, industry partners including ChargePoint, Schneider Electric and ABM, as well as local governments representing over 70 percent of the Bay Area population.

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