The importance of fleet electrification in government agencies

fleet electrification

Government agencies throughout North America are abuzz with news on fleet electrification. The Canadian government is taking measurable steps to reduce its carbon footprint, while the United States is calling for an electrified federal fleet by 2035.

But the importance of fleet electrification for government agencies goes far beyond regulation alone. Getting involved in the EV transition could provide dozens of benefits to your organization and audience, saving money, reducing emissions, and supporting a happier and healthier community.

Fleet electrification is well worth your consideration—read on to understand why in greater detail.

What is the fleet electrification process for government agencies?

Fleet electrification is the process of transforming a previously established fleet by replacing fuel-powered vehicles with low- or zero-emission vehicles. Local, state, and federal governments each abide by specific processes to ensure a smooth transition from fuel-powered vehicles to less emissions-heavy models.

Most fleet managers use a three-step process to electrify their fleets:

  1. Plan: The planning step is the most fundamental of these phases. Fleet managers must focus on training their team and creating opportunities for new infrastructure, including zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) and EV supply equipment (EVSE).
  2. Design: Next, fleet managers must work with leadership teams and cooperative contracts to identify products, solutions, and infrastructure upgrades. You may want to work with seasoned contractors, as they can make recommendations for charging station placement or design.
  3. Execute: Finally, you can begin to acquire and install ZEV solutions (such as vehicles and charging stations) for your government fleet. It’s a good idea to leave room for future improvements or additional expansions.

Following this fleet electrification process unlocks numerous benefits for your organization, and many do more than just meet regulatory statutes and empower your organization to better serve public audiences.

Why fleet electrification is so important for North American governments

Fleet electrification is a powerful solution for organizational efficiency and a major constituent in creating a greener, healthier world. Here’s why adoption is vital for agencies on the state or local level.

1. Lower operating costs

No public organization wants to spend more than it needs to maintain or operate its public fleet. Fortunately, EVs provide many opportunities to reduce overhead and reallocate budget lines to more effective tasks.

It’s true that EVs may cost more up front, but their overall lifetime costs are far more economical than traditional vehicles. According to national trends, EVs can reduce fuel spend by as much as 50%, which can help your organization save money over time.

2. Reduced maintenance needs

Any downtime for public fleet vehicles can negatively impact organizational productivity. Maintenance is a major part of this concern, especially for larger vehicles like school buses that require more in-depth care.

Although EVs still require maintenance, the necessary effort is far more manageable. Research shows that they cost half as much to repair and maintain than fuel-powered vehicles, which means you don’t have to worry about excess time in the shop or unplanned downtime reducing your productivity.

3. Improved performance

Fuel-powered vehicles waste an enormous amount of energy compared to EVs. Most of the energy created by fossil fuels is lost before transitioning to the wheel, which is not the case for EV models.

EVs use energy far more efficiently and don’t waste as much power through heat and noise. Today, some of the fastest vehicles on the planet are EV powered, which bodes well for high-efficiency models in public fleets.

4. Better air quality

More than 25% of Americans live in places where the local air quality fails to meet federal guidelines. Fossil fuels are major contributors to this, especially in busy metros with a higher-than-average vehicle count.

Public fleets can combat this problem with a mindful fleet electrification plan. In leading by example to acquire EVs, state and local governments have the power to reduce air pollution and decrease lung-related illnesses.

5. Fewer GHG emissions

Perhaps the most broadly accepted benefit of EVs is the reduction of greenhouse gases. The average EV releases nearly 4.5 times less CO2 per year than fuel-powered vehicles, which compounds over the course of the average EV lifecycle.

Fortunately, you don’t have to acquire a specific EV model to reap any of these benefits. All you need is a plan and a willingness to move forward, along with excellent resources to get started.

How cooperative contracts can help you build a fleet electrification plan

You know the importance of fleet electrification within state or local governments, but you’re still unsure how to start pivoting your fleet without additional resources and outside assistance.

Sourcewell is happy to help with its wide network of organizational partners. It works alongside multiple EV-focused organizations to help state and local governments meet their operational goals. They include:

  • Climate Mayors, an organization that can help you find light, medium, and heavy-duty EVs for your fleet, including school buses
  • The Electrification Coalition, which provides free resources such as EV tools and calculators, policy toolkits, and webinars
  • Sourcewell itself, which offers competitively solicited cooperative contracts to help you find necessary tools and important infrastructure

The team of this government organization looks forward to supporting your EV transition.

See how easy it is to get the EV fleet you need without the hassle using Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing program. Streamline the public procurement process by choosing from hundreds of suppliers already on contract. Sourcewell’s procurement experts competitively solicit and award contracts on behalf of 50,000 participating agencies in North America. Sourcewell has been a government-empowering organization since 1978. Check out our contracts here.