The vehicle market has been pivoting towards a more fuel-efficient, carbon-reducing direction over the past several years. Now not only are manufacturers on board with this change, but so are government fleet administrators.
In 2013, eight states across the country began working together to change the way customers looked at buying vehicles. Representing 25% of the nation’s car market, these states collaboratively promoted electrical vehicle purchases.
California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont have worked towards implementing more readily available charging stations that are just as convenient as traditional gas stations. Additionally, they looked into reducing toll fees for electric cars and even created “preferred” parking.
Though all well and good for the consumer, how do you expect to effect mass change with only a few incentives?
Government fleets across the nation have chosen to be the driving force behind change, by being the first to make the change.
It’s no secret that the Obama Administration has made it a point to tackle climate change and reduce the reliance on oil-consumption. In fact, it was the White House and Edison Electric Institute who arranged for over 120 businesses, nonprofits and more to move from gas-fueled vehicles to electric cars.
But how does growing a government fleet of electric cars truly impact us?
Improve Energy Efficiency
Since the 1970s, the United States has been the leading consumer of energy, but the rate of consumption has been slowly declining.
There are many reasons for optimizing your energy use, but none more so than creating energy security.
Energy security refers to the level of national security based on the availability of natural resources for energy. Modern economies function on having access to cheap energy, but when the distribution of energy supplies among countries becomes unevenly distributed, this can lead to national vulnerabilities.
Reducing our energy dependence directly impacts the amount of energy we need to consume and thereby works towards balancing the scale between need and availability.
When it comes to electric cars, another benefit for government fleet is how much money can be saved on fuel expenditure. Over the course of 8 years, if you were to travel 15,000 miles/year in a Ford Focus ST, your fuel cost would be approximately $16,222.
Over the same period of time, using a Ford Focus Electric, you would only spend $5,067. That’s a total savings of approximately $11,155 [Source: Ford.com]. In addition to reducing energy expenditure, there’s the benefit of saving over $11k over eight year’s time.
In terms of governmental impact, this means that taxpayers are able to reap the rewards of the declining expenditure, and the carbon footprint is minimizing as well.
In an effort to promote a more energy efficient fleet, Indianapolis partnered with Vision Fleet to upgrade 425 of their sedans to plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. Over the course of a seven-year lease contract, the city will save $8.7 million.
Traditionally speaking, the average cost of a government owned and run, gasoline-powered sedan costs taxpayers approximately $9,000 annually per vehicle. This includes the cost to purchase, fuel, maintain and insure the vehicle.
On the other hand, making the swap to electric vehicles in their government fleet is estimated to cost approximately $7,400 annually. Over a 10-year period of time, this would generate a taxpayer’s savings of $1,600 per year, per vehicle.
Moreover, the city’s upgrade to plug-in hybrid vehicles has already created an average savings of 53 gallons of gasoline each month. With 425 electric vehicles preparing to hit the streets, there is a projected savings of at least 560 gallons annually. Over the next 10 years, this will translate into 2.2 million gallons of gasoline saved and a total savings of $8.7 million.
As the governments’ incentives for electric cars continue to expand, and governments themselves start implementing change within their own ranks, only time will tell if American consumers will follow suit.
From reducing dependency on oil to improve energy security, the government officials are also promoting new ways for American families to cut fuel costs and carbon pollution simultaneously.
The commitment from the government to actively implement these changes shows consumers just how invested they, and the surrounding municipalities, are to the future of electric cars.
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