The City of Atlanta has announced it will deploy what it says will be one of the largest municipal fleets of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. According to a press release, the city has teamed up with California-based Vision Fleet to roll out 50 battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by the end of 2015.
The release says the new fleet program is the result of legislation approved last week by the Atlanta City Council, and the measure is part of Mayor Kasim Reed's agenda to ensure that Atlanta is ‘one of the nation's leading cities for sustainability.’
“Replacing our current cars with clean-fueled vehicles, powered by cutting-edge technology, is a historic step for the city of Atlanta,” says Reed. “The program is yet another example of how we are fully invested in making Atlanta a healthier and more prosperous city.’
The new vehicles will include 100% electric models, such as the Nissan LEAF, as well as plug-in hybrid models, such as the Chevrolet Volt and the Ford Fusion Energi. Cars will be distributed throughout the city's fleet based on the needs of each department.
The release says that in partnership with Vision Fleet, a plug-in vehicle fleet company, the city developed an innovative financing structure that bundles together all the expenses of purchasing, fueling and maintaining the EVs into a guaranteed rate that is a lower cost than conventional vehicles. Furthermore, the release adds, Vision Fleet will utilize its suite of technology and data analytics to provide operational support designed for reducing the cost of ownership.
“This project will have enormous impacts on fuel consumption and fleet service costs,” says Vision Fleet CEO Michael Brylawski. “For example, each of the 50 electric vehicles deployed will save at least 550 to 600 gallons of gas annually. In addition, fuel costs for the new electric vehicles will be about one-third of the old gas vehicles costs, and maintenance will be reduced by approximately 40 percent.”
Spearheaded by the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, the program will align with the city's Power to Change Plan, which seeks to reduce vehicle emissions by 20% by the year 2020. According to the press release, the new fleet deployment will also complement the existing efforts of the office to support EVs, such as the recent installation of the city's first public charging station on Mitchell St. near Atlanta City Hall. The charging station is free and open to the public.
“This is the start of a long-term program to develop policies and programs that will encourage employees, residents and businesses to consider using electric vehicles,” says Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. “We are grateful to our partners who helped with the passage of this program, including the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Clean Cities Georgia, NRG eVgo and Georgia Power's Electric Transportation Team.”