West Coast Initiative Aims to Drive More Fleets Toward EVs


The governors of California, Oregon, Washington and the premier of British Columbia are teaming up with West Coast cities, counties and utilities to launch a major new initiative designed to accelerate adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in public and private fleets on the West Coast.

The new West Coast Electric Fleets initiative is a project of the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC), a joint effort of the states and province to accelerate a low-carbon economy on the West Coast.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown recently announced the new initiative at Drive Oregon's EV Roadmap Conference in Portland.

“The West Coast Electric Fleets initiative leads the way in helping fleets scale up zero-emission vehicles to reach our goal that, by 2016, 10 percent of all new purchases are electric vehicles,” said Brown. “I am pleased to announce that 22 public fleets from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California have joined this effort.”

According to a press release, West Coast Electric Fleets is designed to help fleet managers incorporate ZEVs and provide access to a peer-to-peer network to help operators learn from one another as they scale up use of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure.

“Over the next three years, our government is investing $7.5 million in purchase incentives to promote clean-energy vehicles for both private and fleet owners,” noted British Columbia Premier Christy Clark. “By working with our PCC partners on the West Coast Electric Fleets initiative, we're also encouraging companies and governments to look at zero-emission fleets – it's good for the environment, as well as our economies.”

The release says leading vehicle fleets on the West Coast that have already joined the initiative include the following:

– State and provincial fleets for California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia;

– Major West Coast city fleets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, Olympia, and Vancouver, B.C.;

– Fleets from several smaller West Coast cities and counties; and

– Leading West Coast utilities, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and BC Hydro.

Because they can utilize centralized charging, often have predictable routes and typically focus on lifetime vehicle costs, fleet operations are well suited to expand use of electric vehicles, according to the release. Also, fleets comprise a major market for new vehicle purchases: For example, the release says more than 42,000 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles were sold to fleets in California, Oregon and Washington in 2014.

“We are committed to supporting plug-in technology and electric vehicle infrastructure,”
said Marvin Moon of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “We plan
to purchase more than 150 plug-in replacement vehicles in 2015. That is a lot of avoided pollution and will mean much cleaner air in Los Angeles, which we are really proud of.”

British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington are signatories to the 2013 Pacific Coast Collaborative Action Plan on Climate and Energy. At a 2014 meeting in Portland, Ore., PCC signatories pledged to “take actions to expand the use of zero-emission vehicles, aiming for 10 percent of new vehicle purchases in public and private fleets by 2016.”

According to the release, the West Coast Electric Fleet initiative represents an important step in advancing that goal.

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