State and local governments nationwide could save almost $11 billion in lifetime expenses by replacing light-duty, gasoline-powered vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs) over the next 10 years, a recent report has found.
The report, Electric Vehicles Save Money for Government Fleets, was produced by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.
State and local governments own about 4 million vehicles, and roughly 900,000 are light-duty vehicles expected to be retired over the next 10 years on for which electric replacements are readily available, the report states. EVs often cost less to own and operate over time than gasoline-powered vehicles, with those savings more than making up for the higher purchase price.
If retiring fleet vehicles were replaced with EVs, governments would save $10.8 billion with the most significant savings in fuel costs (68% reduction) and maintenance (37% reduction). “These savings do not include the upfront cost of additional infrastructure needed to support EVs, which can be significant but represents a long-term investment supporting multiple fleet vehicles over time and, in many cases, expanding charging access for the public,” the report notes.
Another benefit of moving to EVs would be cutting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The report found that there would be a 63% reduction in GHG emissions and a 92% reduction in volatile organic compounds, which contribute to smog. Even greater reductions could be achieved in the future as the electricity grid continues to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, the report indicated.
The report's state-level data found that Pennsylvania governments could save a combined $360 million by moving to EVs.
The report notes that incentives for EV purchases under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act provide a vehicle credit of $7,500 per light-duty commercial vehicle and $40,000 per heavy-duty vehicle, and other incentives exist to help governments pay for EV charging stations.
In order to get the biggest benefit from electrification, the report suggests governments should:
· Make bold commitments and stick to them, by setting a clear direction for the future.
· Develop a fleet electrification plan that includes identifying the vehicles that are driven the most and have the greatest potential for savings, determining how to develop EV charging options making sure the vehicles are fully used.
· Cooperate with other state and local governments to share information and resources and pool buying power.
· Take full advantage of state, federal, and utility incentives, which can also include technical assistance, available to help governments electrify their fleets.