[update: July 12, 2013 post: Fleet Program Saves $300K and Provides Zero Emission Platform]
In July of this year, Sustainability Works! Reported on the City of Loveland, Colorado's plans to add zero emissions vehicles to its fleet. Now,GreenFleet Magazine has published an update on the city's efforts: http://www.greenfleetmagazine.com/news/51751/city-of-loveland-moves-ahead-with-electric-vehicles?utm_campaign=Green-Fleet-Enews-20131014&utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Enewsletter
The Public Works department in partnership with the Electrification Coalition just released a case study on its efforts. According to the case study, between 2009 and 2011, fuel costs for the City of Loveland’s vehicle fleet increased by 29 percent. This large and rapid upward shift in costs prompted the city to initiate an aggressive alternative--‐fuel vehicle purchasing strategy, focusing initially on battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Though not without early challenges—perceptions of the technology, for example—the vehicles have already proven to be a cost--‐effective addition to the municipal fleet for local service needs. The city has found that the BEVs will cost 41 percent less to own and operate than gasoline--‐powered vehicles.
The city worked closely with the Nissan and a local dealership as it worked to purchase the vehicles and learned more about the technology. Loveland also benefited from Nissan’s municipal lease program, which allows the federal tax credit of $7,500 per vehicle to be incorporated directly into the lease price (public agencies are not typically able to take advantage of the federal tax credit for purchase of an electric vehicle). Today, Loveland’s two Nissan LEAF BEVs are used daily by city employees for a variety of local service activities. With two BEVs already in the fleet, another three on order for 2013, and an additional four for 2014, the city is planning for a future when electric vehicles service the majority of its needs. The city ultimately aims to meet a goal of converting all fleet vehicles for which no heavy hauling is required and with operational ranges within a 35--‐mile radius of the city to plug--‐in electric vehicles.
Learn more about Loveland’s efforts and see if your community can benefits from a similar effort.