New Initiative Accelerates West Coast’s Drive for Electric Vehicle Fleet Purchases

For Immediate Release

July 30, 2015
Contact: Alex Barnum, (916) 324-9670


SACRAMENTO— 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 in public and private fleets on the West Coast.

The initiative is a project of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, a joint effort of the states and province to accelerate a low-carbon economy on the West Coast. The region comprises the world’s fifth largest economy. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced the initiative at Drive Oregon’s EV Roadmap Conference this week 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,” Oregon Gov. Brown said. “I am pleased to announce that 22 public fleets from British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California have joined this effort,” Brown said.

West Coast Electric Fleets is designed to help fleet managers incorporate zero-emission vehicles 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. Leading vehicle fleets on the West Coast that have joined the initiative as initial participants include:

  • 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, BC;
  • Fleets from several smaller West Coast cities and counties;
  • Leading West Coast utilities, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and BC Hydro.

“Vehicle fleets represent a critical opportunity to expand deployment of zero-emission vehicles, helping to improve our air quality and reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “We welcome public and private fleet owners across the region to join this effort and lead the way to a healthier, cleaner low-carbon economy.”

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

California’s state vehicle fleet is on track to exceed a goal, established in a 2012 executive order by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., that at least 10 percent of state fleet purchases of light-duty vehicles be zero emission by 2015 and at least 25 percent by 2020. The California Department of General Services (DGS) estimates that the state has added more than 280 ZEVs to its fleet since the executive order was issued.

“California’s success is due in large part to the forward thinking of its departments who have embraced this technology and are discovering innovative ways to integrate ZEV’s into their fleets,” said DGS Director Daniel Kim. “Government should lead by example and DGS is excited to be working with all state agencies at the forefront of these efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen our dependency on fossil fuels.”

In addition to California’s state vehicle fleet, many of the state’s largest cities are also joining the new initiative.

“We are committed to supporting plug-in technology and electric vehicle infrastructure,” said Marvin Moon of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). “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,” Moon said.

British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington are signatories to the 2013 Pacific Coast Collaborative Action Plan on Climate and Energy (PDF). At a 2014 meeting in Portland, 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.” The West Coast Electric Fleet initiative represents an important step advancing that goal.

Based on a recent analysis of U.S. cities’ electric vehicle actions, many of the major metro areas throughout the West Coast region are clearly demonstrating the kind of policy support and consumer awareness and outreach actions that are needed to accelerate electric vehicle deployment. This latest fleet initiative further asserts the region’s policy leadership to spur the electric vehicle market.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative was established to address the unique and shared circumstances of the Pacific coastal areas and jurisdictions in North America by providing a framework for co-operative action, a forum for leadership and the sharing of information on best practices, and a common voice on issues facing coastal and Pacific jurisdictions. More at pacificcoastcollaborative.org.

Contacts:

British Columbia: Carolyn Heiman, (250) 356-7104
California: Alex Barnum, (916) 324-9670
Oregon: Chris Pair, (503) 559-5938
Washington: Jaime Smith, (360) 902-4316
Resource Media: Eric Jaffe, (415) 397-5000 x311

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