The EV Smart Fleets team conducted a nationwide survey of fleets through this website in the fall of 2016. The survey results provided insights into fleet procurement and resulted in the identification of many opportunities and challenges to implementing a multi-state solicitation.
Over 100 state, municipal, and county fleets from 18 states responded to the survey. Fleets in all states expressed interest in the multi-state solicitation, including all but one state (Maine) that follows California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program. Over half the respondents were located on the West Coast (see Figure 1).
One opportunity from the survey revealed was the potential to realize total cost of ownership savings. One of the key advantages of EVs is the operating costs, but higher upfront costs for these vehicles compared to conventional technology can be a barrier to adoption. Nearly all fleets from the survey hold on to vehicles for greater than five years, which increases the likelihood of EVs achieving total cost of ownership savings compared to conventional vehicles.
Over 100 fleets responded that cost savings and/or sustainability goals were the reason for their interest in acquiring EVs. The most popular reason fleets said they were interested in EV adoption was sustainability goals. This motivation could mean fleets might be able to acquire EVs without achieving a net cost savings compared to conventional vehicles. It could also lessen the willingness of the fleet to follow through on a procurement compared to an executive order, mandate, or other statutory requirement. See Figure 2 for the top reasons for fleet interest in EVs.
Regarding adoption barriers, survey respondents indicated access to charging was the top challenge. The NASPO ValuePoint process will not allow for charging stations to be included in the solicitation along with vehicles, so another solution will need to be identified. On the other hand, lifecycle costs and vehicle reliability were the barriers of least concern to the survey respondents. See Figure 3 for more information.