Ahead of National Drive Electric Week, Los Angeles Adds 160 Electric Cars, 128 PHEVs, To City Fleet

For as long as we can remember, the city of Los Angeles has been a prominent supporter of plug-in vehicles, working with the state of California to encourage plug-in vehicle ownership for many years.

To date, a lot of that work has revolved around encouraging its citizens to dump the pump and plug into an electric vehicle, but today Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city’s various departments announced a commitment to lease a massive 160 electric cars and 128 plug-in hybrid vehicles in the coming months, saving taxpayer dollars in fuel bills and improving air quality to boot. 

Major Eric Garcetti announces LA's commitment to leasing more than 288 plug-in vehicles

Mayor Eric Garcetti announces LA’s commitment to leasing more than 288 plug-in vehicles

Announced this morning, the program will make the Los Angeles City fleet the largest fleet of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the U.S., with every department from the LAPD through to the Los Angeles Fire, General Services, LADWP, General Services Department and Water and Power departments taking part. 

It’s all part of Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn, a blueprint announced last year to make the city of Los Angeles more sustainable, more environmentally responsible and better off financially too. Under the plan, Mayor Garcetti has set a target of having 50 percent of all of the City’s annual light-duty vehicle purchases powered by electricity by 2017, and to have 80 percent of all city vehicle fleets fully electric by 2025.

“Today, we take another step toward becoming the most sustainable city in America,” said Mayor Garcetti speaking at a ceremony to mark the commitment earlier today.  “This year, Los Angeles will become home to the largest city-owned fleet of pure battery electric vehicles anywhere in the country, and we will save taxpayer dollars along the way.”

As anyone familiar with plug-in cars will know, while the purchase price of plug-in vehicles is higher than many comparable internal combustion engine vehicles, the cost of fueling a fully-electric vehicle during its lifetime is a fraction of the cost of operating a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle.

When those savings are applied to a large fleet of vehicles such as those found in high-mileage city fleets in major cities, the savings can extend to tens of millions of dollars per year.

It's not just public charging: Mayor Garcetti commits to EVs in the city fleet.

It’s not just public charging: Mayor Garcetti commits to EVs in the city fleet.

Indeed, says the Mayor’s office, the cost of operating an electric vehicle in place of an internal combustion engine is a no-brainer. At 21 cents per mile for an electric vehicle versus 37 cents per mile for an internal combustion engine vehicle, the city stands to slash its transportation fuel budget by 41 percent.

While the Mayor’s office has yet to disclose which make and model of vehicles will be used by the various departments, it has provided a break down of how many cars each department will get.

With 100 all-electric cars due to join its ranks, the LAPD will account for a substantial share of the total 288 vehicles due to join the city fleets. Together with a Tesla Model S P85D and BMW i3 being loaned to the department for evaluation as to their suitability in future fleets, the acquisition will be the largest vehicular purchase order fulfilled by the LAPD to date.

When completed, the LAPD will be home to more than 126 electric cars, including 23 electric scooters and 3 electric motorcycles already in the fleet.

“The LAPD is proud to be among the law enforcement agencies leading the way to sustainability with the use of electric vehicles, and reducing our operating costs at the same time,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

Alongside the LAPD, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will lease 44 BEVs and 113 of the PHEVs.

“EVs make environmental and economic sense to the City of Los Angeles, and LADWP is pleased to support the Mayor’s goal to have EVs become the majority of our fleet,” said LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards. “We already have 67 EVs in our motor pool, and will purchase even more to replace our older gasoline vehicles. LADWP’s motor pool also includes plug-in hybrid trucks — which are not only better for air quality but quieter and therefore ‘friendlier’ to the neighborhoods we serve.”

The remaining electric and plug-in hybrids will be leased by other city departments.

The announcement comes one day before the official start of Plug In America’s National Drive Electric Week, a nationwide, week-long celebration of the joys of electric motoring.

As one of the key markets for plug-in vehicles across the U.S., the city of Los Angeles will play an important role in the week-long event, hosting not only a series of events throughout the week but also playing host to the global debut of the all-new 2016 Nissan LEAF at a NEDW event tomorrow in Los Angeles.

The LAPD is borrowing both a Tesla Model S and BMW i3 to evaluate their use for future patrol use.

The LAPD is borrowing both a Tesla Model S and BMW i3 to evaluate their use for future patrol use.

Speaking to us earlier today, Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America praised the city of Los Angeles and Mayor Garcetti for their commitment to plug-in vehicles.

“We’re excited to see the City of Los Angeles’ leadership toward a more sustainable future and cleaner air in Southern California through the use of more plug-in vehicles,” he said. “We are confident that other cities will follow suit.” 

Of the Nissan LEAF debut, Levin added that “we are thrilled that Nissan has chosen our event for the global debut of the 2016 Nissan LEAF. This is the first affordable electric vehicle with an EPA-rated electric range of over 100 miles.” 

With hundreds of events planned across the U.S. in the coming week, there’s never a better time to find your local National Drive Electric Week event. Be sure to head to Plug In America’s dedicated NDEW website, or use the special NEDW banner above to find an event near you.

[Hat tip: Alekxia]


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