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Including the military, the U.S. government operates more than 600,000 cars, vans, SUVs, buses, ambulances, and light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks, and vehicles of every description1.
The majority of these vehicles are fossil fuel-driven – but in recent years, big changes in the form of environmentally conscious mandates have been announced that may help to make the U.S. federal fleet one of the world’s cleanest.
Leading By Example
Among several “green the fleet” mandates, Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, signed in October 2009, established an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and makes reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions a priority for Federal agencies. E.O. 13514 states, in part:
"Federal fleets will lead by example to help create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation's prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment. Federal fleets will reach this vision by reducing fleet GHG emissions through reduced petroleum consumption."
As a result of EO13514 and other government mandates, federal agencies have been asked to:
- Reduce fuel consumption 2% every year between 2005 and 2020
- Increase their use of alternative fuels (including electricity) by 10% per year through 2015
- Move to clean vehicles such as EVs and PHEVs as they become commercially available
In its 2008 Highway Statistics Report, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration revealed that more than 4 million passenger cars, buses, medium and heavy-duty trucks, truck-trailers, and motorcycles were owned and operated by the 50 U.S. states in municipal or state fleet service. In addition to conventional fleet vehicles, state and municipal fleets include a large number of locally-driven "campus" and other specialty delivery and service vehicles. Because many state and municipal fleet vehicles cover predictable routes and often return to large central depots at night, many of their vehicles – as with most fleets – are excellent candidates for conversion from internal combustion to electric.
Some federal agencies have made big strides far ahead of the mandates. The U.S. Postal Service, which operates the country’s largest civilian fleet (over 216,000 vehicles) has already converted 44,000 of them to vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels including ethanol, compressed natural gas, liquid propane gas, electricity and bio-diesel. USPS is also the first government agency to publicly report its GHG emissions and to receive third-party verification of the results.
How We Can Help
Government procurement agencies are busy defining specific parameters for those systems that will support the new cleaner fleet vehicles (such as EV charging) – and AV can help you meet some general requirements, largely related to measuring the success of EVs versus other clean fuel alternatives. Among the reasons to partner with AV:
- Metrics: Gather and report general EV data including miles driven and chargers used
- Monitoring: Monitor the fleet, including charge location, utilization, and energy usage to ensure optimization of taxpayer investments
- Comparison reporting: Gather and report data that helps the government measure reductions in fuel consumption and energy usage
1Executive Order No. 13154, October 5, 2009.