|New purchases will cut annual gas usage by up to 1 million gallons; Collaborative also announces plans for new national solicitation for school buses
NEW ORLEANS —Thursday, at the second-annual Climate Mayors Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative (“the Collaborative”) — with which the City of New Orleans is partnering to electrify its city fleet — announced that 127 cities and 15 counties from across 38 states, including the District of Columbia, have joined the Collaborative and committed to purchasing more than 2100 electric vehicles (EVs) by the end of 2020.
By transitioning to EVs, cities like New Orleans are leading by example: helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, saving taxpayer money, improving public health, and reducing our nation’s dependency on oil. With 127 cities committing to the Collaborative by the end of 2020, the EV commitments have the potential to:
- Cut gas usage by up to 1 million gallons each year;
- Transition to 25 million electric miles driven each year; and
- Add more than $75 million in purchasing power to the electric vehicle market.
As part of Climate Mayors’ commitment to grow participation and offerings in the Collaborative, its procurement partner, Sourcewell, will be releasing a new national solicitation for electric school buses by the end of the year, enabling all electric school bus manufacturers to participate and become readily available for any public school system to access at competitive prices. The Collaborative will continue to expand in the future, including to transit buses and other vehicle types. With more than 470,000 school buses and 70,000 transit buses operating across the country, transitioning to electric school buses creates a big opportunity to make it easier for school children and across the U.S. to travel on a zero-emission bus.
“The clean transportation revolution is not a distant vision for the far-off future — it’s a reality hitting the streets of Los Angeles and cities around the world,” said Climate Mayors’ Founder and Co-Chair Eric Garcetti. “By expanding this innovative platform with zero-emission school buses and thousands of new commitments for electric vehicles, Climate Mayors are sending a powerful message to the global car market: if you build electric vehicles, we will buy them.”
“For New Orleans, climate change is not a future scenario, but a current reality,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “By transitioning our city fleets and buses to electric vehicles, we are ensuring that our taxpayers’ dollars are being invested in protecting and improving their quality of life. It is important that we all continue to work together to implement energy-efficiency projects that are driving emissions reductions and environmental sustainability.”
“The electrification of Honolulu’s city and bus fleets will go a long way in making our island more sustainable and resilient in the face of the current climate crisis,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “However, it will also improve the natural environment for our residents and visitors by eliminating smoky exhaust fumes and noise pollution from our communities. By coming together under one umbrella with this EV Collaborative, mayors across the country are increasing the purchasing power of taxpayers while also showing love for Mother Nature.”
“Cities across the country are demonstrating critical leadership by committing to transition their fleets to electrification – reducing our dependence on oil, while also improving our nation’s health, and our economic and national security,” said Ben Prochazka, Vice President of the Electrification Coalition. “We hope other mayors around the country will see this as a call to action and plug their fleets into the Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative.”
In agreeing to purchase electric vehicles through the Collaborative, public agencies gain access to competitively solicited EVs and charging infrastructure, as well as innovative leasing options that allow cities to reduce EV costs by accessing state and federal tax credits. The Collaborative also provides support with analysis and best practices for fleet electrification to cities as they consider switching to electric.
Launched in September 2018, the Collaborative is a partnership between Climate Mayors, the Electrification Coalition, and Sourcewell. The program works with cities and other public agencies to accelerate the electrification of public fleets. The Collaborative provides technical expertise to purchasers and a program that reduces the costs and barriers to electrifying fleets.