New Analysis Makes Case for Federal Fleet Electrification

New Analysis Makes Case for Federal Fleet Electrification

Nearly all federal buses and light-duty vehicles could be cost-effectively replaced by EVs by decade’s end

Contact: Nick Nigro, Founder, Atlas Public Policy, nick.nigro@atlaspolicy.com

WASHINGTON – Aug. 18, 2021 – The Electrification Coalition and Atlas Public Policy released a report Wednesday revealing that 97 percent of buses and light-duty vehicles in the federal fleet could be replaced by electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030 at a cost savings to taxpayers. Up to 40 percent could be cost-effectively replaced as soon as 2025.

Higher upfront purchase prices can sometimes deter fleets from selecting EVs. But in this study, “Federal Fleet Electrification Assessment,” Atlas Public Policy demonstrates the true potential of federal fleet electrification by analyzing EVs’ total cost of ownership – purchase price, fuel and maintenance – relative to that of conventional gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles. The analysis finds that EVs are increasingly better for the bottom line over the next decade.

“Because of falling sticker prices and high fuel-cost savings, EVs are rapidly becoming the economic choice for federal agencies,” said Nick Nigro, Founder of Atlas Public Policy and one of the report’s authors. “These fleets and the U.S. Postal Service will realize considerable savings and cut greenhouse gas emissions by switching to EVs this decade.”

The analysis concludes that light-duty vehicles and buses in the federal fleet are a ripe opportunity for electrification, offering substantial cost savings. By 2025, federal fleets (excluding the U.S. Postal Service) could replace up to 40 percent of their buses and light-duty vehicles with EVs at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than comparable vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs).

An additional 56 percent of these vehicles could be replaced with EVs at a TCO no greater than 14 percent higher than comparable ICE vehicles. The savings from the lower-TCO vehicles would offset the costs of the vehicles within 14 percent of TCO parity, allowing for 96 percent of vehicles to be electrified with no TCO penalty.

By 2030, fully 97 percent of the conventional buses and light-duty vehicles in the federal fleet (excluding USPS) could be replaced by EVs, delivering considerable cost savings. Those savings would more than offset the costs of electrifying the remaining 3 percent of vehicles, allowing all vehicles to be electrified while still resulting in substantial cost savings.

“It’s already been firmly established that electric vehicles can save consumers money,” said Chris Harto, Senior Transportation Policy Analyst for Consumer Reports. “This research shows that they can be a great option for saving taxpayers money, as well.”

The federal government is the single-largest vehicle fleet operator in the country, with 315,000 light-duty vehicles and buses, not including the U.S. Postal Service. USPS, which controls more vehicles than any other federal agency, offers an even more compelling case: By 2025, EVs will be less expensive than conventional vehicles for more than 99 percent of the USPS light-duty fleet, with the potential to save $2.9 billion. By 2030, that figure increases to nearly 100 percent, with the switch saving $4.6 billion. USPS mail trucks (also known as Long Life Vehicles, or LLVs) alone would account $4.3 billion in savings if electrified by 2030.

The USPS light-duty fleet includes 192,000 vehicles. They are especially well suited to electrification because they have predictable routes and schedules and existing centralized depots, where they could charge when not in operation.

“Electrification of our country’s transportation sector is critical to improving our economy, national security and public health,” said Electrification Coalition Executive Director Ben Prochazka. “The sheer scale of the federal fleet represents an enormous opportunity for progress on all these fronts. And because the federal fleet is such a heavyweight consumer in the vehicle market, electrifying the fleet would stimulate EV manufacturing and sales in the United States.”

The new report also uncovers substantial potential for greenhouse gas emissions savings through federal fleet electrification. For the non-USPS federal fleet vehicles, electrifying all cost-competitive vehicles in 2025 would result in 3.2 million metric tons of GHG emissions reductions over the life of the EVs. By 2030, cost-competitive EVs would achieve 7.6 million metric tons of GHG emissions reductions. Replacement of USPS ICE vehicles with all cost-competitive EVs in 2025 would yield 12.8 million metric tons of emissions reductions.

 

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About the Electrification Coalition: The Electrification Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advances policies and actions to facilitate widespread deployment and adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) to reduce the economic, public health and national security risks that result from America’s dependence on oil. For more information, visit electrificationcoalition.org.

About Atlas Public Policy: Atlas Public Policy equips businesses and policymakers to make strategic, informed decisions that serve the public interest. Atlas builds analytical tools and dashboards using powerful, accessible technology, and offers expert advisory services to tackle the pressing issues of the day. For more information, visit atlaspolicy.com.