Location: Cincinnati, OH

Fleet Type: Light-duty Electric Vehicles

 

 

Narrative

The city of Cincinnati began their work related to electrifying their fleet around 2018. As of 2023, they have procured 35 electric vehicles (EVs.) These are all sedans and light-duty vehicles consisting primarily of Nissans Leafs and Chevy Bolts. Their goal in purchasing these vehicles has been to start with sedans and work their way into electric trucks and vans. The City of Cincinnati enacted a sustainable fleet policy in 2021 that outlines the goal that the city will be using 100% clean and renewable energy by 2035. This goal is specific to fleet responsibility and sustainability and since then, each department within the city is allocated a specific amount of money based on the percentage of their fleet that is out of lifecycle. They determine which vehicles are out of lifecycle by age, mileage, or life to date costs. Those vehicles that are determined to be most out of lifecycle are then the first to be replaced with an EV if possible. The use of EVs in their fleets  span across departments throughout the city. For example, their Parking Facilities Department currently has three Chevy Bolts that are utilized for parking enforcement. The Fleet Services Division currently has two  Level 2 charging stations being installed which will be utilized by the Parking Facilities Department.

The charging of these EVs hasn’t been too much of an issue, but is a work in progress. The City of Cincinnati has a total of seven EV charging sites with varying charger quantities at each. The City is still in the process of building out more of the charging infrastructure they need to keep up with the growing number of EVs in their fleet. They find that as they install more and faster charging stations, there is less of a concern regarding charging and parking. The Office of Environment and Sustainability in Cincinnati has been able to look at the city’s fleet, infrastructure, and use of vehicles to help them determine the most viable options and where to focus as they continue making these changes. Overall, the entire experience of procuring and adding EVs into their fleet has gone well. They did experience some hesitancy as is expected with introducing a new concept with unknowns. They have heard that the individuals that utilize these vehicles have enjoyed driving them and haven’t experienced very significant impacts to their day to day work life. The city is still growing the number of EVs in their fleet and is attempting to procure electric trucks and vans while working through costs, uncertainty, and sourcing challenges.

Outputs and Outcomes

The outputs from the City of Cincinnati’s electrification efforts include their Sustainable Fleet Policy goal and working with the Office of Environment and Sustainability. The outcomes from this work includes increasing their charging stations across the city, procuring more electric vehicles  throughout their departments, and working towards their goal of 100% clean and renewable energy by 2035.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

  1. Procurement within the Public Sector leads to some challenges relative to sourcing EV’s. Working closely with the purchasing and procurement team to try to capitalize on vehicles is beneficial.
  2. Determining which vehicles are good candidates for EV replacements requires department feedback and data based on usage.
  3. Cost of electric vehicles and equipment varies drastically from ICE offerings in most cases, and the utilization of grants/direct pay incentives will be beneficial throughout the transition process.

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City of Cincinnati Fleet Story

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