Location: Columbus, OH

Fleet Type: Light-duty Electric and Hybrid Vehicles




The City of Columbus first began their efforts towards electrification with numerous analyses of their fleets. Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO), along with the Electrification Coalition, conducted a fleet electrification analysis that helped the City of Columbus identify the first 100 out of 109 vehicles that they determined to be the best candidates to be converted to electric or hybrid vehicles. This was done with the Clean Cities Grant. Following this identification of best candidates, the City of Columbus Climate Action Plan was released and identified a goal of converting 100% of their light-duty vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. CFO then did a second fleet electrification analysis for the city and determined they could convert about 40% of their current fleet.

The City of Columbus began procuring their EVs in 2018. The majority of their EVs include Nissan Leafs, Ford E-Transits, Chevy Bolts, Toyota Prius Primes, Ford Fusion Energis, and Kia Niros. To meet their Smart City obligation, they now have a total of 201 vehicles consisting of both EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). These EVs and PHEVs are spread out all through Columbus across numerous departments and are used for different department needs. The city focused on a goal of one level 2 EV charger per EV in service. This focus led the city to purchase and install about 180 level 2 ChargePoint smart chargers for city vehicles.

The City of Columbus has had an overall positive experience from procuring and including EVs in their fleet. They find that their drivers really enjoy the EVs and that they have not noticed any significant changes in maintenance cost or operation. The biggest challenge for them has been maintaining their EV smart chargers. But even with these challenges arising, the adoption of EVs and PHEVs in their fleet has been rewarding.

Outputs and Outcomes

The outputs from the City of Columbus’s electrification include working with CFO and the electrification coalition to identify the best vehicles in their fleets to switch to EVs and what EVs are their best options, utilizing open-ended leases as an acquisition instrument, and finding ways to introduce EVs to those who may have been doubtful about adopting them. The outcomes from this work include utilizes the findings from the fleet electrification analyses to purchase their EVs and PHEVs, recovering about 50% of the tax credit from the open-ended leases, and having everyone on board with the changes to their fleet.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

  1. Get your charging infrastructure ready before you buy any vehicles.
  2. Make sure your team is on board with the switch.

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City of Columbus Fleet Story

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