Location: Durham , NC
Fleet Type: Light, Medium, and Heavy-duty Electric Vehicles

 

Narrative

Durham, NC, has a long history of investing in initiatives to move toward a more sustainable city. Major milestones include developing an inventory and action plan for greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 and a sustainability-focused strategic plan and roadmap in 2021.

The City of Durham’s Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan (CNREAP) establishes the following benchmarks for fleet electrification:

  • Light Duty Cars: 50% conversion by 2030 and 100% by 2040
  • Light Duty Trucks: 33% conversion by 2030 and 100% by 2040
  • Medium- and Heavy-Duty: 20% conversion by 2040 (as technology is available)

Fleet Maintenance Technicians received training to adequately maintain, diagnose, and repair EVs safely. Drivers of light-duty fleet vehicles received training in the safe operation and charging of EVs, emphasizing the subtle nuances that differentiate EVs from conventional internal combustion engine fleet vehicles.

Outputs & Outcomes

Outputs:

The city of Durham has invested in diversifying fleet fuel sources and in charging infrastructure.

The total fleet size is approximately 1,400. This does not include the City’s public transportation system fleet or 271 miscellaneous vehicles such as lawnmowers, boats and golf carts. Total EVs are:

  • 45 Fully battery electric vehicles
  • 98 Hybrid electric vehicles
  • 7 Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • 8 electric buses

The City owns and maintains 24 EV charging stations at 12 locations. Eleven are dedicated to City fleet vehicles, and 13 are accessible to both fleet vehicles and open to the public.

Outcomes:

The vehicle fleet is responsible for 30% of
the City’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for more than 68% of total Scope 1 emissions.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions:  The City tracks fuel consumption and fuel type to calculate greenhouse gas reductions. Between FY2019 and FY2023, the City has reduced GHG emissions from fleet vehicles by 4,150 metric tons CO2e.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

Plan well in advance for upgrading electric infrastructure to accommodate EV Chargers, which can take up to 24 months to install. Size and install electric infrastructure and conduit to ensure new construction is EV capable. A retrofit of a single charging station can cost nearly four times the cost of new construction.

References & Resources:

  1. City of Durham. (2021). Durham 2021 Carbon Neutrality & Renewable Energy Action Plan.  https://www.durhamnc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/41944/Durham-CNRE-Action-Plan-UPDATED-100821-1

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City of Durham Fleet Story

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