Location: Delaware County, PA
Fleet Type: Light-duty Electric Vehicles

 

Narrative

For the Delaware County Fleet, It’s Electric!*

Delaware County, Pennsylvania, also locally known as “Delco”, is located in southeastern Pennsylvania (PA between the City of Philadelphia, PA and the City of Wilmington, DE. Delaware County is home to over 575,000 residents, serving as the second most densely population county in Pennsylvania. To serve its resident, Delaware County has a fleet of 320 vehicles used by nearly 3,000 employees across 62 departments. County vehicles are used for a variety of tasks including transporting employees, conducting investigations, moving heavy equipment, performing park maintenance, and transporting incarcerated individuals, to name a few.

In 2021, Delaware County was approached by the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation (EP-ACT) with the proposal of electrifying the County fleet. The County saw this as an opportunity to upgrade vehicles that needed to be replaced while also reducing fossil fuel usage and ground-level emissions. With assistance from EP-ACT, the County applied for two Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG) through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) to purchase 15 Chevy Bolts and four level-2 dual charging stations. The applications were awarded in the amount of $148,240, allowing the County to deploy electric vehicles (EVs) in the Department of Human Services, Public Works, Office of Sustainability, Mailroom, Planning Department, and in the Department of Motor Vehicle Management for “pool” vehicles. Employees in the pilot reported that the EVs provided a positive experience while meeting their needs.

Following the success of the pilot, Delaware County with assistance from EP-ACT, applied for two additional grants from the PA DEP AFIG program, in 2022, to further expand the fleet and charging infrastructure. An astounding $600,000 was awarded in support of the expansion, marking PA DEP’s largest grant award in the program’s history. $300,000 was awarded to purchase 69 additional EVs and the remaining $300,000 was awarded for the installation of 22 level-2 charging stations. To date, 29 of the 69 EVs have been delivered and deployed for use in Delaware County’s new Health Department. As of August 2023, the County fleet had 46 EVs and 21 Hybrid vehicles.

Delaware County has expressed its commitment to fleet electrification and other clean transportation goals in its first-ever sustainability plan which was released this August. To learn more about Delaware County’s fleet and its pursuit of a more sustainable future, view Sustain Delco: A Sustainability Plan for Delaware County.

Outputs & Outcomes

Delaware County is a leader in fleet electrification in Pennsylvania. Its ambitious goals paired with state funding have led to several sustainability wins which are outlined below.

The outcomes from this work span several layers:

  • Delaware County’s conversion to EVs is estimated to remove the equivalent of 207 metric tons of greenhouse gases each year.
  • Within the community, the County’s conversion to EVs is reducing localized air pollution and supporting positive health outcomes. 
  • In serving as a practice leader, Delaware County’s EVs are used as a learning tool for both the community and Delaware County’s 3,000 employees. 
  • Delaware County is utilizing its experience in fleet conversion to start conversations and share best practices within its 49 municipalities and other surrounding communities. Delaware County has shared its experience in fleet conversion at EP-ACT’s 2022 TOSITA event, as well as presentations at Delaware County’s Annual Sustainability Conference, among other local events.

*Text Originally Published in Sustain Delco: A Sustainability Plan for Delaware County

 

 

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

A best practice for working directly with a county government is to host a meeting with the county government, including the fleet manager, sustainability director and prominent council members.  With buy in and interest from these people, the transition will be easier to navigate.  Offer to help with vehicle analysis and EVSE site location selection.  Any help you can give and advice for the transition to EV’s will help gain credibility with the county officials.  Keep using the fleet as a showcase for other counties in your region.  Using the success of the fleet we are able to gain entrance into other surrounding counties and local municipalities within those counties.

PDF Version

 Delaware County Fleet Story

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