Location: Olathe, KS

Fleet Type: Medium and Heavy-duty Electric Vehicles

 

Narrative

Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) put together an educational event with the fleet of Olathe, Kansas, to encourage the idea of fleet electrification within their fleet operations. Orange EV and ZEV X brought out a yard truck and zip van for fleet staff to check out and test drive. The intention of the event was to spark conversation about electrifying some of the vehicles within the City of Olathe’s fleet. The City had already expressed interest and curiosity in the idea of electrification, so we believed this would be a nudge in the right direction.

A follow-up conversation occurred a few weeks after the event, which initially took place on October 17th, and opened the door for Olathe to consider EV adoption with some Orange EV yard trucks. MEC has not heard if any vehicles have been purchased since, but they did apply for a FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) we announced for the EVUM project redirect (Electric Vehicles in Underserved Markets) at the end of 2023. Some money was left over from subrecipients who either dropped from the project or did not use the entirety of their cost share. The applications went through the review process, and Olathe was one of the organizations that was selected for the grant.

Outputs and Outcomes

The Outputs of the Olathe educational event resulted in approximately 100 fleet staff attendees, a chance for 2 local EV organizations to showcase some technologies to interested parties, and a follow-up conversation about the possibility of electrification. Since then, Olathe has also applied for and got the EVUM grant, an opportunity from DOE that MEC helps coordinate and find subrecipients for.

The Outcomes of the event/interest resulted in Olathe considering options for EV adoption, some of the opportunities coming through MEC. This interest in electrification could influence actual adoption down the line, especially if Olathe is selected for the EVUM grant they applied for at the end of 2023.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

From this event, we learned that sometimes the best way to educate is through experience; it allows the audience to imagine what the product would look like in their respective environment and consider how it could be beneficially integrated into their workspace. In this case, it was the interest in EV yard trucks, being able to drive them around the fleet facility, and considering how beneficial they could be to the fleet as a whole.

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Olathe Fleet Story

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