Location: City of Savannah Fleet Type: Municipal Government Operations
Savannah, Georgia is a coastal city rich with history and boasts many firsts in the region. This includes the first electric streetcar dating back to 1890 through the Savannah Electric Company. The streetcars lasted through 1946, and an electric vehicle was not bought again by the city until 2019. Since then, the City of Savannah has become a state leader in sustainability efforts, including electrification.
The Office of Sustainability of Savannah opened in 2014 and over the past few years has worked to fulfill the needs outlined in the 2016 Sustainability Assessment. Many of these needs included transportation, and the need to lower the carbon footprint of the city (including through cleaner transportation options). As a coastal city in the path of many hurricanes, resiliency is an important topic for Savannah, and the City works closely with the Chatham County Office of Resiliency to that end.
As of 2023, the City of Savannah owns and operates 36 light-duty electric vehicles. The City of Savannah has a webpage dedicated to electric vehicles, outlining where residents and visitors can find public charging stations. Including additional charging stations not included on the website, there are currently 21 Level 2 charging stations and ten Level 3 fast charging stations, all within the City Limits (31 total).
Outputs & Outcomes
Outputs: The City of Savannah has a strong working relationship with Clean Cities Georgia, including attending the Clean Cities Georgia-sponsored “Clean Energy Roadshow” event annually for the past 13 years. Through an EV readiness workshop for Chatham County in 2023, the City of Savannah was able to attend and learn lessons and best practices for how to ensure the City is ready for the rising uptake of electric vehicles. Clean Cities Georgia has also created EV gaps analyses for the City and its surrounding areas to better help City and County leaders understand their needs.
Outcomes: As of 2023, the City of Savannah owns and operates 36 light-duty electric vehicles. The City of Savannah has a webpage dedicated to electric vehicles, outlining where residents and visitors can find public charging stations. Including additional charging stations not included on the website, there are currently 21 Level 2 charging stations and ten Level 3 fast charging stations, all within the City Limits (31 total).
Today, two parking garages are in the process of being equipped to install 3 dual port (total of 6 ports at each garage) EV stations through Georgia Power’s Make Ready Program, and additional Level 2 stations are in the procurement process, slated for 2024.
Clean Cities Georgia seeks to strengthen its relationship with the City of Savannah in the coming years with more grant opportunities that will foster close collaboration in terms of EV adoption, infrastructure installation, transit maintenance, and equity, among others.
Best Practices & Lessons Learned
Portable EV chargers are important for coastal resiliency. Savannah continues to work towards planning sustainable evacuation efforts through the evacuation routes outlined in the Georgia NEVI corridor plan.
City and County collaboration helps accelerate the EV transition. When the County is capable of installing charging infrastructure outside of the city limits, it further incentivizes city commuters to purchase and use electric vehicles.
Tourism feeds innovative solutions for all. With 15.2 tourists passing through Savannah in 2021, many of whom now drive electric vehicles, the need for EV charging infrastructure is heightened. Through the creation of easily accessible websites and other user-friendly information on EV charging, more tourists bring their EVs to the City. With more exposure to these vehicles and increased infrastructure, Savannah residents are more likely to adopt electric vehicles as well.