Public Fleets Able to Purchase Electric School Buses and Street Sweepers with the Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative

Original Post by Sarah Reed, ACT News – March 27, 2020

As public fleets increasingly choose electric vehicles (EVs) for their light-duty needs, the Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative (the Collaborative) is working to expand nationally-available vehicle options. The Collaborative, launched in September 2018, is led by the Climate Mayors (a coalition of 400+ US mayors committed to meaningful action on climate change), the Electrification Coalition (a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the mass adoption of EVs), and Sourcewell (a government cooperative purchasing agency). The common goal is to advance fleet electrification by leveraging the buying power of public entities and providing technical assistance. Nearly 200 public fleets, including cities, counties, ports, and school districts, have committed to purchase more than 3,100 EVs by the end of 2020.

Reduced Costs for Public Fleets

The Collaborative’s online pricing portal reduces many of the costs and barriers for public fleets to go electric. The platform connects municipalities and other public agencies with Sourcewell’s competitively sourced supplier contracts, providing equal access to EVs and charging infrastructure contracts across the country. The Collaborative also offers tailored capital leasing options that allow cities and other non-taxed entities to monetize state and federal tax credits while still providing a path to ownership, further reducing up-front costs. By using these contracts, public fleets can avoid the lengthy administrative burden of the RFP process. These options are available nationwide, regardless of local dealership inventory or pricing.

Electric School Buses Now Available on Platform

In January, the Collaborative added electric school buses to the platform, allowing school districts across the country access these school bus models. Electric school buses significantly reduce fuel and maintenance costs compared to traditional diesel buses, which means significantly reduced total operational costs. The electric bus fleet of California’s Twin Rivers Unified School District, for example, costs between 16 and 19 cents per mile to operate, compared with 82 to 86 cents per mile for comparable diesel buses. In addition to the operational savings, electric school buses and vehicles also reduce the transportation sector’s dependence on oil and reduce pollution to our most vulnerable populations. There are more than 470,000 school buses operating across America- which if electrified, could make a large impact on health.

The electric school buses have a range of up to 120 miles per charge and are available to be deployed across the country. Leasing options are also available through the Collaborative, to help school districts find an innovative way to structure the purchase that allows for smaller budgets to still electrify. The Electrification Coalition can work with fleets to understand operational costs, financing options, and other tools to help with purchasing.

Sourcewell is also currently preparing to go back out for a school bus solicitation (including electric buses), in the near future.

Collaborative Now Includes Street Sweepers

Another recent addition to the Collaborative includes all-electric street sweepers. Street sweepers are mainstays of municipal operations and are indispensable for keeping roadways clean and water systems clear of debris. A street sweepers’ defined route and predictable dwell times make these vehicles great candidates for electrification. Along with reduced operational costs and harmful emissions compared to a diesel-powered sweeper, electric sweepers operate quietly which means increased flexibility when scheduling sweeping tasks and reduced overall operational noise.

Public Fleets Enjoy One-Stop Shop with Collaborative

As a one-stop shop supporting successful fleet electrification, the Collaborative’s experienced staff provides technical support, guidance, resources and tools. This includes best practices, educational resources, training materials, assistance with pre- and post-deployment planning or training, and peer- connections throughout the Collaborative municipal and industry networks.

The Electrification Coalition encourages cities, counties, and all public entities — reach out to the Collaborative at to connect with our knowledgeable staff. Let us know what can be done to help your government agency transition your fleet to include EVs.

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