President Joe Biden announced last month that the federal government’s fleets totaling 650,000 vehicles, of all types, will transition toward 100% electric vehicles (EVs) in the coming years. In Madison, we started this transition of converting every possible vehicle to EV in 2018, and applaud the renewed leadership at the federal level during the first month of the new White House. This effort will help move the private sector automotive market in the direction many state and local governments like us want. We are at a truly historic moment in the history of transportation. It will be great to see the FBI, DEA, National Parks, EPA, DOT, US Congress, and so many other large federal fleets convert to EVs.

EV Fleet

As of today City of Madison runs the largest EV fleet in Wisconsin, though we are publicly welcoming competition in this area. Our EV assets include a variety of 59 EVs, ranging from sedans, a minivan, forklifts, off-road turf vehicles, and Metro busses. The EVs are spread out across City agency operations. We also operate over 20 charging stations, 6 of which are completely powered by solar panels- the cleanest possible way to power up (pictured). In 2021, Madison Fleet, MGE, and sister agencies are aggressively working on receiving a handful of EV medium and heavy duty trucks and charging stations for the first time ever.

Most people are aware that EVs operate with zero emissions, and also have high performance. The cost to power EVs is only a fraction of the price (around 1/4) of fueling diesel or gasoline engine vehicles. However, further financial savings are achieved because EVs cost less than half to maintain than the equivalent internal combustion engines (ICEs) over their entire useful life. Imagine never having to do oil changes again, a time consuming and dirty maintenance function that EVs avoid.

Carbon dioxide, NoX, and other harmful particulate emissions are eliminated, which is good for both local and global environmental sustainability. Having more EVs is better for the health of our communities, especially when it comes to reducing prevalence of lung diseases such as asthma and COVID19.

We are proud that Madison is on the cutting edge nationally in this area, and that the federal government will finally join the commitment to improve local air quality, reduce the global greenhouse effect, and improve the health of all communities. All while saving taxpayer dollars, without impacting the important work of the agencies who use the vehicles. But we still have a long way to go.

Trend-setting City staff who operate EVs are setting an example on the road to the public, because fleets making the transition is not the end goal; we need all households to join the effort. Increasing options and decreasing costs are happening right now. My office has operated a zero-emission Chevrolet Bolt EV for our transport needs, ever since my administration began. We look forward to seeing President Biden’s presidential limo join the growing EV motorcade too. Along with each and every one of you.

Check out this quick video to learn more about Madison’s leading EV fleet:


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Category: Sustainability