Electric Vehicles

Columbus to Add 200 EVs After Winning Smart City Challenge

June 29, 2016, by Thi Dao

Screencapture of #SmartCityPitch: Columbus
Screencapture of #SmartCityPitch: Columbus

The City of Columbus, Ohio, was selected as the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, earning up to $50 million from the DOT and a private company for the project. The project challenged cities to modernize their transportation system, and Columbus’ proposal includes the addition of 200 electric vehicles to the fleet, said Kelly Reagan, fleet administrator.

The city must deploy the 200 EVs with charging infrastructure within three years, according to the grant requirements. The city's current EV fleet consists of six vehicles.

“This will be a huge project for the division of fleet,” Reagan said. “We’ll learn from our friends in [California] on how to build electric vehicle infrastructure and put EVs into service, to shorten the learning curve.”

To determine where EVs will best fit, fleet staff members are talking to customers and pulling data from its telematics system. “With GPS data, we can tell how long a vehicle is on, how many miles it’s diving every day, to make sure it fits. But we won’t use the data alone; we’ll work specifically with the customers,” said John King, fleet operations manager.

The city proposed deploying three electric self-driving shuttles to link a new bus rapid transit center to a retail district, create smart lighting to increase safety for pedestrians and traffic signals that communicate with vehicles, and develop an app for events with real-time traffic and parking updates, among numerous other plans.

The city has already raised $90 million from other private partners to carry out the plan.

The Smart City competition challenged mid-size cities to fully integrate innovative technologies — self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors — into their transportation network. The city beat out six other finalists from a total of 78 applicants.

The DOT will collaborate with government and private sector partners to help the remaining finalist cities — Austin, Denver, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco — move forward with their proposals.

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Public Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Amin Amini from Verizon will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Recent Topics

Hello All, We are developing a formal training program for light and heavy equipment technicians. Our goal is to recruit and train...

View Topic

I have been tasked with implementing a small motor pool here at the City and need help on how to implement and manage it. I have a staff...

View Topic

Fleet Documents

977 Fleet Documents (and counting) to Download!

Sponsored by

Mike Albert Fleet Solutions provides fleet management programs and consultation that help turn a fleet of vehicles into a strategy that can support company goals.

Read more