The mayor of Houston and the city council announced approval to purchase 97 battery-electric vehicles (EVs) late last month. The EVs will replace internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that are aging out of the city's fleet, according to a press release.
The purchase is driven by the Houston Climate Action Plan, which sets out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve regional air quality, and build climate resilience. It aims to convert all non-emergency, light-duty municipal vehicles to electric by 2030. The mayor anticipates bringing additional electric and low-emission vehicle purchases to city council in the near future. The purchase will more than triple the number of EVs currently in the city's fleet, which now totals 40.
The city's fleet management department, working in coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability, is spearheading the city’s EV initiative. A recent study conducted by a group called Evolve Houston revealed that electrifying the municipal fleet will generate significant savings from lower energy and maintenance costs. Estimated savings are expected to grow as the cost difference between ICE vehicles and EVs continues to shrink. The purchase price of these EVs is just under $2,800, or 7% greater than a similarly equipped, gasoline pickup.
“Over an eight-year life, each EV is expected to save the city approximately $16,000 in total cost of operation and reduce tailpipe and upstream greenhouse gas emissions by 25 tons compared to a conventional, gasoline powered vehicle," said Gary Glasscock, Houston's director of fleet management.
City departments adopting electric vehicles from this latest purchase include:
- Houston Airport System
- Department of Neighborhoods
- Houston Health Department
- Solid Waste Management Department
- Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department
- Houston Police Department
- Houston Fire Department
- Houston Parks and Recreation Department
- Fleet Management Department
- General Services Department
Data collected on the operation of the EVs in different applications across the city will be used to optimize additional EV deployments.
Due to global supply chain issues, the vehicles aren't expected to arrive until early Spring of 2023.