A new state law in Virginia could get the ball rolling on electrification for the state's vehicle fleet. The law, introduced by State Sen. Monty Mason, would ask state officials to consider a light-duty vehicle's lifetime costs, rather than its sticker price, before purchasing or leasing. Mason told the Virginia Mercury he believes this would lead to more electric vehicle (EV) purchases.
The bill would require the Department of General Services to utilize a total cost of ownership (TCO) calculator unless the calculator clearly indicates that purchasing or leasing an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle has a lower cost of ownership.
The bill would also require the department to report a summary of procurements to the governor and Virginia General Assembly by January 1, 2026 and every three years after that.
Emergency vehicles and law enforcement vehicles would be exempt.
The bill requires a workgroup to determine whether utilizing the same TCO calculator is appropriate for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle purchases and leases. The group will share its findings to a House Committee and a Senate Committee by December 1, 2022.
Converting the state's fleets to electric vehicles allows the state to "lead by example," Lena Lewis, energy and climate policy manager for the Virginia chapter of the Nature Conservancy, told the Virginia Mercury.