The city of Evanston is not on track to meet its fleet electrification goals, with less than 1%...

The city of Evanston is not on track to meet its fleet electrification goals, with less than 1% of the fleet consisting of electric vehicles.

Photo: City of Evanston

The Evanston, Illinois, City Council passed a fleet rightsizing and electrification plan on July 25, the city clerk's office confirmed to Government Fleet. The city will enter into an agreement with Wood Environmental & Infrastructure Solutions to provide a municipal fleet rightsizing and electrification plan, according to the memorandum. The contract was awarded for $126,000.

In 2018, the city council voted to accept the City of Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP). The goals of the plan for the fleet include developing a zero emissions vehicle purchasing strategy and to be 50% electrified by 2025, and 100% electric by 2035. According to the memorandum, the city is not on track to meet these goals, with less than 1% of its fleet consisting of electric vehicles (EVs).

In March 2022, the city council voted to adopt the Evanston Municipal Operations Zero Emissions Strategy, noting that 12% of municipal greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the municipal fleet. The strategy called for planning and funding in support of clean fuel technologies, as well as the exploration of EVs and alternative fuels, a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, and fleet management and rightsizing. In April 2022, the city council approved a resolution declaring a climate emergency and an, "immediate mobilization effort to restore climate stability," according to the memorandum. Staff then issued a request for proposals (RFPs) for a municipal fleet rightsizing and electrification roadmap.

Here's what was included in the RFP:

  1. A fleet rightsizing analysis of vehicle types by department, purpose, usage times, and mileage to determine if the municipal fleet is appropriately sized and efficiently operated while also affording some flexibility through a “factor of safety” if operations and staffing need to increase, and a “level of redundancy” in case of equipment failure.
  2. A fleet assessment and plan for vehicles appropriate for conversion to zero and low emitting vehicles, including a benefit-cost analysis by vehicle class, a projected timeline of suggested conversions along with milestones, projected impacts on departmental standard operating procedures, range assessments for vehicles based on usage, and an identification of broad impacts on repair and maintenance operations including anticipated cost differences
  3. A determination of charging infrastructure requirements to support that conversion, including costs, required electrical service increases and optimal charging location, with consideration of take-home vehicles and long distance driving.
  4. An analysis of existing and future electrical infrastructure, inclusive of possible scenarios including, but not limited to utilizing:
    a. Rooftop or parking canopy renewable energy installations;
    b. Stationary energy storage to provide resiliency and lower cost; and,
    c. Using EVs as battery storage solutions.
  5. An evaluation of current fleet greenhouse gas emissions, expected fleet emissions throughout the transition to an EV fleet, and ongoing methods of tracking emissions.

Wood Environmental & Infrastructure Solutions will submit the following deliverables to the city:

  1. A near term fleet acquisition and infrastructure proposal for the Fiscal Year 2023 and 2024 Budgets and the Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan.
    a. A priority list of fleet vehicles recommended for procurement through 2024.
    b. All associated charging station infrastructure and electrical upgrades, equipment, and recommended charging station locations that should be budgeted for in the Capital Improvements Plan for the period of 2023 through 2027.
  2. A best practices Municipal Fleet Rightsizing and Electrification Plan to include:
    a. Findings and Recommendations from the Fleet Rightsizing Analysis.
    b. At least 4 distinct scenarios for municipal fleet electrification; one scenario must propose a 100% zero emissions fleet by 2035. These scenarios will be determined by the consultant team in collaboration with the City of Evanston core project team. The scenarios will compare the variables assessed in tasks 2-5 of the Scope of Services.
    c. A table of existing low-emitting and zero emissions vehicles and equipment that compares cost, range, idle time, power and torque, charging requirements, and other relevant variables based on Staff feedback.
    d. Best practice recommendations for personnel and training to prepare fleet and facilities staff for the transition to vehicle electrification.
    e. Legislative or internal policy recommendations to facilitate the transition to vehicle electrification.
    f. Recommendations for financing the transition to electrification including but not limited to lease options and available grants. Recommendations for tracking greenhouse gas emissions for municipal fleet operations.
    g. Any other Staff feedback shared during the Departmental interviews

According to the memorandum, the proposal from Wood Environmental & Infrastructure Solutions was three times the length of other respondents and offered, "the most thoughtful and innovative approach to fleet rightsizing and electrification, tailored specifically to the City of Evanston." Wood also offered 840 labor hours, compared to the second-highest ranked proposal, which only offered 476 hours. Wood also offered a proprietary software ZeroEmissionSim (ZES) and ZES 360°. ZES 360° is a forecast modeling tool that offers 5, 10, 15, 25, and 50-year outlooks with the capability of testing up to three fleet transition scenarios simultaneously against the Business-as-Usual scenario.

The staff noted that it believes the utilization of the ZES simulator and forecast modeling will, "greatly serve the community and will be useful for years to come."

About the author
Christy Grimes

Christy Grimes

Senior Editor

Christy Grimes is a Senior Editor at Bobit, working on Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet publications. She has also written for School Bus Fleet.

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