The City of Columus purchased 72 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.  Photo courtesy of Nissan

The City of Columus purchased 72 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles. Photo courtesy of Nissan

The City of Columbus, Ohio, has purchased 93 electric vehicles (EVs) for $2.1 million, the first step toward a total purchase of 200 EVs that will finalize the city’s Smart City commitment for the grant period of three years. The 93 vehicles are expected to be delivered in April or May.

The city purchased 72 Nissan Leafs, 20 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in electric vehicles, and one Chevrolet Bolt. These will be used by the Fire and Police Departments for administrative use, the Department of Development, Facilities, and Fleet. Fleet Administrator Kelly Reagan explained these EVs were distributed based on actual use.

“We looked at different divisions, discussed their needs, and looked at GPS data and their duty cycles [to determine what] would fit the needs of their divisions,” he said.

Many of the Leafs, with a range of up to 150 miles, are being used in departments with duty cycles of 35 to 50 miles per day. The Bolt, with a range of 240 miles, is being provided to an administrative positon within Fire who drives across the city’s stations in the city.

“All divisions getting the vehicles in phase one have had the opportunity to test them and use them in actual practices,” Reagan said.

The city purchased the vehicles under a lease-purchase program through Mike Albert Leasing. Any public agency in Ohio can use the contract to purchase EVs since the contract was written cooperatively by the Purchasing Department.

The majority of funding for the vehicles comes from the annual replacement fund, with grant support from the Smart Columbus program providing $273,000.

In addition, Columbus is currently evaluating bids for supporting charging and budgeted at $620,000. Reagan said he is hopeful that the charging stations will be in about the same time the new vehicles begin to arrive.

Phase two and three of the Smart City program to purchase the additional 107 additional electric vehicles will be implemented within the coming two calendar years, involving an additional seven more divisions of the city, as well as charging infrastructure. Fleet has developed a preliminary plan identifying the additional EV vehicles.