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When fleets make procurement changes it’s often in an effort to improve the safety, efficiency, or sustainability of the fleet. But these changes can come with costs, too. “Better” vehicles often translate to higher upfront costs. But the math isn’t always so simple. It’s true that new models may cost more, but it can also be true that these costs are offset in the long run. And sometimes, a close look at a procurement strategy can actually lead to significant savings.

Government Fleet spoke to four fleets about how new vehicle procurement helped them achieve their fleet strategies, and how these changes affected their costs both in the short and long term.  

Read each fleet's story by clicking on the links below:

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Detroit

Goal: Reduce acquisition and maintenance costs.

Procurement Strategy: Centralize vehicle purchasing, standardize vehicle types, buy vehicles in bulk, establish master supplier agreements, and reduce vehicle lifecycles. 

Impact to Costs: $20 million in savings once the entire 2,500-unit fleet is replaced.

Click here to read more.

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New York City

Goal: Contribute to the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan to end traffic deaths and injuries on the streets of New York.

Procurement Strategy: Purchase vehicles with automatic braking to reduce rear-end collisions, the top cause of injuries within the fleet.

Impact to Costs: Neutral upfront costs; long-term savings on litigation fees associated with crashes prevented.

Click here to read more.

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Austin, Texas

Goal: Contribute to the city’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2020.

Procurement Strategy: Execute the Carbon Neutral Fleet Plan, which calls for 95% of all vehicle purchases to be alternative fuel, hybrid, or electric.

Impact to Costs: Compressed natural gas and electric vehicles have higher purchase prices, while costs for E-85 and B-20 biodiesel vehicles are similar to their gasoline and diesel counterparts. Grants and tax credits offset higher upfront costs, and savings are achieved through lower total cost of ownership.

Click here to read more.

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San Francisco Fire Department

Goal: Provide firefighters with the latest technology to ensure optimal performance and protect the public.

Procurement Strategy: Purchase custom fire engines to more safely and effectively navigate narrow, hilly, and congested city streets.

Impact to Costs: Higher acquisition costs of approximately $30,000 for each vehicle are offset by reduced maintenance costs and fewer risks to human lives.

Click here to read more.

Related: Procurement & Fleet: Working Collaboratively Through Cooperative Contracting

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