Dartmouth, Massachusetts Adds Inexpensive BMW i3s To Municipal Fleet (Update)
Interesting things are happening in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The municipal fleet is not only switching to electric drive, but to premium EVs.
According an article, officials leased three BMW i3 for three years and intend to lease three more by the end of August.
An offer from a BMW dealer apparently was better than from Nissan and thanks to fleet deal, the cars were leased for a reduced price.
Update: Full details of the project and the bidding process added below
“By leasing the BMWs, Dartmouth qualifies for a federal incentive program, which along with state assistance could knock the price per car down to about $800 per year, town officials said.”
“Three BMWs arrived in town within the past few days. Two were given to the Department of Public Works, and one was given to the Conservation Commission. Cressman said they planned to order an additional three by the end of August, to be used by the police, Building Department, and Council on Aging.”
City officials states that the electric cars will bring savings. Costs compared to the currently used 2006 Honda CR-V are expected to be cut in half or more. Neighboring municipalities will likely be jealous of the i3s and hopefully act quickly to add electric cars to their fleets.
Update: Evan Melillo, who is the architect of this deal and InsideEVs reader (so he must be a great guy), send along some additional photos and some more backstory of this program. Evan notes to us that he worked exceptionally hard to find “the best and most affordable vehicle in order to help counter the impression that electric vehicles are too slow, too expensive, are just generally unimpressive vehicles.” Our thanks to Evan!
Electric Vehicle Press Release:
On the morning of Friday July 31st at 8:00 am, a Capital Improvement Committee Meeting was held in part to discuss the Town’s procurement of 3 electric vehicles. Members were briefed that the BMW i3 electric vehicle was the lowest quote received. The Town received a quote from Tasca Nissan for 3 vehicles at $42,533.70, a quote Milford Nissan for $33,495, and the lowest quote from BMW Gallery of Norwood for $29,685. In addition, the reason that the Town is looking into electric vehicles is because the State is providing $7,500 for each vehicle and $7,500 for each charging station through its MASSEVIP program. In addition, the Town is leasing these vehicles for 36 months and not purchasing because the federal government provides a $7,500 tax credit that the tax-exempt Town of Dartmouth can not recoup outside of the use of a leasing company. Therefore, by leasing electric vehicles the Town is receiving $15,000 from state and federal government per vehicle and an additional $7,500 for the charging station.
The lowest quote of $29,685 for 3 vehicles works out to $9,895 per vehicle. Each of those vehicles’ lease quotes includes the $7,500 federal tax incentive, dealer incentives, and BMW’s fleet pricing. BMW Gallery of Norwood was able to provide this low quote in part because of the fleet agreement which provides the Town and its employees with additional incentives. After procuring the vehicles, the Town will send the requisite paperwork for reimbursement by the State for $7,500 on each vehicle. That leaves $2,395 for each department over 3 years or just under $800 per year. If monthly billing were setup, each vehicle would cost $66.53 per month with $0 of gas. One vehicle will be used by a newly hired employee from the Conservation Department where the Town would have needed to acquire a new vehicle at a cost in excess of $20,000. The Department of Public Works will use the new electric vehicle for administrative duties such as meetings at other Town buildings, as a take-home vehicle, and in place of sport utility vehicles and trucks that get less than 20 miles per gallon and in place reimbursing the mileage of personal vehicles. The Town reimburses personal vehicles at a rate of $.575 per mile, while a BMW costs $.04 per mile in electricity. BMW i3 cost per mile is arrived at by taking its 27kwh per 100 miles (footnote 1), or .27kwh per 1 mile, and multiplying that by the cost of electricity at $.15 per kw for $.04. The Water Department will be using the electric vehicle instead of a Ford F-150 work truck and will be able to replace a 2001 Chevy Malibu that was completely rusted out and deemed unsafe to drive.
The Town will also install three new electric vehicle charging stations. One is at the Dartmouth Town Hall 400 Slocum Road, another at the Water Department 751 Allen Street, and the third at Department of Public Works Administration Building 759 Russells Mills. Each station has two 240 volt vehicle adaptors for a total of 6 charging spots. These charging stations were competitively selected so that the purchase of the station, as well as their installation, would be covered completely under MASSEVIP’s $7,500 reimbursement.
The stations were an excellent value for the Town, the long list of features at such a competitive price was one of the keys that allowed the program to go ahead in Dartmouth. They are wifi enabled, report electricity usage online for tracking, and use an algorithm developed by Berkley California to utilize electricity from greener and renewable sources automatically (footnote 2). In addition, these stations all use self-coiling cords so that they don’t present an unsightly, dirty, or potentially hazardous condition of having loose wires strewn about when it’s time to plow. In order to accommodate all residents, each charging station also includes a 3 foot access corridor and is sited less than 42 inches from the ground as ADA regulations recommend.
In order to help promote electric vehicle adoption by Town residents and its employees, all stations are open to the public during business hours. The 240 volt lines charge vehicles much faster than a traditional wall outlet in order to promote electric vehicle adoption in Dartmouth. However, they are not free. Rather, the Town will be charging everyone that wishes to plug-in for the cost of the electricity used. Payment is yet another feature of this particular charging station; Electric Motor Werks Inc. will be providing a phone application for payment solutions as well.
As mentioned above, the Town will be replacing older vehicles from its fleet that would need to be recapitalized shortly anyway. For instance, the Town is looking into replacing 3 more vehicles in the future, one of which is the Health Department’s 2006 Honda CRV. This vehicle gets 20 miles per gallon around Town according to the EPA and 23 miles per gallon combined highway and city. Driving 10,000 miles in a year at today’s gas price of $2.706 (foot note 3) the Honda uses $1,176.52 of gas even at the more generous 23 mpg combined rate. For comparison, the battery electric BMW i3 uses 27 KWH per 100 miles (footnote 1), and with Town Hall’s electricity rate at $.15 per kilowatt that comes out to $405 over the same 10,000 miles. That’s a savings of $771.52 under this scenario, and 1.9 times cheaper to fuel than the gasoline vehicle per mile.
When replacing older vehicles, such as this 2006, the Town will also be saving money by not paying for maintenance issues coming due as well. The BMW i3 is covered completely for the first 5 years and 50,000 miles. Even if it wasn’t covered, electric vehicles don’t require exhaust, brake, oil filters, oil changes, or many other maintenance services. According to a consumer reports article (footnote 4), maintenance costs can be expected to cost 21.4% of your yearly fuel cost for vehicles owned for 8 years, such as this 9 year old 2006 Honda, for an additional cost of $252.13. When including maintenance then, Dartmouth is paying an estimated $1,428.65 for the 2006 gasoline vehicle and could be saving as much as $1,023.65 a year. Including maintenance, the electric vehicle is over 2.5 times cheaper to operate per mile than the aging 2006 Honda CRV.
$251.13 is arrived at by taking the article’s 6% of yearly cost of ownership which is devoted to maintenance and repair, divided by the article’s 28% for fuel. This 21.43% is the cost of maintenance compared to fuel costs. Therefore, 21.43% of $1,176.52 is $252.13.