"Electric Vehicles Help Houston Save $110,000 Annually, New Study Finds"

That's the headline of a press release recently put out by the Electrification Coalition.

The press release continues with this statement:

"Cities are saving money by using electric vehicles (EVs) in their vehicle fleets, two new studies find. City officials in Houston, Texas, estimate that the city’s 27 Nissan LEAF electric vehicles will save the city $110,000 annually compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. A similar study examining Loveland, Colo. found that the city’s LEAFs will cost 41 percent less to own and operate than gasoline-powered vehicles."

Now, if word of this spread to cities throughout the US, then EV adoption would almost surely rise quickly.

We're all well aware of the savings EVs bring at the fleet level, but it seems like most fleets (or the entity that oversees them) don't have a no clue.

That's not the case in Houston or Loveland, where LEAFs have been part of their fleets for some time now.

Laura Spanjian, director of sustainability for the City of Houston, stated:

“Houston first began using electric vehicles for the environmental benefits they offer, but now we are planning to add even more EVs to our fleet because of the cost savings they bring.  We project that electric vehicles will save the city $110,000 per year in reduced fuel and maintenance, costs that we would otherwise have to spend on gas-powered vehicles."

Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez says this of the electric vehicles in use there:

“Loveland needed to do something about rising fuel costs, and electric vehicles have proven to be a great solution, saving us about 41 percent overall compared to gas-powered vehicles.  In tough economic times, these savings cannot be ignored. Loveland is now aiming to convert all of its light-duty fleet vehicles that work within a close distance of the city to EVs.”

The case studies released by the Electrification Coalition include—“The City of Houston: Forward Thinking on Electrification” and “The City of Loveland: Marrying Functionality and Economics."

Here are some additional findings, as presented by the Electrification Coalition:

  • Houston: Centralizing management of capital and operational expenditures under one office was crucial in capturing “total cost of ownership” savings. 
  • Houston: The city also made it easier for its employees to use electric and other green vehicles by implementing an innovative car sharing reservation program. The city equipped 50 EV, PHEV and HEV vehicles with Zipcar’s Fast Fleet wireless technology, enabling employees to reserve available vehicles in the fleet pool. The program has seven locations and handles nearly 600 reservations per month.
  • Houston: Charging infrastructure is a key piece of the city’s electric vehicle FleetShare strategy. To date, the city has installed 77 level two (220v) and 32 level one (110v) charging stations throughout the City. 
  • Loveland: Initial employee skepticism was quickly overcome—usually in one use—by the vehicle’s better-than-perceived reliability, performance, and range. Repeat usage by employees is very high.
  • Loveland: The city has plans to incorporate four more EVs into its fleet by the end of 2014.