A Word from Wanda
A Road Map to Zero Emission Vehicles
Moving to electric vehicles (EVs) is one way our organization is working to reduce our environmental impact, and this week I have two exciting updates to share.
First, on Tuesday, we were awarded a $5.7 million grant to add six electric buses to our GoDurham fleet
, another step toward green transit and cleaner air in our community. Following a competitive selection process, our Transportation Department is among 150 agencies across the country that will receive this funding from the Federal Transit Administration’s FY2022 Low or No Emission Grant Program
(Low-No). The Durham grant is the Low-No program's largest in North Carolina and the only one dedicated to zero-emissions vehicles. This great accomplishment will allow us to replace six diesel buses, providing clean and quiet transportation (that's free to ride through at least June 2023!).
Second, to help us plan our transition to EVs, this summer our General Services
, Fleet Management
, and Transportation
teams had the opportunity to work with two Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps Fellows to build on the ongoing work of reaching zero-emissions in our fleet. By comparing the purchase price and lifetime fuel and maintenance costs of electric vehicles versus gas or diesel powered vehicles, they found that sedans, light-duty pickup trucks, and transit buses are ready to be electrified.
Moving to these new EVs will not only reduce our carbon footprint and harmful air pollution, they will actually save the City money. For example, by replacing light-duty pickup trucks with the Ford F-150 Lighting EV, we can save approximately $9,000 over the life of each vehicle. Additional recommendations include preparing for more charging stations, right sizing our fleet, and developing a zero emissions vehicle policy.
When you consider the size of our fleet—currently 1,450 vehicles—
reducing our emissions will help us make great progress toward our carbon neutrality and renewable energy goals
over the coming years. Transitioning to electric vehicles will be a gradual process, and thanks to the research by our EDF Climate Corps fellows and the Low-No grant funding, we now have more resources and tools to move us forward.
I want to express my gratitude to the EDF Climate Corp fellows and all the partners that are part of this great work, including our Fleet Management, General Services, and Transportation departments, GoDurham, and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Until next week,