OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee doubled the number of cost-saving electric vehicles in the state motor pool with the purchase of more than 130 long-range EVs.
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolts, which have a 230+ mile range, are each projected to save nearly $3,000 over its lifetime compared to the least-expensive hybrid on the state’s vehicle purchase contract. The EVs will improve Washington’s air quality by each emitting 2.3 to 3.3 fewer metric tons of carbon emissions annually over hybrid options.
The new EVs will primarily replace hybrid passenger vehicles, which were added to the state fleet beginning in 2001. Vehicles are replaced as they come to the end of their useful life as part of fleet management best practices to minimize costs and ensure safety.
EVs became an option for state purchase once models were available that could travel over 200 miles on a single charge. The new EVs add to the 120 already in the state fleet, and are expected to hit the road early next year.
“Our state is proud to lead on electric vehicle usage because these investments will save money, protect public health and secure our long-term future,” Inslee said. “We won't defeat climate change unless we use all the tools we have available — and that includes what we buy in the marketplace for our daily use and promoting low-carbon options.”
Gas automobiles are the largest overall source of carbon emissions in the state.
“Replacing hybrids and other vehicles with EVs not only reduces pollution, but makes business sense,” said Chris Liu, Department of Enterprise Services director. “They cost less to own and operate than gas cars because they are less expensive to fuel and maintain.”
Inslee committed to reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector at the Paris Climate Conference last year and through the Pacific Coast Collaborative of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. In Paris, Inslee announced the Washington State Electric Fleets Initiative to accelerate acquisition of EVs in public and private fleets to ensure that at least 20 percent of annual state passenger vehicle purchases are EVs, beginning in 2017.
Today the White House announced steps to accelerate the use of EVs and the charging infrastructure needed to support them, including partnerships with local and municipal governments. The Federal Highway Administration also designated alternative fuel corridors, including Interstate 5, which will feature new signs for EV charging stations.
Cities, counties and other local governments, as well as higher education institutions and public-benefit nonprofit agencies, can use the state contract to purchase vehicles. With the addition of the Bolt, alongside the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus, three EV options are now available under the state contract, overseen by the Department of Enterprise Services.