NEW REPORT: Electric Vehicles Save Money for Government Fleets

Media Contacts

HOUSTON — State and local governments across the United States could save their taxpayers nearly $11 billion in lifetime expenses by purchasing electric vehicles as opposed to gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles for their light-duty fleets. That’s according to Electric Vehicles Save Money for Government Fleets, a new report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.

For example, here in Texas, the state and local governments would save taxpayers $863 million if they collectively transitioned their light-duty fleets to electric when they retire older vehicles.

Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas, stated, “Buying, fueling and maintaining gas- and diesel-fueled fleet vehicles is a big expense for governments — especially when gas prices are high. Shifting to electric vehicles can save money for taxpayers by significantly reducing fuel and maintenance costs, while also improving air quality.”

If state and local governments replace their nearly 900,000 light-duty fleet vehicles scheduled to retire over the next decade with EVs, the approximately $10.8 billion in savings will come mostly from fuel costs (68% reduction) and maintenance costs (37%). While this transition would require significant upfront investment, federal incentives – such as the Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit, which offers savings of up to $7,500 per light-duty vehicle or $40,000 per heavy-duty vehicle for purchases of EVs by government or private fleets – and state incentives, such as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Clean Fleet Program – can help pay for it.

“Electric vehicles are no longer some distant dream. They are here today and ready to save taxpayers money and help clear our air,” said Frontier Group’s Associate Director and Senior Policy Analyst Tony Dutzik, a co-author of the report. “Every year, new models and types of EVs come on the market that can do more of the jobs state and local governments require. The time for governments to plan a transition to electric vehicles is now.”

The report also documents how state and local fleet transitions to EVs will reduce air pollution and global warming emissions over the next decade. Greenhouse gas emissions could drop by nearly 26 million tons (of carbon dioxide equivalent), emitting 63% less than vehicles powered by gasoline. A recent analysis estimated that the heat wave hitting Texas right now was made five times more likely due to climate change.

The city of Houston has committed to convert 100% of all non-emergency, light-duty municipal vehicles to electric by 2030 and already has approximately 100 EVs in the city fleet. Austin leads the state with at least 275 EVs, while San Antonio has 21, Plano 7 and Dallas 6. The state of Texas has 23 plug-in electric vehicles.

“For more than a century, pollution from cars and trucks has made our air unhealthy to breathe. It’s long past time to change that and local and state governments can lead by example in electrifying our vehicles,” said Metzger.

– ### –