NEW REPORT: Electric Vehicles Save Money for Government Fleets

Media Contacts
Alexandra Simon

Former Public Health Advocate, CoPIRG Foundation

Data shows taxpayer, air quality benefits of transitioning from gasoline, diesel-powered vehicles to EVs

DENVER— Colorado state and local governments could save taxpayers up to $152 million 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 the CoPIRG Foundation, Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group.

Alex Simon, public health advocate with the CoPIRG Foundation 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 here in Colorado replace their nearly 11,479 light-duty fleet vehicles scheduled to retire over the next decade with EVs, the approximately $152 million 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 — 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.”

Here in Colorado, Governor Jared Polis has already taken significant steps to accelerate the transition of the state’s fleet to electric via the updated Executive Order D 2022 016, making the state a leader nationally in fleet electrification. The recent order directs all agencies and departments to ensure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are the default vehicle type for all light-duty vehicles alongside other fleet electrification goals and directives.   

The report also documents how state and local fleet transitions to EVs will reduce air pollution and global warming emissions over the next decade. In Colorado, greenhouse gas emissions could drop by more than 300,000 tons (of carbon dioxide equivalent), emitting 55% less than vehicles powered by gasoline.

“Under Governor Polis, Colorado has emerged as a leader nationally in fleet electrification, and these policies will directly benefit consumers through both taxpayer savings and improved air quality” said Simon. 

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