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The City of Santa Monica has joined a nationwide coalition of climate-focused cities to help participating municipalities purchase reduced price electric vehicles.

Santa Monica is one of 19 founding cities and two counties that have committed to purchasing 376 electric vehicles worth about $11 million in the first year of the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative.

City Hall has plans to purchase four – six light-duty electric vehicles in the near future. About 15 percent of the total city-owned fleet is currently electric (about 120 vehicles) and the city currently has a pilot program for an electric bus.

While Santa Monica’s demand is small, the city will be able to secure discounted prices on vehicles by forming a single purchasing entity with other cities. The Collaborative leverages the combined demand from all 21 participants to establish a universal base price for all members. The discounts currently range from $1,000 – $5,000 off the manufacturers’ suggested retail price.

Officials said the process expedites the purchasing process for cities while realizing cost savings for the cars and their chargers.

“With a fleet of over 70% alternative fuel vehicles, a recently adopted Electric Vehicle Action Plan, an internal Sustainable Fleet Administrative Instruction, host to the 12th annual Alt Car Expo, and founding member of the EV Purchasing Collaborative, the City of Santa Monica has long supported engaging in local, regional, and national efforts that support the development of infrastructure and markets that encourage alternative fueled vehicles,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Dean Kubani. “The Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative is an example of how cities can band together to demonstrate the present needs within the public sector for alternative fueled vehicles. The Collaborative provides a turnkey, one-stop online portal providing municipalities across the county equal access to competitively bid electric vehicles and accompanying charging infrastructure.”

The new collaborative represents 409 Cities in 47 states but only 19 committed to making purchases in the first year. As other cities cycle through their budget process, the demand from the group is expected to increase.

The City of Los Angeles has been at the forefront of the process and Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the founding commitment earlier this week.

“The clean transportation revolution is no longer a distant vision for the far-off future — it’s a reality staring us in the face, and it’s happening here in Los Angeles and cities across the globe,” he said. “Through this innovative platform, Climate Mayors are sending a powerful message to the global car market: if you build electric vehicles, we will buy them.”

Technical support for the initiative is being provided by The Electrification Coalition, a nonprofit group that advocates for electric vehicles as a means of reducing America’s dependence on oil.

“By providing those cites with the right tools to make EV purchases and acquire charging infrastructure it will be more efficient and affordable for cities nationwide to make this shift, a critical step towards reducing our oil dependency and meeting the goals of the America’s Pledge on climate change,” said Ben Prochazka, Vice President of the Electrification Coalition.

“The EC believes the development of this Collaborative will be a catalyst to accelerate the transition of city fleets to EVs, reducing emissions, reducing our dependence on oil, and saving taxpayer money.”

Kubani said transportation as a category is the largest and fastest growing source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

“Municipalities, including Santa Monica, are increasingly converting their fleets to alternative fuels including electric vehicles to meet their targets for achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, and reduced long-term operating costs associated with vehicle maintenance,” he said.

 

Cities making a commitment in the first year include:

Aspen, CO

Austin, TX

Burlington, VT

Chula Vista, CA

Cleveland, OH

Cuyahoga County, OH

Fayetteville, NC

Houston, TX

Jersey City, NJ

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County, CA

Long Beach, CA

Orlando, Florida

Phoenix, AZ

Pittsburgh, PA

Portland, OR

Santa Monica, CA

San Diego, CA

Yonkers, NY

Rochester, NY

Washington, DC

 

 

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