The city of Madison, Wisconsin, has accepted its 100th electric vehicle to its fleet. Madison Fleet Services Superintendent Mahanth Joishy told Government Fleet that the city recently accepted a gray Ford Mustang Mach-E, marking the milestone.
Joishy responded to the milestone, releasing a statement to Government Fleet saying in part, "Thank you to many other city departments, Madison Gas & Electric, and our extensive vendor network for partnering with us to make this possible so we can reduce emissions and save costs on behalf of our community and beyond. It's great to see drivers who were initially skeptical about the transition now embracing EV operation for important city business."
A little over five years ago, the city didn't have any EVs. Now, it hopes to be the first large government fleet in North America to replace internal combustion engines altogether by 2030.
A Quick Overview of the EV Fleet in Madison
The first three EVs in the city fleet were Chevrolet Bolts assigned to Metro, the Water Utility, and a shared pool care housed in the City-County Building that could be reserved by any division, for maximum exposure, Joishy told the State Journal.
The city's EV fleet now includes vehicles from various OEMs, including Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, and Tesla. Additionally, it has off-road equipment from Caterpillar and Toyota.
The Madison Fire Department has also been running a Pierce Manufacturing Volterra electric pumper, the first electric fire truck in service in North America, every day for over two years.
The Madison mayor and her staff use a Nissan Leaf for business needs.
More EVs on the Way
Including the ordered vehicles and Metro Transit electric buses, the city is expected to reach 150 EVs or more by mid-2024.
So far, 60 chargers have been installed on city property to support the growing fleet; six off-grid solar-powered chargers are at the city Fleet Services building. Most of the chargers are Level 2.
When beginning this process, Joishy said that the challenges his department faced included figuring out which vehicle types to buy, where to install charging stations, and training staff who had never operated EVs or were afraid of them.
The city expects the vehicles to last for 10 to 15 years. Joishy told the State Journal that by year four or five, the extra investment in an EV pays for itself through savings from both fuel and maintenance.
Joishy also expects EV prices to come down in the next few years, making the decision to purchase them easier for both fleets and commercial customers.
Curbing Emissions in Madison
The city's sustainability efforts expand beyond its vehicles. In 2020, the city opened a new fleet facility, which has been certified a LEED Gold facility by the U.S. Green Building Council. Joishy told Government Fleet that he believes that designation was a first for any fleet shop.
Some of the features that make the fleet shop sustainable include LED lighting systems, 100 kW solar electric photovoltaic panels, and passive solar heating wall at light-duty bays.
In the last five years, the fleet department has reduced more than 430,000 lbs. of CO2 in its main facility, as of Oct. 2, 2023.
Additionally, it has reduced 4.89 million lbs. of CO2 through its electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as 8.96 million lbs. of CO2 through biodiesel-fueled vehicles.
Originally posted on Government Fleet