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Arizona PIRG: EV fleets make good cents for governmental entities, report shows

photo of Arizona PIRG EV fleet report
Nationwide, the United States could save taxpayers nearly $11 billion in lifetime expenses by purchasing electric vehicles as opposed to gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles for their light-duty fleets. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)
Arizona PIRG urges adoption of latest, cost saving technological advancement
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

According to Electric Vehicles Save Money for Government Fleets, a new report by Arizona PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group, state and local governments in Arizona could save taxpayers $283 million if they collectively transitioned their light-duty fleets to electric.

The report suggests a few caveats exist for the savings to be realized: when government retires older vehicles the EV fleet alone could save taxpayers $26 million, Arizona PIRG officials report.

Nationwide, the United States could save taxpayers nearly $11 billion in lifetime expenses by purchasing electric vehicles as opposed to gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles for their light-duty fleets, the report states.

“Buying, fueling and maintaining gas- and diesel-fueled fleet vehicles is a big expense for governments — especially when gas prices are high,” said Diane E. Brown, executive director of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and co-author of the report. “Shifting to electric vehicles can save money for taxpayers by significantly reducing fuel and maintenance costs, while also improving air quality.”

Arizona and its local governments replace the nearly 20,000 light-duty fleet vehicles scheduled to retire over the next decade with EVs, approximately $283 million in savings will come mostly from fuel costs (74% reduction) and maintenance costs (37%).

Among Arizona state agencies, about 800 vehicles are light-duty cars and trucks that are likely to retire over the next 10 years and are in categories for which EVs are available on the market today. EVs cost significantly less to operate and maintain than gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, due in large part to volatile fuel costs, fewer moving parts and fewer fluids to replace.

Ms. Brown says 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.

The report also documents how state and local fleet transitions to EVs can reduce dependence on oil and help curb pollution from cars and trucks that contributes to Arizona’s air quality problems.

“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, 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.”

Electric Vehicles Save Money for Government Fleets is a sequel to last October’s Electric Fleets for Arizona report, which documents how 10 of Arizona’s largest cities and towns could save nearly $80 million combined in lifetime vehicle ownership costs by replacing light-duty vehicles at the end of their useful lives with EVs.

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