Fleet Vehicles

Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs) can help a business or agency lower operating costs, help meet climate action goals/requirements and government policies, as well as demonstrate a commitment to preserving the environment. Due to the benefits associated with PEVs, both the demand for the various types of PEVs as well as the availability of them has been growing very quickly.

Leading fleets such as the County of Alameda and County of Sonoma are demonstrating those benefits with fuel cost per mile of 3 to 5 cents, maintenance reductions of 50% or more, and tailpipe emission reductions of up to 100% for battery electric vehicles. While there are numerous benefits associated with going electric, there can be some initial challenges including driver acceptance, maintenance policies, and charging infrastructure. One of the most helpful resource guides was produced in Spring 2015 by the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC) entitled Ready Set Charge. The purpose of the guide is to help fleet managers who would like to deploy PEVs in their fleet and realize their significant benefits. Download BACC’s Fleet Guide here: EV Fleet Deployment Strategies.

The City of Santa Cruz has purchased PEVs for their fleets along with many other Monterey Bay Area businesses. Check out Ecology Action’s 5 minute Video PSA to hear about their experiences!

Installing Charging Stations

If your fleet uses plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), you might want to consider installing either a Level 2 and possibly DC fast charging at your facility where your fleet vehicles can charge while not in use. Planning is critical to ensuring you have the most efficient and effective charging available for your fleet.

Early on in the planning process, you will want to determine your EVSE requirements by estimating your fleet’s needs over the next several years. Considerations might include expansion of your fleet, acquisition of different types of PEVs, the addition of extra circuits, your electrical capacity and so on. You will also want to track your electricity use and time requirements for your PEV fleet. This will enable you to determine your electrical upgrade needs and choose the appropriate number and type of EVSE units, in consultation with your utility provider and the manufacturers of the PEVs and EVSE that you are planning to use.

The US Department of Energy’s Plug-in Electric Vehicle Handbook for Fleet Managers offers detailed information for fleet managers regarding considerations for fleet managers when installing charging stations. Ecology Action can also provide you with information on going electric. Contact Emily at eglanville@ecoact.org for resources.

Permitting Process

You will need a permit if you have decided to install an electric vehicle charging station (EVCS). Your local jurisdiction will provide a permit to your qualified electrician for the installation at a residential and/or commercial site. This is a requirement of cities and counties.

Typically, a public charging station permit application will require a site plan, documentation about the brand of charging station, and a photo of the site. For a home charging station, a site plan showing the location in the garage, carport or exterior of the home will be needed.

Permit fees in the Monterey Bay region range from $75-$392. For permit fee examples, view the County of Santa Cruz website (choose Alternative Energy from the menu on the left) or download pdf form EV charging system service requirement and visit the City of Capitola’s EVCS web page here.