How are cities becoming more secure and resilient?

This blog was written by Anne Blair, former Director of the Clean Fuels Program at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Guest Blog | May 17, 2017 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Energy Policy

SACE has joined the City of Atlanta Office of Resilience‘s Power to Change initiative and the Electrification Coalition in hosting a series of webinars to profile electric vehicle (EV) growth, policies and programs and their role in making the city more resilient. In the first webinar of the year, the City of Atlanta profiled their EV adoption and deployment of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) or charging stations.

The City of Atlanta is working closely with the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit groups of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale.

Atlanta’s move to adopt electric vehicles began last summer when they formed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Coalition to create a year-long technical advisor position.  The goals of the effort are to:

  • Secure strategic partnerships with original equipment manufacturers and cities to support EV initiatives and fleet transitions to electric vehicles,
  • Identify barriers of EV adoption for cities, and
  • Develop transferrable communication tools that can be shared through networks.

This effort is also a part of the Electrification Coalition’s Energy Secure Cities Coalition efforts to unite 25 cities, retire 50,000 petroleum vehicles and save 500,000 barrels of oil per year. Other cities already engaged are Indianapolis, Sacramento, San Diego, Oakland, Charlotte, West Palm Beach and Rochester, New York.

Expanding Atlanta’s EV Fleet

Atlanta is well on its way in achieving its goals. In December of 2015, the city contracted with a third-party financier to launch a pilot program for Atlanta to lease EVs and charging equipment in bulk. Sixty EVs with telematics (for data collection) from FleetCarma were acquired. The city expects to save more than $190,000, cut 250 metric tons of carbon dioxide and save 11,609 gallons of gasoline through the program.

In addition to Atlanta partnership with the Electrification Coalition, Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed has committed to making Atlanta a top-tier city for sustainability, including deploying one of the “nation’s largest municipal fleets of EVs.” They also signed onto the White House’s 2016 Commitment to transition 20% of their fleet (approximately 600 vehicles) to EVs by 2020 and have joined a joint Request for Information to automakers, with 29 other North American cities, for a bulk order of EVs. Combined with the city’s transition to 100% clean energy by 2035, the emissions benefits of the EV fleet will increase and create a more reliable, flexible system for the city.

 EV Charging Infrastructure Deployment – Lessons Learned

As part of the webinar, the City also shared their experience in deploying EV charging stations.  They were part of the Workplace Charging Challenge, a Department of Energy led effort to encourage employers to provide charging access to employees, and were recently awarded 4th place nationally for their efforts.

In siting charging stations, the City considered location types, number of charging stations at each location, the power level desired (i.e Level 1, 2 or Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC). In addition they considered access – will the chargers be strictly for use by the City’s EV fleet or open to the public? They also conducted driver outreach and established a data collection process for tracking use.

The City has now installed a total of 23 charging stations – ten in the Government Parking Deck across from City Hall, ten at Public Safety Headquarters for the Atlanta Police Department, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, and the Department of Corrections, and three at the Department of Watershed/Employee Assistance Program offices.

In addition, the City has led charging development at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The airport has installed more than 100 charging stations at the airport so far and will deploy 100 by the end of June and another 100 by the end of the year.

To listen to the entire webinar, click here. To follow the work of the Office of Resilience, check them out on Twitter @ATLResilience and on Facebook at Resilient Atlanta.

The next webinar in this series will be held in late July on EV Policies & Incentives. Click here to request an invitation.

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