The city of Indianapolis has announced plans to deploy the largest municipal fleet of electrified vehicles in the nation. The Indiana capital’s “Freedom Fleet” will consist of 425 plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles, including the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt and Ford Fusion Energi. The city will replace 100 vehicles by the end of this year and 425 vehicles by the beginning of 2016.
A company called Vision Fleet partnered with the city to develop a financing structure that bundles together the expenses of purchasing, fueling, and maintaining the EVs. Each of the Freedom Fleet vehicles will cost approximately $7,400 per year, including purchase, fuel, maintenance and insurance, compared to $9,000 per year for a typical legacy vehicle. The city expects to save $8.7 million over ten years.
“This is a landmark step in revitalizing our aging fleet and replacing expensive internal combustion engine vehicles with cutting-edge EV technology, all while reducing our dependence on oil and saving Indianapolis taxpayers thousands in fuel costs each year,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “America’s dependence on oil ties our national and economic security to a highly unpredictable, cartel-influenced global oil market. Diversifying the types of vehicles and fuels available to our drivers offers our city protection from often-volatile oil prices and better prepares us for the future.”
“This project will have enormous impacts on fuel consumption and fleet service costs,” said Vision Fleet CEO Michael Brylawski. “The first 14 plug-in hybrids deployed in Indianapolis’ Freedom Fleet have each saved an average of 53 gallons of gasoline per month. Each of the 425 EVs deployed by the beginning of 2016 will save at least 550-600 gallons of gas annually. Over the next 10 years, we expect Indianapolis will avoid 2.2 million gallons of expensive gasoline. Fuel costs for the new EVs will be about one-third of the old gas vehicles costs as a result.”
“The United States spends up to $83 billion annually on safeguarding global oil supply, putting American lives at risk and limiting our ability to conduct effective foreign policy,” said retired Marine Corps General James T. Conway, who spoke at the launch event. “I commend Indianapolis and Mayor Ballard for their forward-looking leadership that will save taxpayers money, reduce the city’s dependence on oil, and contribute to the overall improvement of our nation’s energy security.”