The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services is leading the way to reduce carbon emissions in the state, according to Western Washington Clean Cities. The not-for-profit membership organization that promotes alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in the Pacific Northwest, particularly for fleet operations, recently awarded the stage agency the Best Achievement in Electricity award for its leadership in the state's efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Clean Cities is a national program under the U.S. Department of Energy, with nearly 100 coalitions across the country. Each year it measures the progress of its members and partners by collecting data on the amount and type of fuel used by their fleets. Award winners are selected based on their advancement of alternative fuels and overall leadership in the field of clean transportation.
The work Enterprise Services is being honored for supports the Washington State Electric Fleets Initiative to accelerate adoption of EVs in public and private fleets, which was announced by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2015. The initiative ensures that, beginning this year, at least 20 percent of all new annual state passenger vehicle purchases are EVs — twice the target established by the Pacific Coast Collaborative in 2013.
Government vehicle fleets typically have a large carbon footprint – and gas automobiles are the largest overall source of carbon emissions for Washington state. Enterprise Services was an early adopter of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles and started incorporating EVs in the fleet in 2013. Currently, more than half the state's fleet is comprised of electric or hybrid sedans. Increasing EV use in the state's fleet will improve Washington's air quality — each EV emits 2.3 to 3.3 fewer metric tons of carbon emissions annually than hybrid options.
"With the introduction of electric vehicles that can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, EVs have become a more practical option for state and local government agencies," said Enterprise Services Fleet Operations Manager George Carter III. "As gas powered and hybrid vehicles reach the end of their useful life, we can replace them with long-range EVs."
Enterprise Services also oversees the statewide electric vehicle contract which offers seven electric passenger vehicles, as well as other electric options including forklifts, trucks and buses. Local governments also can purchase electric and hybrid vehicles from state contracts. Replacing a gas car with an electric vehicle saves 4.7 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
"The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services stood out among their peers for not only investing in electric vehicles for its own fleet, but making it easier for other fleets to acquire them too," said Clean Cities spokesman Landen Bosisio. "In addition to placing one of the nation's largest orders of the all-new Chevy Bolt EV, the department renegotiated the state contracts for electric vehicles. This gave fleets across the state access to a wide variety of electric-powered cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles, all at some of the best prices in the country."
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