The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has a municipal fleet of 350 vehicles, ranging from police cars to heavy-duty trash collection trucks. While Cambridge was eager to begin electrifying its municipal fleet, the city lacked a method for identifying which vehicles would be the best candidates for electrification based on usage, replacement cost, and other criteria. Municipal officials needed a framework to guide vehicle procurement decisions and measure the cost savings, emissions reductions, and other benefits of replacing petroleum-fueled vehicles with electric ones.
ERG’s electric vehicle experts and economists developed a customized set of user-friendly, Excel-based tools for Cambridge to better understand the costs and benefits of electrifying its fleet under various scenarios. Each tool addresses a specific vehicle type, including sedans, full-size pickup trucks, vans, and refuse collection vehicles and uses values specific to the city’s current fleet. The tools also allow users to enter different values to account for a variety of factors such as fuel price and vehicle cost. Ultimately, they can be used to forecast the impacts of technology improvements and cost efficiencies, such as declining vehicle battery costs, on financial projections that guide procurement decisions based on return on investment. These projections also account for the financial benefits from the decreases in greenhouse gas emissions and criteria pollutants that come with electrification.