The Prince William County Facilities and Fleet Management Department recently received its first new all-electric vehicle, or EV, with more to come.
The county’s new Chevrolet Bolt joins the county’s 1,458-vehicle fleet that includes 24 hybrids as well as its gasoline-powered vehicles.
“We’ve had hybrids in the fleet since 2008,” said Prince William County Facilities and Fleet Management Assistant Manager Darrel Reynolds. “With the direction of the board to be carbon neutral by 2050, we need to start bringing in efficient vehicles now.”
The county is expected to have 80 all-electric, plug-in hybrid or hybrid vehicles in its fleet by 2024. The vehicles will meet user needs. “What we’re looking for is that vehicles should be replaced in the normal cycle, that there’s a viable electric or hybrid version for every department’s needs,” Reynolds said. “We’re not going to give them an electric vehicle to give them an electric vehicle and that we’re not just getting rid of vehicles just to introduce electrics and hybrids.”
All-electric and hybrid vehicles save on maintenance and fuel costs. “All the stats say there are 1,000 fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle, which means you’ll save money on maintenance and repairs,” said Brent Lineberger, director of customer service. of the Prince William County Facilities and Fleet Management Department. “For example, oil changes are a thing of the past with electric vehicles. Your brake wear is reduced because you’re using regenerative braking to slow the vehicle down, so that kinetic energy is fed back into the battery if you’re using a hybrid.
Fuel-efficient vehicles benefit the county and pay for themselves in the long run. “It’s going to make the county have less emissions coming out of the tailpipes. It’ll probably save more money because you’re not spending $5 a gallon at the pump for fuel. You’ll spend pennies on an electric charge,” Lineberger said. “Most of your maintenance costs are going to be reduced, but we haven’t seen the statistics in Prince William County yet. We look at industry statistics.
The county recently installed 10 charging stations at the McCoart Government Center and will install more throughout the county as needed. “We are working with property management and facility construction management to put in place the necessary infrastructure to support additional vehicles. Our goal is to have the infrastructure in place before we get the electric vehicles,” Lineberger said.
Facilities and fleet management will also require support as the county adds new vehicles. “In addition to rolling out hybrids or electric vehicles, we want to make sure there is a supplier who can support us after the sale. Things fail and we need to have good parts distribution,” Lineberger said. “We will also need to train our technicians to ensure they work safely around these products and can support vehicles as we move in this direction.”
As manufacturers replace existing gasoline models with comparable EV and hybrid models, facilities and fleet management will be able to easily replace older vehicles. “It will not be something that we have to justify why we give them an electric vehicle. It should be the same thing they drive, just with a different power source,” Reynolds said.
The Chevy Bolt is rated at 275 miles on a charge, which will meet most county needs.
Submitted by the Prince William County Government.