Electric Vehicles Begin Replacing Polk County Fleet

Published 2/28/2024 1:03:37 PM

Des Moines, IA- Polk County, Iowa has taken a significant step towards a sustainable and environmentally-friendly future with the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) to replace the existing county fleet. The county has recently taken possession of the first three electric vans, marking the beginning of a comprehensive transition process that will see the majority of the county's fleet, totaling more than 300 vehicles, being replaced with electric vehicles.

The replacement vehicles will include Ford E-Transit vans and Chevy Bolts, both of which are renowned for their efficiency and eco-friendly design. These EV vehicles are capable of traveling an average of 250 miles per charge, providing an impressive range that meets the county's operational needs. This transition to electric vehicles is not only expected to contribute significantly to reducing the county's carbon footprint but will also result in substantial savings on fuel and maintenance costs.

"The introduction of electric vehicles to our county fleet represents a significant milestone in our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility," said John Norris, Polk County Administrator. "We are proud to be part of an initiative that aligns with our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Polk County operations by 90% of the current levels by 2040. We are confident that this transition will serve as a model for other communities aiming to embrace clean energy solutions."

The decision to move towards electric vehicles underscores Polk County's dedication to embracing cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions that benefit both the environment and the community. As the lifespan of existing fleet vehicles expires, most will be replaced with EV models. Some exceptions would apply due to the technical requirements of a vehicle used by law enforcement or public works as an example. While the shift to electric vehicles will take place over the next several years, the introduction of this new fleet will not only contribute to cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions but will also pave the way for a more sustainable and cost-effective fleet management strategy.

Other efforts to meet Polk County’s emission reduction goal by 2040 includes installing solar panels on many of our county buildings, converting our HVAC systems to electric, adding electric charging stations and transitioning to 100% LED lighting solutions in county buildings.