EVTC logo
Home | About Us | Research | Education | Tech Transfer | Publications | Resources

Project 16:
Electric Vehicle Fleet Implications and Analysis


This project will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of electrical vehicles used in fleet operations. The project will evaluate present usage through case studies. The results will be used to evaluate other vehicle applications and to determine how EV fleet adoptions could impact overall rates of market penetration and what are the programs or incentives that could encourage EV fleets.

Brief Description

This project evaluated the implementation and effectiveness of electrical vehicles used in fleet operations by examining polices and using case studies. Evaluations included the use of EVs in existing fleet operations with considerations for light, medium and heavy vehicles used in civilian, commercial, local government and military applications. Policy recommendations and regulations were also reviewed. The results can be used to evaluate other vehicle applications and to determine how EV fleet adoptions could impact overall rates of EV market penetration and what are the programs or incentives that could encourage EV fleets.

Research Results

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are more that 11 million fleet cars and trucks in the United States.

Fleet vehicles regularly cover predictable routes and often return to central depots at night, thus, they have a centralized recharging location which makes them excellent candidates for conversion to electric. EVs are particularly attractive for light-duty fleet use because of their reduced fueling expense and lower overall maintenance cost. Combining reduced operating cost with the attractive financing and leasing options offered can provide a compelling justification for governmental and other fleet owners to switch from conventionally fuel vehicles to EVs.

Significant momentum may be developing for the conversion of the nation’s governmental vehicle fleets to electric drive. President Obama’s Memorandum of March 2015, directing the federal government to increase its purchasing of zero-emission vehicles has elevated the potential for EVs. The order requires 50% of the federal fleet of over 655,000 vehicles to be battery-electric or hydrogen vehicles by 2025. Additionally, the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) issuance of an RFI in February of 2015 has initiated the process of selecting a next-generation delivery vehicle. The USPS plans to replace the majority of its fleet of more than 200,000 vehicles, which includes 180,000 light-duty carrier route vehicles. USPS is also the first government agency to public report its GHG emissions and to receive third-party verification of the results.

There are several federal regulatory requirements that play an important role in fleet management, most notably the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Energy Policy Act (EPAct). Compliance with these requirements is varied and is based on the particular application and use. CAFE standards are the NHTSA fuel efficiency goals that auto manufacturers have agreed to meet. The standards are established to reduce petroleum use, lower GHGs and save the public money. Smog and other pollution prompted Congress to establish the Clean Air Act in 1970. The Act, which was last amended in 1990, requires the EPA establish and enforce air quality standards. The Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 called on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to expand research and development in the transportation sector and to create programs for accelerating the introduction of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) to replace conventional models fueled by petroleum (gasoline and diesel).

Two case studies that are very relevant to the EVTC project are:

  1. U.S. Air Force -- In 2014, a fleet of 42 electrically powered sedans, trucks and vans were deployed at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California. These EV vehicles were also connected to bi-directional charging equipment and are being used to supply power from their batteries to the electrical grid using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
  2. Tallahassee, FL -- A fleet of five Electric Buses has been evaluated. These results have been presented in an EVTC report (Project 14) which compares five EV buses with five diesel buses for the city of Tallahassee, FL. These results can be used to evaluate other bus type of applications.

Commercial case studies include:

  1. Taxi EV Fleet

    Taxi fleets present several unique opportunities and challenges when electrification is considered. On the environmental side, a fleet of taxis in a large metropolitan environment present the opportunity for significant improvements in the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) contributions, noise reduction and urban heating.

    A study by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission found that replacing one-third of the 4412 city taxis would reduce CO2e emissions by 18%. The same study points out that use of conventionally fuel taxis contribute substantially more pollution than private vehicles, the commission estimates that replacing a conventional taxi with and EV resulted in the emissions impact of replacing eight personal vehicles.

    EV taxi fleets are faced with unique challenges to their business models, however, large-scale EV taxi fleets are operating today and they are profitable. For example, three companies operate more than 170 Nissan Leafs and e-NV200 electric vehicles in Amsterdam, Netherlands. There are also approximately 167 Tesla Model S taxis in service in the city.
  2. Class 5-6 Utility Services EV Fleet

    Fleet electrification of utility service vehicles has momentum and affords the fleet operator the opportunity to realize significant operational advantages and savings. More than 70 electric utility companies have committed to spend more than $250 million over the following five years on plug-in electric vehicles and technology.

    Utilities deploy a diverse range of vehicles in their operations and each type of vehicle requires a specific technology to compliment the duty that the vehicle is designed to perform. Most fleet vehicles are candidates for electrification, especially light-duty pickups, SUVs and passenger cars.

    Power service vehicles (line trucks) can also be excellent candidates for electrification for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because their duty cycle is typically short range driving followed by extended jobsite work duration. These vehicles are typically hybrid-drive because they are occasionally called on to travel to distant locations for emergency service restoration. On-board batteries power electrical tools, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The batteries can be recharge using grid power, and on some models, regenerative breaking.

    Several power companies are currently placing medium-duty Class 5 hybrid-electric bucket trucks in service that have 35 miles of all-electric drive range. Some of these sophisticated vehicles can travel in excess of 65 mph and can also export 120kW of synchronized AC power.
  3. Two-wheeled fleet electrification is a low-profile but growing transportation segment that provides viable alternatives to traditional two-wheeled offerings. Electrified two-wheeled transportation holds the promise of significant adoption in countries that depend heavily on this mode of transportation. China, India and many other eastern and European countries have large population segments that depend on mopeds and motorcycles; electrification of those segments promises significant reductions in petroleum use and GHGs.

In addition to case studies, there are tools available to help fleet operators analyze differing fleet vehicle types as follows.

  1. Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Fleet Managers published by U. S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program.
  2. Electric Vehicle Cost Analysis for Fleets, Chris Brown, Business Fleet, January 2015.
  3. GREET Fleet Calculator Tool published by U. S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program.

EVTC staff contributed a podium presentation, “Electric Fleet Implications and Analysis” at the 2016 UTC Conference for the Southeast Region in Knoxville, Tennessee in March of 2016.


A report on the implementation, use and effectiveness of electric vehicles in fleet operations has evaluated EV usage for classes of vehicles from Class 1 motorcycles to Class 8 semi-trucks. Case studies include the use of electric motorcycles by police departments, EVs in ride-sharing and as taxis and city use of mass transit electric buses. The report also identifies the programs, incentives and legislative mandates that encourage the expansion of EV fleet use, and how these programs may increase overall rates of market penetration and encourage new applications. These results can be used to evaluate other fleet vehicle applications by appropriate users.


Project Title:
Electric Vehicle Fleet Implications and Analysis

University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Principal Investigator:
Doug Kettles

PI Contact Information:
321-638-1010 (Fax)

Florida Solar Energy Center
1679 Clearlake Rd.
Cocoa, FL 32922

Funding Source:
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Denise Dunn

Total Project Cost:

Agency ID or Contract Number:

Start date:
October 1, 2013

End date:
September 30, 2018