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Photo of County all-electric messenger van.

Project partners stand by newly acquired electric vehicles.

EV Cold Charging Station

EV Cold Charging Station

Electric Vehicle Programs

Electric vehicles have a number of advantages over gasoline-powered vehicles—chief among these is reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases. The development of electric vehicle infrastructure and vehicles also helps create green jobs. The County has had electric vehicles in its fleet for years and is now expanding our use of electric vehicles and helping to create a network of charging stations in the Bay Area.

Smart Charging - Saving Money & Reducing Energy Demand

Electric vehicles can contribute to high demand on the electrical grid when many are charging at the same time. During periods of high demand, electrical utilities turn to less efficient power plants for additional power, causing more pollution. Alameda County is working to increase the use of electric vehicles while also minimizing impact on the grid.

With local partners ChargePoint, Kisensum, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, we pilot-tested smart charging software for electric vehicles. The software programs enable charging stations to charge when the electric grid is experiencing less demand and electricity costs less. Some charging stations also communicate with each other to ramp down when electrical demand peaks. This project reduced utility bills, allowing us to reinvest in fleet electrification.

We have converted selected charging stations to Level I stations that have a lower flow of power, in order to spread charging over more hours. We also employ "Happy Hour" charging on our DC Fast charger from 7 p.m. to midnight in order to manage the power demand. During these hours, customers don't have to pay the base fee of 10 cents per minute to charge.

These strategies are part of our larger energy management efforts, which are described in a guidebook for other fleets considering electric vehicles.

More information:

Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative

The Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative leverages the buying power of local governments to reduce the costs of EVs and charging infrastructure. The Collaborative also supports public fleets with training, best practices, and analysis support related to EVs. The goal is to accelerate the switch to electric-powered vehicles. Through the collaborative, the Alameda County General Services Agency is aiming to purchase about 25 EVs annually until 2030. EVs would then compose at least 30 percent of the vehicle fleet.

Local Government Electric Vehicle Fleet Project

The Local Government Electric Vehicle Fleet Project was a high impact initiative to showcase electric vehicles in multiple government fleets, create substantial direct emission reductions, and serve as a model to scale this clean energy solution nationwide. Project partners worked to purchase and install 90 all electric vehicles and 90 charging points throughout the Bay Area. This clean transportation infrastructure was projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 400,000 pounds per year and also significantly reduce air pollution. The project was generously supported by a $2.8 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and was a partnership among Alameda County, Sonoma County, Sonoma Water District, Transportation Authority of Marin, City of San Francisco, City of San Jose, City of Fremont, City of Concord, City of Oakland, City of Santa Rosa, and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative.

Through collaborative purchasing, the partner agencies saved over $349,000 (from MSRP) in the purchase of 90 new all-electric vehicles.

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