Benefits of ZEVs

Washington state's clean mix of electricity

Whether a plug-in hybrid, battery electric, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, ZEVs offer several benefits to fleets:

  • High fuel economy and low operating cost, which result in lower total cost of ownership
  • Reduced vehicle maintenance
  • Fuel price stability
  • Streamlined charging
  • Reduced greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions
  • Financial incentives and compliance with procurement rules
  • Specialized service applications, such as quiet operations and backup power

West Coast Electric Fleets Is Accelerating the Shift

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West Coast Electric Fleets (WCEF) helps fleet managers incorporate zero emission vehicles and provide access to resources to help fleets learn from one another as they scale up use of ZEVs and associated infrastructure.

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WCEF provides partners with:

  • An online Resource Library that can help fleet managers assess how ZEVs best meet their fleet’s operational needs and save them money
  • Events to learn more about ZEVs, such as ride-and-drives
  • Recognition for partner fleets on the WCEF website, through press releases and at WCEF events
  • Opportunities to be profiled in case studies and contribute to lessons learned

What Do Fleets Need to Know about ZEVs?

How do I know if ZEVs are a good fit for my fleet?

A variety of ZEV models are available, and more are introduced each year. The WCEF Resource Library includes fleet assessment tools and resources to help explore the benefits and capabilities of different ZEVs – and identify the best vehicles for a given fleet. For example, many motor pool fleets find that ZEVs are a good fit when vehicles are used frequently and for short, predictable routes.

What are my vehicle options?

While most ZEVs are light-duty, more vehicle options are being introduced all the time. Most electric vehicles have a range of 60 to 90 miles (100-150 km) per charge, and plug-in hybrids can travel up to 40 miles (65 km) before switching to gasoline. Medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs are capable of ranges between 40 and 155 miles (250 km). The WCEF Resource Library helps users explore what vehicles are available, including through a ZEV Showroom and the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search tool.

What do I need to know about charging or fueling?

Accessible charging and fueling infrastructure is crucial for successfully incorporating ZEVs into fleets. Through the WCEF Resource Library, users can access maps of local infrastructure and apps that help drivers locate stations on the go. The library also includes a number of resources to help users understand the costs and process of installing infrastructure at their facilities.

How much do ZEVs cost, and how much money will they save?

The up-front cost of ZEVs is often higher than comparable conventional vehicles, but ZEVs are less expensive to operate, maintain, and repair over time. This means the total cost of ownership for a ZEV is typically lower than conventional vehicles. Certain fleets will also benefit from expanded service and operational capabilities. The Resource Library includes helpful cost-benefit analysis tools, like the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Cost Calculator and the AFLEET tool. It will point users in the direction of incentives and financing options as well.

How can I prepare my employees and maintenance personnel for ZEVs?

Many fleet managers find that training drivers can help ensure a smooth transition to ZEVs. New drivers benefit from an understanding of the full range of vehicle features, the charging process, and the location of charging stations along their routes. Maintenance personnel are glad to learn that ZEVs require less maintenance than conventional vehicles. ZEVs still need routine maintenance such as checking tire pressure and fluid levels, but most don’t require oil changes and need less frequent brake servicing.

What are other fleet managers doing?

Dozens of organizations across the West Coast are incorporating ZEVs into their fleets. The WCEF website highlights case studies from private and public fleets, active partnerships and networks, and offers managers a forum for sharing lessons learned through WCEF webinars and other events.