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West Coast Cities ask Automakers to increase Electric Vehicle production to aid in fight against Climate Change

Portland, ORE. ­– Mayors Ted Wheeler of Portland, Ed Murray of Seattle, Ed Lee of San Francisco and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles are challenging the nation’s automakers to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles in municipal fleets.

The Mayors released a Request for Information (RFI) — the first step in a formal bidding process — to invite automakers to describe their plans for meeting a potentially record-breaking order of EVs. The four cities could buy or lease up to 24,000 electric vehicles for their fleets, if automobile and truck manufacturers are able to meet the demand and provide appropriate pricing.

The RFI is the first effort of its kind to include municipalities from different states, demonstrating the purchasing power of local governments to transform the electric vehicle market. By moving to electric vehicles, cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and improve air quality while reducing fuel and maintenance costs by an estimated average of 37 percent. 

“Portland is proud to collaborate with our west coast neighbor cities to reduce carbon emissions,” said Mayor Wheeler. “Increasing access to diverse models of electric vehicles is an important step towards achieving the goals in our award-winning climate action plan.”

“The urgency of climate change requires us to rapidly transition the transportation sector from fossil fuels to electricity and public fleets have a responsibility to lead by example. Seattle, and our partner cities along the West Coast, are ready to lead with the next generation of electric vehicles,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “The information we receive from the Electric Vehicle Request for Information will help us meet the goals of the new Drive Clean Seattle Fleet Executive Order, demonstrating our continued commitment to fleet electrification.”

“San Francisco is revved up to drive electric. Electric vehicles are a key to improving air quality in our neighborhoods and lowering our city operating and maintenance costs,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Our cities know we can’t fight climate change by building walls.  We need to build more bridges to accelerate marketplace transformation and bring greater efficiencies that will benefit our taxpayers and impacted neighborhoods.”

“Every community has the power to fight climate change, and we do not need to wait for any one person or government to show us the way,” said Mayor Garcetti. “By acting together as cities, we can set an example for our neighbors, spur clean energy innovation, clean our air, and accelerate the inevitable transition to a low-carbon, opportunity-rich future for everyone.”

By demonstrating combined demand across municipal fleets, the RFI aims to improve pricing and needed specifications of existing pure battery EV models for cities. It also aims to expand offerings of electric vehicle models beyond sedans, such as police pursuit vehicles, SUVs and small trucks, and medium or heavy duty equipment including delivery vans, trash trucks and transit buses. 

The Mayors are all members of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA).  The other 51 MNCAA cities have been invited to participate in the RFI. Additional fleet numbers and demand for electric vehicles from these cities will be added as an appendix to the RFI in February. Manufacturers interested in responding to the RFI can download it here or request it from EVRFI@lacity.org. Responses are due by March 1, 2017. 

About Portland, OR

In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to develop a strategy to address climate change. In December of 2016 Portland was awarded the C40 Cities Award for the “best climate action plan in the world”. The City’s updated Electric Vehicle Strategy was approved by Council in December of 2016 and includes actions to lead by example by increasing the number of electric vehicles in the City’s fleet. Portland has committed to the goal of increasing the City’s sedan fleet from 20 to 30 percent by 2020 and is interested in adding additional vehicle category classifications to the City’s fleet.

About Seattle, WA

The City of Seattle has long been a leader in sustainability and is nationally recognized as operating one of the greenest municipal fleets in the country. A sector-wide transportation initiative, Drive Clean Seattle is Mayor Murray’s program to tackle climate change at the local level and take meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gases by leveraging Seattle City Light’s carbon neutral electricity for transportation.

About San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has a long history of transport electrification – foremost in its historic cable car lines and the nation’s largest fleet of electric trolley buses and Metro street cars, all powered by greenhouse gas (GHG)-free electricity from the City’s Hetch Hetchy hydropower system. Each gallon of gasoline replaced in our municipal vehicle fleet with carbon neutral electricity supply is a 100 percent reduction in GHG emissions. San Francisco recognizes the unique opportunity it has and will continue to lead by example through investment in transforming the City’s fleet.

About Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles has the nation’s leading municipal EV procurement requirement: at least 50 percent of all new sedans purchased annually must be pure battery EV. The City also is working to speed the electrification of medium and heavy duty vehicles to meet air quality goals and other targets in Los Angeles’ Sustainable City pLAn.

About the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda

The Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA) is comprised of U.S. #ClimateMayors working together to strengthen local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support binding federal and global-level policymaking. Fifty-one MNCAA mayors representing 35 million Americans have signed an open letter to President-elect Trump urging him to work with cities to act on climate and remain in the Paris Climate Agreement.