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September 6th, 2018

Smart Columbus Celebrates Upcoming National Drive Electric Week With Rollout Of Electric Vehicles In Public Fleets Throughout The Region

City of Columbus demonstrates leadership and delivers on its pledge to electrify its fleet 

Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 6, 2018 – As National Drive Electric Week (Sept. 8-16) approaches, Smart Columbus today announced it has achieved more than 50 percent of its goal to introduce 300 electric vehicles to public fleets by 2020. The City of Columbus is leading the way in this effort, procuring 93 electric vehicles in 2018, and announcing today plans to purchase 32 more in the coming months. City officials project that the cost of powering and operating the electric vehicles will be half the cost of operating conventional, internal combustion engine vehicles. Smart Columbus’ private fleet adoption efforts are an initiative of the $10 million grant awarded to Columbus by the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies as the winner of the Smart City Challenge. The grant seeks to measurably reduce greenhouse gas emissions by electrifying the transportation sector in the seven-county region. 

“Deploying these 93 vehicles in the city’s fleet is another step forward in our Smart City commitment to creating a transportation ecosystem that is more sustainable and future-forward,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “This promise-turned-reality supports our commitment to implement the latest technologies in transportation and benefits our operations through improved energy efficiency, modernized infrastructure and reduced costs.” 

The City of Columbus has committed to purchasing 200 electric vehicles within Smart Columbus’ 300 vehicle goal. Within the initial deployment are 72 Nissan LEAFs, 20 Ford Fusion Energi and one Chevy Bolt that will be used by code enforcement inspectors and facilities management officials and police and fire administrators. Charging stations funded by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program have been deployed to support the fleet vehicles at 3636 Parsons Ave. at the Fire Academy; the new, downtown garage at 141 N. Front St. and the city’s central outpost at 1355 McKinley Rd.. Chargers have also been deployed at the city’s Fleet Management office at 4211 Groves Rd.

“The Energy Study we conducted for Franklin County taught us a great deal about how energy is used and even wasted locally,” said Christina O’Keeffe, Director of Energy and Air Quality for MORPC. “Due to a reliance on the internal combustion engine, we found the transportation sector to be the least efficient. The study findings and recommendations are now helping to guide energy strategies and better connect to initiatives like Smart Columbus that can achieve both economic and environmental benefits in communities throughout central Ohio, including the goal of increasing electric vehicle adoption by 10 percent before the year 2030.”

In procuring its vehicles, the City of Columbus developed an innovative universal term contract, which will give any municipality in Ohio the same price as Columbus on electric vehicles, making them more affordable and accessible to public institutions throughout the state. Several area municipalities have already joined Columbus in its EV adoption efforts and benefited from the negotiated pricing. Municipalities and public agencies that have procured electric vehicles include: Dublin (5 vehicles purchased), Hilliard (2), Westerville (2), Whitehall (2) and Worthington (2), as well as The Ohio State University (2), the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (2), the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (2) and Franklin County (15). Additional municipalities and public entities have committed to do the same in 2019. 

“Franklin County is a proud and committed partner in the Smart Columbus initiative,” said Franklin County Board of Commissioners President Kevin L. Boyce. “We’re also committed to environmental sustainability and fiscal stewardship. Greening our fleet with electric vehicles and providing charging stations where possible is an important part of those commitments.”

Editor’s Note: Photos of the City of Columbus’ EV feet and charging stations are available upon request.


About Smart Columbus
The City of Columbus’ Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors – into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Aligned investments totaling more than $500 million have been made by the private, public and academic institutions in the region to support technology and infrastructure investments that upgrade Columbus' transportation network and help make Columbus the model connected city of the future. Smart Columbus is a regional smart city initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership that includes partnerships with The Ohio State University, Battelle, American Electric Power and many more. 

For more information, visit the Smart Columbus website,

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