Putting The Pedal To The Metal On Electric Vehicle Fleets

Cuyahoga County plans to purchase five electric vehicles for the community's fleet in 2019.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Some Ohio city and community leaders are among dozens around the world putting the pedal to the metal on electric vehicle technology.

The Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative was announced at a Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last week.

Mike Foley, director of the Department of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County, explains it's a new portal to help lower the cost of EV infrastructure.

"It really is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the costs are coming down,” he states. “EVs are going to be more and more and more a part of makeup of vehicles on the road in the future, and the smarter we are now, the more experienced at it, then the more smoother the transition to EVs in the future becomes."

Cuyahoga County will be purchasing five electric vehicles in 2019, and the city of Cleveland committed to purchase EVs in the next year.

Several communities and companies also pledged to create and expand EV charging infrastructure.

Twenty-six cities, states and businesses in the U.S. and other countries also announced commitments to 100 percent zero emission vehicle targets, joining dozens of others in the ZEV Challenge.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, says it represents a population of more than 237 million people, and businesses with a combined revenue of more than $470 billion.

"And when you aggregate that, put it all together, you really get a strong market signal to the automotive companies to say that this is what your customers want and to ask them to start signaling when they're going to start the endgame of the combustion engine," she points out.

Clarkson adds that zero emission goals are united around the world, despite a lack of support from U.S. leaders.

"We had the announcement from the president with the intention of the U.S. to pull out of the Paris Agreement,” she states. “And what we've seen since that is a lot of players coming forward – both city, businesses and others coming forward – and saying actually we're still in, we still want to stick with the Paris Agreement and making these sorts of commitment."

Leaders from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and a handful of smaller Ohio communities are part of the Climate Mayors group, which is meeting America's Pledge to reduce greenhouse gases as part of the Paris Agreement.