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Posted on: October 17, 2023

Sterling Heights EV Fleet Pilot Program Pioneers Green Transportation Solutions

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It’s no secret the cost to procure and maintain vehicle fleets have increased exponentially. It’s also no surprise that each year we release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than natural processes can remove. That’s why the city of Sterling Heights is proud to announce the launch of another Think Sterling Green initiative: the Sterling Heights Electric Vehicle (EV) Fleet Pilot Program, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at ushering in a new era of sustainable and cost-effective municipal transportation. With a focus on reducing operational costs, carbon emissions, and maintenance expenditures, this program is set to transform the City's vehicle fleet, making it more environmentally friendly and economically sustainable.

The pilot program was approved by Sterling Heights City Council on Oct. 16 and will be rolled out in spring of 2024. As part of the program, the City will be introducing of a variety of electric vehicles into the city's municipal fleet, including a police pursuit vehicle, light-duty trucks, an SUV and a sedan. This forward-thinking initiative is designed to evaluate the practicality and efficiency of electric vehicles within a municipal context, with a specific emphasis on the benefits they can offer over traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles:

Key benefits of the Sterling Heights EV Fleet Pilot Program include:

  1. Cost Savings: Electric vehicles are known for their cost-effective operation. The program is projected to result in significant savings on fuel costs, as electricity is generally cheaper than gasoline. In addition, EVs tend to have excellent resale value, which can further reduce ownership costs.
  2. Reduced Carbon Emissions: One of the primary objectives of this initiative is to minimize the City's carbon footprint. By replacing traditional ICE vehicles with electric alternatives, Sterling Heights will drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable environment. This aligns with the City's “Think Sterling Green” commitment to environmental stewardship.
  3. Lower Maintenance Costs: Electric vehicles boast fewer moving parts compared to ICE vehicles, which means fewer components are subject to wear and tear. As a result, the City expects a considerable reduction in maintenance and repair costs. Additionally, EVs have longer service intervals and require less frequent maintenance.
  4. Extended Useful Life: Electric vehicles tend to have a longer lifespan than traditional ICE vehicles. The Sterling Heights Electric Vehicle Fleet Pilot Program is projected to demonstrate the durability and longevity of EVs, ensuring that the City's investment in green transportation solutions pays off over the long term.
  5. Reduced Noise Pollution: EVs produce less noise, contributing to quieter and more livable environments.
  6. Health Benefits: Reduced air pollution can lead to improved public health, and better air quality can reduce healthcare costs associated with respiratory diseases.
  7. Enhanced Technological Features: EVs often come equipped with advanced safety features, such as regenerative braking, adaptive cruise control as well as improved connectivity that can help with fleet management like tracking vehicle usage and maintenance needs.
  8. Grid Integration: EVs can potentially serve as energy storage solutions, allowing the City to contribute to grid stability and reduce energy costs.

“Our new EV Fleet Pilot Program is an exciting step towards a more sustainable and cost-efficient future,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. “We are committed to leading the way in municipal sustainability, and this initiative underscores our dedication to our residents, our environment, and our economic viability.”

After a year in service, City administration will measure and evaluate pilot program metrics to determine whether EVs should be expanded across the City’s more than 200-vehicle fleet. City administration will be providing regular updates on the progress of the EV Fleet Pilot Program, the deployment of our 34 new EV charging stations across the community and other initiatives as the City continues to roll out its Think Sterling Green Sustainability Master Plan.

“I’m proud that we are leading by example in promoting responsible practices, but we can’t do it alone. We need all our residents to Think Sterling Green by adopting energy-efficient technologies, reducing energy consumption, conserving water and recycling,” Taylor said.

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