Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck demonstrate charging of BMW i3. Photo courtesy of City of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck demonstrate charging of BMW i3. Photo courtesy of City of Los Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles has committed to leasing 160 battery-electric vehicles and 128 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced.

Under the program, city departments will lease the BEVs and PHEVs to replace aging city vehicles, including those with conventional internal combustion engines. The Los Angeles Police (LAPD), Fire, General Services, and Water and Power (LADWP) departments will together lease the battery-electric vehicles, while the LADWP and the General Services Department will lease the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

This move will give Los Angeles the largest city-owned battery-electric vehicle fleet in the U.S., according to the mayor.

The leases will go to bid this fall. The mayor's office hopes to have vehicles delivered by April 2016. 

In addition to the 288 battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is also being loaned a Tesla Model S P85D and a BMW i3, which will be used for testing and research by LAPD technical experts to determine how this technology can support their future needs. The department has also already purchased 23 electric scooters and three electric motorcycles for use by patrol officers.

One hundred of the battery-electric vehicles will be dedicated to the LAPD, making it the largest single departmental procurement to date, according to the mayor's office. The battery-electric vehicles will be used by detectives, investigators, and administrative employees. The LADWP will also lease 44 battery-electric vehicles and 113 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The vehicle switch is expected to cut vehicle operating costs by an estimated 41% (21 cents per mile for EVs versus 37 cents per mile for conventional vehicles), as well as free up city budget dollars currently allocated to finance the purchase vehicles, so city departments can invest in key infrastructure upgrades, the mayor said. In addition, the electric vehicles are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to planting over 20,000 trees) while lowering harmful smog forming pollutants such as NOx and hydrocarbons.

Mayor Garcetti last year issued the Sustainable City pLAn, a blueprint to make Los Angeles more sustainable and deliver environmental and economic benefits to the city. The program aims for electric vehicles to make up 50% of the city’s annual light-duty vehicle purchases by 2017, with that vehicle share to reach 80% by 2025.

*Updated 9/15/15 at 10 a.m. with estimated fleet delivery date.

Originally posted on Government Fleet