An Electrifying Partnership
Success of sustainability at UCLA
Prepared in collaboration by the Electrification Coalition, Sourcewell, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
University of California, Los Angeles leaders are on a mission. A sustainability mission.
As a community, the prestigious university is working toward a culture of environmental stewardship. Together, the leadership team is engaged in and committed to advancing sustainability through education, research, operations, and community partnerships.
Under the direction of Fleet Procurement Specialist Tom Povormo, UCLA is leading the charge in prioritizing alternatively fueled, low emission vehicles for their institution. In addition to establishing research centers focused on sustainability, the university is creating new technology and training that is impacting the leaders of tomorrow.
“UCLA Transportation set a target to run a completely carbon neutral fleet by 2025,” Povormo said. “Achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions is a top campus priority.”
How are they doing it?
UCLA's fleet is comprised of 1,037 units: 301 are fully electric and 57 are hybrids. The transition has taken time, energy, and persistence. But the work is paying off and making a difference.
Six light-duty vehicles and supporting equipment were purchased through The Collaborative, a joint effort by Climate Mayors, the Electrification Coalition (EC), and Sourcewell. The Collaborative offers a growing selection of electric vehicles and charging stations, transparent pricing, policy guidance, technical resources, assessment tools, and financing options.
The vehicles are a mix of Chevy Bolts and Chrysler Pacificas. Drivers of both models can complete the same daily tasks as they could driving similarly sized, traditional vehicle predecessors. The Pacifica also includes a plug-in electric hybrid drive train. Its battery is large enough to run almost entirely on electric power when used on campus while still offering the flexibility of a backup gasoline-powered engine for longer trips with heavier loads.
Like many university fleets, applications vary from sedans to pickup trucks to cargo vans. Historically medium- and heavy-duty applications were barriers to electrification due to the limited selection of electrified models available. However, in recent years many of these applications are becoming an option and prices continue to decrease. As larger vehicles become available, UCLA plans to prioritize electric options. They most recently deployed a fully electric Winnebago RV.
The environmental benefits
Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, predominantly as it relates to a reduction of particulate matter and improvement to local air quality. For example, a gas-fueled vehicle driving in the Los Angeles area must achieve 138 miles per gallon to produce approximately the same amount of pollution as a Chevy Bolt (EV) driving in the same area. Electric vehicles reduce the impact on the environment. See the table below for an emission comparison.
|cO2 per mile (grams)|
Chevy Bolt (EV)
Average traditional car
- Fleet management. Fleet management requires successful sourcing and deploying of vehicles well suited for fleet applications. Fleet management is critical to achieving efficiencies and electric vehicles are well suited for many fleet applications.
- Reduced fuel spend. Electric vehicles reduce fuel spend by approximately 50% according to national trends.
- Reduced vehicle maintenance. Electric fleet vehicles require less vehicle maintenance and associated down time.
Did you know?
New York City reported annual maintenance savings of up to $1,700 with their Chevy Bolt in comparison to a similarly sized Ford Fusion.
Electric motors contain only a fraction of moving parts compared to a traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). Electric vehicles exhibit greater reliability, omit oil changes, and other regular maintenance needs.
Procuring electric vehicles
Procurement methods vary greatly. Vehicles can be procured from local dealership agreements, large fleet management providers, state contracts, or a combination of all the above. Public agencies, including cities, counties, higher education, and primary education institutions are turning to The Collaborative to assist with their transition to electric.
The Collaborative provides training, best practices, educational information, compliant procurement options, and analysis.
If your fleet leaders are considering electric vehicle implementation or plans to increase your number of electric fleet vehicles, The Collaborative can be powerful resource. For more information, email EVfleets@electrificationcoalition.org.
Check out our Q&A with UCLA, along with a photo gallery of some of the university's electric vehicle fleet.
About Climate Mayors
A group of more than 450 U.S. mayors committed to taking meaningful action on climate change.
About Electrification Coalition (EC)
A nonpartisan, non-profit organization leading the implementation of the Climate Mayors' transportation electrification initiative. EC leverages its broad experience as a municipal partner, allowing for an accelerated EV adoption on a mass scale.
A public agency that conducts the competitive solicitation process on behalf of other public agencies throughout North America. Sourcewell offers over 400 awarded suppliers on contract, including vehicles and service equipment, allowing clients to make purchases through their local dealers, and streamlining the procurement process in a compliant manner.