City of Chicago Commits $42M to Municipal Fleet Electrification Initiative, Chicago Electric
Initiative will transition 100% of Chicago’s municipal fleet to zero-emissions vehicles by 2035 while lowering emissions and improving air quality
CHICAGO — Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar; Chief Sustainability Officer Angela Tovar; and Commissioner Sandra Blakemore of the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) joined City of Chicago employees gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate Earth Week by touring the City’s new electric vehicle fleet and municipal charging stations at the City of Chicago AIS Fleet Headquarters in the Englewood community. The gathering of City employees marks the launch of Chicago Electric, a new initiative in line with goals laid out in the City of Chicago’s 2022 Climate Action Plan (CAP) to transition 100% of the City’s municipal fleet to electric vehicles or zero-emission alternatives by 2035.
This announcement comes one week after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Biden-Harris Administration announced new proposed federal vehicle emissions standards for cars and trucks that will minimize pollution and bolster electric vehicle production in the United States.
“During my tenure as Mayor of Chicago, I have taken swift action to lower the City’s emissions and support new economic opportunities to bolster the green economy in Chicago and beyond,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “I am proud to align our goals with President Biden, the US EPA, and our partners in the public and private sectors and to make environmentally responsible choices that serve our city and our planet.”
The City of Chicago maintains a fleet of 11,246 light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles that City employees use in the provision of City services, including waste management and recycling, emergency services, and both external and internal operational services. Implementation of Chicago Electric is already underway, as the City plans to install over 190 charging stations citywide at municipal facilities. Additionally, the City will reach a significant milestone in the first year of the program by procuring 182 electric vehicles that will make up approximately 25% of the non-emergency light duty fleet. To date, a total of 176 electric vehicles have been leased or purchased with the bulk of those to be delivered in the coming months.
The City of Chicago has committed to a historic investment of over $42M for Chicago Electric over the next five years sourced through funding from the Chicago Recovery Plan and the City’s Chicago Works capital budget. City leaders also plan to maximize federal incentives and other funding opportunities for clean vehicles including EVs and EV charging infrastructure.
“It is incumbent upon the City to lead by example in ensuring we reduce our environmental footprint while taking advantage of unprecedented and lucrative federal tax incentives to do so,” said Commissioner Blakemore. “Through Chicago Electric, AIS will cycle out gas vehicles at time of replacement, prioritizing light-duty vehicles for this first cycle.”
Chicago Electric’s goal to transition 100% of the City’s fleet to zero-emissions was first set out in the 2022 CAP, with an overall goal of a 62% reduction in Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, while driving equitable co-benefits for residents. AIS is working to realize the equitable vision of the CAP by ensuring that charging stations and the fleet transition are prioritized first for municipal facilities located in neighborhoods most vulnerable to air pollution.
“With the transportation sector accounting for 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Chicago, we must make intentional efforts to drive zero-emissions solutions and alleviate the burden of air pollution for our residents,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Tovar. “The Office of Climate and Environmental Equity is tasked with implementing the City’s Climate Action Plan. My team is committed to working closely with AIS, the Mayor’s Office, and CDOT to ensure the long-term success of Chicago Electric, and to supporting an equitable transition to a clean energy future in all decisions big or small.”
In addition to the City’s commitment to electrify its entire fleet by 2035, the CAP acknowledges the need for a multi-pronged community-scale approach that prioritizes cleaner fuels in both personal and commercial vehicles, increased access to public transit, and more options for other modes of transportation including biking and pedestrian improvements.