The city of Madison has 100 EVs in its fleet, plus 40 more on order, including its initial Class 8 all-electric garbage trucks. Two of the city's Chevy Bolts are pictured here.  -  Photo: City of Madison

The city of Madison has 100 EVs in its fleet, plus 40 more on order, including its initial Class 8 all-electric garbage trucks. Two of the city's Chevy Bolts are pictured here.

Photo: City of Madison

The city of Madison, Wisconsin, has accepted its 100th electric vehicle to its fleet. Madison Fleet Services Superintendent Mahanth Joishy told Government Fleet that the city recently accepted a gray Ford Mustang Mach-E, marking the milestone.

Joishy responded to the milestone, releasing a statement to Government Fleet saying in part, "Thank you to many other city departments, Madison Gas & Electric, and our extensive vendor network for partnering with us to make this possible so we can reduce emissions and save costs on behalf of our community and beyond. It's great to see drivers who were initially skeptical about the transition now embracing EV operation for important city business."

Madison has the most EVs among municipalities in the state, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

A little over five years ago, the city didn't have any EVs. Now, it hopes to be the first large government fleet in North America to replace internal combustion engines altogether by 2030.

A Quick Overview of the EV Fleet in Madison

The city has various EV makes and models, including Chevy Bolts, like the ones pictured here.  -  Photo: City of Madison

The city has various EV makes and models, including Chevy Bolts, like the ones pictured here.

Photo: City of Madison

The first three EVs in the city fleet were Chevrolet Bolts assigned to Metro, the Water Utility, and a shared pool care housed in the City-County Building that could be reserved by any division, for maximum exposure, Joishy told the State Journal.

The city's EV fleet now includes vehicles from various OEMs, including Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, and Tesla. Additionally, it has off-road equipment from Caterpillar and Toyota.

The Madison Fire Department has also been running a Pierce Manufacturing Volterra electric pumper, the first electric fire truck in service in North America, every day for over two years.

The Madison mayor and her staff use a Nissan Leaf for business needs.

More EVs on the Way

The city has six off-grid solar-powered chargers at its city Fleet Services building.  -  Photo: City of Madison

The city has six off-grid solar-powered chargers at its city Fleet Services building.

Photo: City of Madison

The State Journal reported that the city also has 40 more EVs on order, including its initial Class 8 all-electric garbage trucks. Those include two Mack trucks and one Battle Motors truck.

Including the ordered vehicles and Metro Transit electric buses, the city is expected to reach 150 EVs or more by mid-2024.

So far, 60 chargers have been installed on city property to support the growing fleet; six off-grid solar-powered chargers are at the city Fleet Services building. Most of the chargers are Level 2.

When beginning this process, Joishy said that the challenges his department faced included figuring out which vehicle types to buy, where to install charging stations, and training staff who had never operated EVs or were afraid of them.

The city expects the vehicles to last for 10 to 15 years. Joishy told the State Journal that by year four or five, the extra investment in an EV pays for itself through savings from both fuel and maintenance.

Joishy also expects EV prices to come down in the next few years, making the decision to purchase them easier for both fleets and commercial customers.

Curbing Emissions in Madison

Madison's fleet department tracks its reductions in emissions through its main facility, EVs and hybrids, and biodiesel-fueled vehicles.  -  Photo: City of Madison

Madison's fleet department tracks its reductions in emissions through its main facility, EVs and hybrids, and biodiesel-fueled vehicles.

Photo: City of Madison

The city's sustainability efforts expand beyond its vehicles. In 2020, the city opened a new fleet facility, which has been certified a LEED Gold facility by the U.S. Green Building Council. Joishy told Government Fleet that he believes that designation was a first for any fleet shop.

Some of the features that make the fleet shop sustainable include LED lighting systems, 100 kW solar electric photovoltaic panels, and passive solar heating wall at light-duty bays.

In the last five years, the fleet department has reduced more than 430,000 lbs. of CO2 in its main facility, as of Oct. 2, 2023.

All City of Madison diesel vehicles run on biodiesel except in the winter,  Government Fleet reported  in 2021.  -  Photo: City of Madison

All City of Madison diesel vehicles run on biodiesel except in the winter, Government Fleet reported in 2021.

Photo: City of Madison

Additionally, it has reduced 4.89 million lbs. of CO2 through its electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as 8.96 million lbs. of CO2 through biodiesel-fueled vehicles.

Originally posted on Government Fleet

About the author
Christy Grimes

Christy Grimes

Senior Editor

Christy Grimes is a Senior Editor at Bobit, working on Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet publications. She has also written for School Bus Fleet.

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