Climate Action and Resiliency

Make Sonoma County carbon neutral by 2030.

Goal 4, Objective 1

Where feasible, phase out County (owned or leased) gasoline-powered light-duty cars, vans, and pickups to achieve a 30% zero-emission vehicle light-duty fleet by 2026.
On Track

Updated: January 2023

Summary of Objective Implementation Status

The current electric vehicle transition progress has been slow due to two main challenges; the limited number of vehicle makes/models that fit a department’s specific usage case and supply chain constraints that have caused significant delays and cancellations.   Departments specifically requiring larger capacity (7 or more passengers) vehicles such as large SUVs and vans currently have no options.  Departments able to utilize available make/model EVs are subject to long wait times that have exceeded a year.  Coupled with wait times, cancellations have occurred abruptly, forcing Fleet to reorder the same vehicle at an increased cost.  The delays and cancellations are not specific to EVs, and nearly all vehicles have faced similar circumstances – Fleet has been waiting on vehicle orders as old as FY20-21.

Delays and cancellations are expected to improve in 2023.  With advancing battery technology and the commitment from automakers to build more green vehicles, new vehicle makes/models are anticipated to debut soon that may support the usage cases of more County Departments.  The transition to EVs is predicted to ramp up in the next few years with the availability of more vehicle options and the ease in supply constraints to, ultimately, achieve the Strategic Plan objective of 30% zero-emissions light-duty fleet by 2026.

FY 2021-2022 (Baseline):

  • Total Light Duty Fleet:  811 Vehicles
    • ICE Vehicles:  775
    • Electric Vehicles:  36
    • Progress Towards Goal:  4%
    • Annual CO2 Emissions in Metric Tons:  3916.8

FY 2022-2023 (Current):

  • Total Light Duty Fleet:  811 Vehicles
    • ICE Vehicles:  761
    • Electric Vehicles:  50
    • Progress Toward Goal:   6%
    • Annual CO2 Emissions in Metric Tons:  1402.7

Key Milestone Update

  • Completed April 2021
  • Hire a Program Manager and Senior Office Assistant to provide bandwidth for refueling and charging infrastructure
    • Department choosing to postpone additional positions
  • Conduct second phase of fleet electrification study with Green Light Labs to inform Fleet Transition Plan
    • Green Light Labs has exited from the fleet consulting space, forcing the original consultant to take a position at EV Re-Fleet (EVRF).  As such, Fleet is now using EVRF, to conduct the second phase of the fleet electrification study, due to the consultant’s familiarity with the original report and analysis.  Fleet is currently in the data collection process of the study and is anticipated to have a completed report by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Implement workplace EV Awareness/Education campaign
    • Electric Vehicle Training for Fleet employees, Department Fleet Coordinators, and County employees interested in EVs is scheduled for December 8, 2022.  Training is a web-based course and is an hour long (45 mins + 15 mins of Q&A).  Training is intended to provide a basic understanding of electric vehicles.  A second day of training will be scheduled the week after the first class that will dive deeper in student requested topics.
  • Create new vehicle request forms to offer opportunities for departments to choose EVs
    • Vehicle request forms capturing EV options have been in use since FY 2021-2022 vehicle replacement period.
  • As usage cases allow, create vehicle bid specifications that capture EVs
    • This is a continuous process.  As vehicle usage cases allow, EVs are highly considered in the creation of bid specifications.

Coordination and Partnership Update

Fleet has engaged all County Departments with the strong desire to convert the County’s fleet to zero-emission vehicles during each annual vehicle replacement period.  County Departments must provide justification why an electric vehicle or other zero-emission vehicle will not meet their usage case for each vehicle being replaced.

Notable coordination and partnerships include:

  • Regional Parks – Fleet, in partnership with Regional Parks, has received funding for EV charging infrastructure expansion.  Most notable, the project “ARC in Parks”, funded through the Climate Action and Resiliency Fund, will place twelve (12) EV ARCs in multiple parks around the County.  This expansion will help Regional Parks further convert their carbon emitting vehicles with electric vehicles, which they are already actively executing.
  • Sheriff’s Office – Fleet, in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office, has received funding for EV charging infrastructure expansion.  The project “Electrifying Patrol”, funded through the Climate Action and Resiliency Fund, will place multiple Level 2 and 3 chargers at the Sheriff’s Office main location.  This will support administrative law enforcement vehicles immediately and newer Patrol vehicles expected to become available soon.  The significance of this project will allow the pilot of two (2) police pursuit rated EVs, the very first in their fleet.
  • Human Services – Fleet, in partnership with Human Services, has committed to expanding some of their existing EV charging sites and prospecting new locations.  They have also committed to incorporating new EVs each replacement cycle.
  • ISD – Fleet, in partnership with ISD, has committed to installing new EV charging infrastructure at two of their locations.  They have also committed to purchase of EV cargo vans to replace their aging gas cargo vans as they become due.
  • Climate Action Division – Fleet and the Climate Action Division, frequently coordinate on new opportunities and ideas.
  • Energy and Sustainability Division – Fleet and the Energy and Sustainability Division, frequently coordinate on new opportunities and ideas.
  • Regional Climate Protection Agency (RCPA) – Fleet and the RCPA, meet on a quarterly basis with other local governments to discuss EV related items, including EV charging infrastructure expansion, vehicle adoption, funding opportunities, general progress, and challenges.

Community, Equity, and Climate Update

Fleet anticipates a press release with the Sheriff’s Office when the operation of two (2) police pursuit rated EVs goes live.  The vehicles hope to highlight the greener side of the County’s law enforcement fleet and would be showcased in practical application and at events.

Funding Narrative

Replacement vehicles are funded through monthly lease contributions made into the Fleet Accumulated Capital Outlay fund. When a departments vehicle reaches its replacement date, these funds are utilized to replace the vehicle with a zero-emission vehicle, where feasible and where usage cases will allow. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) will be leveraged to offset the costs of EVs.  Select PHEVs offers $1000 credit, while select BEVs offer $2000 credit.