Local government buys large volumes of vehicles—everything from small sedans to transport city employees to appointments to garbage trucks and school buses. Almost all classes of vehicles that governments buy are available in electric models (even police cars), or will be in the next few years.

Governments can improve the health of their citizens, decrease their carbon emissions, save taxpayers money, and create big markets for electric vehicles (EVs) by shifting their purchasing policies to “EV First.” This means that governments buy EVs, or delay purchasing a vehicle until a suitable EV is available. Click here for an example.

Here’s how to be effective. The first step is to contact your local government:

Look up how to contact your city/county council or school board, and check when board/council meetings are held, and the agenda for the next meeting. Usually council/board meetings include an opportunity (typically 2-3 minutes per speaker) for public comment on any topic, even if it’s not on the meeting agenda.

Next, send an email or make a comment at the next meeting encouraging electrification of its fleet.

Here’s how to be even more effective: Get a group together to amplify your voices and launch a coordinated campaign to electrify your local fleet.

Sample message or talking points:

Our city/county/school district must accelerate its transition away from gasoline and diesel vehicles and toward clean transportation such as electric vehicles.

Transportation is one of our city/county/school district’s single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions. To address the climate crisis, we must address our vehicle emissions.

Every new gasoline-powered car purchased is a ten-year investment in oil extraction, transportation and refining, and air and carbon pollution, and runs contrary to our environmental  goals.

Practical and affordable electric vehicle model options are now or will soon be available in key fleet categories, including passenger vehicles, SUVs, pickup  trucks, and in many classes of heavy duty vehicles such as transit buses.

Public vehicle electrification has far-reaching benefits. People living close to freeways, gas stations, and other busy roadways will benefit from reduced air pollution. Taxpayers will benefit, not only from lower fuel expenditures, but also from decreased public health expenditures. Lots of jobs will be created from the substantial  work required  to set up charging installations. We won’t be sending taxpayer money out of state to buy oil.

Our government must do its part to combat the climate crisis. By curtailing use of fossil fuels within government fleets, we can proudly lead the march away from fossil fuels while improving the health and economic conditions of all of our residents.


[Name and address]