Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland has sent in a joint request for information to automakers for the first of its kind in United States for what could be the largest electric car order - 24,000 vehicles. The west coast cities uniting municipalities from different states are sharing the goal of showing the purchasing power of local governments in the electric vehicle market. Their vision is to cut green house gas emissions, improve air quality and reduce fuel and maintenance costs by an average of 37 percent.
However, they are not limiting themselves in this quest, as they have invited other mayors to join them. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the other mayors involved are all members of a joint committee known as Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA) organized by Garcetti. There are currently 51 city members of the committee and they have all been invited to join the initiative to combat climate change. The group has also sent a letter to president-elect Trump requesting him to support a US compliance with commitments made in Paris at the UN Climate Change summit. Their current request of 24,000 could be boosted if more members join their crusade. They hope that by the next month there could be additional cities and they hope the final number could be as high 50,000 or even 100,000 vehicles. With a purchase this large, they hope to improve electric vehicle pricing and help motivate automakers expand electric technology to larger vehicles. Shifting the such a large public fleet to electric vehicles will help pricing electric vehicles to the public. At this moment, most electric vehicles on the market remain a luxury item, too expensive for many low income families.
The request for information asks automakers to explain what vehicles they can offer to potentially meet the cities' demands and needs as well as their pricing and delivery timelines. A large order of electric vehicles will be extremely beneficial to any company that can commit to it. Currently GM only has an annual production of 30,000 units of the Bolt EV and they lose a significant amount of money per vehicle if it were not for the ZEV credits. The largest electric vehicle player on the market Tesla, since they only produce electric vehicles, their quota of the Model 3 is 400,000 per year and it already has over 400,000 preorders for it. A large order coming the cities would not affect their production too much but it would definitely help keep them in the lead in the market. Los Angeles currently has the most accelerated electric vehicle requirements. Half of new sedan purchases in the city must be electric-only vehicles. The city is also moving towards electric work trucks, Nissan LEAFS for public services and BMW i3's for the police department.