­­Finding the Best Options to Electrify Your Fleet

Reasons for Electrifying Your Fleet

The transportation sector emits the largest share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Many tribal nations, businesses, organizations, state governments, cities, and individual citizens are reducing GHG emissions by choosing cleaner fuel options for their cars, buses, and trucks.

Fleet electrification shows leadership and a commitment to reduce GHG emissions while providing the following benefits for people, businesses, and communities:

  • Reducing GHG emissions improves air quality and reduces health risks for workers and communities.
  • Fleet electrification improves working conditions and safety by reducing exposure to noise and chemicals.
  • Electrifying fleets can save money over time by reducing fuel and maintenance costs.

While we designed this toolkit with city fleets in mind, the information provided can be useful for other fleets looking to electrify.

Adopting EVs in a fleet is not the only way to reduce GHG emissions. Other clean fuels, such as biofuels, propane, renewable natural gas, or hydrogen, can make a lot of sense depending on the vehicle’s use case. The American Lung Association and the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center have many resources to learn about other options available for fleets. We encourage any step that leads to a future with lower GHG emissions!

Vehicle Selection Guides

If you’ve determined that fleet electrification is right for you, you need to figure out what kind of vehicle(s) will work best for your fleet.

When considering which fleet vehicle to electrify, there are several ways you can evaluate needs and vehicles. Fleet analysis studies can provide insight into which vehicles are best suited to be electrified based on daily distance traveled, idling time, vehicle size, maintenance needs, and other factors. When deciding which light-duty fleet vehicles are the best candidates for electrification, you can reference Drive Electric Minnesota’s three key lessons:

  1. More miles driven=more savings
  2. Look for vehicles that take many short trips
  3. Switch vehicles that idle a lot

Key considerations for electrifying medium and heavy-duty vehicles:

  • Work closely with the retailer to ensure vehicle and pricing needs are met.
  • Consider daily distance traveled and number of hours in operation per day. Both factors will affect the vehicle’s ability to charge along the route or at the depot. For more information, read Drive Electric MN’s blog on Charging Medium- to Heavy-duty vehicles Part II.
  • Determine if you want to purchase your own EV or use a company that will support you through the transition. For example, some companies will conduct a fleet analysis, provide electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and aid in maintenance.
  • Optimal vehicles to electrify in your fleet include school buses or paratransit vehicles.
  • Keep in mind that charging for electric transit vehicles can look different than light-duty vehicle charging options.

Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy produced an EV Toolkit with focus areas on light-duty fleets and transit and heavy-duty fleets as well as other topics. For example, the toolkit suggests asking peers that are early adopters of similar fleet vehicles about the following:

  • Vehicle performance, especially in local extreme weather conditions
  • What type of charging they are using (e.g., on-route, centralized depot)
  • Actual fuel and maintenance costs

For more information and free training sessions related to medium- and heavy-duty fleet electrification, check out the Run on Less – Electric campaign’s Electric Truck Education Bootcamp Training.

Use the vehicle selection guides listed below to help you determine the best type of vehicle for your fleet:

Best Practices for Use

Looking to add EVs to your fleet? Use the best practices below to get the most out of your fleet!


  • Charging Station Considerations
  • Ongoing Maintenance
  • Supporting your staff