Cooperative Purchasing Solves EV Charger Delay for Local Governments

Chuck Colgan's picture

As local governments commit to purchasing electric vehicles (EVs) for their fleets, the slow pace of procurement is emerging as a major source of delay, according to Michael Terreri, Fleet and Facility Services manager at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE). CSE staff regularly encounter instances of public EV fleet procurement taking as long as a year because of difficulty determining charging infrastructure and equipment specifications.

To help reduce the procurement delay, the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) recently created a national cooperative purchasing plan for contracting EV chargers. It gives local governments, jurisdictions and education agencies across the U.S. and Canada a means to skip the time and expense of having to individually write specifications and manage competitive bid processes.

“Cooperative purchasing is absolutely necessary to enable the widespread deployment of clean fuel vehicles and infrastructure in fleets,” Terreri said. “Fleets that are on the fence on going electric complain that they lack an existing contract to buy the required equipment and this solves the problem.”

To streamline the purchase and service acquisition process, NJPA conducted a nationwide competitive solicitation. According to NJPA Contractor Scott Carr, “What we wanted to accomplish with this contract solicitation was to provide our members a variety of simplified charging solutions that make sense for them."

NJPA announced it awarded five vendors in its new EV charger category: AeroVironment, ChargePoint Inc, Greenlots, LilyPad EV and Siemens Industry.

CSE will host a webinar on streamlined procurement options and EV management best practices for public agencies on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – Noon PST. You can register online.

Chuck Colgan