Time’s running out to sign up to update your municipal vehicles to clean technology through the first round of MAPC’s Green Mobility Group Purchasing Program. Let us know you’re interested in participating by April 21, 2017 at 5 p.m. and join cities and towns across the State in converting fleet vehicles to run on cleaner fuels.
Adding electric, hybrid, and other alternative fuel vehicles to municipal fleets reduces carbon emissions while cutting spending on gasoline and diesel fuels. MAPC aims to fill a gap in the market by focusing the group purchase on aftermarket conversion opportunities for the most common vehicle types and highest fuel consumers within municipal fleets.
Through the program which is part of the nationwide Fleets for the Future project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, MAPC will do the legwork of packaging a Request for Quotes (RFQ) for vehicles with the most municipal demand to provide access to bulk discounts and reduce the time commitment needed to pursue clean fuel vehicles.
The Group Purchasing Advantage
Last year, MAPC partnered with the Massachusetts Operational Services Division and Department of Energy Resources to produce VEH102, a statewide contract for advanced vehicle technologies. The contract makes it easier for public entities in Massachusetts and across the nation to procure clean vehicles because it provides a set of qualified vendors
With the statewide contract in place, a purchasing mechanism was readily available to support the deployment of clean vehicle technologies as a part of MAPC’s group purchasing work.
Towns and cities can benefit from participating in a group purchase by receiving the bulk discounts guaranteed through the statewide contract without having to implement clean vehicle conversions on dozens of vehicles.
“Our group purchasing approach provides the benefit of streamlining the purchasing process for the municipality by managing the bid and quote process, and for the vendor by carrying out the work of aggregating sales opportunities during a particular timeframe,” said Megan Aki, a clean energy analyst at MAPC. “It will also give towns with small fleets the opportunity to take advantage of the bulk discounts to pilot clean vehicle technology within their fleet.”
For example, Aki said, if 10 towns each retrofit five vehicles, they will on average receive a bulk discount of 22 percent from the vendors on the statewide contract, saving the community the average cost of converting one vehicle across the different technologies available.
Green Mobility Group Purchasing Program
Right now, MAPC is preparing for the first round of the Green Mobility Group Purchasing Program. Though this, cities and towns can buy the technology to retrofit existing fleet vehicles with clean technology, up-fit new purchases, or implement clean fuel conversions.
“Retrofitting” means taking already-existing vehicles, preferably less than seven or eight years old, and converting them to run on clean technology. “Up-fitting” means adding this technology to newly-purchased vehicles. In most cases retrofitting or up-fitting your fleet should not affect the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) warranty or increase maintenance costs.
MAPC will be issuing the RFQ to the vendors on the statewide contract, VEH102. This new contract includes Magmotor, XL Hybrids, National Fleet Hybrids, and Verdek. Different types of vehicles can be converted to run on hybrid electric technology (pickup trucks, cargo vans, box trucks, utility bodies, passenger vans, shuttle buses, and walk-in vans), hydraulic hybrid technology (track trucks, box trucks, step vans, school buses, shuttle buses, and mechanical street sweepers), or compressed natural gas (pickup trucks).
The Green Mobility Purchasing Program doesn’t include a financial incentive other than the discount associated with the group purchase, but there are state grants available to support financing the purchase of aftermarket conversion technology. See the chart below or email email@example.com if you have questions related to financing opportunities.
The cost of the purchase will depend on what technology is being purchased and what vehicles are being retrofitted or up-fitted.
MAPC is currently collecting letters of interest to participate in the first round of group purchasing. If you’re interested, submit a letter of interest and a municipal vehicle interest list<link to docs in post> to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 21, 2017 at 5 p.m. The letter of interest and the list of vehicles your town is interested in retrofitting or up-fitting is not a binding purchase agreement.
After MAPC receives letters of interest, we will identify the vehicles and technologies with the greatest buying power and package them into an RFQ for vendors, completing the bidding process over the summer. Municipalities will have to commit to purchase at the time the RFQ is issued – likely in July or August – and can expect the vendor to deliver and install retrofit and/or up-fit kits in the fall.
Keep an eye out if you’re interested in clean vehicle technology not included in this group purchase – future rounds may focus on different types of equipment depending on community interest, potentially including charging stations and idle reduction technology.
“This is only the first round of the program,” Aki said. “We are excited by the momentum around the shift to clean vehicles in the State, and will continue to assist our cities and towns by addressing remaining barriers to the adoption of clean vehicle technology within their fleets.”
The Green Mobility Group Purchasing Program is part of the nationwide Fleets for the Future (F4F) project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. F4F is a two year, grant-funded initiative supporting five regional procurement initiatives across the country. As a part of this grant, MAPC also convenes a Green Mobility Purchasing Advisory Committee on a quarterly basis, bringing together state, regional, and municipal representatives to provide input and suggestions on the project. Contact Megan Aki at email@example.com if you are interested in joining the Advisory Committee.