Vehicle Data Tool Could Help Agencies Switch to Electric Fleets

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The General Services Administration’s new tool enables agencies to match their current fleet to equivalent zero-emission vehicles.

Federal agencies will now be able to assess how different electric vehicles fit their needs with a new tool from the General Services Administration announced last week. 

GSA and Geotab, a telematics company, created the Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment tool to help agencies as they look to switch their fleets to electric vehicles. The tool is designed to “save fleet managers time and resources by pinpointing which federal fleet vehicles can be replaced by an equivalent electric vehicle, based on function and range requirements.”

Specifically, the tool analyzes an agency’s fleet telematics data—the tracking of various aspects of a vehicle’s operation, such as location, fuel usage and tire pressure, among other things—based on patterns for individual vehicles to help fleet managers assess their needs. It then offers real-world, zero-emission vehicles from GSA as realistic alternatives for fleet managers based on range and cost-of-ownership analysis. The data comes from Geotab’s predictive analytics.

“Working with our current telematics provider, Geotab, we are excited to build a more sustainable future for the federal fleet across the country,” said GSA Travel, Transportation and Logistics Assistant Commissioner Crystal Philcox. “We look forward to working with our federal partners to use this tool to move to zero-emission vehicles that meet mission needs.”

The efforts to transition agency vehicles come as part of the Biden administration's climate change efforts and the Federal Sustainability Plan goal to move the federal fleet to zero-emission vehicles by acquiring such light-duty vehicles by 2027 and medium-and-heavy-duty vehicles by 2035.

“We recognize that quality data used to make correct decisions is critical to accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable, low carbon future, and we are proud to partner with the GSA to bring our EVSA solution to federal fleets,” Neil Cawse, chief executive officer of Geotab, said. “This tool offers fleet managers suitable electric alternatives based on real fleet data, saving agencies time and resources as they make the transition towards an electric future.”

GSA is responsible for creating governmentwide vehicle contracts and leasing half of the non-postal fleet. The remainder of the federal fleet is owned and ordered by the agency. 

The tool will be free to leasing agencies. Moreover, GSA’s Fleet Telematics program is “the only fully integrated, FedRAMP authorized, shared-service telematics solution in government.” GSA noted that the telematics are on all newly leased vehicles and it gathers comprehensive vehicle data to help fleet managers convert and optimize their fleets. Agencies can, however, also purchase additional data. GSA will add telematics to all previously leased vehicles by 2026.