Abstract

This analysis determines the financial and environmental value in electrifying the vehicle fleet owned and operated by Monroe County, New York. Due to economies of scale, the capital cost of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs), and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) have dropped to a point that regardless of environmental benefits, these vehicles can be cost effective in their own right. Monroe County has consistent turnover in its fleet anyway, replacing older vehicles with new ones.

I conducted a cost benefit analysis of converting Monroe County’s vehicle fleet to electric alternatives in order to maximize financial value. To do this, I delineate between Total Conversion plans, in which the entire fleet is converted to a specific alternative, and Optimized Conversion plans, in which a vehicle-by-vehicle conversion is conducted. The Total Conversion plans will generate greater emissions reductions but at higher costs, while the Optimized Conversion plans generate cost savings but at much lower emissions reductions. I assess these two conversion plans under five different scenarios, which account for rapidly changing input variables like EV capital cost, gasoline price, and discount rate.

Prior to the quantitative analysis, I conducted qualitative surveys with vehicle coordinators to determine which vehicles are even candidates for electrification, considering the unique range and charging requirements for the electric alternatives.

Overall, because of projected future capital cost reductions for EVs, the County’s best financial choice in the long-term is to invest in BEVs. In the short-term, there are few conditions in which Total Conversion to EVs generates cost savings. To achieve significant immediate emissions reductions, the County would have to incur a financial loss. To put it another way, the County would have to make a financial investment in immediate emissions reductions. These emissions reductions are more cost-efficient as time goes on. However, cost savings are available immediately in the form of Optimized Conversions across all possible market scenarios.

Publication Date

5-14-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Student Type

Graduate

Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Advisor

Eric Httinger

Advisor/Committee Member

Franz Foltz

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Garland

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

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