Fleets for the Future National Procurement Frequently Asked Questions
Why alternative fuels?
- What are the benefits of purchasing alternative fuel vehicles?
Purchasing alternative fuel vehicles can unlock many benefits for fleet operation. First, these vehicles can achieve significant operational cost savings by using lower cost fuels that tend to have less volatile pricing. Second, they help your fleet tap into domestically produced fuels. Third, they have lower well-to-wheels emissions than conventional gasoline and diesel, contributing to greenhouse gas reduction and local air quality goals. Finally, by taking advantage of all these benefits, your fleet can gain local and national recognition for leading by example. More information on the benefits of alternative fuels is provided by the Department of Energy Alternative Fuel Data Center.
- What will the implications be for maintenance arrangements and maintenance costs?
Depending on which vehicles you are replacing, there may be significant maintenance benefits. Engine wear is reduced whether you are moving to natural gas vehicles, propane autogas vehicles, or electric vehicles (EVs), due to the reduction (or absence) of soot. Oil changes may be less frequent, and many of the maintenance steps for heavy duty diesel vehicles can be avoided (e.g. diesel particulate filter regeneration, maintaining SCR-injection systems, and replenishing DEF fluids). Vehicles with regenerative braking may experience less brake wear and tear. Nonetheless, a few maintenance steps and diagnostics may be added when switching to propane autogas, natural gas, or EVs. For more details, refer to the Fleets for the Future best practices guides or the Department of Energy Alternative Fuel Data Center publications for each fuel type.
Why use Fleets for the Future’s contracts?
- What are the benefits of cooperative procurement?
One reason to buy alternative fuel vehicles using Fleets for the Future contracts now is that our cooperative procurement process enables fleets to tap into the benefits of cooperative procurement. The contracts available through NJPA and MAPC have been competitively solicited to a national ecosystem of vendors and only vendors that provide the highest quality solutions are awarded contracts. This satisfies many local jurisdictions’ procurement bylaws, and enables public agencies to save time on vehicle procurement, receive turnkey vehicle solutions, and receive national volume pricing through the purchasing cooperative.
- Why procure these vehicles now?
NJPA member pricing is very competitive from OEMs. Additional one-to-two-month limited time offers will be available from other NJPA vendors in early 2018 further encouraging purchasing now. You also have access to F4F’s experts who can help assist you and your fleet during the grant period.
- What Fleets for the Future national procurement opportunities are available right now?
A diagram of all the current opportunities through F4F is available at http://www.fleetsforthefuture.org/national-initiative/. Click on the graphic to be taken to an interactive page. When you click the box of the type of vehicle opportunity you’re looking for (for example, “100% battery electric shuttle vans from Zenith”), it will automatically redirect you to the corresponding contract or vendor page where you can purchase from. This page will be updated as more national public-sector procurement opportunities become available, so be sure to check in periodically for new information.
NJPA also has a range of vehicles available please reach out to the F4F team for any specific inquiries.
How can my organization participate?
- Do I need to join an organization to order from the NJPA contracts? How much will a membership cost?
Yes! You must join NJPA to purchase from their contracts already set in place. The good news is that joining NJPA is free with no obligation to purchase.
- How do I join NJPA?
Joining NJPA is free and easy. Visit their webpage to join online at: https://www.njpacoop.org/cooperative-purchasing/join-njpa/. Press the “Join Now” button and fill out the short online application.
- How do I make sure I get the F4F discount?
When communicating with the vendors, you will need to mention that you want to participate in the Fleets for the Future procurement opportunity to receive the special pricing and discounts.
- How do I order from the Massachusetts State VEH102 contract?
Please contact Megan Aki at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to purchase from the MA VEH102 contract.
- What other vehicles are you expecting to offer in future rounds?
F4F hopes to offer CNG refuse haulers in future rounds in addition to other vehicles. We continue to evaluate opportunities to aggregate EV sedans, and are currently working on the development of a fleet management services opportunity through NJPA with a specific focus on integration of alternative fuel vehicles.
Who is eligible?
- What types of organizations can purchase NJPA and MAPC contracts?
Any public agency in the United States is eligible. This includes local governments, school districts, and universities. Non-profit agencies may also purchase from NJPA’s contracts.
Details on the offers
- Is there a minimum purchase requirement?
No, there is no minimum purchase requirement. However, some opportunities may include bulk discounts for purchases.
- Is leasing available? For which vehicles?
Yes, for vehicles purchased from NJPA vendors, we offer leasing through National Cooperative Leasing. You can learn more about leasing terms and rates at http://www.njpacoop.org/cooperative-purchasing/fleets-future.
- What are the benefits of leasing EVs through NJPA?
The federal tax credit for plug in electric vehicles (IRC 30D) can only be used by a tax-paying entity, so public entities cannot take advantage of the incentive unless they enter into a lease. NJPA’s vendor, National Cooperative Leasing, has provided open ended TRAC leasing arrangements that monetize the vast majority of the federal tax credit for the customer AND allow the customer to take ownership over the vehicle at a predetermined cost at the end of the lease.
- Do the vendors have the ability to provide service and maintenance in my region?
Vendors on the national NJPA contracts have all been selected based on their ability to deliver vehicles and service them across all 50 states. Each vendor provides for maintenance in its own way, and it is best to check with the vendor what the service arrangements will be.
- Are full fleet management services available? For which vehicles?
As of October 2017, there is no contract mechanism in place through NJPA. However, NJPA and Fleets for the Future are in the early stages of developing a solicitation that would renew NJPA’s previous fleet management services contracts.
- What infrastructure opportunities are available?
NJPA has contracted with five electric vehicle supply equipment vendors (EVSE) who can provide a wide range of infrastructure services. These are ongoing EVSE contracts that are available anytime through Fleets for the Future’s partnership with NJPA.
What are some other opportunities for procuring EVs through cooperatives?
There are four options to consider: NJPA contracts, other national purchasing co-ops, EV Smart Fleets, and state and local contracts in your region:
1) A wide range of hybrids, PHEVs, and BEVs are typically available on contract through National Auto Fleet Group (NAFG), including but not limited to the following. Any PHEV or BEV that is available from the manufacturer should be available from NAFG, pending manufacturers’ production and distribution schedules. This includes EVs and hybrids from Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan, VW, BMW, and others. For availability of any of these vehicles, or others, at specific points in time, contact Jesse Cooper of National Auto Fleet Group at email@example.com.
- Ford Focus Electric
- Ford Fusion Energi
- Ford Fusion Hybrid
- Ford C-Max Hybrid
- Ford Police Interceptor Hybrid
- Chevy Bolt
- Chevy Volt
- Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
- Nissan Leaf
- Toyota Prius, Prius c, and Prius Prime
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
2) Fleets for the Future has a peer program called EV Smart Fleets, focused exclusively on getting EV models onto state contracts. They are working with the California DGS as well as the National Association of State Procurement Officials, which plans to leverage the contracts developed
3) Some states may have limited EVs already available on state contracts. For instance, Massachusetts’s VEH 98 contract. Additionally, some regional procurement groups may have vehicles on contract.
- How do I know what the F4F discount will be?
You can visit https://www.njpacoop.org/cooperative-purchasing/fleets-future/green-made-easy/ to find out the prices on the October offerings as a guide. More information is available by contacting NJPA directly.
General information on F4F
- How can I make sure I learn about additional purchasing opportunities as they become available?
You can check fleetsforthefuture.org as well as fill out the information form on the front page of the website to be added to our email mailing list to ensure you will not miss any opportunities. You can also follow our Twitter account @Fleets4Future for updates.
- What resources do you have available for me to share with my colleagues?
Our team has prepared four best practices documents to provide guidance on purchasing and transitioning to alternative fuel vehicles that are available on our website. You can access those documents at http://www.fleetsforthefuture.org/resources/.