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Electric Vehicles were the talk of the town at the annual NAFA Fleet Management conference in Columbus this week

Attendees explore the convention hall at NAFA I&E in Columbus
Chris Welter
/
WYSO
Maria Neve, on the board of NAFA, says that in less than a decade she believes most of the industry will have electric vehicles in their fleets.

Large fleets of vehicles used by groups like police departments or transport companies like FedEx have traditionally been fueled by gasoline. But, industry experts say the transition to powering these fleets with electricity is becoming a real possibility.

At a national conference for fleet managers in Columbus, representatives from car manufacturers like Honda, GM, and Lordstown motors showed off their latest electric vehicle models.

The conference was abuzz with talk about the potential of EVs in the vehicular fleet industry and a number of the breakout sessions were about different aspects of the EV industry. Billions of dollars are expected to come from the Biden infrastructure bill to build electric vehicle charging stations.

Brandon Jones is with Clean Fuels Ohio. He helps public and private fleets in the state transition to electric vehicles.

“It is where the industry is going,” he said. “But we also want to show them here’s how it’s going to benefit the communities you’re in in terms of the clean air benefits, here’s how it can, yes, help your bottom line in terms of the operational savings.”

Maria Neve is on the board of NAFA. She said there’s been another factor in the past few months accelerating the transition.

“Since the start of the war in Ukraine because of the rapid increase, and not a decrease, in gasoline prices, we're seeing a lot more interest.”

Neve said that in five years she thinks the vast majority of the industry will have electric vehicles in their fleets.

Chris Welter is a reporter and corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.