Arlington Benefits from the CMAQ Program

May 6, 2024
One of Arlington’s F-150 Lightnings

Arlington County, Virginia has implemented the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program to help decarbonize their fleet. Currently, out of the county’s 1,300 vehicles, which includes light, medium and heavy duty classes, roughly 150 will be fully electric when all FY24 orders arrive. Arlington County’s commitment to electric vehicles (EVs) is noteworthy as they have been ambitious to implement them since initial opportunities arose. Moreover, the 26.2 square miles of the County provides many advantages for EV use.

Arlington’s EV journey began around 2017. This is when the first set of purely electric vehicles, Nissan Leafs, were secured. Since then, the rise of EVs has grown to cars, trucks, vans and buses, serving the same missions as their conventional counterparts. Arlington has developed a routine to maintain their electric fleet by strategically placing charging sites at four main areas within the County. These host a combination of Level 2 and DCFCs for general use and for their three electric school buses.

Chris Allison, the Equipment Bureau Chief at Arlington County, serves as the fleet manager. Allison mentioned that he was eager to participate after he had been contacted by VCC to take part in CMAQ. He did mention that the process for his first five vehicles recently completed its “full circle” of applying, procuring, and reimbursement, and the program’s operations have been prompt. Additionally, he applauded the straightforward process that has allowed him to receive the funds for his vehicles. Simply by sending key indicators such as VINs and incremental costs compared to a traditionally fueled vehicle, he was able to receive the reimbursement. The County has applied for additional CMAQ funding and has incrementally continued procuring new EVs.