Southern Company, Georgia Power introduce employee electric vehicle lease program

Southern Company and its Georgia Power subsidiary announced today the largest corporate electric vehicle lease program of its kind in the United States.

This program will help bring what was once experimental technology to employees of Southern Company and Georgia Power at a reasonable price -- and serve as a model for other corporations to emulate.

“This program is in keeping with Gov. Roy Barnes’ emphasis on transportation alternatives,” said Allen Franklin, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “It is another example of our commitment to work with the community on finding solutions to transportation and clean air issues.”

“When we began the process of putting together our transportation legislation, one of the points we emphasized was the need to be creative, to ‘think outside the box.’ Georgia Power’s program represents exactly that kind of creative solution,” said Barnes. “By providing employees with this clean, inexpensive transportation alternative, Georgia Power is leading the way toward contributing a mix of commuting options.”

Southern Company’s Employee EV Lease Program will allow employees to sublease an electric vehicle from the company. Up to 100 vehicles will be leased each year for four years, bringing 400 additional electric vehicles to the Southern Company fleet. The number of vehicles may increase based on employee demand.

“Southern Company and Georgia Power are striving to become the leaders in the electric vehicle arena,” said Mike Anderson, Georgia Power’s manager of electric transportation. “We are working with local communities to develop alternative and clean transportation.”

Southern Company operates one of the largest electric vehicle fleets in the nation with 179 EVs, including 49 Chevy S-10s, 30 Ford Rangers, 66 Toyota RAV4s, and 26 GM EV1s. The company also operates electric buses and has ordered 147 additional EVs.

Employees at Southern Company and Georgia Power will have a choice of EVs to lease – the electric Ford Ranger truck or GM EV1 sports car. Participating employees must live 40 miles or less from work and provide an area suitable for parking and charging the vehicle at their residence. Southern Company will provide a parking space and charger for the employee’s vehicle at work and a charger at the employee’s residence.

Georgia Congressmen Mac Collins and John Lewis will soon reintroduce a bipartisan bill in Congress to amend the nation’s tax laws to make a $4,000 tax credit available for electric vehicle purchases and leases for any individual, corporation, or group. Also, the bill will remove government-use restrictions, making it possible for state and local governments to expand the use of electric transit and fleet vehicles.

Electric transportation is a clear example of how electricity can be a solution to some of the most pressing environmental issues in the country. Electric vehicles offer a quiet and tail pipe emission-free alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.