The collaboration appears to be part of an effort to address President Donald Trump's willingness to potentially roll back the fuel-economy standards enacted by the Obama Administration. Trump said last week that he would address the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) mandate in which US fleet wide fuel economy would need to reach 54.5 miles per gallon (which is closer to 40 mpg in "real world" terms) by 2025. Automakers have been pushing for the Trump Administration to repeal or at least alter the standards, which they've claimed will cost $200 billion to meet in the form of necessary technology investments. Last year was the first year in a decade in which automakers failed to meet their collective MPG goal.
Meanwhile, the municipal effort is an expansion of a coalition established earlier this year by the mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. Those cities in January said they put out a "request for information" to automakers which involved potentially buying as many as 24,000 electric vehicles. The four mayors estimated at the time that EVs would cut annual refueling and maintenance costs by 37 percent.
Americans bought about 160,000 plug-in vehicles last year. That number is expected to rise in 2017 with a full sales year of the Chevrolet Bolt EV as well as the introduction of the Tesla Model 3.