Vehicle Acquisitions

All vehicle acquisitions (purchases, gifts, and leases or rentals of more than 90 days) require the prior written approval of Fleet Services. When you have finished researching a prospective vehicle acquisition, please send a request for Fleet Review to fleet@berkeley.edu. Include the year; make; model; fuel type; price; the chart of accounts you wish Fleet to charge for registration, insurance, and maintenance (see Fleet Services Recharge Rates); and if the vehicle has already been manufactured, the VIN. If the acquisition is a purchase or lease, please cc: the person who will be issuing your Purchase Order.

Fleet Review

Fleet Services will review your request to ensure compliance with federal regulations and state purchasing contracts.
 

Federal Regulations

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) requires that 75% of the University’s light duty vehicle acquisitions shall be alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).
  • A light duty vehicle is a vehicle under 8500 lbs gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
  • An alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) is a vehicle that is capable of operating on a fuel other than gasoline or diesel, such as: 85% ethanol (E85), compressed natural gas (CNG), hydrogen, or electricity
  • A neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) counts neither for nor against us — it isn’t considered a vehicle at all under this regulation. Fleet Services will generally approve a request for an NEV.
  • A plug-in hybrid generally counts as an AFV, but an ordinary hybrid vehicle does not — the only fuel it receives from an outside source is gasoline. However, hybrid vehicle acquisitions are important to meeting our campus sustainability goals. Fleet Services will make every effort to approve a request for a hybrid vehicle, provided that the acquisition does not compromise our ability to meet the 75% rule.
  • A biodiesel vehicle is not recognized as an AFV per se, but earns 1 AFV credit for every 450 gallons of neat biodiesel that it consumes. If you are willing to commit to consuming sufficient quantities of B20+ biodiesel fuel, Fleet Services will generally approve a request for a diesel vehicle.
  • The regulation exempts law enforcement vehicles, emergency response vehicles, and experimental vehicles
Our strategy to comply with EPAct is for departments to purchase neighborhood electric vehicles and flex fuel vehicles that run on gasoline or ethanol. Generally, flex fuel vehicles are offered on the state contract at costs close to or equal to gasoline fueled vehicles. While not every vehicle offered on the state contract is a flex-fuel vehicle, flex-fuel vehicles are available in most vehicle categories.
In your search for vehicles that will pass Fleet Review, you may refer to the DOE’s comprehensive database of hybrids and federally-recognized AFVs. Note that the database includes both current and past model years. However, please bear in mind that the database includes certain vehicles we cannot legally operate, such as vehicles not certified for emissions in California.
 
Fleet may disallow the purchase of a vehicle subject to EPAct regulations that does not qualify as an alternative fuel vehicle. Fleet will certainly disallow a purchase that causes the campus as a whole to violate EPAct.
 

State Vehicle Contracts

The University is required to adhere to the State Contracts for purchasing vehicles.  A vehicle purchase must either use the appropriate contract, or else Fleet Services must certify that an exception to the contract applies. Some exceptions may include:
  • No vehicle on the state contract is adequate to the task
  • The requested vehicle has a lower overall cost than the equivalent state contract vehicle
  • The department requires that a vehicle be put in operation immediately; and the requested vehicle is available immediately while delivery on the equivalent state contract vehicle will be delayed; and the cost to rent a vehicle to bridge the interim period, when added to the cost of the state contract vehicle, exceeds the cost of the requested vehicle
  • The requested vehicle, when compared to the equivalent state contract vehicle, allows a more cost-effective realization of our sustainable transportation goals

Using the State Contract

  1. Review the State Contract website
  2. Direct questions about the vehicles, equipment options, expected delivery date, and so forth to the dealer. For contact information, look for the document called supplier ref.pdf.
  3. When you have determined you wish to purchase a vehicle on the state contract, send your request for Fleet Review to the Fleet Administrator as described in the first paragraph of this document
  4. Create a purchase requisition as you would for any other piece of inventorial equipment. Your requisition must include the contract number, item number (or product code), make, model, price, and dealer name.
  5. Do not forget to indicate interior and exterior colors of the vehicle. If you do not specify, the vehicle will probably have a white exterior and gray interior, but no guarantees.
  6. Attach your approved Fleet Review to the requisition as an internal attachment.
  7. If Fleet approved your request, your buyer will issue the Purchase Order. There is a standard clause on all of our vehicle orders that instructs the vendor to provide registration paperwork to Fleet Services. If, by mistake, you receive any registration materials, please send them to Fleet Services immediately.
  8. The dealer must receive the order before the appropriate cut-off date. State contract cut-off dates are established by the manufacturer, and vary according to make and model. Contact the dealer for the most accurate information on cut-off dates.
  9. If you're not sure whether the dealer is going to receive the official P.O. before manufacturer cut-off, contact the dealer and contact Fleet.
  10. There is usually a substantial delay between the ordering period and delivery. The contract states that vehicles are to be delivered within 150 days of the placement of the order.
  11. In some cases, the payment terms call for a prompt payment discount of $500 per vehicle if the invoice is paid with 20 days of delivery. To qualify for the discount, departments should be prepared to process these invoices quickly upon receipt.

Acquiring a Used Vehicle

In rough outline, the procedures for new and used vehicles are the same. You must send a request for Fleet Review as described above. The vehicle must adhere to EPAct. For a purchase, Fleet will compare the price of the requested vehicle against the equivalent state contract vehicle. In addition, the vehicle must pass emissions testing as well as a safety inspection before it is accepted as a University vehicle. The safety inspection may be performed at one of our regular service vendors, or if purchased from a dealer, the dealership may complete the inspection.