Fleet efficiency recommended actions

Real-world examples
of fleet efficiency:

EXAMPLE 1: Use electric or smaller gas-powered service trucks

EXAMPLE 2: Purchase efficient tires for passenger vehicles

EXAMPLE 3: Purchase hybrid passenger vehicles


Transportation Case Studies

How Eagle County cut fleet costs and fuel consumption

Nitrogen is nifty for holding tire pressure

Compressed Natural Gas: Hatching the egg on the Western Slope

Retrofitted school buses save fuel, electricity, time, emissions


Example green fleets policies


Vehicle Fleets in the Clean Energy Economy workshop
Feb. 5, 2010
Archive of presentations and meeting materials

Track vehicle energy usage

  • Tracking odometer readings and fuel usage provides information needed to better optimize vehicle usage for minimum cost and gives early warning of vehicle problems.
  • Vehicle energy usage data is critical to complete accounting and regular reporting of progress toward financial, energy-reduction and carbon-emission targets.
  • Fleet-management software can track fuel and odometer readings, link to existing fuel-card systems, and cut time and expense from fleet management by eliminating paperwork.
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Select the most efficient vehicle for each day’s use

  • Require employees to select the car or truck that matches that day’s tasks.
  • Use cars or minivans, not SUVs, for moving people.
  • Use 2wd trucks for towing, dirty jobs and hauling large objects.
  • Use 4x4 trucks or SUVs only for off-road jobs or inclement weather.
  • Do not permanently assign large vehicles or 4x4s to individuals, unless that person’s job requires off-road or inclement weather driving for a majority of the time.
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Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT)

  • Use carpools to and from work, and between work sites for jobs or meetings.
  • Use teleconference, videoconference and webinar options when possible to eliminate trips.
  • Leverage IT staff to identify and eliminate gaps in or barriers to teleconference, videoconference and webinar tools.
  • Telecommute from home if job function permits.
  • Use public transit, biking or walking between facilities whenever possible. Keep a fleet of bicycles for staff to use for nearby errands.
  • Develop a VMT reduction outreach and education program for employees.
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Improve vehicle efficiency

  • Aerodynamics: Put racks, ladders and tools on vehicle roofs only when needed that day
  • Routinely check tire pressure.
    • GetNitrogen InstituteNote: tires inflated with nitrogen stay fully inflated longer. More information from the nonprofit GetNitrogen Institute of Denver.
  • Use low rolling resistance (LRR) tires to achieve fuel savings of 2 to 10 percent.
  • Note: Low rolling resistance does NOT mean low traction. LRR tires use improved internal construction to reduce the energy absorbed inside the tire during each rotation. Truckers using wide-base tires actually report improved traction in snowy conditions.
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Improve driver efficiency

  • Avoid fast acceleration, hard braking and unnecessary idling.
  • Use good planning to combine trips and identify efficient routes.
  • Choose the most efficient vehicle you can for the trip.
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Limit usage of 4x4 vehicles

  • 4x4 vehicles use more fuel per mile than 2wd vehicles.
  • Create a motor pool for shared use of low-efficiency vehicles such as SUVs and 4x4s.
  • Pre-arrange agreements with rental companies for special needs.
  • Do not permanently assign large vehicles or 4x4s to individuals, unless that person’s job requires off-road or inclement weather driving for a majority of the time.
  • Director-level approval recommended for any 4x4 purchases.
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Use the 10-year life cycle cost in vehicle purchase planning

  • When planning a vehicle purchase, quantify the net present value of vehicle fuel usage over a 10-year period.
  • Always purchase vehicles with the lowest overall life cycle cost over high cost vehicles.
  • Purchase advanced technology vehicles with higher purchase price but lower lifecycle cost.
  • Do not use artificially low fuel prices.
  • Do not include unrealistically high maintenance costs of for advanced vehicles.
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Buy energy-efficient vehicles

  • Retire low-mileage vehicles whenever possible.
  • Purchase vehicles with the highest possible mileage for a given need.
  • Purchase hybrid-electric vehicles whenever they fit the need.
  • Purchase multi-fuel vehicles when possible: gas-ethanol or diesel-biodiesel.
  • Purchase neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) for low-speed tasks in and around town.
  • Note: House Bill 1228 requires state government to purchase only flex-fuel or hybrid vehicles, subject to availability, unless the cost is 10 percent higher than a comparable non-flex-fuel or non-hybrid vehicle.
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Plan for electric vehicles

Visit the electric vehicles pages on this website

Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Handbook for Fleet Managers

  • Plan for purchase of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in 2010
    • Vehicles will operate on plug electricity and as a gasoline-electric hybrid.
    • Designed to charge overnight from any 110 volt wall plug.
    • Efficiency will range from 50 to 150 mpg.
    • Passenger cars will be on the market in 2010, cargo vans by 2012.
  • Plan for purchase of electric vehicles in 2010
    • Electric vehicles are planned by many manufacturers (domestic & foreign)
    • Electric vehicles will be available in many vehicle types (cars/trucks/vans)
    • Electric vehicles will be all-weather, highway-capable with significant cargo capacity
    • Cargo vans, delivery trucks, and cars will all be available in 2010
  • Prepare for new technology
    • When repaving sidewalks or parking lots, bury electrical conduit to allow for future plug-in parking spaces.
    • When designing or remodeling buildings, include 110 volt outdoor outlet plugs near parking spaces and size circuits for future installation of fast-charging 240 volt outlet plugs for electric vehicles.
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Increase use of biofuels

  • Educate employees on how to maximize the use of ethanol and biodiesel fuels.
  • Clearly mark all flex fuel vehicles and biodiesel vehicles with a sticker on the fuel door.
  • Determine the feasibility of converting some motor pool pumps to dispense E-85 or biodiesel.
  • Use locally available ethanol and biodiesel supplies.
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Increase use of locally-produced natural gas as vehicle fuel

  • Compressed natural gas tanks and fuel systems can be retrofitted on certain vehicles.
  • Natural gas vehicle retrofit kits are EPA-certified to deliver equivalent emissions performance.
  • Install compressed natural gas fueling stations at convenient locations.
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Reduce tailpipe pollutants

  • Diesel exhaust from a trash truckHydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide are smog-forming pollutants that pose a health hazard.
  • Pre-2000 vehicles are two times more polluting than current standards.
  • Pre-1990 vehicles are 20 times more polluting than current standards.
  • Soot particulates from diesel tailpipe emissions are cancer-causing. New diesel trucks have much lower particulate emissions.
  • Heavy duty diesel engines built in 2007 and later (Class 4-8 trucks) are up to 95 percent cleaner than older vehicles.
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Reduce diesel particulate emissions in older diesel vehicles

  • Adding diesel particulate filters to the exhaust of a truck, bus, refuse vehicle or piece of diesel equipment can cut cancer-causing particulate emissions by up to 90 percent.
  • Fuel economy is not significantly changed.
  • Carbon particulates are captured in the filter and incinerated by the hot exhaust.
  • Reducing diesel particulate emissions reduces “black carbon” in our air. Black carbon emissions can form a layer on snow, and can contribute to asthma and impaired lung development in children.
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