Ann Arbor's Green Fleets program, begun in 2004, was inspired by the national Green Fleets program (an initiative of the U.S. Cities for Climate Protection) and aims to reduce the City's fuel use by 10% in ten years through the purchase of fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. Ann Arbor currently operates two natural gas heavy-duty trucks, nine other natural gas vehicles, two neighborhood electric vehicles, over 200 pieces of equipment running on biodiesel and another 23 using E-85. Two hybrid bucket trucks and four state of the art hydraulic-hybrid recycling trucks using primarily biofuel are also saving fuel and long-range expenses.
Background and Summary
The Green Fleets Policy Team worked together for over a year to create this policy. The process included gathering information and policies from other US cities that are operating or creating similar programs. A database was prepared containing all vehicles and fuel-using equipment owned by the City to learn how and where fuel is used in City operations. Vehicles, equipment, and procedures were then examined to determine where opportunities for increased fuel efficiency, reduced emissions or the use of alternative fuels were possible. Fuel efficiency, emissions ratings and purchase price of possible replacement vehicles were all examined to determine the level of improvement possible and increased funds required. Based upon this real world assessment of city options and resources, the Green Fleets Policy Team recommended:
- The creation of a Green Fleets Team to review the purchase and operation of City vehicles and fuel-using equipment based on the requirements of this policy;
- A 20% green incentive to facilitate the purchase a greener product if it is within 20% of the low bid;
- A program goal of a ten percent reduction in fuel use in ten years; and
- A program goal for the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles to comprise at least ten percent of vehicle purchases annually.
The Green Fleets Policy establishes a Green Fleets Team to oversee the implementation of the policy and report on progress towards established goals. The policy establishes a procedure whereby all vehicle purchases are reviewed and evaluated by the Team for compliance to the policy, as are applications for exemptions. The Team reviews annual fuel use data and vehicle purchases provided by fleet managers to determine compliance with policy requirements and measure progress towards the policy goals. The Team performs an annual review of the policy's vehicle mileage and emissions standards and will update them as improved technologies become available. The Team may amend the policy, as necessary, to better match the spirit of the Green Fleets Program, and more effectively achieve its goals.