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Alternatively Fueled Vehicles - City Fleet

Alternatively Fueled Vehicles - City Fleet

The city actively pursues the acquisition of alternatively fueled vehicles, which currently makes up 67 percent of the city fleet. The goal is to replace 60 percent of light duty vehicles with alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles (such as a Toyota Prius). Ultimately, the challenge is to replace all vehicles with alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles.

More specifically, the recommended programs/procedures and infrastructure improvements are listed below. These programs/procedures and infrastructure improvements will be implemented based on available funding.

Programs and Procedures

  • Compile the results of the biodiesel pilot project and expand the project if the results are favorable. As of June 2003, the City of Boulder is implementing a biodiesel pilot project. The analysis performed during the pilot project will enable staff to more fully evaluate the performance issues and costs in anticipation of an expanded use of biodiesel in 2004 for the city fleet. Assuming the city's evaluation is favorable, purchase of B20 fuel (20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel fuel) for non-emergency vehicles will begin in 2004. The B20 fuel seems the best fuel blend to start with because it does not require any significant equipment modifications and performance doesn't appear to be impacted by cold weather (which can be an issue, particularly for 100 percent biodiesel, known as B100).
  • Work with city fleet coordinators from other Front Range communities (cities of Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville, Superior, and Denver). Learn how these communities are increasing the number of AFVs in their fleets as well as what problems they have encountered with various vehicles and types of fuels (i.e., “lessons learned”). Coordinate with other Front Range communities by using the same fuel providers and AFV manufacturers with the idea that if more communities are buying a certain type of fuel or vehicle from one provider, the cost should decrease and all of the communities should benefit.
  • Update city staff that purchase vehicles on the viable AFV options during the vehicle acquisition process. Provide information on AFV to help educate staff and better inform those who are purchasing vehicles of their clean burning vehicle options. Create opportunities for city staff who use an AFV to share their experiences with other staff who may be using a gasoline or diesel vehicle.

Infrastructure Improvements

  • Provide the appropriate fueling stations at the City Yards to support additional AFVs. In 2002, the city installed a 2,000 gallon ethanol fuel tank and purchased nine ethanol (E85) fuel vehicles. As the city increases the number of AFV in the fleet, the city will also need to continue to provide the appropriate fueling stations for the vehicles.
  • Train mechanics (city staff) to support AFVs and work with outside vendors to ensure that the AFVs can be repaired and maintained. Maintenance and repairs for AFVs may require different skills and knowledge than what most mechanics are typically familiar with today. By providing training opportunities, city staff can continue to support the city vehicles even as we increase the number of AFVs in the fleet.


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