Alternative Fuel Vehicles for City-Owned and Contracted Fleets

Chula Vista has begun requiring its City-contracted fleets, such as public transit and trash haulers, to convert to alternative fuel sources .

The City of Chula Vista has committed to transitioning its fleet of over 500 vehicles to cleaner models.  This means replacing them with either high efficiency hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles (AFV), which generally run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or biodiesel.

As of October 2010, approximately 25% of the fleet had been converted to an alternative fuel source.  Recently, the city has installed a new 12,000 gallon biodiesel tank at its corp yard.  The new tank has allowed approximately 125 heavy-duty vehicles, such as fire engines, dump trucks, and excavators, to transition to the biofuel which is mainly derived from locally-collected recycled cooking oil, thus reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to conventional diesel fuel. The new tank was fully funded through the city’s federal Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grants (EECBG).

In addition to the City’s own vehicles, it has also committed working with the city’s major contracted fleets to convert their vehicles as well.  This includes city busses, street sweeping vehicles, trash haulers and tow trucks. As of September, 2010, Chula Vista Transit and Allied Republic Waste Services had converted 100% of their vehicles operating in the city to alternative fuels.

For both city owned and contracted fleets, working with different vehicle types requires considering what type is most appropriate for the vehicle’s task, the fueling infrastructure, petroleum displacement, and the overall cost and environmental benefit.  Chula Vista has dedicated the staff resources and time to think through these decisions and reduce their fleet’s environmental footprint. 

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