Government Fleet Top News

Florida City Buys 15 Hybrids for Municipal Fleet

December 15, 2004

HOLLYWOOD, FL — In an effort to be more environmentally responsible and save money on rising fuel costs, Hollywood, Florida, is adding 18 fuel-efficient vehicles to its fleet of city cars, according to the Miami Herald on December 12.The 10 Toyota Prius hybrid sedans, five Chevrolet Silverado 1500 hybrid pickup trucks, and three Chevrolet Silverado 1500 compressed natural gas pickup trucks should be delivered early next year. ´´This is great for Hollywood and anybody else who wants to get into it because of the cost savings and the long-term environmental impact,´´ Public Works Director Greg Turek said.On December 8, city commissioners approved spending up to $398,715 to buy the 18 vehicles. The cars will replace older, high-mileage vehicles that the city is ready to retire.Hollywood expects to use less gasoline in the future. Now, 137 of the city´s 520 vehicles, excluding police and fire vehicles, use compressed natural gas for fuel. The Prius, powered by gas and electricity, regenerates its electric power when the driver presses the brakes. ´´You are generating your own electricity,´´ Turek said. ``You are not having to plug in anywhere.´´In Miami-Dade County, which has 206 hybrid vehicles in its fleet, 156 are Prius cars and 50 are GM pickup trucks. County officials started buying Prius cars in 2002, said Olga Diaz, Miami-Dade´s fleet service manager. ´´We are getting very good fuel efficiency with the Prius,´´ Diaz said -- more than double the miles per gallon compared to conventional sedans. A Prius can get 40 miles per gallon, she said.Instead of heading to the gas tank once a week, employees using city vehicles usually fuel up twice a month, Diaz said. A 2002 or 2003 Prius can travel 400 miles on a full tank. The 2004 and 2005 models can reach nearly 500 miles.Miami-Dade County has used the cars for various purposes, perhaps most notably for elections. The county´s 50 2004 Silverado trucks have an outlet in the vehicle´s cab and bed. The trucks were used as backup auxiliary power at Miami-Dade precincts during the August primary and November general election.A test was run with Florida Power & Light before the August primary, said Reinaldo Llerena, Miami-Dade´s equipment services manager. ´´We were able to connect 30 voting machines, a couple of fans and some fluorescent lights,´´ Llerena said. ``We still had a little bit of capacity left over if we needed to hook up more gear.´´In Hollywood, city workers with those trucks will be able to operate saws or drills in the field without an external electrical generator.

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