Government Fleet Top News

City of Lakeland, Fla., Approves Additional Monies for Fleet Fuel Budget

July 19, 2006

LAKELAND, FL – The Lakeland City Commission recently approved $280,000 in additional gas money for its 1,251 city vehicles, and that was just for the last 2 1/2 months of the fiscal year, according to the Ledger newspaper. The city has spent $2.7 million on vehicle fuel this year compared with $1.4 million four years ago, a price increase of 88 percent.To combat high prices, the city now uses alternative fuels and buys more high-mileage vehicles. About 80 fleet vehicles in run on ethanol, and the city plans to add 20 Toyota Prius hybrid cars to the four it now operates, according to the Ledger.Tom Blanke, the city’s fleet manager, said the hybrid gas/electric cars have been achieving mileage in the 30s to mid-40s per gallon range, even in jobs with stop-and-go driving.Lakeland Electric also uses corn-based ethanol in 80 vehicles. The Lakeland Electric vehicles can operate on a mixture of 85- percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline known as E-85. Known as flex vehicles, they can also use straight gasoline. However, E-85 currently costs about 40 cents more a gallon than gasoline, the report said.The city may reexamine at biodiesel, to determine whether operating costs of operating vehicles on that fuel have changed.

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