A resident-produced report presented at a city council meeting urged the City of Rockville, Md., to transition to alternative fuels for its fleet. The report suggested that transitioning to compressed natural gas heavy-duty vehicles could potentially save the city 45-50% in fuel costs over diesel.
Additionally, biofuel use would reduce use of petroleum-based fuel but the report did not address cost and fuel efficiency concerns. Hybrid and electric vehicles would significantly reduce fuel costs and potentially maintenance costs as well, researchers added.
The report addresses the barriers to transitioning to a green fleet but directs the city to various resources to overcome these barriers, such as grants, and for additional research. It also points to Montgomery County and the State of Maryland as examples of successful fleet greening programs.
The City of Rockville operates 305 on-road vehicles and 95 off-road units. It owns battery-electric off-road vehicles including a golf cart and Segway personal transporters but does not contain any hybrid, natural gas, or electric on-road vehicles, according to the report.
The city’s Environmental Commission is working with city staff to see what potential changes can be made, according to The Gazette.