Rick Sikes, fleet superintendent for the City of Santa Monica, Calif., has announced his retirement after more than 35 years in fleet management. His last day is December 26. Marc Zamora will be the acting fleet superintendent until a replacement is found.
As the fleet superintendent for the last 10 years, Rick has helped Santa Monica implement alternative fuels vehicles in almost every application — 76% of the city’s fleet operates on alternative fuels, including compressed natural gas (CNG), electricity, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and hydrogen.
Sikes has worked with alternative fuels since the 1970s, when propane autogas was used to address the oil crisis. At UPS in the early 1990s, Sikes managed a CNG fleet and converted an additional 120 diesel trucks to CNG. He was involved in new technology projects including LNG trucks and infrastructure, EV infrastructure, and migrating diesel airport ground support equipment to electric power.
At Santa Monica, Sikes has been responsible for increasing the city’s use of alternative fuels. He moved the city’s diesel equipment to biodiesel in 2005. He has worked with manufacturers and conversion companies to build alternative vehicles not readily available and has participated in several advanced technology demonstrations. He has overseen the installation of a few CNG stations and a hydrogen station as well as other fueling infrastructure. Sikes has applied for and received several grant funding opportunities for greening projects.
Sikes is one of the founders of and the city’s liaison for the AltCar Expo, which educates people on the transportation choices they have available and motivates them to make a change. He is also active in NAFA and MEMA.
Prior to coming to Santa Monica, Sikes spent 13 years in UPS’s Automotive Department in various positions. He grew up working in his father’s truck garage, Gene Sikes Co., and later managed the family business.
Sikes is looking forward to spending more time with his family, traveling with his wife, and relaxing. He will also stay active in NAFA and MEMA and work with fleets to help them implement alternative fuel vehicles.