The County of Ventura, Calif., will reduce fleet greenhouse gas emissions by expanding its plug-in electric vehicle fleet and increasing use of technology.
“We are committed to ongoing improvements in our fleet such as the addition of more environmentally-friendly vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the Ford Focus Electric. Future improvements will involve telematics tracking to reduce fleet mileage and fuel consumption,” said said Peter Bednar, Ventura County fleet manager. Fleet Services, a division of the General Services Agency, is overseeing the alternative-fuel program.
Fleet is taking steps to monitor reductions in emissions and fuel usage while establishing benchmarks to track efficiency improvements. The fleet upgraded its fleet management information system to allow for fuel authorization, which allows the fleet to track, report, and benchmark fuel consumption data.
Eleven new Chevrolet Volt cars will join the county’s Toyota Prius hybrids and Ford Focus Electric cars. Fleet Services is also in discussion with a user department to convert a majority of its vehicles to EVs, is looking to transition its motor pool fleet to a higher percentage of alternative-fuel vehicles, and is working on its EV charging infrastructure, said Steve Furman, administrative staff services specialist for the fleet.
This year, the county will begin a rollout of a new telematics system beginning with motor pool vehicles, followed by light-duty Public Works vehicles.
Maintaining a sustainable fleet is a comprehensive process that’s more than just buying new vehicles. It includes training drivers to be more selective in their routes and drive at optimum speeds, carefully scheduled maintenance to ensure the county’s vehicles are performing at peak efficiency, and new procedures such as an anti-idling policy to help reduce emissions and fuel usage.
The fleet has received accreditation from the NAFA Sustainable Fleet Accreditation program for its greening efforts.