It was a combination of the luck of the draw and serendipity that allowed Olga Diaz, acting director of the Government Services Administration fleet management division, Miami-Dade County, to receive the keys to the new Chevrolet Silverado extended-cab pickup from John Gaydash, GM Fleet & Commercial marketing director. The event took place in early May at the 10th National Clean Cities Conference and Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. According to Diaz, “We have already been purchasing hybrid sedans for three years, so we decided to test the hybrid pickup as well. This is a good opportunity for us especially with the fuel costs the way they are.” Fuel Savings a Top Priority
Diaz explained that “fuel savings is a top priority in the county right now. There was a resolution passed recently wherein we are required to produce fuel savings of 3 to 5 percent a year for the next five years. That’s across the board for all of our departments. So we thought this would be an excellent way to start achieving that.” “The county is looking forward to earning fuel economy savings of up to 12 percent on every hybrid pickup. If the hybrids are successful, we’ll consider ordering more for the 2005-model year. “We did an SUV moratorium this year. We’re looking to achieve fuel savings as well as reduced emissions.” The Right First Fleet
Gaydash said, “When we decided to begin production at the end of last year, we began to look for commercial customers to receive the first deliveries. We wanted to focus on customers who would take more than one or two vehicles. Wherever we found that interest, depending upon the size of the fleet, we would begin to place the units we were going to build for the 2004-model year. Miami-Dade just happened to be the first one to raise their hand and say that they wanted 50 units, which was a match made in heaven relative to what we were trying to accomplish. Little did we even know,” Gaydash added, “that the Clean Cities Conference was going to be in Fort Lauderdale at exactly the same time we were delivering the vehicle. That was a serendipitous coincidence.” Power Plus Economy
The trucks Miami-Dade will receive are Chevrolet Silverado extended-cab pickups, equipped with the 5.3L V-8 engine and the new hybrid technology claimed to deliver 10- to 12-percent improved fuel economy over standard GM half-ton pickups, giving the hybrid Silverado better highway fuel economy than other full-sized pickups. In addition, the trucks also feature reduced emissions and unique accessory power capability, without sacrificing load-carrying, towing, and grade-climbing capability. “We’re looking forward to putting our new hybrid trucks on the road and on the job,” said Diaz. “Miami-Dade county is looking forward to earning fuel economy savings of up to 12 percent on every hybrid pickup.”
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Paul Dexler

Paul Dexler

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Paul Dexler is a former contributor to Bobit Business Media's AutoGroup.

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