The City of Oakland, Calif., has increased the fuel efficiency of its Nissan Leaf electric vehicles by 10.3% and its Toyota Prius C hybrid-electric vehicles by 5.6%, according to a case study from SmartPedal.
Led by fleet greening advocate Richard Battersby, CAFM, CPFP, assistant director of the Bureau of Maintenance and Internal Services, the city’s fleet consists of nearly 1,800 assets. It tested the SmartPedal device for more than seven months on its parking enforcement fleet of Prius Cs and a quarter of all its Leafs. SmartPedal monitors the up-and-down motion of a vehicle as it travels, determining the effect of this motion on the driver’s use of the accelerator pedal and automatically correcting the pedal signal to eliminate unwanted changes in power demand. This process happens dozens of times per second.
For the Prius Cs, in addition to fuel savings, using less fuel to travel the same distances also reduced wear and tear on the combustion-related components of the powertrain, according to the case study.
As for the battery-electric Leafs, increased battery efficiency reduced the potential demand on charging infrastructure, and increased range is helpful as batteries degrade throughout the vehicles’ seven-year life cycles.
After seeing the results, Battersby and Interim Equipment Services Manager Joseph Williams, CAFM, CPFP, decided to deploy SmartPedal to sedans, trucks, and vans throughout the fleet. Williams said that a 5% gain in fleet mileage reduces emissions by 600,000 lbs. over two years.
The City Council authorized a multi-year agreement to purchase SmartPedal devices, which other cities and counties can use. The cost is $299.
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