TUCSON, AZ – In 2008, Pima County implemented its Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations. The recently released fourth year sustainability report card stated that the County had increased the number of alternative-fuel vehicles in the Sheriff’s Department fleet, but had not yet met its overall fleet sustainability goals.

The County Sheriff’s Department increased its alt-fuel fleet by 51%, resulting in a Sheriff’s Department fleet of 53% flex-fuel or hybrid vehicles out of 637 total vehicles. The hybrid vehicles are four Toyota Prius vehicles formerly in the County fleet and underutilized. They were used to replace older high-powered Sheriff’s patrol cars used by Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers (SAVEs), who patrol neighborhood watch areas and parks, respond to incidents, and perform general volunteer duties, according to the report. They have Sheriff’s markings and “Assist Team” graphics. The Sheriff’s Department expects use of the hybrids to reduce the cost of the volunteer program due to its excellent gas mileage; it expects to replace most SAV vehicles with hybrids in the future.

The County fleet’s goal of having 30% of the fleet run on alternative fuel by 2009 and 50% by 2017 (excluding Sheriff’s Dept.) shows progress but has not been met, according to the report. Of the County’s non-Sheriff fleet of 839 vehicles, 14% are flex-fuel or hybrid. Combined Sheriff’s Dept. vehicles, the total fleet of alt-fuel vehicles is 32%.

The report further states that Fleet Services purchased two Chevrolet Volt cars this year and will evaluate their performance for future purchases.

An additional fleet goal is to train all employees driving County vehicles to drive more efficiently and reduce vehicle miles traveled. The County has been successful with this goal.

A PDF of the full report, which includes the progress of numerous goals for other departments, can be found here.