Telematics is a powerful tool that allows fleets real-time monitoring and information regarding any activity or metric that is important to their business and operations. Applications and benefits include driver safety and behavior, asset management, maintenance, route optimization, security, liability protection, lower costs, and increased efficiency.
Please join us on March 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. for a free Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar on Telematics Applications for Fleets.Hear from industry experts and fleets that have successfully employed this technology regarding its capabilities, applications and benefits. Telematics continues to bring new solutions to help improve fleet operations. Learn how it can help yours.
Tune in to two new Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinars this month! These free & informative webinars keep you up to date on trends and technologies to help you do your job more easily and efficiently.
1 – Propane as a Transportation Fuel: Deployment Considerations, Best Practices and Best Applications
Hear from the Propane Education Research Council (PERC), leading propane vehicle suppliers, and fleets that have successfully deployed propane as a transportation fuel. We will also learn about deployment considerations, best practices and best applications.
PERC will provide a general overview of propane as a transportation fuel. Several fleets from different vocations including law enforcement, school bus, paratransit and tow truck/wrecker industry will tell their stories regarding their decision to switch to propane, their experiences, and lesson learned.
There will be a round table opportunity to have myths dispelled, and questions and concerns answered with PERC, the fleets and suppliers (ICOM Alternative Fuel Systems, Alliance AutoGas and Roush CleanTech) participating. Register here!
2 – How Two Fleets Changed Their Entire Operation With Two Powerful Tools
On Wednesday, January 30 from 2 to 3 p.m., join us for another free Sustainable Fleet Webinar. Hear from one fleet that went from #99 Best Fleet in North America to #4, using one powerful, transformative tool. This tool is not for sale – it is FREE to use in your own operation. You can’t afford to miss this presentation by the fleet manager on his story and the impactful results!
We will also hear from another fleet manager who is saving $1.2 million annually with another tool that you can use tomorrow in your own operation. In addition, we will hear from two emerging technology providers that are changing the industry.
There are only two ways to do more with less – and technology is one of them.
As always, we are here to help you learn and understand trends and technologies to drive efficiency and help you do your job more easily. Register here!
The 2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will be August 7-8 2019 in Durham, NC. Learn more and register at www.SustainableFleetExpo.com.
EnergyWire recently featured an article “7 Takeaways From a Wild Year for EVs,” covering the biggest news related to electric vehicles in 2018. While electric vehicles are still mostly absent from showrooms, the article stated, signs of progress were apparent in many places last year. In the U.S., the 1 millionth EV was sold, and battery prices continued to drop.
The top 7 takeaways from 2018:
Tesla news: Despite controversy involving Elon Musk’s negative publicity, Tesla hit its 5,000-a-week goal in September, and the Model 3 is by far the top-selling pure-electric car in the US.
New EV pickup truck in the works: Rivian, an auto technology startup, is producing an all-electric pickup truck and SUV with a large amount of specs, including 400 miles on a charge, towing 11,000 pounds, and more. It is expected to arrive around year 2020 or later.
EV charging gets funding: Investment is coming from several quarters, including Volkswagen. Major utilities, seeing an opportunity to sell electrons, are also getting in on the act.
Policymakers and regulators get on board: Many policymakers around the country have made major transportation announcements, including Gov. Jerry Brown calling for California to add 5 million EVs by 2030.
“Invasion of the scooters”: Electric scooters have spread to dozens of cities and have been ridden millions of times, and the companies making them are now worth billions of dollars.
Heavy vehicles make progress: The falling cost of batteries and changing attitude toward carbon emissions and policy changes have moved up the timeline for electric buses and trucks. Dozens of school districts and transit districts also announced they are buying electric buses.
Incumbents step in: GM announced it would lay off thousands of workers, and one reason for it was to double its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next two years. President Trump expressed negative opinions on electric vehicles, and a bill to kill the $7,500-per-vehicle EV tax credit was introduced.
Worldwide and in the United States, electric vehicles had a big year of news and changes – and the state of North Carolina was no exception.
Total EV registrations (both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles) in North Carolina were at 7,946 in 2017, and in 2018, the numbers jumped to 10,001 just through June, representing a 26 percent growth, according to EVadoption.com.
In August 2018, the US Department of Transportation announced that North Carolina’s City of Greensboro, the Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority (GoTriangle), and Chapel Hill Transit were to be awarded a total of $4,225,000 in federal grants for its Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Bus Program Projects, which supports deployment of electric buses into their fleets.
In October 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 80, which calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. Cooper called for the number of zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) to grow at least 80,000 by year 2025, according to a press release from Gov. Cooper.
Also in 2018, NCCETC unveiled new EV policy research tools with DSIRE Insight, which provides research and analysis services to energy industry professionals. These reports provide concise, useful information concerning state legislative and regulatory developments, along with actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. The series of quarterly reports is available by subscription here.
We put together a list of transportation-related events we’re looking forward to in the first half of 2019! There are many diverse conferences and events taking place all over the country, connecting transportation professionals, showcasing the latest technology, and sharing new ideas and practices. Just in the first few months of 2019, there are conferences covering general transportation, clean transportation, energy, fleet management, grid, work trucks and more. Take a moment to consider marking these on your calendar!
2019 NC Transportation Summit | January 9-10 in Raleigh, NC
North Carolina’s projected growth requires consideration and careful action, especially regarding population growth. In fact, the state’s population is expected to increase by 3 million people by the year 2040. That impressive number is equivalent to the entire state of Kansas relocating to North Carolina. While a remarkable statistic, this growth has the potential to create new challenges. The Summit is an exceptional opportunity for people to gather and consider these fast-approaching and disruptive shifts. In attendance will be policy makers, transportation and industry experts, and representatives from city/county governments. The Summit is anticipating 500 attendees from across the state. The gathering will also include exhibitors who will demonstrate and display cutting-edge technologies, advances in engineering, as well as services in multiple disciplines.
Energy Independence Summit 2019 is the nation’s premier clean transportation policy summit. The Summit provides a unique opportunity for Clean Cities Coalitions and leaders in the clean transportation industry to network and build partnerships with each other, and with key Congressional and Administration policymakers in Washington, DC. The agenda includes:
• Outlook for the Alternative Fuels Industry: Roundtable of Clean Transportation Industry Leaders
• Clean Transportation Policy Accomplishments in 2017 and Congressional Outlook for 2018
• Partnering with Utilities to Advance Clean Fuels and Vehicles
• The Volkswagen Settlement: How to Leverage Alternative Fuels Investments
• Innovative State and Local Clean Transportation Programs
• What Smart Cities and Smart Mobility Mean for Alternative Fuels
The 2019 Mid-year Appalachian Energy Summit will be hosted by the University of North Carolina Greensboro on Thursday, February 28. The Mid-year Summit brings together students, faculty, and leaders in academia and business to exchange ideas and share best practices in support of a clean energy economy. Since 2012, the Summit has provided a platform through which UNC System campuses have worked together to avoid almost $800 million in utility costs.
The NTEA Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event is your once-a-year chance to see all of the newest industry products. The Green Truck Summit offers cutting-edge solutions at the forefront of technology. The Fleet Technical Congress is an event where fleet managers can explore the latest technology solutions. A conference for commercial truck manufacturers, upfitters, distributors and body builders of all sizes.
NAFA Fleet Management Association 2019 Institute & Expo | April 15-17 in Louisville, KY NAFA’s annual Institute & Expo, the largest event of the fleet management industry, introduces several exciting improvements to the 2019 event to fit attendees’ goals more fully than ever before, offering registrants access to groundbreaking education in fleet and mobility, as well as the opportunity to increase their networking power and learn of new fleet products.
Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo 2019 | April 23-26 in Long Beach, CA The Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, North America’s leading conference and expo showcasing the real-world application of the latest transportation technologies, drive trains, and clean fuels. ACT Expo combines the best educational content in the industry with a cutting-edge trade show floor showcasing the most innovative technologies on the market today. Connected vehicle technologies, fuel efficiency improvement strategies and equipment, and drivetrain electrification will be key focal points for the 2019 show, set against the backdrop of increased use of alternative fuels, innovative powertrain solutions and economic & environmental fleet sustainability.
2019 State Energy Conference | April 30-May 1 in Raleigh, NC
The State Energy Conference provides actionable insight into the business of energy, connecting technical innovation, diverse resources and industry opportunity to help drive North Carolina’s regional energy economy forward with national impact.
The top electricity stakeholders, from regulators, ISOs, and utilities to technology providers, academics, and government agencies, put their heads together to determine how we will modernize the electric sector: the Grid Evolution Summit. The Summit will give you an opportunity to create solutions that will leave a lasting impact on our energy future.
The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will showcase the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, and propane arenas. The conference will also have a strong focus on data-driven decisions and technologies. With 50+ speakers and 40+ exhibitors, this event will highlight the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities.
Save the date for the 3rd annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference, August 7 & 8, 2019 in Durham, NC! The conference provides an opportunity for fleets and transportation professionals to experience the latest vehicle technology, tools, and resources designed to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. The event will include keynote presentations, 50+ panelists, breakout sessions, indoor vehicle/equipment display, and plenty of networking opportunities. Pre-conference events will take place August 6, which will include the Green Fleet Awards Forum along with the NC Smart Fleet and Mobile Care Awards!
Who should attend? Public & Private Fleet Managers
State Government Leaders
Municipal Government Officials
Clean Cities Coalitions & Stakeholders
Alternative Fuel Trade Organizations
Academic Leaders & Researchers
Attendees can learn & share about: Alternative Fuels (including biofuels, CNG, electric, propane, renewable diesel)
Advanced Vehicle Technologies
Motor Fleet Management
Vehicle Sharing Technologies
Vehicle Right Sizing
Autonomous Vehicles & Future Technologies
Stay tuned for more updates! For more information, visit the website, and contact Allison Carr at email@example.com or 919-515-9781 for any questions.
Raleigh, NC – (November 7, 2018) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q3 2018 edition of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
The report finds that 32 states and the District of Columbia took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during Q3 2018 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to Level 2 charging station deployment, followed by electric vehicle rate tariffs, rebate programs, and DC fast charging station deployment.
The report notes three trends in electric vehicle activity apparent or emerging in Q3 2018: (1) utilities proposing demand charge alternatives for fast charging stations, (2) electric bus investment ramping up, along with vehicle-to-grid testing, and (3) utilities collecting data on electric vehicle charging patterns.
A total of 211 electric vehicle actions were taken during Q3 2018. New Jersey, California, New York, and Massachusetts took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, accounting for over half of the quarter’s activity.
Q3 2018 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Electric Vehicles
“States continue to anticipate more electric vehicles on the road as a growing number of medium and heavy duty models are announced,” noted Allison Carr, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC. “We’re seeing states and utilities work to advance electrification of medium and heavy duty vehicles by offering incentives, building out charging infrastructure, and testing vehicle-to-grid capabilities.”
The report notes the top electric vehicle actions taken during the quarter were:
• The Missouri Court of Appeals reversing a Public Service Commission decision on charging station regulation;
• Pepco filing its Transportation Electrification Program proposal with the DC Public Service Commission;
• Massachusetts and Rhode Island regulators approving electric vehicle programs for National Grid;
• PSE&G New Jersey filing a $261 million electric vehicle program proposal; and
• California utilities filing proposals to deploy charging infrastructure at schools and state parks and beaches.
“Utilities are playing a significant role in accelerating the build-out of charging infrastructure,” observed Autumn Proudlove, Senior Manager of Policy Research at NCCETC. “In addition to directly deploying infrastructure, utilities are proposing demand charge alternatives to encourage development of fast charging stations and launching rebate programs to reduce upfront costs.”
Earlier this month, the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) announced the results of a call for projects through the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project. The 2017-2018 $5.6 million initiative, focused on reducing transportation-related emissions, is supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT).
More than $1,100,101 is being awarded for ten projects to a variety of public and private entities. In total, the awarded equipment displaces 62,949 gallons of diesel/gas a year, reducing 54,042 kg of daily emissions.
The awards include:
• Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) purchase and conversions by UNC Charlotte
• Electric PTO (power take-off) bucket trucks by Viatec Incorporated and Town of Apex
• AFV conversions to bi-fuel propane by City of Charlotte and thyssenkrupp
• Diesel retrofit by North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division
• Electric motorcycle purchases by law enforcement in Davidson County, Orange County, and Town of Matthews
Learn more about each project:
City of Charlotte
The City of Charlotte, a large municipality with a fleet of more than 3,400 vehicles, will convert eleven vehicles to run on liquid propane gas (LPG) to further the City’s greenhouse gas reductions. After the conversion, eight vehicles in the City’s Landscape Management Division and another three vehicles in Housing Code Enforcement Division will be able to run on either gasoline or propane, according to need, fuel availability, or economics. NCCETC estimates that this project will displace more than 7,200 gallons of gasoline per year. This project is part of a larger effort to champion vehicle efficiency and pollution reductions by the City: Nearly 22% of the City’s total fleet is alt-fueled, including 30% of their light-duty fleet.
Davidson County Sheriff
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in Lexington, NC, will add three 2018 Zero Motorcycles to its Motor Division, each with a projected 25,000 annual mileage per year. NCCETC estimates that this use of electric motorcycles will reduce 3,938 kg total emissions annually. The Sheriff’s Department also plans to implement a data collection tool to capture mileage accumulation information, which will be compared to tracking of the Office’s existing gas fueled motorcycle fleet. The information will be used to determine the fuel economy as well as gallons of gasoline displaced.
NC DOT Rail Division
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Rail Division in Raleigh, NC, has developed a specialized selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions reduction system that will be retrofitted onto a Piedmont passenger rail F59PH locomotive. The SCR system is known as a Blended Aftertreatment System, or BATS, and improves the locomotive’s emissions levels 55 to 80%.NCDOT’s Piedmont passenger rail service travels through nine counties between Raleigh and Charlotte, NC – Wake, Orange, Durham, Alamance, Guilford, Davidson, Rowan, Cabarrus, and Mecklenburg – all of which are indicated as EPA non-attainment for one or more pollutants (ozone, CO/CO2). The locomotive will be put into standard revenue service with an estimate of 300 days of use annually, and an expected annual mileage of 103,800 miles per year. NCCETC estimates this project will reduce an astounding 19,275 kg emissions and reduce demand for 9,000 gallons of fuel every year. This exciting project also delivers pollution reductions that are extremely cost-effective.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office plans to acquire an electric motorcycle, expanding the capacity of the specialized Motorcycle Unit to patrol County parks, trails, and greenways along with traffic enforcement, funeral escorts, dignitary escorts, and outreach and education events. The unit has been using gasoline Harley Davidson FLHP Electra Glide motorcycles, and looks forward to the addition of the stealthy electric motorcycle. The Orange County Sustainability Coordinator will work with the Sheriff’s Office to provide administrative support, tracking, and reporting on this project to estimate and publicize pollution reduction benefits. Orange County has been diligently working on their fleet to improve fuel economy and reduce transportation pollution for years. In 2018, the County reported more than 11% of their fleet being alt-fueled, including 23 hybrids and 15 bi-fuel propane vehicles. Orange County owns and operates 16 Level 2 electric charging stations, and hosts two DC Fast Charge stations in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.
thyssenkrupp / Alliance Autogas
Thyssenkrupp, an elevator company with a large fleet of light-duty maintenance vehicles, plans to convert seven vans and a truck to reduce pollution emissions in Mecklenburg County. In Charlotte, NC, six 2018 Ford Transits and one 2018 Ford F-150 will be converted to run on either liquid propane or gasoline. The vehicles will be able to run on either gasoline or propane, according to need, fuel availability, or economics. NCCETC estimates that this project will displace more than 13,000 gallons of gasoline per year. This is part of a larger corporate shift: Nationwide, in the last four years, thyssenkrupp has reduced their fuel use by over 2 million gallons by right-sizing their vehicles and by moving towards alternative fuels like propane and electric. Locally, the project will be implemented in cooperation with fuel provider, Alliance Autogas, who will help thyssenkrupp establish necessary propane refueling infrastructure.
Town of Apex
The Town of Apex, NC, a rapidly growing municipality with 302 vehicles and over 201 pieces of equipment, will retrofit three bucket lift truck vehicles with electric PTO (power take-off) units, allowing the trucks’ diesel engines to reduce idling while operating on overhead utilities, signs, and signals. By greatly reducing diesel truck idle time, these electric PTOs will significantly reduce vehicle emissions, improving local air quality and the health of bucket truck operators and workers as well as reduce engine maintenance costs. The Town will meticulously collect fuel and mileage data on each vehicle in operation. By comparing these to historical data, the Town will be able to clearly quantify the benefits of this technology, both in terms of fuel usage and reductions in vehicle pollution, thus estimating the project’s positive effects on air quality in Wake County.
Town of Matthews Police Department
The Matthews Police Department is purchasing an electric motorcycle in order to diversify their fleet, giving them an efficient and environmentally conscious means of accessing and patrolling areas that conventional vehicles cannot reach. An electric motorcycle will allow MPD to promote safety and environmental protection to pedestrians, cyclists and others in areas such as the Four Mile Creek Greenway, a paved multi-use pathway that is popular for area hikers, bikers, walkers, and animal lovers. The electric motorcycle will displace a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car, currently getting 18 miles per gallon of gasoline.
The University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) in Mecklenburg County will replace one heavy duty bucket truck with a hybrid vehicle, and conduct a hybrid electric conversions on one 15-passenger van to reduce emissions per mile. They will also purchase new bi-fuel light duty trucks to run blends of ethanol. These replacements and up-fits will allow the campus to build on its successful fleet hybrid electrification that began as part of the state Petroleum Displacement program, which includes a fleet of over 100 GEM electric vehicles and awards for maximizing the use of E-85 in flex-fuel vehicles. NCCETC estimates these replacements and conversions will result in 53,975 kg total emissions reduced annually. Carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide reductions are estimated to cost only $2.25 and $2.10 per kilogram per year.
Viatec, a Pittsboro NC company (with locations in Greenville SC and Northern California) will retrofit 12 bucket lift truck vehicles with electric PTO (power take-off) units in NC municipalities with significant air pollution, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh and Cary. This electric PTO allows bucket truck crews to turn off their engine and perform work in a safe, clean and quiet environment, benefiting the owners, operators and the communities in which they work. By greatly reducing diesel truck idle time, these electric PTOs will significantly reduce vehicle emissions. NCCETC estimates that bucket trucks burn nearly a gallon of diesel fuels per hour of idling. Based on an industry study conducted by Quanta Services (Green Truck Show March 2018), an electric PTO system is estimated to save about 1800 gallons of fuel annually, in standard operations. In addition, eliminating the idling on the truck engine also reduces carbon emissions to the tune of almost 38,000 pounds of CO2. The noiseless operation of systems creates safer operating conditions for the crew and the reduced wear-and-tear on the truck engine extends the truck life. This electric PTO is built around an EPA Certified production hardened electric power train and is “Buy America” compliant. The unit is fit for utilities, tree service, sign and light companies and other aerial device application. Industry proven and tested components deliver a reliable and near maintenance-free solution.
36 States and D.C. Took 274 Actions Related to Electric Vehicles
The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q2 2018 edition of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. The full Q2 2018 report, or an annual subscription to the report, may be purchased here.
The report finds that 36 states and the District of Columbia took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during Q2 2018 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to electric vehicle rebate programs, followed by DC fast charging and Level 2 charging station deployment.
The report notes three trends in electric vehicle activity apparent or emerging in Q2 2018: (1) states diverging on the issue of regulatory oversight of electric vehicle charging stations, (2) states and utilities working to expand electric vehicle and charging access to low-income and disadvantaged communities, and (3) electric vehicle activity concentrating in particular states and regions.
A total of 274 electric vehicle actions were taken during Q2 2018 – more than were taken in the entirety of 2017 (227 actions). Seven states – New York, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Minnesota – accounted for over half of these actions.
Q2 2018 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Electric Vehicles
“Although the majority of electric vehicle policy activity is occurring in particular states and regions, many states throughout the country are beginning to study questions related to electric vehicles and address initial regulatory issues surrounding vehicle charging infrastructure,” noted David Sarkisian, Senior Policy Analyst at NCCETC.
The report notes the top electric vehicle actions taken during the quarter were:
• California regulators approving $738 million for electric vehicle infrastructure investments;
• Governor Cuomo announcing up to $250 million for electric vehicle expansion in New York;
• Utility regulators in Alabama and New Orleans addressing oversight of electric vehicle charging stations;
• The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada permitting NV Energy to own, operate, and rate base electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and
• The Vermont State legislature initiating an investigation into electric vehicles and charging.
“While we continue to see legislative actions on electric vehicles most concentrated in the states that are part of the Multi-State Zero-Emission Vehicle Taskforce, action pertaining to electric vehicles is occurring across the country,” noted Heather Brutz, Clean Transportation Manager at NCCETC. “This activity ranges from efforts to remove regulatory barriers to the creation of new incentive programs to directly promote vehicle and charging infrastructure deployment.”
This week, Fuel What Matters features 100 Best Fleets of the Americas winner City of Durham.
City of Durham’s fleet, which consists of about 1,520 vehicles and equipment, is a typical municipal fleet with cars and trucks (both light/heavy duty), refuse collection vehicles, police and fire vehicles, and construction equipment, according to Fleet Management Director Joseph Clark.
Durham has received the 100 Best Fleets Award every year since 2010, has been named as a Top 50 Fleet by the Leading Fleets Award Program from 2014 to 2018, and has multiple times been recognized for the Green Fleet Awards.
“We are proud to be afforded the opportunity to both participate and be recognized,” Clark said of the 100 Best Fleets award. “Our highest ranking has been 7th, but we are optimistic for the future.”
Clark said he thinks the City of Durham fleet’s careful cost analyzation to determine what works well for the organization and its stakeholders is what the fleet does best.
Durham uses a Fleet Information Management System that captures accurate relative data; and dealer and OEM level software and technician training. The fleet also benchmarks other leading agencies in their successes and failures to minimize missteps and maximize returns; and uses optimized tuning equipment, advanced telematics and idle reduction technology to increase fleet efficiency.
“Our recognition is tied to our dedication to managing the fleet utilizing some of the best and latest tools available,” Clark said.
Durham also has plan in place with a goal of reducing annual maintenance cost and average cost per mile, increasing average fuel economy, and reducing fossil fuel consumption, Clark said.
Through the years, underutilized vehicles have been removed, allowing the fleet to decrease in size. Clark said this has been done by outsourcing police upfit builds, remarketing used vehicles within the City, and adopting a sustainability plan that includes fuel reduction goals, right-sizing and right-typing vehicles, utilizing smaller engines in police vehicles, eliminating 4-wheel drive when not needed, and more.
To keep improving on the City of Durham’s fleet, Clark said they hope to further invest in hybrid vehicles, along with continued investment in anti-idle technology.
In addition to reducing fossil fuel use and right-sizing vehicles, Durham’s fleet also implements programs for its staff.
The fleet holds monthly staff meetings where discussion is focused on topics that encompass the whole organization, Clark said. The City has a program called Idea Starter that encourages new ideas and has a pool of funds to contribute to selected ideas.
“Recognition is a key component that encourages ideas to be brought forward,” Clark said. “We push a continuous learning philosophy.”
Throughout the years, the fleet has also faced challenges. There was a period of time when economic factors forced underfunding of fleet replacement — a deficit that created a backlog of vehicles, Clark said. The fleet continues to try to remedy the backlog while investing new ideas when opportunities exist.
When it comes to advice, Clark suggests “buy-in from the top.”
“Buy-in from the top is paramount — if upper management does not support the idea, it will be difficult to be successful,” Clark said.
Seven fleets from North Carolina made it on the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas’ list of winners for 2018 — and in the next several weeks, Fuel What Matters will be featuring each fleet and what it has done to achieve success.
Nuckolls said Concord’s fleet has become more efficient through the years by implementing a career development program, rightsizing vehicles, and using alternative fuels and technologies.
Concord began implementing more fuel-efficient strategies and equipment in 2003. Electric cars and EV chargers are used throughout the city, and today, about 5 percent of Concord’s light-duty fleet is comprised of hybrid electric vehicles.
In the police fleet, Concord moved from 9-cylinder cars to 6-cylinders, which Nuckolls estimates saves about 34K gallons of fuel per year. Concord also uses B20 blend biodiesel for all diesel vehicles, which he estimated displaces 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.
“Fuel usage over the last 10 years has not increased very much at all — it remains flat,” Nuckolls said.
The City Of Concord is an active participant in the Clean Cities coalition and is a core stakeholder in the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, according to their website. Fleet Services also developed and administers the Concord Air Awareness Program, which educates and informs City employees about air quality issues.
“From the very get-go, we wanted to implement alternative fuels,” Nuckolls said. “Mainly for air quality, but also, certain things are helping cost.”
One of the most successful improvements of the City of Concord Fleet Services Department, Nuckolls said, is the Career Development Program, which is designed to reward and advance the careers of technicians, parts personnel, and supervisors by converting their training and experience into ASE Certifications (Automotive Service Excellence).
The Career Development Program was implemented in 2003 when the fleet had a total of 3 ASE certifications among 8 technicians, 2 supervisors, and 2 parts personnel. Now, the fleet has 84 ASE certifications with 6 Master Mechanic certifications.
Nuckolls said the program has led the fleet to become the lowest cost fleet in North Carolina for five consecutive years.
“As fleet director, I feel it is important to encourage individuals to distinguish themselves and to provide incentives for continuous improvement,” Nuckolls said. “As our technicians become more proficient, so does our fleet maintenance program, which drives our fleet availability and productivity. “