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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-515-9781 for any questions.
***In case you missed it: the webinar is still viewable anytime for free here!***
Learn from the top 3 Green Fleet Award winners for 2018 out of a possible 38,000 public fleets in North America by tuning in to a free webinar, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 30.
Join us to get the straight story on the methods and technologies that work for the top Green Fleets! You will learn how the fleets were able to get funding for alternative fuel vehicles as well as the infrastructure to support them. They will also present the ROIs for their projects. These are tools, tips and strategies that you can use in your operation the next day.
Learn more about the Green Fleet Awards here, and register for the webinar here.
Learn about the top Green Fleet Award winners & webinar presenters:
SACRAMENTO COUNTY (#1) – Keith Leech Sr.
Keith Leech Sr. currently leads Sacramento County‘s Fleet Division and Parking Enterprise. The County of Sacramento is recognized as a trailblazer in implementing renewable fuels and innovative fleet technology projects driven by strategic business planning processes and data driven decisions. Sacramento County’s fleet was recognized as the #1 Green Fleet in 2018 and among Government Fleet’s Leading Fleets and 100 Best Fleets for the last three consecutive years. Keith was inducted into the Public Fleet Hall of Fame in 2017 by Government Fleet Magazine and APWA and received NAFA’s 2014 Fleet Excellence Awards for Excellence in Public Fleet Sustainability and Excellence in Fleet Leadership. Keith currently serves as Chairman of the Northern California Chapter of the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association and NAFA’s Government Affairs Committee. He also serves as President of the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition.
CITY OF SACRAMENTO (#2) – Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens has served as Fleet Manger for the City of Pompano Beach, FL; Asheville, NC; and the City of Sacramento, CA. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. For 20 years at the City of Pompano Beach, FL, Mark established a state of the art Fleet Management operation comprising fleet operation software, fuel management software, and complete operational procedures. Customers included Police, Fire, Public Works, Utilities Parks & Recreation and assorted support divisions. As Fleet Manager with the City of Asheville, NC, Mark was instrumental in upgrading the city’s CNG public access fueling site as well as establish a time fill CNG station for the increased use of CNG for its Sanitation Department solid refuse fleet. He augmented the city’s alternative fuel vehicle program to help reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint. Currently, Mark is Fleet Manager of the City of Sacramento, committed to continuing the award winning Fleet model for #1 Best Government Fleet and #1 Green Fleets, committed to promote the city’s Sustainable Fleet initiatives.
DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA (#18/100 BEST FLEETS # 1 WINNER) – Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon is the Deputy Director of the Fleet Management Department for DeKalb County Georgia. He has 31 years of professional work experience in the Fleet Management industry with 17 years of government fleet experience and 14 years of experience with truck leasing organizations. Robert earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Management, a Certificate of Public Works Management and an Advanced Certificate of Public Works Management through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. He graduated from DeKalb County Government’s Bright Futures Emerging Executive Leaders Program. He is on the board of directors for Clean Cities Georgia. DeKalb County Fleet Management has placed in the Top 10 of the 100 Best Fleet for the last 5 years. Under his direction, DeKalb County Fleet Management achieved 1st place in the 100 Best Fleet Award in 2018. Robert also received the 2018 FLEXY award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Fleet Management from NAFA Fleet Management Association. He serves on advisory committees at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Warren Tech, Southern Crescent Tech, Whitfield County Career Academy, and Atlanta Metropolitan College. He is also an active member in many organizations including 100 Best Fleet, Green Fleet, NAFA, Georgia Motor Trucking Association, American Public Works Association, Georgia Municipal Association, Clean Cities Georgia, Southeast Diesel Collaborative, and Southeast Governmental Fleet Managers Association.
WHAT: The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo, organized by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and the N.C. Department of Transportation, offers this event for fleet managers and transportation-related decision-makers at organizations of all sizes. The conference will showcase the latest on technologies in the biofuels, natural gas and propane arenas. There will also be a strong focus on data-driven decisions and technologies.
WHEN: August 22: 8:30am – 6:00pm; Reception 6:00pm-7:30pm
August 23: 9:00am – 4:00pm; (2:30pm-4:00pm NC Smart Fleet Awards/Keynote)
WHERE: Durham Convention Center
301 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701
WHO: Keynote speakers include:
• Scott Curran, PhD, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• Robert Gordon, DeKalb County, Georgia Government Fleet Management Department
• Tony Posawatz, automotive innovation leader
• Chris Werner, Director of Technical Services, NC Department of Transportation
Plenary panel speakers
Future of Sustainable Transportation
• LoreanaMarciante, Smart City Challenge Initiative
• Scott Phillippi, UPS Corporate Automotive Engineering
• Stuart Weidie, Alliance AutoGas
• Scott Curran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
• Michael Abraczinskas, NC Division of Air Quality
• Michael Buff, Electrify America
• Alexa Voytek, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs
• Debbie Swartz, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
• Joe Annotti, Glandstein, Neandross & Associates (moderator)
Over 50 speakers will present their expertise in Breakout Sessions with three tracks including Data & Solutions; Alternative Fuels & Advanced Technologies; Policy & Technology. View Agenda
Over 40 exhibitors will showcase products, services, and vehicles in the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference Expo Hall. Vehicles on display will include plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chevy, and Chrysler. Other vehicles fueled by natural gas and propane will be displayed, including a heavy-duty Freightliner CNG trash roll-off hoist truck. View Exhibitor List
The City of Raleigh has more than 2,000 registered vehicles in its fleet used for a wide variety of services, including the police force, garbage, maintenance and repairs, public utilities, water and sewer and more, according to Fleet Services Superintendent Travis Brown.
Along with the wide range of vehicles, Raleigh also has a large number of alternative fuels and alternative vehicles to match.
The City, which isn’t new to the 100 Best Fleets list, uses 385 vehicles with B20 biodiesel, over 1,000 E85 flex fuel-compatible vehicles, 223 hybrids, 18 electric powered neighborhood vehicles, 25 vehicles that use propane, and 7 that use natural gas.
Brown, who has worked with the City of Raleigh for 16 years, said the City has been working to transform the fleet even before he arrived, when the City was already using biodiesel.
Brown said that so many alternative fuels have been introduced into the fleet because they help to reduce emissions, improve air quality, promote domestic energy production, help decrease fuel costs, and can help farmers.
The goal of the City is to take care of its citizens, Brown said – and using alternative fuels is a part of that.
“It’s about being a good steward of a city, and trying to do the right thing,” Brown said.
Raleigh also uses anti-idling technology in many of the police fleet vehicles. The Energy Xtreme Law Enforcement anti-idling system allows vehicles to operate their full electrical system (including lights, camera and radio) without using the vehicle’s engine, according to the City of Raleigh website.
After the first quarter of the anti-idling technology usage, about 962 gallons were saved from 29 vehicles that used it, according to the website. The projected annual savings were estimated at $63,199.
Previously, many City police vehicles were driving Ford Crown Victorias, and now they’re driving hybrid sedans – which Brown said saves a lot of money when it comes to fuel. The Crown Victorias were getting around 13-18 miles per gallon (MPG), he said, and the hybrids get around 30-38 MPG.
“It’s been a good investment on return, going that way,” Brown said.
In addition to alternative fuels, the City schedules vehicle replacements every year to ensure the fleet is kept modern.
Raleigh also uses a maintenance management system, which provides GPS information for departments on engine faults, idling, equipment and accountability.
The most challenging part of managing a fleet, Brown said, is communicating and educating – getting the word out to all staff about changes and plans, and educating on new ways of doing things and how those changes are beneficial.
Brown said he addresses it as much as he can by having meetings with service departments and providing data on fuel usage.
When running a fleet, Brown advises doing research, networking with those in the same industry to see what works for their fleet, looking at your own to figure out what could work for yours, and attempting to do some forecasting.
“There’s so much technology out there, and the automotive industry is changing so much,” Brown said. “Don’t look at necessarily what’s happening today – try to find what’s coming up three years down the road. You don’t want to get something approved, and then it’s outdated.”
Looking ahead, Brown said Raleigh hopes to push more telematics, eventually adding the technology to all vehicles being used. Currently, Raleigh uses a maintenance management system, but the City would like to upgrade to a web-based system so they can provide more transparency to users and customers.
Learn more about the City of Raleigh’s alternative fuel use by visiting the website here.
The goals of Wake County’s fleet are the same as most: to carry out productive, safe, efficient and sustainable service at the lowest cost possible.
But the smartest and most successful way to achieve that goal, they have found, is by implementing new technology to continuously track data and uncover information.
“It doesn’t appear to be moving fast, but there’s a lot going on,” said Fleet Director Thomas Kuryla as he walked around the vehicle shop at Wake County General Services Center. “Even on slow days when there isn’t a lot of mechanical work, there’s a lot of planning and data analysis.”
Wake County has been on the 100 Best Fleets list every year since 2010, once placing number three out of the country.
There are about 1,000 vehicles in the fleet, including cars, trucks, trailers and boats, with emergency response vehicles representing half.
About 60 vehicles run on diesel, and 20 run on B20 biodiesel, Kuryla said. 400 of their vehicles are E85 compatible. Wake County hasn’t purchased new hybrid or electric vehicles in about 3 years, but around 50 hybrid vehicles are currently in the fleet.
Out of the 1,000 vehicles and 200 that are serviced, there are a total of 10 mechanics.
“Our vehicles are in good enough shape that we don’t need as many,” Kuryla said.
Wake County has a preventative maintenance program in place that averts as many repairs. Vehicles are also sold with less mileage than most fleets. Many fleets keep their vehicles too long, Kuryla said, which means they’re stuck in the shop more for repairs, resulting in more downtown for drivers.
“By keeping our vehicles ahead of the game, we provide more service than other fleets out there,” Kuryla said. “People will say, ‘No, we can’t afford a new car…’ They need to think long-term and look at the big picture.”
Maintenance in the fleet is also done swiftly.
“At some places, the vehicles will spend two weeks in repair,” Kuryla said. “Here, they wait and leave — they’re working on it within 15 minutes and they’re out in less than an hour unless it’s a major repair.”
Kuryla has been Wake County Fleet Director since 2002, and he has orchestrated and seen many changes. One of the first adjustments Kuryla recommended was to transform and redesign the service and parts departments so that they were connected, and could communicate openly as a team.
“In a lot of industries, they’re battling each other,” Kuryla said. “We really wanted them to be teamed together.”
Kuryla said a big success Wake County’s fleet has had is with telematics, a system that collects data from vehicles when they’re on the road to improve efficiency. Telematics tracks the vehicles’ locations, miles per hour, time spent idling, starting or stopping too fast, whether or not the driver is wearing his or her seatbelt, and more. Drivers will be alerted with a beep when going beyond their limits, and supervisors are also automatically notified in some instances.
When telematics was first installed on the vehicles, drivers were getting a lot of beeps, Kuryla said. It didn’t take long for that to reduce considerably.
Additional upgrades and changes are still to come.
Recently, the fleet introduced reusable oil filters, which increase the life of oil and keep them from ending up in a landfill. The reusable filters were put on 20 vehicles and tested for over a year. Kuryla plans to have all of their vehicles transitioned within 6 months.
The oil is also tracked with software that automatically changes intervals and notifies departments when the oil needs changing.
This year, they plan to introduce a drive over tread depth tire reader, which will generate data on the pressure and alignment, measuring the tread depth of each tire to decide whether or not it should be replaced.
Kuryla said the biggest challenge for their fleet is a common one — making advancements within the budget.
“We try to do our research and data analysis to justify why we want to do something,” Kuryla said. “Like the oil filters. Saying ‘I want to spend $75,000 buying filters’ – someone would say, ‘You’re crazy.’ But we just spent a whole year testing and found that we’ll have that buyback very quick.”
Kuryla suggests when trying to implement changes for a fleet, it’s helpful to talk to those who will be affected by asking their suggestions and opinions. For example, the new tire depth reader is talked about openly in the shop on purpose, Kuryla said. He hopes to increase interest and encourage discussion. When the oil filters were implemented, the mechanics openly discussed their experience and then helped come up with a better system.
“Get buy-in for everything you do.” Kuryla said. “Ask what would you like? What would make your job better? Get them involved. ”
While experts at the Sustainable Fleet Management & Technologies Training came from a wide variety of backgrounds in fleet management, they shared a similar sentiment.
“The world’s changing; the climate’s changing. We’re finding out it’s a dirty fuel we’re relying on,” said Michael Taylor, of Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). “Alternative fuels are here to stay.”
The June 20 training covered an assortment of topics involving all things fleets — including sustainability metrics, vehicle selection standards, life-cycle cost analysis, change management, electric/hybrid vehicles and charging, idle reduction technologies, CNG, LPG and biofuels.
Rick Sapienza, of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC), estimated there was about 200 years of experience in the room.
Presenters included Emily Barrett, Town of Cary NC Sustainability; Al Curtis, Cobb County GA Fleet Management; Chris Facente, University of NC Charlotte; Joe O’Neill, CNG Guy Consulting; Brandon Pasinski, Town of Cary NC Fleet Management; George Survant, National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA); and Michael Taylor, PERC; as well as Rick Sapienza, John Bonitz and Heather Brutz of the NCCETC.
Whether a fleet uses electric, CNG, LPG, biofuels or a combination of those applications, some work better than others — it all depends on the individual fleets’ needs.
“It isn’t one size fits all,” Sapienza said.
Survant, who discussed fleet sustainability metrics, said he encourages fleets to stay focused by regularly trying to come up with creative, innovative solutions.
“The array of solutions is unprecedented for us,” Survant said. “I think if we as fleet leaders don’t keep our antennae up to that right solution match to the problems we have to deal with, we miss a good opportunity.”
Barrett and Pasinski, who shared the Town of Cary’s sustainable fleet journey, advised utilizing the right vehicle for the job, using what you already have, and buying only what you need. The two also suggested driving correctly, limiting waste, spending time on maintenance, and planning your routes.
“The key is getting to know your resources,” Barrett said. “It’s a process. It takes time and culture.”
Curtis discussed change management, explaining that giving your team what they need to kick-start and accelerate change is of utmost importance. You can inspire and empower your team by offering ideas and using storytelling, and offering insights and practical methods, Curtis said.
Cobb County started with CNG stations, then purchased Flex Fuel cars, propane vehicles, hybrid cars, and now has 29 Nissan Leafs, 4 Zero Cycles and 45 charging stations with 1 DC fast charger, Curtis said.
“You must not just change, you must transform,” Curtis said.
Poger talked about electric vehicles and their wide-range of benefits. Among them are fuel cost savings, lower maintenance, noise reduction and employee safety, exhaust/emissions reduction and more.
Taylor showed how propane is widely used, increasing in its use both in the US and abroad, and how it can be utilized more in the future. Propane is also non-toxic, he said — if it’s spilled it would dissipate, and it can’t be blown up like gas can.
Joe O’Neill discussed the value of NVGs (Natural Gas Vehicles) — informing that natural gas supply is estimated to be large enough to meet the US energy needs for the next 100 years. NVG is also a cleaner burning fuel, he said, with greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 20 to 30 percent when compared to diesel and gasoline. NVGs are also at a lower cost per energy unit compared to diesel or gasoline.
Brutz talked about creating a sustainable fleet plan, vehicles selection standards, and life-cycle cost analysis — which looks at all the costs associated with owning or leasing a vehicle to determine what the total cost of owning the vehicle is over its lifetime.
Sustainable fleet goals should include emissions (environmental), energy (economic), and efficiency, Brutz said. The key components of a sustainable fleet plan are to commit to a process, set reduction targets, measure actions, and review and revise.
When it comes to managing a sustainable fleet and making any kind of change — even with the right knowledge, ideas and equipment — standstills and setbacks are not uncommon.
“It’s not always a magic bullet,” Facente said. “You do have challenges when going uphill.”
But the presenters agreed the future looks bright.
“These technologies work, they’re just different,” Sapienza said. “Embrace technology and embrace change.”