Fleet Sustainability

Fleet Services Moves to Sustainable Practices

 

Lane County General Services is making sustainable choices now that will improve the livability of Lane County today and tomorrow.

 

Sustainability is seeking to understand and balance current and long-term environmental, economic, and social objectives of our community. It is important that services and infrastructure are delivered in an environmentally and socially responsible way, with an eye on best use and investment of limited financial resources.

 

A key part of the General Services Division sustainability plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. 

 

 

 

Sustainable Steps:

Diesel Equipment and the Use of Renewable Diesel

Lane County, through its Climate Action Plan, strives to reduce emissions wherever possible. As a result, Lane County Fleet is analyzing all current diesel operated equipment to determine opportunities for decomissioning of aging assets, and reviewing replacements with a preference away from diesel equipment, unless operational specifications require it. Fleet is also following pending state guidelines and legislation to align its future fleet practices with statewide emissions goals.

Lane County Fleet uses 99% renewable diesel in its equipment. Through an internal governmental agreement with other partnered agencies, Fleet has been able to reduce costs and ensure availability with contracted vendors. The primary factors for developing recommendations and guiding the decision-making process on this issue have been environmental impact, cost, mechanical failures, warranty concerns, shelf life, reliability and temperature concerns.  Based on the analysis of these factors, the current policy of R99 use is the most desirable choice. 

The Fleet Services Division will continue the use of renewable diesel as it has proven to meet or exceed ATSM standards, and curb additional diesel emissions by an estimated 60%.

More equipment manufacturers have been steadily approving the use of R99 in their products, and its use will become a more viable alternative contingent on pricing differential.

Vehicle Selection

Correct vehicle selection will ensure that the most efficient vehicle is selected to perform the duties required by the user. The Fleet Services Manager will discuss with the requesting manager the requirements to ensure that proper vehicle is purchased. Alternate fuel vehicles (hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), battery electric vehicles (BEV)) will be evaluated and procured when feasible. The County currently has 13 battery-electric vehicles and 8 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Shop Practices

The Fleet Maintenance and Parts sections have been proactive in instituting sustainable practices.  The amount of Hazmat generated by shop operations has been reduced 50% by replacing solvent tanks with hot water parts cleaners and procuring green solvents for other applications.  Preventive maintenance schedules have been increased from 5000 to 7500 miles (or longer) for most vehicles, thus reducing the amount of waste products generated during service process. Used oil is used to heat the shop bays during the winter months and the remainder is recycled. 

Additionally, all antifreeze, oil filters, scrap metal, batteries, and tires are recycled. The light fixtures in the shop bays were switched from halogen to more efficient high-bay fluorescent lights that are operated on motion sensors to further reduce energy waste.

In CY23, Fleet has joined efforts with Bring Recycling to reduce environmental impacts through its EcoBiz green-fleet certification program. For more information on Bring's EcoBiz program, click here.

Idling Policy

This policy, adopted in 2007, prohibits idling for longer than 20 seconds or "topping off" fuel tanks in County vehicles. Stickers are placed on vehicle dashboards to remind operators to reduce idling time. These steps reduce fuel usage and prevent the release of harmful emissions. In more recent years, the County's use of R99 diesel fuel, adoption of EV and PHEV vehicles, and idle-management technologies when available have helped to reduce emissions along with the policy.

Committees

Fleet Services is an active member of the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition. Click here for more information.

Fleet personnel attend the annual Green Transportation Summit Expo in Tacoma, WA for continual improvement in green fleet technologies and equipment. Click here for more information.

Fleet Services also partners with other local agencies and public fleets to share strategies and future intentions for fleet improvements.

Grants

Fleet Services is actively pursuing grant funding opportunities to further its EV infrastructure development goals, and has been awarded multiple grants such as:
  • Emerald People's Utility District's (EPUD) 2020 Business Grant
  • Eugene Water & Electric Board's (EWEB) 2022 Electric Mobility Community Grant
Fleet has utilized awarded grant funds in the completion of projects that directly benefit the community, such as the installation of EV charging stations at the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum.

Fleet Services also leverages local and state rebates to reduce infrastructure costs and to pave the way for future installations.

As of August 2023, Fleet is awaiting the potential award of a Class-5 delivery truck through the Oregon DEQ's recently posted ZEV grant.


These practices are in keeping with industry-wide best practices and emphasize the responsible use of limited financial resources.

According to General Services Manager Michael A. Johns, the General Services Division will continue to research and implement environmentally sustainable and economically feasible solutions for Lane County’s transportation needs. These efforts will improve the environment today and for future generations.

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