The City of Calgary’s fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles (consisting of 2,400 general use vehicles, 800 Police Services vehicles, 950 Transit vehicles and buses, and 170 Calgary Fire Department vehicles) represent approximately 20% of The City’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The City of Calgary is improving the fleet’s overall fuel efficiency, implementing new practices and technologies that reduce fuel consumption and increase the use of renewable, green fuels and cleaner fossil fuels. Our Best in Class vehicle acquisition policy includes a “right sizing” vehicle needs assessment.
Parks, Roads and Water operate five GMC Sierra gasoline-electric hybrid pickup trucks with a capability of 10 to 15% improved fuel economy. The vehicles save fuel by shutting off the engine when stopped.
City’s green fleet also includes four gas-electric hybrid (Toyota Prius and Honda Civic) cars as well as six fuel efficient Smart cars.
Spearheaded by the Calgary Fire Department in 2003, The City’s biodiesel fuel trial has evolved from a six-month pilot project to a sustainable, year-round program. In May 2006, the biodiesel project past the one million litre mark.
The number of City vehicles using biodiesel has grown from one non-emergency panel fire truck to 77 of The City’s fleet. In 2005, more than 790,000 litres of biodiesel were used, reducing greenhouse gases by more than 173 tonnes.
A B5 blend (5% biodiesel/95% petroleum diesel) was used initially for the pilot in the cooler weather and increased to B20 (20% biodiesel/80% petroleum diesel) during summer months. The use of biodiesel reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 16% per litre compared with petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning fuel produced from renewable sources such as oil seed crops (generally canola or soy) or waste cooking oils blended with petroleum diesel. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, sulphur-free, mixes in all proportions with petroleum diesel, increases lubricity of diesel fuel, and requires no engine modifications.