The City of Calgary created a Climate Resilience Strategy to reduce our contributions to climate change. We are committed to evaluating and incorporating fully electric, electric hybrid and other low carbon vehicle technologies in our fleet.
The City manages nearly 4,000 vehicles and equipment and employs over 4,600 drivers (excluding, Calgary Fire Department, Calgary Police Services and Calgary Transit). The City of Calgary’s fleet is diverse and includes a variety of fuel types. From the traditional diesel or gasoline powered to gasoline-electric hybrid, biodiesel, compressed natural gas (CNG) and fully electric.
The City is implementing new practices and technologies to reduce emissions, increase vehicle utilization and improve driver behavior to create a greener fleet. Even our vehicle acquisitions process ensures compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, and considers all available fuel types when purchasing new vehicles and equipment. In addition, to support a greener fleet, one of our procurement strategies is to add clauses to Request for Proposals (RFP) enabling The City to try new green solutions and technologies as they become available in the market.
For example, our gasoline-electric hybrid GMC Sierra pickup trucks have the capability of 10 to 15% improved fuel economy and saves fuel by shutting off the engine when stopped. This Start-Stop technology works by automatically shutting down and restarting the engine to reduce the amount of time the engine spends idling, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The City is piloting alternative fuel options to mitigate the impacts of City business on air, land and water quality and improve the fleet’s overall fuel efficiency. From waste collection trucks, street sweepers to sedans, we are continually testing their effectiveness in our operations and our climate. Alternative fuels may include natural gas, biofuels, electricity and/or hybrid options that may include diesel/electric hybrids.
The City has already been piloting two compressed natural gas (CNG) garbage trucks, has welcomed a fully electric sedan to its fleet and will be piloting hybrid-electric and fully electric garbage trucks. All options will need to sustain operations in Calgary’s extreme weather conditions.
In 2018, The City arranged an Alternative Fuel Study to explore opportunities for expansion of alternative fuels, especially for our waste collection and recycling fleet. The Alternative Fuel Study considered several alternative fuel options and assessed whether it would be technically and financially feasible, as well as the potential environmental, social and economic impact. This Alternative Fuel Study has received a grant of $54,700 from the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Green Municipal Fund.
The City of Calgary has a Green Driving Policy to ensure fuel-efficient driving practices by our City operators. We train our drivers on safe and green driving practices that reduce fuel consumption associated with idling, acceleration, deceleration and cornering. Our green driving simulator gives drivers the opportunity to practice these principles in a simulated environment before putting them into practice on the road.