Green Fleet Strategy
The Green Fleet Strategy outlines actions to support Council’s strategic direction of a climate resilient Calgary, with a goal to reduce corporate GHG emissions. The Strategy includes four guiding principles to help shape what actions The City will pursue to reduce fleet GHG emissions in the 2023-2026 business cycle:
- Modernize – transition from gasoline and diesel vehicles by building a robust charging network, deploying electric vehicles, and piloting emerging alternative fuels and technologies.
- Educate – reduce The City’s GHG emissions by educating fleet users on the benefits of seasonal renewable fuels, idling reduction program, and green operator driving.
- Procure – implement green procurement to remove barriers and strategically purchase low or zero-emission technology when replacing or adding vehicles and equipment.
- Innovate – support, test, design, and evaluate innovative technologies that can be adopted and seamlessly integrated.
Actioning the Green Fleet Strategy
The City is exploring a opportunities to reduce fuel consumption and lower fleet greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of programs and initiatives.
The City’s goal is to eliminate unnecessary fleet vehicle idling. Reduced idling for City fleet vehicles and equipment will save money by burning less fuel, decrease wear and tear on engines, and improve air quality. City operators are doing their part and turning off the engine if stopped, except in traffic. We are also identifying units that require the engine idling to perform work or power equipment, and considering alterations or modifications that are more cost effective than idling.
Flex Fleet is The City’s fleet vehicle program that enables employees to share fleet vehicles for work purposes. It was initiated under the 2019-2022 budget cycle to address the underutilization of City fleet vehicles and further expanded in 2020.
Flex Fleet is increasing vehicle utilization and helping The City evaluate and test green vehicle technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the corporate fleet. This program is an integral component of the Green Fleet Strategy and supports The City’s Climate Strategy’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
The City of Calgary has a Green Driving Standard 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.
The City has a Green Option procurement strategy to support the purchase of vehicles that have lower emissions and better fuel consumption. Our vehicle acquisitions process ensures compliance with Environment Canada, Transport Canada, all applicable external legislation, and considers all available fuel types when purchasing new vehicles and equipment. To support a greener fleet, The City has a Green Option procurement strategy to support the purchase of vehicles that have lower emissions and better fuel consumption.
Alternative fuels are an essential part of The Green Fleet Strategy. While beginning to deploy zero-emission vehicles, The City will use alternative fuels such as biodiesel and hydrogen to support the transition away from gasoline and diesel. It is recognized that medium and heavy fleet vehicles have unique operational challenges for electrification and few heavy electric trucks are presently available on the market. Alternative fuels provide substantial and quantifiable emission reductions that The City’s fleet can start implementing in the short term.
- Renewable Diesel Pilot: From mid-July to September 2023, The City of Calgary will be piloting renewable diesel in five commercial waste and recycling refuse trucks.
In 2022, The City initiated a pilot project to investigate the suitability and economic benefits of using electric and hybrid trucks to collect waste. Through the pilot, The City will purchase a hybrid refuse truck and a battery-electric refuse truck to determine the feasibility of long-term implementation of hybrid and/or electric refuse-collection trucks into The City's fleet, and how this could apply to other types of heavy-duty trucks for City operations, such as snowplows or dump trucks.
This project received funding the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Green Municipal Fund.
For the spring/summer seasons, The City switches diesel fuels at three City fuel stations to a blend of diesel that includes 20 per cent biodiesel (referred to as B2O) in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of its municipal fleet.
Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable alternative fuel made from a mix of modified vegetable oils and diesel fuel.
Calgary Transit is moving to a fleet of zero-emission buses.
Our fleet transition includes a bus electrification project to deploy up to 259 40-foot battery electric buses (BEBs) by 2026. This project is a good first step in our transition journey, as it will shift about one quarter of our fleet to zero-emission buses. To prepare for BEB operations, we’re pursuing an electric bus pilot project.
Calgary Transit has the largest indoor CNG fueling facility in North America. The City of Calgary has 174 buses and 13 ice re-surfacers that operated on compressed natural gas.
When compared to diesel fueled vehicles, CNG vehicles emit around 20 per cent less GHG, up to 95 per cent less Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and virtually no particulate matter.
Funders & Supporters
The City has leveraged funding from different levels of government to purchase greener vehicles and equipment to help reduce The City’s maintenance, energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To date, The City has been allocated $225K from Natural Resources Canada and their partner organizations – the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) and South Grow – towards the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The City has also been allocated almost $1.5M from MCCAC and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities towards the cost of purchasing electric and other green vehicles and equipment, including $294,000 in 2023 to purchase six electric ice resurfacers.
Please visit the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) for more information.