Seattle Named No. 1 Government Green Fleet

January 2011, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Chris Wiley

The City of Seattle recently earned the distinction of being selected as the No. 1 Government Green Fleet in North America, announced at the Green Fleet Conference in October 2010. A total of 40 government fleets were recognized.

The City's Green Fleet program was recognized for its excellent integration of alternative fuels into existing operations and comprehensive examination of where and how petroleum reduction policies and procedures could impact the fleet.

"The fleets in the contest are among the best in the country, and they all have a measurable and real commitment to greening and sustainability. To be the No. 1 fleet shows a superior effort to green the fleet from top to bottom," said Rhea Courtney Bozic of Clean Fuels Consulting, one of the contest judges.

Implementing Alternative Fuels

Seattle was an early adopter of biodiesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) and is currently negotiating a long-term contract for more than 1 million annual gallons of B-20 biodiesel derived from waste vegetable oil. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified waste vegetable oil biodiesel as the lowest carbon-intense transportation fuel for diesel vehicles. The City is also investing in using electricity as a transportation fuel, a viable, low-carbon option for fleet operations.

Utilizing Advanced Technology Vehicles

Seattle operates 569 gas/electric hybrid vehicles and 12 diesel/electric medium-duty work trucks. The City is also currently installing the charging infrastructure to support the largest municipal all-electric motor pool fleet, which will consist of 26 Nissan Leaf vehicles. In addition, electric drivetrains are used in material handling equipment, campus maintenance equipment, utility meter reading, and parking enforcement.

Standardizing Fuel Reduction Policies

The City's Green Fleet Action Plan has guided fleet decisions since 2003. The City also has operational policies - idling, downsizing, right-sizing, and weight limitations - that set standards for fleet size and operator expectations. These policies and plans have resulted in the reduction of more than 100,000 gallons of fuel in four of the City's largest departments since 2008.

Increasing Operational Efficiencies

One of the unique features of the City's Green Fleet program is that the Green Fleet coordinator helps City departments evaluate how to deliver services more efficiently. Analyzing how a department delivers service provides great opportunities for fuel reduction, downsizing, and right-sizing of the fleet.

Promoting Education and Outreach

Information exchange is the hallmark of any successful program and to ensure employees stay informed, the City publishes a semi-annual Green Fleet newsletter and holds bi-monthly departmental fleet coordinator meetings. Fleet coordinators are representatives of the six largest City departments and are tasked with keeping departmental staff knowledgeable about Green Fleet efforts.



Click here for a complete list of the 40 government green fleets.


About the Author
Chris Wiley is Green Fleet coordinator for the City of Seattle. He can be reached at
[email protected].

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Grants & Subsidies

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Find your closest station or plan a route. Locate biodiesel, electric, ethanol, hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified natural gas (LNG), and propane across America.

Start Your Search


Market Trends

Mike Antich
Fleet Strategies to Improve OTD for Upfit Units

By Mike Antich
With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck and van segments – particularly among utilities and service industries – the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Upfitters are feeling the pressure of increased demand. In recent years, the huge influxes of vehicles needing upfitting have left some upfitters, at times, overwhelmed.

Six Technology Trends that will Change the Trajectory of Fleet Management

By Mike Antich

Driving Notes

Chris Wolski
2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD

By Chris Wolski
During the lead up to the September opening of the State Fair of Texas, I was given the chance to take a preview spin in the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD. It whet my appetite for more.

2017 Volkswagen Passat R-Line

By Thi Dao

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Focusing on the Vehicle Delivery Process

By Sherb Brown
The fleet industry is evolving at an ever-increasing pace, but the one area that hasn’t evolved and never seems to improve is the actual vehicle delivery process. It would seem to be the easiest part of the whole business, but it is the one area that everyone struggles with.

Game-Planning for the Fleet Technology Expo

By Sherb Brown

Fuel for Thought

Joe Thompson
School Buses Graduate to Alternative Fuels

By Joe Thompson
What “little thing” in your product or service might change everything?

Can Sheep Keep Secrets?

By Joe Thompson