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
Increased Demand and Rail Delays Create Upfitter Logjam in MY-2015

By Mike Antich
One challenge for both the 2015- and 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity constraints. 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.

High-Roof Vans Causing OTD Delays

By Mike Antich

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
2015 Lincoln MKC 2.0L FWD

By Paul Clinton
Lincoln offers the MKC in several configurations. We tested the model powered by the 2.0-liter inline-four EcoBoost engine that delivers its 240 hp via a 6-speed automatic transmission.

2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

By Mike Antich

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
The Fleet Manager Is Still Here to Stay

By Sherb Brown
Fleet management will always be a critical role in any business or public entity that relies on vehicles regardless of the title of the person making the decisions.

Merger Mania Hits Fleet Market, Again

By Sherb Brown

Fuel for Thought

Joe Thompson
Solar System or Silos? Your Company May Need Both

By Joe Thompson
In his book, “Accelerate (XLR8),” business expert John Kotter likens the structure of start-up companies to a solar system or a molecule, in which “the entrepreneur is at the center and staff members revolve around that leader in a network.”

Find and Ignite Your Workplace Passion

By Joe Thompson