Green Operations

Indianapolis, Sacramento Forge Alt-Fuel Pact

May 28, 2014

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (left) and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard are partnering to reduce fuel use. Photo courtesy of City of Indianapolis.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (left) and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard are partnering to reduce fuel use. Photo courtesy of City of Indianapolis.

The mayors of the cities of Indianapolis and Sacramento, Calif., have pledged to work together to reduce the use of petroleum-based fuels in their municipal fleets.

City of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and City of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson signed an agreement on May 21 at the 2014 Electric Drive Transportation Association annual meeting in Indianapolis.

The two cities pledged to establish an aggressive timeline to move away from using petroleum-based fuel, as well as share information about their fleet transitions and best practices, and promote the use and development of post-oil vehicles and technology. The cities will also share experiences in applying for and using federal and state grants to complete their greening projects.

"Light transportation consumes about 40% of our oil," Ballard said. "I am hoping Indy and Sacramento can lead the way, encouraging other cities, states, and companies to take similar action, thereby releasing the chokehold oil plays in our foreign policy."

In 2012, Ballard signed an executive order mandating his city's municipal fleet be powered by post-oil technology by 2025.

Indianapolis is already making gains in the conversion of its fleet. Last year, the City switched to the B-20 biodiesel blend for its heavy-duty trucks. Last month, the City took delivery of the first plug-in hybrid sedans. These sedans are currently being tested in a variety of government agencies.

Another 50 vehicles will arrive later this summer with the goal of transitioning all 425 non-police pursuit sedans to plug-in vehicles by the end of 2015. It is estimated that each vehicle in the "freedom fleet" will save Indianapolis taxpayers $8,000 to $10,000 over the lifespan of the vehicle.

The Sacramento fleet has also made headway in its greening efforts, with more than 20% of the city fleet running on alternative fuels. These include using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable natural gas (RNG) refuse vehices, flex-fuel light-duty sedans and pickup trucks, propane autogas vans and trucks, and plug-in battery electric and hybrid vehicles.

Keith Leech, Sacramento's fleet manager, is scheduled to visit the Indianapolis fleet in June to discuss sharing of best practices and collaboration to promote clean energy technology.

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