SALT LAKE CITY – As gasoline prices continue to skyrocket, more cities are going green, according to www.sltrib.com.
Costly fill-ups have convinced cities such as Draper and West Valley City to look at compressed natural gas and hybrid vehicles, respectively. Those technologies already have helped the State of Utah and several of the state’s cities clean up the environment and save some of their taxpayers’ money in the process.
Salt Lake City, South Jordan, Midvale, and Murray are just a few examples of cities that have been utilizing alternative fuels.
Forty cars in Salt Lake City’s 1,000-plus vehicle fleet are hybrids or run on CNG, which sells for about 80 cents per gallon. Meanwhile, all its heavy equipment and diesel-powered vehicles use biodiesel. They’ve also switched to smaller cars.
Like Salt Lake City, South Jordan uses biodiesel in much of its equipment, including about 58 vehicles. And the City is ready to purchase natural-gas vehicles — or do natural-gas retrofits — when it gets a fueling station in its public-works yard.
Midvale has used biodiesel for two years with about 10 pieces of fire equipment, 10 dump trucks, tractors, and a few smaller vehicles. It also runs one senior-citizen bus on natural gas and is looking at using fully electric cars for meter readers and inspectors. And Murray’s Power Department has used four Toyota Prius hybrids during the past few years. The city is looking at the costs of moving toward CNG, since it has a filling station.
West Valley City just bought hybrids and is considering purchasing more. The city says the fuel savings through the car’s service life will far outweigh the purchasing costs. And Riverton is increasing its mileage and decreasing its fuel costs by downgrading its 70-vehicle fleet from four-wheel-drive and eight-cylinder engines.