A standing-room only audience attended the opening keynote address on future green vehicle offerings at the Green Fleet Conference, held September 15-16 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Produced by Bobit Business Media, the first-time event drew a greater-than-anticipated 350 attendees, primarily commercial and public sector fleet managers.

In the opening address, Mike Antich, Automotive Fleet editor, presented a "Sneak Preview of Upcoming Green Fleet Vehicles: 2009-2013 Model-Years," covering future production plans for green fleet vehicles by 18 OEMs. His address opened a packed two days of 17 conference sessions. Most sessions offered subject matter experts, including veteran fleet managers, who shared green fleet expertise and best practices with attendees.

Session topics included green fleet cost-cutting strategies, greenhouse gas emission reduction programs, fleet metrics, real-world hybrid fleet operating costs, hybrid vehicle remarketing strategies, AFV lifecycle cost calculations, green fleet funding and incentives, and an examination of the upcoming 2010 diesel emissions standards.

In the second day keynote address, James Bruce, an attorney, engineer, energy and climate change issues consultant, reviewed pending and likely federal environmental-related legislation impacting the transportation and fleet industries.

A panel of fleet management company representatives offered insights to effectively remarket hybrid vehicles. Their advice to fleet managers included tracking used-hybrid vehicle prices weekly and calculating employee sales carefully to reflect green vehicles’ strong resale value to avoid pricing too low. Another important remarketing strategy is to brand fuel-efficient vehicles — those that achieve 27 mpg or greater.

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