Study Gives Canadian City Path to Reduce GHG Emissions

by | Sep 7, 2006

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If you’d like some insight into how cities are grappling with alternative energy sources for city vehicles and operations, a recent study concluded that Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest city with a population of more than 700,000, could reduce GHG emissions by downsizing some of its fleet vehicles and converting to fuel efficient or hybrid electric vehicles. The study also recommends purchasing biodiesel fuel to reach the city’s corporate operations emissions reduction target.

City fleets reviewed in the study included vehicles no larger than three quarters of a ton used by transit, recreation and parks, fire and emergency services, parking enforcement and corporate services, as well as the personal vehicles of city employees used for city business. 

Mississauga looked at opportunities of assigning the right size of vehicles to specific job functions and converting vehicles to fuel efficient or hybrid electric vehicles where possible. Of the 211 vehicles considered, 113 (or 54 per cent) were identified for downsizing and converting to smaller, fuel efficient vehicles.

The city is also considering purchasing  biodiesel B5 grade if the price is at or below the 2006 diesel price.

The study found that approximately 548 tonnes of GHG emissions can be reduced by converting the 113 vehicles over a five-year replacement schedule.  Through the purchase of B5 grade biodiesel for city fleets, about 97 tonnes of GHGs can be reduced.  An additional 1,538 tonnes can be reduced by using B5 biodiesel for fueling Mississauga Transit buses. 

By right-sizing the corporate fleet and transit small fleet, a net reduction of approximately $227,000 could be realized over the course of the five-year replacement program.  There would be a cumulative savings of approximately $446,000 in fuel costs, based on the current cost per litre for the corporate fleet and transit small fleet.  After the five-year replacement program is completed, ongoing annual savings were estimated at $125,000. 

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