Green Fleets Successes
“Smart operators need to become more efficient. By using new technologies that both cut fuel costs and help the environment, we know we’re on the right track.”
- Don Coe, President, Glencoe Transportation
Demonstration projects in fleets are valuable for testing new transportation technologies and practices. Some of the 2007-2009 work of the Fraser Basin Council — through its Green Fleets BC program — are profiled here to show what's possible.
For well over a decade, climate change action has been a top priority for the Fraser Basin Council, particularly our work on green transportation
Under the “Green Fleets BC” banner, the Council has helped a variety of fleets introduce green technologies, tools and practices. Between 2007 and 2009, Green Fleets BC worked with trucking, utility, urban delivery, courier and government fleets, as well as port terminals. In all, 136 fleets participated, achieving important emissions reductions – an estimated 23,200 tonnes of greenhouse gases, 150 tonnes of NOx and three tonnes of PM2.5.
Green Fleets BC
Green Fleets BC worked with the BC Trucking Association over a two-year period to help progressive trucking fleets in their bid to green up. Managed by the Fraser Basin Council and funded by the BC Ministry of Environment, Green Fleets BC offered education and incentives to encourage BC fleets to pilot new technologies and practices. It was a perfect opportunity for the fleets to increase fuel efficiency, improve worker health and cut smog and greenhouse gas emissions. In short, to show leadership to their sector, community and clients.
Green Fleets rolls out enviroTruck
Beginning in 2007, Green Fleets BC helped fleets roll out over 140 “enviroTrucks” and trailers on BC roads. Fleet managers in the pilot project reported up to 30% improvement in fuel economy.
An enviroTruck is a Class 7 or 8 heavy-duty vehicle, featuring a newer model diesel engine that reduces particulate matter by 90% and smog-forming nitrous oxide particles by 45%. Unique add-on features on an enviroTruck are designed to save fuel and drive down emissions even further. These include:
- Modern auxiliary power units designed to reduce idling time and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 13.5 tonnes per truck per year;
- Speed limiters that prevent the truck from going over a pre-set speed limit to decrease fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
- Aerodynamic improvements expected to result in an annual per truck and trailer reduction of 17.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Interested in learning more?
Fleet Managers Network
Green Fleets BC hosted a fleet managers network to help managers learn about green technologies and practices (including biofuels, fuel data collection, electric vehicle options and fuel-efficient driving practices) and to share their own experiences and strategies.
The network proved popular, and the members enthusiastic. So enthusiastic that a number worked together on a common specification for Class 7 medium-duty hybrid trucks, for purchase by their fleets.
Medium-Duty Hybrid Trucks
Light-duty hybrid cars are now recognized as commercially viable for many fleets. Medium-duty hybrid trucks, on the other hand, are just still gaining profile.
Green Fleets BC identified benefits of medium-duty hybrid trucks and worked with eight fleets ready to pilot the vehicles. Medium duty trucks include urban food and beverage delivery vehicles, bucket trucks used by municipalities and utilities for aerial work, and urban recycling pick-up trucks. The participants were Metro Vancouver, City of Richmond, UBC, City of Vancouver, BC Hydro, Canadian Springs, Fraser Valley Regional Library and Urban Impact Recycling.
The program also assisted R&B Trucking of Victoria to convert a Class 5 refrigerated delivery truck with a diesel engine into a diesel-electric hybrid, saving an estimated 35% in fuel costs and 20 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions. Read more.
Idle Free BC
Idle Free BC was an outreach partnership initiative of the Fraser Basin Council, designed to create awareness of the economic, environmental and health costs of idling, and to encourage idling reduction programs.
Over 70 fleets and communities joined Idle free BC, with measurable results. The City of Williams Lake, for example, saved 20% on the cost of fuel in its fleet and additional savings on the cost of maintenance. For information on idling reduction and community experiences, visit the Idle Free BC website.
By the mid-2000s there was a pressing need in public and private sector organizations across Western Canada for reliable information on alternative fuels. Fleet managers wanted to learn about biodiesel in particular, and how to safely introduce the fuel in their fleets of on-road vehicles and off-road equipment.
To meet the need, the Fraser Basin Council created and launched Biofleet. The program offered educational workshops, materials, videos and data on biodiesel, offered opportunities and incentives for fleets to participate in biodiesel demonstration projects, and documented on-the-road experiences of early adopters.
The work was possible thanks to the partnership contributions of municipalities, companies, fuel suppliers and funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada. The Fraser Basin Council worked with other non-profit organizations in each of the four western provinces to deliver the program.
For a look at the Biofleet case studies from this project, visit the publications archive on the new Biofleet website, now hosted by Climate Change Central.
Also see profiles on the Langley Fire Department, Wilson Transportation and TSI Terminal Systems.
The Hybrid Experience Report (2004)
In 2004 the Fraser Basin Council issued a report on the real-world performance of 100 hybrid vehicles.
The Hybrid Experience Report (2004) [Link to hybrid_experience_report_2004.pdf once available] came at a pivotal point in the history of hybrids. At that time, many fleet managers were keen to understand hybrid technology and its benefits and how hybrid vehicles performed over time.
The report found that hybrids “well-suited to stop-and-go applications like urban commuting, taxis, and couriers.” The hybrids under review were of different makes and models. All featured an internal combustion engine of a conventional vehicle with a rechargeable battery and electric motor.
The report documented lower fuel costs and reductions in air pollution, and some operators saw up to 60% in fuel savings over previous vehicles. The project website offered easy-to-use calculators to help buyers make choices based on fuel savings, emission reduction, and overall costs. Data was received on other hybrid models between 2005 and 2009.