The Wisconsin Smart Fleet was formed to ID state government and private business vehicle fleets that could benefit from alt-fueled vehicles. Already the project has found 29 participants in different regions of the state, with over 10% of partners located in the city of Oshkosh.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin is home to around 66,000 people, and it can already be considered an early adopter of alternative fueled vehicles. The city already uses compressed natural gas to fuel city garbage and recycling trucks, plus Winnebago County has eight police squad cars that are fueled by propane. Given that the squad cars are propane powered, propane filling stations have been installed on major highways in the area.
The cost benefit of switching to alternatives fuels is already paying off. In 2011 diesel and gasoline cost Oshkosh approximately $900,120. In 2013, the city spent $878,300 on gasoline, diesel, and natural gas. The 2013 projection is expected to fall to $850,000 in 2014. These are substantial savings for a city of this size, and showcase how alt-fuels can really benefit municipalities.
The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has been a strong supporter of the Wisconsin Smart Fleet, and is already home to a growing number of alternative and flex fueled vehicles on their campus. For the University the focus is on spending less money on fuel and lowering the Universities carbon footprint. Lowing the carbon footprint makes the University stand out to environmentally minded students and applicants, and the savings on fuel overtime can be passed on to students and tax payers. It’s also a neat bragging point to bring up at alumni events.
The Wisconsin Smart Fleet project will analyze, provide guidance, and rate vehicle fleets – the less conventional fuel used the better the ranking. By 2015 program is expected be open to all business and towns/cities with fleets larger than three vehicles. The Wisconsin Smart Fleet project has the potential to be a useful template that other states and municipalities can follow as a way to save money on the ever-increasing price of fuel.
Source: Post Crescent
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.