April 1, 2012

Alternative Fuels Save Money in Indy

The improvements we are making to the city's fleet and the savings involved illustrate our commitment to creating a more sustainable, livable community.  

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

The City of Indianapolis is using alternative fuels and advanced vehicles to save taxpayer dollars, lower emissions, and bolster energy security. The city's Department of Public Works (DPW) and Office of Sustainability recently joined with the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition (GICCC) to detail a host of fleet-efficiency measures.

In December, the city received the final vehicle in a $1.75 million project to retrofit eight DPW Ford F-150 trucks with dedicated propane systems, convert 11 sheriff's department prisoner transport vans to bi-fuel propane systems, and purchase 25 Ford Fusion hybrids. The project was made possible with $1.43 million in city funding and $318,000 in Recovery Act funds. The propane conversions were performed through Pearson Ford, a GICCC stakeholder.

"DPW loves the trucks, and the Sheriff's Department is realizing the positive impact of lower fuel costs on its pocketbook right now," GICCC Executive Director Kellie Walsh said.

Estimated lifetime savings from fuel costs and reduced maintenance from the propane conversions will total $15,000 per truck. Fuel savings from the hybrids will also be substantial: The Fusions, which average 30 miles per gallon, replaced Crown Victorias, which averaged 20 miles per gallon. The city is also realizing savings from three propane mowers, funded separately from the Recovery Act project.

"The improvements we are making to the city's fleet and the savings involved illustrate our commitment to creating a more sustainable, livable community," Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said.

Project at a Glance
Fuels and Technologies: Propane, Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Motivation: Emissions reductions, energy security, cost savings

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