A group of large and midsize cities from around the country have launched the Energy Secure Cities Coalition (ESCC), a partnership of communities dedicated to transitioning their municipal fleets from petroleum-fueled vehicles to those powered by alternative fuels, such as electricity and natural gas. Each ESCC city has the potential to improve quality of life for its residents as well as boost its economic competitiveness – regionally and globally – by saving millions of valuable taxpayer dollars over the next decade through the lower fuel and vehicle maintenance costs of alternative fuel vehicles.
The ESCC includes Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis; Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; and West Palm Beach, Fla.
The ESCC plans to grow to at least 25 cities with the goal of taking 50,000 petroleum-powered vehicles off the road, saving 500,000 barrels of oil every year and protecting city budgets from volatile and unpredictable global oil prices, directly influenced by geopolitical instability and conflict. Fleets are some of the largest single fuel consumers in a given city and represent an opportunity to jump-start a community’s effort to reduce its dependence on oil, promote fuel diversity and set an example for other cities across the country to follow.
Atlanta plans to deploy one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) fleets in the U.S., starting with putting 50 EVs and plug-in hybrids to work for the city government. This first step in cutting Atlanta’s dependence on oil will save approximately 550 gallons to 600 gallons of fuel per vehicle every year and reduce maintenance costs by 40%. Atlanta recently signed a deal with Vision Fleet to manage its fleet of plug-in vehicles.
“Technologies like electric and natural gas vehicles safeguard our city budgets from unpredictable oil prices and diversify the fuels that power our fleet,” says former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Together, Energy Secure Cities Coalition members can make a substantial dent in U.S. oil consumption while also leading the nation to greater energy security.”
Ballard’s alternative fuel “Freedom Fleet” served as inspiration behind creating the ESCC. Ballard’s plan to upgrade 425 non-police pursuit sedans to plug-in hybrid and pure EVs would save Indianapolis $8.7 million over 10 years.
The ESCC offers participating cities a network to learn from each other before, during and after the fleet conversion process, participating in a forum in which municipalities can share best practices on communicating their goals, engaging their communities, recognizing obstacles and solving problems. The ESCC is a project of its member cities in collaboration with Securing America’s Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition.