Grand Rapids Continuing to Expand its Clean Fleet with CNG, Hybrids


The City of Grand Rapids, Mich., recently accepted a $1.44 million grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Fuel Transformation Program and Volkswagen State Mitigation Trust for city fleet vehicle replacement, allowing the Facilities and Fleet Management Department to replace 12 vehicles with new compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel vehicles.

Six pre-2008 diesel dump trucks with underbody scrapers will be replaced with six new, more efficient diesel dump trucks; two diesel broom-type right-side sweepers will be replaced with a CNG sweeper and a hybrid electric/CNG sweeper; and four diesel refuse trucks will be replaced with four CNG refuse trucks.

With the new purchases, the city’s eco-friendly fleet will be enhanced to include a total of seven electric, six hybrid/electric, 77 hybrid/gas and nine CNG vehicles.

“The newer diesel emission equipped dump/plow trucks will reduce diesel particulates and nitrogen oxide emissions released into the atmosphere by up to 98 percent over the older diesel vehicles,” says Steve Prins, acting director of facilities and fleet management. “These, along with the new CNG refuse trucks and hybrid sweeper, will help reduce the city’s carbon footprint, improve air quality and mitigate climate change.”

The city’s Facilities and Fleet Management Department has been tracking the emissions from its operations since 2008, and it is in the final stages of the creation of its first emissions reduction goals. In 2020, the city’s fleet fuel consumption accounted for 11% of the total emissions for municipal operations. Emissions from the city’s fleet were the second largest emissions source in 2020.

Diesel and gasoline accounted for 56% and 38% of the total fleet emissions, respectively, while CNG accounted for 6%.

The grant covers approximately 40% of the cost of the new vehicles and requires a match not to exceed just under $2.3 million, paid by the city’s Motor Equipment Fund.

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