Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 13.3

GreenStep City Best Practices Transportation
Efficient City Fleets No. 13

Implement a city fleet investment, operations and maintenance plan.

Best Practice Action 3

Phase-in operational changes, equipment changes including electric vehicles, and no-idling practices for city or local transit fleets.

  • See extensive resources from Drive Electric Minnesota, under the Communities tab, where resources were developed in concert with over two dozen GreenStep cities participating in the 2018 Cities Charging Ahead initiative. 
  • The City of Elk River's Green City Fleet Guide (2016) focuses on electric vehicles, covering financial and other benefits, a list of EVs on the market, global fleet trends, and a short fleet survey done in about two dozen Minnesota cities.
  • MPCA anti-idling resources, including model policies and educational materials.
  • The Fleet Management Tools for Local Agencies (MN Local Road Research Board: 2018) is a guidebook to help cities, counties choose tools for managing fleets. Also see action 2 resources for equipment and fuel decision and management tools.
  • Policies and strategies to promote and integrate electric vehicles into Portland, Oregon's transportation system, from a 2010 city council resolution and report.
1 star Monitor fuel usage and costs on a regular basis to assess vehicle efficiency; report data to fleet managers and users; implement maintenance schedules that optimize vehicle life and fuel efficiency; replace solvent-based vehicle parts washing with aqueous-based; adopt a no-idling policy/practice or conduct training for more efficient driving. Report small electric utility vehicles and vehicle right-sizing under action 13.2
2 star Achieve a 1-Star rating and complete one or more of: (a) replace at least one vehicle with a plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle (and add fueling stations as needed); (b) replace vehicles (and add fueling stations as needed) with ones using lower-carbon fuels (ethanol flexfuel, compressed natural gas, straight vegetable oil, biodiesel above the State-mandated 5%, other advanced biofuels); (c) adopt an EV purchasing plan.
3 star Achieve a 1-Star rating and complete one or more of: (a) replace a medium to heavy-duty fleet vehicle with a plug-in hybrid or all-electric model, (b) replace 50% of the light-duty vehicle fleet with comparable all-electric or plug-in hybrid models, (c) install an EV charging station powered with onsite renewable generation (or purchase renewable electricity for EV charging). Report EV charging stations that the public can use under best practice action 23.5

Who's doing it

Burnsville - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
When considering fuel efficiency, the City of Burnsville's Fleet Manager monitors fuel usage and cost on a monthly basis, and follow's a regular maintenance schedule according to the vehicle's manufacturer to optimize vehicle life and fuel efficiency. In order to ensure that fuel efficient cars are utilized optimally, staff that drive the hybrid Toyota Prius vehicles are required to attend a training held by Burnsville's Fleet Manager. The City is also in the process of implementing a no-idling policy; it will be fully instated within the next 6 months. Lower-carbon emitting fuels are used when financially feasible; the city has installed an E-85 pumping station that 52 vehicles in it's fleet are equipped to run on. Originally, all of these vehicles regularly re-fueled with E85, but over the past year the price of E85 has jumped tremendously, and less vehicles utilize this fuel. The Ice Center has two ice-resurfacing vehicles that run on High Pressure Natural Gas.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff) | basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us | 952-895-4524
Partners:
Coon Rapids - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Coon Rapids currently has a policy that staff is not to park and idle engines. There had been discussion of installing automatic idle shut offs in all trucks and heavy equipment if the policy is not effective enough. City Park equipment including an athletic field striper was updated from gas to battery powered to be more efficient.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Gregg Engle (City staff) | gengle@coonrapidsmn.gov | 763-767-6552
Partners:
Eden Prairie - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has a no idling policy and provides training to employees on best operating practices for more efficient driving.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Tania Mahtani (City staff) | tmahtani@edenprairie.org | 952-949-8413
Partners:
Golden Valley - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Staff take a proactive approach and have regular preventative maintenance done at set intervals, depending on the classification of the vehicles. Staff periodically reviews vehicle fuel usage and costs and have found that regular oil changes and fuel additives help to optimize the fleet’s fuel efficiency and extend vehicle life.
In 2013, public works staff reviewed its snowplowing zones and routes for streets and sidewalks in order to optimize fuel and labor efficiencies. In addition, the City purchased GPS (global positioning system)/AVL (automatic vehicle location) technology and installed it in all snow removal equipment. These actions have resulted in improved efficiency in operations, and a reduction in fuel usage and the application of chemicals (salt).
Golden Valley City Council adopted a no-idling policy for City staff in 2008. The Golden Valley Police Department is exploring options for squad car computer systems that would allow for reduced idling.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City has 22 vehicles that are E85 compatible.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Marshall Beugen (City staff) | mbeugen@goldenvalleymn.gov | 763-593-8085
Partners:
Maplewood - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Maplewood does monthly monitoring and reporting on city fuel usage and cost through a computerized fuel card that employees use at the city gas pump for vehicles. The city also has regularly scheduled maintenance on their vehicles to optimize vehicle life and efficiency .

Snow plow training is mandatory every other year for staff on vehicle safety and the incorporation of the no-idling policy. City vehicles are under a maintenance schedule to help optimize vehicle life, fuel efficiency, and operation. In 2009, Maplewood transitioned from biodiesel B2 to biodiesel B5. In addition, B10 fuel is used during warmer summer months. All fuel used by the city also has an EcoClean additive that increases the efficiency of these biodiesel blends.

The city of Maplewood also purchase a fully electric car (GEM car) in 2009, this vehicle is used to take shorter trips around the city campus and the city at large. In 2011 the City retrofitted two plow trucks with new catalyst mufflers to reduce particulates from emissions.

The Maplewood police department has installed GeoTab fleet telemetry units in all marked police cars. These units use GPS to help the city develop policies that maximize driver safety and improve overall monitoring of the fleet. It also increase monitoring capabilities of system data which can lead to things like vehicle idling, a common waste of fuel and creator of CO2 emissions.

Since 2011 the city has converted three pieces of equipment (2 Bobcats and 1 mower) to EPA Tier 4 emissions compliant equipment.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Scott Schultz (City staff) | scott.schultz@ci.maplewood.mn.us | (651) 249-2430
Partners:
Rochester - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
d. Alternative fuel vehicles. [?]
Rochesters bus fleet have recently been retrofitted with new diesel technology, which allows them to run b5% biodiesel. Which puts out nearly zero emissions.
e. Charging stations (solar or wind powered) for plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles.
Rochester currently has 3 Charging stations, one is located at Rochester Public Utilities, the other 2 are located in parking garages downtown.
f. Lower-carbon fuels (such as biodiesel above the State-mandated 5%, straight vegetable oil) using a life-cycle calculation. See point D.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Tony Benson (City staff) | tbenson@rpu.org | 507-280-1534
Partners:
Saint Cloud - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Since 2008, the Public Services Department has been tracking and assessing the carbon footprint of operations by tabulating energy consumption by fuel type and associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Included are offsets related to power generation at the Hydroelectric Facility, and bio-solids recycling. In 2009, carbon offsets exceeded carbon emissions by a factor of three to one. Also, an oil analysis program exists to extend engine oil drain interval and monitor the wear condition of large truck engines. All City vehicles and equipment undergo monthly preventative maintenance, and are included in the equipment maintenance consolidation effort to reduce equipment inventory and share across departments. The City has a no-idling policy requiring vehicles to be shut off during non-mobile work activities such as loading.

Through community partnerships, the St. Cloud Metro Bus is home to the nations first public bus powered by recycled vegetable oil coming directly from St. Cloud State Universitys on-campus dining, saving an estimated $2.30 per gallon.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff) | elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us | 320-255-7226
Partners:
Saint Paul - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Saint Paul has a no idling policy and several of the large trucks do have idle shut down systems installed. The City continues to evaluate electric and other drive systems which may be added to the four electric drive vehicles which have been placed into service since over the past four years.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Partners:
Woodbury - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City’s Vehicle Purchasing Values (AD-ADMIN-1.14) directive lists as one of its goals, “Encouraging an expansion in the number of hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles purchased and maintained by the City.” The City also has a No Idling Policy (AD-ADMIN-1.15) for vehicles (outside of public safety) that states, among other things, that “idling for more than 30 seconds without vehicle movement is prohibited.” (Attach No Idling Policy)

The city uses vehicle maintenance software to ensure that each vehicle in the fleet is serviced at least two times each year, to optimize vehicle life and fuel efficiency. City staff monitors monthly fuel use and miles per gallon for vehicles within each department. Fuel use and MPG are tracked using a fuel card at city pumps. Fuel and MPG data is available for several years and is compared annually to ensure that the total efficiency of the fleet continues to increase.

The city fleet includes 2 hybrids, 4 electric vehicles for parks maintenance, and 33 vehicles that use E85. In 2013, an electric vehicle was purchased for Eagle Valley Golf Course, with help from an MPCA grant.

The City’s Vehicle Purchasing Values (AD-ADMIN-1.14) directive lists as one of its goals, “Encouraging an expansion in the number of hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles purchased and maintained by the City.” The City also has a No Idling Policy (AD-ADMIN-1.15) for vehicles (outside of public safety) that states, among other things, that “idling for more than 30 seconds without vehicle movement is prohibited.”
Outcome measures/metrics:
The city's Public Safety Department was remodeled and expanded in 2011. The project included the addition of a parking garage for public safety vehicles. Since the vehicles previously idled for long periods to keep computer and medical equipment from freezing, the garage eliminated the need for continuous idling. Fuel use averaged throughout the year has resulted in a savings of 1,100 gallons of fuel each month.

Adding the electric vehicle to the fleet at Eagle Valley Golf Course is expected to save approximately $1,470 in fuel costs per year, in addition to the cost of one oil change per month. According to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Calculator on the EPA website, the addition of this vehicle will result in a reduction of 19.6 lbs of CO2 per gallon of gasoline saved - approximately 200 to 300 lbs CO2 per week during the season; or between 7,800 to 11,700 lbs CO2 per year (based on seasonal).
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff) | jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us | 651-714-3522
Partners: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Apple Valley - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Supervisors monitor vehicle fuel use, staff discussions discourage vehicle idling and newer vehicles have anti-idling controls, and staff monitor and adjust maintenance schedules for optimum efficiency.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff) | CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us | 952-953-2508
Partners:
Austin - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Each department monitors and tracks the number of gallons of fuel used and is reported to finance dept. Street dept. plows and dump trucks are set up to automatically turn off after 10-12 min of idling. Oil changes are set at 5,000-7,000 and 3,000-4,000 miles for diesel engines in Park & Rec dept. Tire pressure, change filters, & other maintenance to be monitored on weekly basis by primary operators. Currently purchasing Tier 4 Diesel vehicles- more fuel efficient
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer) | janetanderson2840@gmail.com | 5072190680
Partners: Finance, Engineering, Central Garage/Park & Rec
Eagan - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Current monthly fuel usage for each City vehicle is monitored and reported.

All Eagan employees are subjected to the 'no idling policy'. All unattended vehicle must be shut off.

Eagan follows the manufacturer's recommendations for preventative maintenance. Gas mileage is also tracked and documented to make necessary corrections as the results decline. The City uses a Vehicle Conditioning Index to maximize usage of vehicles before they are replaced.

The City has a pilot program underway in which two hybrid vehicles have been purchased to monitor effectiveness and cost-saving potential.

Mandated biodiesel state requirement of 5% (B5).

The City has downsized numerous vehicles to gain better fuel efficiency. For example, the fire department has replaced large, SUVs with smaller, Ford Escapes, which provide enough room for necessary equipment, while increasing fuel economy.

bicycle utilization for property and trail maintenance crews. Police Explorers also use bicycles on occassion in City parks.

3.e and 3.h not complete
Outcome measures/metrics:
Mandated biodiesel state requirement of 5%
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Tom Colbert (City staff) | tcolbert@cityofeagan.com | (651) 675-5635
Partners:
Farmington - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
2) The City has a monthly program monitoring and reporting fuel usage and costs.
3c) The City also has a maintenance schedule to insure that the City fleet optimizes vehicle life and fuel efficiency.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City fleet runs more efficiently through this reporting.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff) | akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us | 651-280-6820
Partners:
Fergus Falls - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The stoplights in the downtown area go into a blinking mode at night to help with idling of vehicles. The Police Department and Public Works Departments each have no-idling policies. In November there is a planned grand opening of the Compressed Natural Gas facility in the City of Fergus Falls.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff) | len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us | 218-332-5418
Partners:
Hastings - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Dakota County Fleet Management; downsized/more efficient vehicles
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Melanie Mesko-Lee (City staff) | mmesko_lee@hastingsmn.gov | 651-480-2326
Partners:
Hopkins - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Hopkins currently monitors the Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments' fuel usage and costs. There is monthly maintenance scheduled on all City vehicles.

There are two designated electric car permit stalls with electrical outlets located in the public downtown parking ramp.

In addition, bicycles are made available for city inspectors.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Chuck Autio (City staff) | Cautio@hopkinsmn.com | 952-548-6378
Partners:
Mankato - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Citys Central Garage has implemented and adheres to a regular maintenance schedule for all City vehicles and equipment, which keeps them running as efficiently as possible while maximizing their lifespan and minimizing repair costs.

The Department of Public Safety has purchased and utilizes two 3-wheeled electric vehicles for patrol and security purposes, as well as one fuel-efficient Suzuki mini-truck for park patrol and emergency use. Public Safety has transitioned to mroe fuel-efficient squad vehicles (Fort Police Utility and Taurus sedans)due in part to greater fuel-efficiency over competitors.

The City has adopted a "no idling" policy for all City employees and vehicles, in order to reduce emissions and fuel costs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
Partners:
Minnetonka - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
By monitoring required fuel logs and mileage, staff is able to monitor vehicle idling. This information is used to educate employees about the important of reducing the idle times of city fleet vehicles. When decreased fuel mileage suggests an increase in average idle time, staff is re-educated. The city also uses a maintenance program to optimize fuel efficiency and vehicle life.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Drew Ingvalson (City staff) | dingvalson@eminnetonka.com | 952-939-8293
Partners:
New Hope - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
From 2011-2012, the city replaced 3 inefficient inspectors vehicles with energy-efficient Ford Fusion cars.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff) | jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us | 763-531-5119
Partners:
Oakdale - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City fleet fuel usage and costs are monitored on a monthly basis. All vehicles receive regular maintenance from in-house maintenance facility. All drivers practice efficient driving techniques and are encourage to not leave any vehicle idle.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jen Hassebroek (City staff) | jen.hassebroek@ci.oakdale.mn.us | 651-730-2723
Partners:
Richfield - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has AVL (automatic vehicle locator) technology on 85% of its fleet. AVL monitors idle time and records indicate idling is not a significant problem. City efforts include: a) Monthly monitoring and reporting for staff on fuel usage and costs. b) Training for more efficient driving, including anti-idling behavior/rules. c) Maintenance schedules that optimize vehicle life and fuel efficiency. d) Installed electric power feedpoint in employee parking area at City Hall. e) Currently using B-10 diesel fuel. g) Purchasing 2 electric vehicles in 2019.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Chris Link (City staff) | clink@richfieldmn.gov | 6128619174
Partners:
Roseville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has a no-idling practice in place for city vehicles.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff) | Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com | 651-792-7049
Partners:
Saint Anthony - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of St. Anthony monthly monitors and reports on fuel usage and costs, conducts training to improve driving efficiency, and utilizes Police Department bike patrols. The City provides satellite parking locations for Hennepin County vehicles to reduce trips, fuel, and carbon.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Reducting in fuel consumption.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jay Hartman (City staff) | jay.hartman@ci.saint-anthony.mn.us | 612-782-3314
Partners:
Sherburn - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Sherburn currently monitors the EMS/Fire and Public Works Departments' fuel usage and costs. There is monthly maintenance scheduled on all City vehicles. On March 2, 2015, we passed Resolution 2015-5: Adopting a "no idling" policy for all City employees and vehicles, in order to reduce emissions and fuel costs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Kym Christiansen (City staff) | kym.christiansen@cityofsherburn.com | 507-764-4491
Partners:
White Bear Lake - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
All City vehicle fuel consumption and associated costs is monitored and tracked in a spreadsheet shared with all City staff. Vehicle mileage is also tracked weekly, ensuring oil changes are kept up to date. All vehicle repairs are also tracked in this same spreadsheet. All of this information is shared with the fleet manager, and users of the vehicles.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Connie Taillon (City staff) | ctaillon@whitebearlake.org | 651-429-8564
Partners: