Location: Orlando, FL
Fleet Type: Public Sector Fleet Includes all City Vehicle Asset Classes

 

 

Narrative

The City of Orlando has become a leader in clean fuels utilization, especially vehicle electrification, not by accident, but by design. The three pillars of all things sustainable with the City of Orlando Fleet are Green Works Orlando, augmented by membership and collaboration with Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition and Drive Electric Florida.

Green Works Orlando, created in October of 2007, is the foundational rock for the City of Orlando’s sustainability plan, and continues to evolve and guide the city on its sustainable path. Membership in Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition (CFLCCC) and Drive Electric Florida (DEFL) has played an integral part in the success of the Orlando Fleet’s transition to clean fuels. Access to knowledge and technologies through this collaboration has expanded opportunities for piloting cutting edge technologies and accelerating their sustainable fleet journey. Currently, the City of Orlando’s Fleet hovers between 92% and 96% of all fleet assets operating with alternative fuels and are well on track to meet their 100% commitment by 2030.

The knowledge base and statistics available through CFLCCC and DEFL provided indisputable facts for the City of Orlando to consider new technologies, vehicle assets, fueling solutions and future growth planning. The City of Orlando’s Fleet first engaged with CFLCCC in 2011, and has never looked back. Participation with CFLCCC and now DEFL has resulted in the City of Orlando fleet operations, to incorporate every current alternative fuel and energy source except for hydrogen, which is now actively under evaluation.

The current City of Orlando Fleet makeup represents upwards of one hundred Low Speed Electric Vehicles, Ford Escape Hybrids, Nissan Leaf’s with bi-directional charging capabilities, Ford Focus C-Max, Chevy Volts, Chevy Bolts, Ford Fusion Hybrids, Ford Explorer Hybrids, Ford F-150 Lightnings, Ford E-Transits, Toyota Camry Hybrids, Zero Motorcycles, Orange EV Yard Dogs, and one-hundred twenty-seven CNG powered HD vehicles including the entire Solid Waste Fleet.

Outputs and Outcomes

As the City of Orlando’s Fleet continues to evolve, they do not anticipate stopping once they achieve the original 2030 Goal of running the entire fleet on 100% Alternative Fuels. Their continued reduction in diesel and gasoline consumption is an ever present and constant effort. City policies associated with fleet asset acquisition through the purchasing process have adopted language supporting a more rapid transition to alternative fuels. The city’s average light duty replacement cycle is seven years and prior to the requisition for a replacement, a detailed evaluation of the planned asset’s mission is considered to determine the best replacement option in support of sustainability and the 2030 Goal.

Fleet leadership played a significant role in assisting the local mass transit provider, LYNX, transition its fleet of buses to all electric and just recently supported the deployment of two autonomous electric BEEP Shuttles downtown.

The City has gone further by investing in acquisition and placement of one hundred dual port public facing level two charging stations, to support public transition to electrification. Every step they take, they consider GHG emission reductions from vehicle replacement and further progress towards climate impact reduction goals, while increased constituent adoption of EVs support similar accomplishments.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

Taking the necessary actions to reverse the effects of climate change cannot take place in a vacuum and consequently the City’s involvement with CFLCCC and DEFL has and will continue to be a bi-directional and complementary relationship.

One of the best practices implemented by the city was to take the vehicle procurement decision out of the hands of the end user. The fleet department does an in-depth study of the user’s mission to determine the best vehicle, and then automates the requisition process. The city has found Workday to be an effective tool for this purpose as it requires the user to justify why they can’t select an EV. Workday automatically determines which alternative fuel technology will serve the user best. Since the fleet department is aligned with the City’s Chief Financial Officer, they have been able to readily address fiscal issues. So, any incremental cost needed to accommodate the purchase of an electric vehicle comes out of a separate fund, rather that the user’s department budget.

Since range anxiety is the biggest concern with the city’s fleet vehicle end-users, giving them the opportunity to drive plug-in hybrids has allayed those fears, allowing the drivers to acclimate to the technology. Driver acceptance is critical since the City’s goal is to run the entire fleet on renewable fuels by 2030. While this goal does include alternative fuels, the city expects EVs will represent 35-40% of total, along with hybrids (30%), with CNG and LPG fueling the mid- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles. The goal is driven by the desire for energy independence, to have an energy source that does not rely upon foreign oil or liquefied petroleum products, and to have an electrified fleet that is powered by sustainable electricity.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to David Dunn, Manager of the City of Orlando Facilities Management Division for his long-time support of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition.

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Orlando Fleet Story

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