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Greening Municipal Fleets

Reducing fuel consumption by municipal vehicles is one way that Massachusetts cities and towns can save money, while also helping the environment.  However, reducing fuel usage can be challenging.  Vehicle fuel consumption on average represents ~20% of total municipal energy usage for cities and towns involved in the MA DOER Green Communities program, but vehicle fuel usage reductions have only represented 2% of all energy reductions achieved by Green Communities to date.  This issue presents particular challenges for small rural communities, where vehicle fuel usage can account for up to 35% of municipal energy usage.

In order to help municipalities cut costs and achieve greater fuel efficiency, we are conducting research to identify obstacles to fuel use reduction and compiling information regarding how to overcome these challenges. 

Reduce Municipal Fuel Usage in Your Community!

Get started with our Checklist of Strategies to Reduce Municipal Fuel Use.

Then delve into the details of how to implement fuel-efficient strategies and technologies with the resources below:

Fact Sheets

Strategies to Reduce Fuel Usage by Municipal Fleets

Idle Reduction Technology

Telematics Software for Vehicles

Alternative Fuel Vehicles for Municipal Fleets

Hybrid, Hybrid Plug-In, and Battery Electric Vehicles

Buyers Guide

Fuel-Efficient Municipal Vehicles: 2019 Buyers Guide

Funding Sources

Massachusetts Green Community Program - Designated and competitive grants, which can include financing of electric vehicles, electric vehicle infrastructure, and energy conservation measures in vehicles, including idle reduction, vehicle telematics, and hybrid retrofits. 

Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) - An open-enrollment grant program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, providing incentives for the acquisition of electric vehicles, zero-emission electric motorcycles, and the installation of Level 2 dual-port charging stations.

 Volkswagen Diesel Settlements - Funds distributed through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for replacment of older, inefficient diesel equipment and purchase of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

MAPC Green Mobility Group Purchasing Program - A collaboration among MA Department of Energy Resource, MA Operational Services Division and the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission to offer bulk and accelerated time-frame discounts for manufacturer-approved, after-market hybrid electric conversions through XL Hybrids.

Greening Municipal Fleets:  Data Analysis and Report

CAFE Summer Scholar Dugan Becker worked as a member of CEE's Clean Energy Corps to investigate municipal vehicle fuel usage levels, trends, and patterns in rural communities, identify best practices for reducing vehicle fuel usage and its associated costs, and provide practical resources to rural Massachusetts communities seeking to advance vehicle efficiency. His report addresses the transportation‐related issues unique to rural communities by:

  • Identifying the major barriers that frequently prevent rural communities from achieving optimal fuel efficiency in their fleets
  • Pinpointing some of the primary sources of fuel consumption/inefficiency within rural communities
  • Enumerating some of the promising tools and techniques available to communities to assist in their reduction efforts

The full report is available here:

Reducing Municipal Vehicle Fuel Consumption in Rural Massachusetts Communities