County CNG Vehicle Fleet Continues to Expand With First-in-Wisconsin CNG Snowplow
February 14, 2014
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858.
County Also Moves Forward on Exploration of Full Vehicle Fleet
Conversion to Cheaper, Cleaner, CNG
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi unveiled the newest addition to the county’s growing fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles today – a cutting-edge snow plow that runs exclusively on the cheaper, cleaner, fuel. Dane County is the first to pilot the new equipment in Wisconsin.
The County Executive also detailed next steps the county will take to create a road map for conversion of its vehicle fleet to run on CNG by 2023. The county’s current CNG use has helped achieve fuel and maintenance cost savings – a nice valentine for Dane County’s taxpayers.
The average county plow consumes 2,400 gallons of diesel fuel per year. The renewable CNG the county generates from decaying garbage at its Rodefeld landfill costs the county the gasoline equivalent of $1.25 a gallon. With diesel prices topping off at nearly $4 a gallon locally, that amounts to over $6,000 in fuel savings per CNG plow per year.
“The county’s fleet of snow plows has gotten a real workout this winter and this new CNG technology holds great promise for reducing fuel and maintenance costs,” said Parisi. “By using more of the cheaper, cleaner, renewable CNG that we make right here in Dane County at our landfill we’re making an investment that makes sense for taxpayers and the environment.”
The 2014 county budget invested $2.3 million to acquire 13 new CNG vehicles to replace aging vehicles in the fleet, including 8 snow plows. The county currently has 30 CNG vehicles in its fleet.
The county’s switch to CNG has offset the use of approximately 25,000 gallons of diesel and gasoline, saving county taxpayers roughly $50,000 annually. These savings continue to grow as more CNG vehicles are added to the county’s vehicle fleet.
Because CNG burns so cleanly, natural gas vehicles cost less to maintain as well. CNG vehicles show significantly less engine wear, spark plugs last longer, and oil changes are needed less frequently.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CNG reduces carbon monoxide by 90 percent, ground-level ozone emissions by 75 percent, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent. It produces little or no fine particle pollution.
The County Executive also announced that, pending final approval by the Dane County Board, advising and accounting firm Baker Tilly will be awarded a contract to help the county develop a roadmap for expanded CNG use throughout county operations.
The strategic plan will assess the possibilityof converting the county’s entire fleet to CNG vehicles in the next 10 years, taking into consideration fueling station infrastructure; vehicle and equipment maintenance; staff training; and other costs.
The CNG expansion plan is anticipated in August.
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