Regional Green Fleets Study

The regional green fleets report, conducted by Memphis Bioworks and Clean Cities of West Tennessee, provides the basis for future sustainability planning in transportation that will improve air quality, increase local fuel security, create green jobs, and stimulate the local economy. By soliciting data from state, county and municipal entities within the Memphis MPO boundary area, fuel usage and vehicle classification statistics could be determined for participating fleets. These data sets enable the use of software to calculate emissions (or estimates in some cases), which revealed that existing government fleets powered by gasoline and diesel contribute significantly to local air quality problems.

Comparing the same fleets running on alternative fuel revealed the potential for dramatic reduction in emissions, especially by replacing older vehicles. In parallel with data collection, this report centered on better understanding the market ready alternative fuels, including fuel prices, incremental costs,  infrastructure costs, and regulatory and technology barriers. The research showed that in specific alternative fuels actually demonstrate little environmental benefit compared to 2014 model year gasoline powered cars and trucks depending on vehicle classification. Research also revealed that other alternative fuels can be up to 50% cheaper in terms of fuel costs than current gasoline and diesel prices, and could cover incremental vehicle costs in 2-5 years. Overall, a broad review of the alternative fuels industry demonstrated that decisions regarding a transition away from gasoline to a particular alternative fuel need to be made on a case by case basis and must take specific vehicle factors and classifications into account.

This report documents a number of insights specific to the Mid-South region for public fleets. It proposes transitioning specific classifications that maintain vehicles of 9 years or older to specific alternative fuels. Across all fleets in the region, the fuel savings that can be attained are illustrated below: For passenger cars, a transition to electric vehicles would lead to fuel savings of over $750,000 annually in the region. For passenger trucks, a transition to CNG would lead to a fuel savings of approximately $500,000 annually in the region. For municipalities operating refuse trucks, a transition to CNG would lead to a fuel savings of $5.9 million annually in the region.