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Newsroom

March 08, 2017
Oxford County’s fleet going green

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), anti-idling and electric vehcile (EV) technology are being integrated into the County's fleet of vehicles


Oxford County is shifting towards cleaner burning fuels and electric power in its fleet in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

New technology is being introduced into some of the County’s fleet that will help achieve a projected 6.2% reduction in CO2 emissions this year. The new technology includes:

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles – CNG is the cleanest burning transportation fuel on the market today, producing 20-30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 95% fewer tailpipe emissions than petroleum products. Three of the County’s light trucks have been converted to hybrid Gasoline/Compressed Natural Gas with another 15 to be converted before the end of the year.
  • Dedicated CNG snow plows – In researching the potential for a fully Compressed Natural Gas vehicle, it was determined a tandem snow plow would be the best application. Later this year, Oxford County will become the first municipality in Ontario to have a CNG snow plow that will be clearing County roads next winter season.
  • Anti-idling ambulances – In 2016, Oxford County Paramedic Services piloted anti-idling equipment in two ambulances. The Eco-Run Anti-idling “Stop-start” system shuts down the engine of a vehicle when it is stopped and is under ideal operating conditions. The pilot program was successful in conserving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions. Ambulances purchased in 2017 will include this technology.
  • Fully electric vehicle (EV) – After successfully introducing a Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric vehicle into the fleet, Oxford County is taking the next step in purchasing a fully electric Chevrolet Bolt this year. The EV will be used by the County’s water division.

These new fleet enhancements are projected to reduce the County’s CO2 emissions by to 1,706 tonnes in 2017 (a 6.2% decrease). That will put the County fleet on track to achieve a 10% reduction by 2019, equivalent to nearly 3000 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.

However, there are still a number of challenges in greening the County’s fleet of 119 vehicles including access to alternative fueling stations, the limited range of electric vehicle batteries and a limited number of ambulance manufacturers in the province.

Moving forward, the County is planning to introduce an Idling Policy for staff while engaging ambulance manufacturer to produce an electric hybrid model to help in reducing CO2 emissions.


Comment

Melissa Abercrombie, Manager of Roads and Facilities, Oxford County Public Works

“Oxford County is putting the pedal down on a number of exciting initiatives this year when it comes to green vehicle technology. So far, the reviews have been excellent on our Compressed Natural Gas light truck conversions. Staff are not noticing any difference in the performance of the vehicles when running on natural gas. We’re also really excited about becoming the first municipality to have snow plows running on Compressed Natural Gas later this year. All the while, moving towards a 6% reduction in carbon emissions this year is a great first step in greening the County’s fleet.”

Ben Addley, Manager of Paramedic Services, Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services

“Oxford County Paramedic Services is committed to doing what we can to help improve the environment. As first responders, we see the value every day in creating a healthy environment for residents. So if there is a new technology that will help reduce our environmental impact, without compromising patient care or our ability to respond, we will explore it.”


Graphic

Photo of green fleet vehicles

In photo (L-R): 

David Mayberry, Warden

Mike Maycock, Field Supervisor, Oxford County Paramedic Services

Mark Shulman, Rural Green Energy

Ben Addley, Manager of Oxford County Paramedic Services

Melissa Abercrombie, Manager of Roads and Facilities, Oxford County

Peter Crockett, CAO, Oxford County


About Oxford County

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 114,000 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to becoming a zero waste community and achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that serves as a springboard for some of the sustainable industries that are steadily diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.


Media contact

Adam Nyp | Strategic Communication & Engagement

519.539.9800, ext. 3529 | anyp@oxfordcounty.ca


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