On July 10, 2018, the Regional Planning Commission’s Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership recognized 28 fleets and organizations in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa parishes that incorporated alternative fuels, fuel saving technologies, and innovative transportation programs in 2017.
Their combined efforts set two new regional records by reducing traditional fuel consumption over 4.3 million gasoline gallons equivalent (GGEs), reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and preventing over 30,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the air quality equivalent of taking 6,521 typical passenger vehicles off the road according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Some of the coalition’s Clean Fleet Leaders include:
- Airport Shuttle: A coalition member since 2008 who now powers all 30 of their shuttles with propane. General Manager Don Duvernay is a regular presenter at the coalition’s propane-focused events and participants appreciate hearing from a fleet owner with his depth of experience.
- Jefferson Transit: The transit provider for Jefferson Parish was the first transit fleet in southeast Louisiana to use biodiesel. They recently converted 12 paratransit vehicles to propane. These alternative fuels compliment their idle reduction and fuel economy efforts which include improved maintenance, replacing air filters more frequently, and increased tire pressure monitoring.
- RTA: The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority was another early adopter of alternative fuels, using electricity to power streetcars along St. Charles Avenue since 1894. RTA uses biodiesel and hybrid buses and is exploring electric buses for their future fleet.
- Solar Alternatives: A solar-panel and EV charger installation company with a fleet including a plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. President Jeff Cantin generously shares his expertise on incorporating electric drive vehicles in fleets with other coalition stakeholders.
The event also celebrated the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership’s 10th Anniversary as a U.S. Dept. of Energy (USDOE) designated Clean Cities coalition. In a congratulatory video, Mark Smith, USDOE Technology Integration Program Manager highlighted the coalition’s efforts over the last decade and some of the many stakeholders dedicated to improving energy efficiency and cleaner transportation:
“The U.S. Department of Energy values the commitment of coalition stakeholders in southeast Louisiana and across the national network of Clean Cities coalitions. Stakeholders who participate in local coalitions benefit from partnerships they build with one another. Fleets connect with alternative fuel providers. Business owners meet up with local government leaders. Fleet managers learn from the experiences of their peers who have taken on successful projects. Vehicle dealerships connect with municipalities and utilities. Clean Cities coalitions serve as a forum for all the puzzle pieces to come together for successful transportation projects.”
For fleets interested in exploring alternative fuel and advanced vehicle options to reach their energy and economic goals, the US Dept. of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center website is an excellent resource with tools, maps, case studies, and publications.