As part of its effort to make Austin more eco-friendly, the City of Austin is working toward making all of its vehicles “carbon neutral.” In fact, the city plans to have all 4,400 of its vehicles “green” by the year 2020.
By utilizing vehicles that are carbon neutral, the city hopes to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions. Of course, going green with their vehicles is only one component of this eco-friendly plan, as the city also intends to plant trees in order to help absorb the carbon that is in the air.
"We need to be serious about this issue and take action," Jake Stewart, who is the manager of Austin’s Climate Protection Plan, told Statesman.com. "We want to set an example that this is not something we should sit on our hands about. It behooves all of us for future generations' sake to take action in a sensible, rational way."
Already, the city has spent over $8 million in just the past year in an effort to replace and convert vehicle as well as fuel stations. The city is about halfway through the changeover and includes 248 vehicles capable of using E85. It also has 271 vehicles that are powered by propane, a total of 151 hybrids, and even six garbage trucks that are able to run on compressed natural gas. This spring, the city plans to switch its 1,603 diesel powered vehicles over to biodiesel. This includes its firetrucks, dump trucks, and street sweepers.Under the new Climate Protection Plan, each and every vehicle used by the city is scrutinized. Not only is it looked at to make certain it is using the cleanest fuel possible, it is also looked at to determine if it is the right size for the job. For instance, there is no reason to have an everyday travel vehicle that is a truck, when a car would be far more fuel efficient.