In 2001, Fleet Management began a pilot program to test compressed natural gas (CNG) as a viable fuel source for City small and mid-sized trucks. Seven Ford F-150’s were purchased, placed in various Divisions, and monitored over the next 8 years. Seeing that the advantages outweighed the very few, nominal disadvantages, Fleet Management began purchasing additional CNG small and mid-sized trucks and sedans in FYE 2010, as of FYE 2013 there are 60 vehciles including CNGrefust trucks.
In 2005, Fleet Management began a pilot program to test Electric Hybrid as a viable fuel source for City sedans. One Toyota Prius was purchased and placed in the Wastewater Treatment Division. In 2008, One Honda Civic was purchased and placed in the Water Treatment Division.
After reviewing the eight years’ worth of data and countless hours of research regarding alternative fuels, Fleet Management proposed an Alternative Fuel Program to City Council in February 2009. After City Council adopted the program on February 28, 2009, Fleet Management began actively purchasing CNG small or mid-sized trucks and CNG sedans.
In 2009, Fleet Management began a pilot program to test CNG as a viable fuel source for City refuse trucks. The City purchased a Side Loader and a Front Loader that run on CNG. The program was a complete success and beginning in 2010. the City began buying additional sanitation refuse trucks that run on CNG as they become available.
The City of Norman actively purchases alternative fuel vehicles. There are four types of alternative fueled vehicles and equipment that Norman uses:
- HYBRID – vehicles that will run on battery power and a combustible engine
- PLUG-IN HYBRID – battery only operated vehicles and equipment that require daily charging
- FLEX FUEL – vehicles that will run on either unleaded or E-85 (blend of 85% Ethanol and 15% Unleaded)
- CNG – vehicles that run on compressed natural gas
On January 9, 2012, the City of Norman opened a CNG Facility for use by the City and the citizens. The station provides compressed natural gas for citizens and city vehicles. CNG is a fossil fuel that is more environmentally clean than gasoline, diesel, or propane. CNG is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. The CNG Facility a combination of refueling options: low pressure (slow fill) and high pressure (fast fill) systems. Slow fill lets city vehicles refuel slowly overnight while fast fill will let the user refuel in a matter of minutes.