Transportation/Environment

Government adopts new 'green' vehicle policy (06/11/08)

NB 1379

Nov. 8, 2006

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The New Brunswick government is implementing a new green vehicle policy that is expected to make the government fleet more fuel-efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

(Multimedia)

The new purchase requirements are part of the government's commitment to environmental sustainability as outlined in the Charter for Change. They extend to all new vehicles purchased through and maintained by the Department of Transportation's Vehicle Management Agency, including vehicles driven by ministers and deputy ministers.

Transportation emissions contribute significantly to both greenhouse gases and smog. About one quarter of total greenhouse gas emissions in New Brunswick are caused by transportation. Of this amount, over 70 per cent comes from road transportation.

"Our government wishes to lead by example," Transportation Minister Denis Landry said. "It is our hope that these new purchase requirements will encourage other New Brunswickers to look at fuel-efficient options."

"Today's announcement brings us one step closer to fulfilling our Charter for Change green fleet commitment," Environment Minister Roland Haché said. "By setting an example for the government fleet to become a model user of fuel-efficient vehicles, we position New Brunswick as a jurisdictional leader."

The government fleet comprises about 3,900 vehicles, including 70 executive vehicles; 1,875 cars and light trucks for the use of government departments including the Extra-Mural program and the Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources; 755 heavy trucks and equipment; and 1,200 school buses.

06/11/08

EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information follows. MEDIA CONTACTS: Tracey Burkhardt, director of communications, Transportation, 506-453-5634; Marie-Josée Groulx, director of communications, Environment, 506-457-7202.

Backgrounder

To encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the government is adopting a new green vehicle policy, which will extend to all new vehicles purchased by the Department of Transportation's Vehicle Management Agency.

The policy is as follows:

Executive fleet:

If the minister or deputy minister decides to buy a conventional car, the fuel efficiency rating of the new car must be within 10 per cent of the comparable rating for the most fuel-efficient full-size car available. This will be determined by comparing the vehicle to be purchased to the most recent EnerGuide publication.

The current basic allowance for vehicles for ministers and deputy ministers will remain $26,120 and $21,050 respectively.

To encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles and reduce GHGs, ministers and deputy ministers wishing to buy hybrid electric vehicles will receive an additional $7,000. This increase reflects the higher cost of these vehicles as compared to conventional vehicles.

To ensure government is taking advantage of the latest fuel emission/efficiency technology, all executive vehicles purchased must be the current or prior model year.

Full-size sport utility vehicles and pick-ups, unless hybrids, will not be purchased in the future.

General vehicle fleet (light vehicles):

The Vehicle Management Agency recently began considering both fuel consumption and capital cost when procuring light vehicles for departments. This practice will continue. Twenty per cent of pick-ups acquired will have flex-fuel capability in preparation of the commercial availability of ethanol-blend fuels.

School buses, heavy trucks and equipment:

The government is committed to replacing school buses, heavy trucks and equipment over the next several years to take advantage of more stringent engine emission standards.

New Technology:

In addition, the Vehicle Management Agency will continue to review and research the use of more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies available in the Canadian market and will see appropriate application where operationally and economically feasible.

Education:

The agency will also educate vehicle operators on steps they can take to reduce GHGs and fuel consumption. It will also encourage client departments to select appropriately sized vehicles, in consideration with operational requirements.

06/11/08