Sugar Land has a plan to retrofit city vehicles to run on compressed natural gas which is expected to save $1.5 million over 20 years as well as reduce harmful emissions. A plan for the phased implementation of alternative fuel was shared with the City Council at the July 3 workshop meeting. The recommended conversion to natural gas is the result of an extensive evaluation of various options including hybrid, propane, full electric, extended range electric, diesel, gasoline and liquefied natural gas.
The city would convert 99 non-public safety vehicles first with other vehicles, including heavy equipment, to follow. A series of grants combined with existing money in the city’s Fleet Replacement Fund is expected to pay for the project’s start-up cost which involve purchasing a fueling pump and conversion kits.
The standard used to compare the amount of alternative fuel it takes to equal the energy content in one gallon of gasoline is known as gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). Sugar Land’s analysis showed that compressed natural gas will cost $1 to $2.25 per GGE compared to $4.80 to $5.50 per gallon of gasoline.
Sugar Land will continue to supplement its compressed natural gas fleet with hybrid vehicles used for general administration purposes.