San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin keeps sustainability and environmental preservation in mind, and this spring its Department of Public Works (DPW) will install a modern fueling system across eight facilities used by the County fleet. The system will improve usage tracking and environmental safeguards while enhancing employee safety. Additionally, two electric vehicles (EVs) and five hybrid cars will replace several aging gas vehicles in the fleet as part of the ongoing effort improve the County's carbon footprint.
A Sheriff's Office vehicle gets filled up at the County's fueling station near the Marin County Civic Center.
A facility assessment in 2016 determined that eight County-maintained fueling stations, each over 20 years old, were obsolete because of the unavailability of replacement parts. Additionally, due to the nature of the old equipment, the fuel tracking has been conducted manually at six of the eight locations. The ones targeted for replacement are located at four Marin County Fire Department facilities (Throckmorton, Hicks Valley, Tomales, and Woodacre), two fire department and Marin County Sheriff’s Office substations (Marin City and Point Reyes), and two County garage facilities (Civic Center and Nicasio Yard).
The project will cost an estimated $857,000. Approximately $650,000 of the cost will be covered by the California Regional Water Quality Board as a reimbursement for DPW clean-up efforts at former fuel sites in the area. The remaining funding will come from DPW’s budget savings accrued during the past fiscal year.
The new fueling system will bring the facilities up to standards for monitoring employee usage and tracking fuel consumption. New software will allow for remote oversight and heightened security. Improving the monitoring and tracking will allow County planners to assess gas needs more accurately and plan future efforts to help reduce the fleet’s gas requirements.
The new system will improve the safety of the fuel stations, increasing protection against leaks and other environmental hazards. Canopies will be installed at two of the facilities that are currently exposed to the elements. They will help protect employees from severe weather conditions during storms and extend the life of the new equipment by protecting it from weather-related deterioration.
The fueling stations are utilized by fleet vehicles, including the fire department, the Sheriff’s Office, and DPW’s Road Maintenance construction vehicles and equipment. Currently, that range of required specialty vehicles does not have hybrid or EV versions available on the market. However, all efforts are taken to utilize hybrids and EVs when feasible.
This summer, the County fleet will receive two electric Chevrolet Bolts and five various brands of hybrid vehicles. The seven new vehicles will cost an estimated $202,000. As with past EV purchases, the County will apply to state and local grant programs to recoup costs based on available funds.
Over the years, DPW has helped further the County’s sustainability commitment by replacing inefficient gas-powered vehicles in the County fleet with eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible. This effort began in 2002 with the purchase of a Toyota Prius, and today the fleet includes 80 hybrid vehicles and 12 EVs, not including the selection arriving this summer.
The County garage, which has used solar power since 2003, has 20 charging ports for the County fleet and a portable, solar-powered charging station that can be deployed in emergency response situations. Additionally, DPW recently installed 31 new charging stations for public use at the Civic Center, bringing the total public charging stations at the campus to 45.