Chicago Signs $8.75 Million Contract to Add Hybrids to City Fleet
Chicago’s Department of Fleet Management earlier this month signed a term agreement with a local Toyota dealer to purchase up to 100 Priuses, 100 hybrid Camrys and 100 hybrid Highlander sport utility vehicles for various city departments. The maximum value of the three-year contract—which was coordinated by the city’s Department of Procurement Services—is $8.75 million.
Department of Fleet Management Public Information Officer Eileen Joyce explained that the city will purchase the hybrid gas-electric vehicles on an as-needed basis to replace existing city vehicles that are taken out of service. The hybrids will be used for a number of city departments, ranging from the Department of Aging to the Department of Streets and Sanitation, Joyce said.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in 2004 set a goal to increase the number of hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles in the city’s fleet by 10 percent each year.
“That’s part of Mayor [Richard] Daley’s vision of making Chicago one of the greenest cities in the nation,” Joyce told GovPro.com.
The city of Chicago has 3,515 vehicles in its fleet, counting the Police and Fire departments. According to Joyce, the city’s fleet currently includes 57 Priuses—35 owned outright by the city and 22 used by city employees through a shared-cost lease—186 hybrid Ford Escape SUVs, 75 compressed natural-gas vehicles and 213 flexible-fuel vehicles in its fleet.
The city already has a contract with a Ford dealer for additional hybrid Escapes. The contract for the Toyota hybrids “broadens the city’s options for hybrid vehicles,” Joyce said.
Currently there is no hybrid vehicle that meets police safety standards, Joyce noted. However, the city expects approximately 300 police, fire and other public safety vehicles to be removed from service next year. When that happens, the city plans to replace those vehicles with the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor—as Ford calls it—which is being offered as a flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV). FFVs can run on E85 ethanol fuel, gasoline or a combination of the two.