Houston, Texas, Mayor Bill White announced plans to convert a substantial portion of the City’s fleet of cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles to hybrids by the year 2010.
“This makes economic sense, it makes environmental sense and it is going to set an example,” said Mayor White. “We’re going to save on fuel costs and we’re going to help save our air quality.”
The City fleet comprises more than 11,000 vehicles of which 3,554 are the civilian, light-duty, “non-specialty” fleet—i.e. standard cars, pickups and SUVs.
The city will buy hybrids for this non-specialty civilian fleet when available. Some 80% of all new vehicle purchases and more than 50% of the non-specialty fleet could be hybrid vehicles by the year 2010.
The current City fleet includes 130 hybrids. In addition, there are 76 Toyota Prius and 7 Ford Escape (SUV) hybrids on order.
The City is also looking at reducing the total number of vehicles it operates.
Mayor White’s announcement came in conjunction with “Fresh Air Friday,” an annual project by the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Harris County and the City of Houston to educate the public about the risks of air pollution, promote clean air programs and support ways to keep the city beautiful.