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Driven by Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s recently announced clean air initiative, Utah Clean Air Partnership, or U-CAIR, the State of Utah is replacing 73 of its fleet vehicles with fuel-efficient hybrids this year.
“As the State’s chief executive officer, I commit that the State of Utah will do its part as a U-CAIR partner to improve Utah’s air quality, for our health and for our economic vitality,” said Herbert. “It is essential that we as state employees re-examine our day-to-day choices and consider how we can make small changes that make a big difference.”
“Hybrid vehicles are more fuel efficient than other standard unleaded vehicle choices as their miles-per-gallon rating is higher than comparable vehicles in the same class,” said Sam Lee, the State’s director of the Division of Fleet Operations. “Currently mid-sized sedan hybrid vehicles in state fleet have 83 percent greater efficiency over comparable vehicles.”
Herbert has asked everyone – households, businesses, and government – to make a personal pledge for voluntary reductions to improve the air quality on the U-CAIR web site, ucair.utah.gov. In a memo to state employees, Herbert has called for increased conservation efforts by turning off lights and equipment whenever possible, as well as driving more efficiently and maintaining equipment and vehicles appropriately.
“Each and every small commitment from households, from industry and from community partners will make a difference. Utah’s state government agencies will step up,” Herbert said, “and we need county and local governments to step up to make the U-CAIR pledge, too. We are all in this together.”
Besides the 73 hybrids to be purchased by the State this year, four new compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG) will be added, bringing the total number of CNG vehicles in the fleet to 85. The hybrid purchases this year bring the total to more than 500 hybrid vehicles in the state fleet.
The Administration also plans to purchase and test two electric vehicles this year, once they are available to fleet purchasing. Meanwhile, six electrical charging stations have been installed at the Multi Agency State Office Building at 195 North 1950 West. The State also operates seven CNG stations from Logan to Lindon that are open to the public.