Sustain Kane

Fleet and Driving

The use of vehicles and equipment is one of the largest sources of emissions and pollution for Kane County operations. Fuel combustion creates pollution that has been linked to asthma, heart disease, smog, and climate change, among other impacts. Increased fuel efficiency would result in beneficial cost savings to the County. 

Kane County has a fleet of 273 vehicles and a large inventory of off-road equipment to support its law enforcement, transportation, general services, landscaping, and other functions. In 2011, Kane County vehicles drove over three million miles and used over 250,000 gallons of fuel. In addition to the County-owned fleet, a survey of Kane County employees showed that 60% undertake business travel, and 78% of those that travel for work use a personal vehicle at least some of the time. The transportation impact of the County’s business goes beyond that of just the cars, trucks, and equipment it owns. Kane County strives to incorporate increasingly efficient and sustainable vehicles and technologies into its fleet. The Kane County Division of Transportation has a goal to reduce fuel consumption, mileage and emissions while improving safety and efficiency. The County has engaged in many initiatives that range from fleet management actions that reduce energy consumption and emissions to roadway infrastructure projects that not only reduce congestion, improve travel times, and provide needed linkages but also enhance and restore open space and the natural environment. Recent and ongoing activities have been undertaken in an effort to achieve a long term and lasting impact on the region. ​​​​

Progress to Date

The Kane County Division of Transportation (KDOT) has implemented the following measures to improve the efficiency of its fleet and fleet operations:

• KDOT has purchased vehicles that are efficient and support alternative fuels; the vehicles have the capacity to complete a variety of jobs related to maintenance, construction, and transport of personnel and equipment
• Snowplow trucks are purchased with stainless steel bodies to extend their life
• KDOT’s vehicles include biodiesel to utilize renewable resources and reduce harmful emissions

Vehicle equipment
The following equipment has been installed to enhance operations and save energy:
• GPS devices enhance navigation (used for 14 years on KDOT trucks)
• Special electronics that are groundspeed sensitive to improve salt spreading operations
• Spraying system used during the winter salt spreading operations to increase efficiency, improve roadway conditions, and reduce man-hours (used for10 years)
• In-vehicle LED work/warning light technology reduces the need to idle vehicles to power lights Other programs/ operations
• KDOT has worked to reduce vehicle idle time
• Redesigned snowplow routes, resulting in reduced fleet size, fuel consumption, fleet maintenance & labor
• Improved salt spreading operations, resulting in less salt use and labor
• Driver training, including quarterly Drivers Safety Committee meetings, resulted in improved worker safety.
• Certain KDOT vehicles are stored in a heated enclosed building to reduce exposure to winter weather conditions and vehicle warm-up time.
• All salt is stored enclosed at 3 countywide locations to reduce distance to reload, resulting in faster response time and fuel savings. Other County Departments have worked to make fleet or driving more efficient in the following ways:
• Encourage carpooling to meetings and conferences when using a fleet vehicle
• Installed a Level II electric car charging station at the historic Kane County Courthouse with full public access
• Developed a pilot alternative fuel vehicle comparison chart for use during the purchase of new fleet vehicles ​​​

Fleet Strategies & Action Items

Strategy FL1: Increase the energy efficiency of Kane County fleet vehicles
Fleet vehicles should meet the needs of the job and be multipurpose, as appropriate. The purchase of alternative fuel vehicles should be considered based on the job requirements, vehicle performance and adequacy, energy efficiency, and cost.

Action Items:

1. Conduct annual analysis of fuel efficient/alternative fuel vehicles Annual vehicle analysis should include cost comparison between standard models and alternative fuel vehicles including compressed natural gas, hybrid and electric vehicles. Cost analysis should be made available to departments considering purchase of new vehicles.
2. Consider alternative fuel vehicles when purchasing new vehicles
3. Maximize use of alternative fuels including biodiesel
Alternative fuels should be utilized to the maximum extent allowed by vehicle warranty
4. Recycle vehicle maintenance materials (motor oil, tires, auto batteries)
5. Enroll in green fleet recognition program

Strategy FL2: Track fleet data using fleet management tool

Using a fleet management tool will enable staff to better understand County vehicle inventory, usage, and to identify opportunities for improved efficiency.

Action Items:

1. Develop fleet management tool
2. Track fleet data, report annually
Fleet data can include fuel types and volumes consumed, vehicle maintenance material recycling rates, vehicle types and associated data such as mpg, maintenance schedule and costs

Driving Strategies & Action Items

Strategy D1: Reduce energy and fuel used for Kane County travel and commuting
Policies or programs should be developed to encourage the most efficient use of the County’s fleet and to utilize technologies and programs that reduce vehicular travel to meetings, events, or for commuting.

Action Items:

1. Create vehicle idle policy
The idle policy could apply both to vehicles on Kane County properties and Kane County vehicles driven to other locations. The idle policy should exclude vehicles which are required to idle for emergency or other technical reasons.
2. Increase carpooling for County functions/meetings
3. Increase use of video communications/virtual meetings
4. Develop “commuting alternatives” educational and incentive program
Commuting alternatives program could include: carpooling incentives, mass transit pre-tax savings program, telecommuting, flexible work schedules, and “Live Here, Work Here” principles. Once instituted, Kane County may be eligible to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative

Strategy D2: Support alternative fuel vehicle use and multimodal travel infrastructure on Kane County facilities

Action Items:

1. Install alternative fuel infrastructure, as appropriate
2. Identify locations to retrofit existing facilities with pedestrian and bicycle amenities
3. Specify pedestrian and bicycle amenities in new County facilities
4. Promote pedestrian, bike and transit ridership activities (“Bike to Work Week”) ​​​