Jan. 28, 2020 - By adding electric vehicles to its municipal fleet and expanding the number of public charging stations, Oak Park is bolstering its reputation as a green community known for its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Two public charging stations recently installed in the Village Hall parking lot at 123 Madison St. serve four dedicated spaces for electric vehicles, bringing to 18 the total number of spaces reserved for electric vehicles in Village-owned lots.
Six electric vehicle-charging spaces also are available at the Holley Court Garage downtown, and four each at the Avenue Garage, 720 North Blvd., and the public garage near Lake Street and Forest Avenue.
(click here to find a charging station)
In addition to offering public charging stations, the Village also recently added five new all-electric sedans to its fleet of vehicles used by employees who must drive around Oak Park on official duty as part of the normal work day.
These new electric vehicles are the latest green additions to the municipal fleet, which has embraced alternative fuel options since compressed natural gas was first used in a Village sedan nearly 20 years ago.
The Village also employs 18 other hybrid vehicles, and most of its heavy-duty equipment such as fire trucks and snow plows run on B20 fuel, a lower-emission diesel fuel made in part from agriculture waste products.
The Village even owns a hybrid truck that uses a battery-powered bucket lift rather than the vehicle’s main engine to reduce emissions at a job site.
Oak Park’s green fleet is just one of many sustainability tools adopted to help reduce the carbon footprint and emissions of the wide range of specialized vehicles required to deliver public services.
The Village also expanded its use of telematics, which uses data collected by on-board vehicle computers to teach fleet drivers to reduce the use of fossil fuels by decreasing idling time and reducing speed and excessive acceleration.
All of these efforts by the Village to improve air quality have not gone unnoticed.
The Village’s municipal fleet operations earned Oak Park recognition as the best performing municipality for 2019 by Chicago Area Clean Cities, a nonprofit coalition of public and private organizations working to promote the use of clean fuels and clean fuel vehicles throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.
Heavy Duty Trucking magazine also named the Village one of its 2019 Top Green Fleets.
For more information about the Village’s municipal fleet, visit www.oak-park.us/publicworks.