Alternative Fuel Vehicles
At the end of 2013, the City of Los Angeles vehicle fleet was surveyed by the bureau of Sanitation / Los Angeles Clean Cities Coalition. The City owns and maintains 5,025 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). This total includes vehicles that use compressed (CNG) and/or liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas, or electricity, as one or more of the fuels. As part of the Los Angeles Clean Cities Program, the City is committed to increase its fleet of AFVs by an average of 15% each year. As part of this commitment, in 2000, the City adopted the Clean Fuel Policy, providing more support to our operational departments in successfully obtaining approvals for such purchases. The City’s solid resource collection fleet and the street sweeper fleets were 77 percent alternative fuel. Since 2000, the alternative fuel fleet has increased by 17%. This total does not include the many bicycles used by city patrol officers instead of cars, but does include a number of cleaner burning, hybrid electric vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic which are both classified as AT-PZEVs by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). For more information visit the Alternative Fuel Vehicles brochure.
At the end of 2013, the City's light-duty AFVs were comprised of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles, electric vehicles and neighborhood electric vehicles or NEVs, motorcycles and forklifts). Over 1,600 light duty hybrid (gasoline/electric) vehicles and several heavy-duty hybrids of various fuel types in use as well. Light duty AFVs are used by the General Services Department (GSD), Department of Transportation (LADOT), Zoo Department, Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP), Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Harbor Department (Harbor), and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). The light duty AFVs are used for passenger transportation, patrols, and transport of materials and equipment.
The City's fleet of medium to heavy-duty fleet includes CNG vehicles, liquefied natural gas (LNG)/diesel dual fuel vehicles, all LNG vehicles, and LPG vehicles. Medium to heavy duty vehicles include street sweepers, refuse collection trucks, roll off trucks, buses, shuttles, and dump trucks. The GSD, Department of Public Works, LADWP, Harbor, LAWA, and the LADOT use these vehicles.
In February 2006, the Los Angeles World Airports took delivery of 5 DaimlerChrysler hydrogen fuel-cell powered Mercedes-Benz F-Cell vehicles. The vehicles were used for general transportation in the LAWA vehicle fleet. In December 2002, the City became Honda’s first commercial customer for the FCX. The Honda FCXs were the world’s first fuel cell car certified for commercial use. The initial use of these vehicles represented a big step forward in vehicle technologies utilized by the City of Los Angeles. The hydrogen fuel cell is one of the most promising “clean” alternatives for fueling vehicles, as water vapor is the only exhaust. The vehicles are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that produces electricity onboard the vehicle. A fuel cell functions by combining hydrogen (stored in a tank) with oxygen in the air to make electricity (and water as a by-product). The electricity is used to power the electric motor, which in turn propels the vehicle. The California Air Resources Board has certified these vehicles as Zero Emission Vehicles for everyday commercial use.
Alternative Fuel Infrastructure
The City of Los Angeles also has developed infrastructure to support its fleet of AFVs. The City assisted with the development of over 20 locations that dispense CNG, LNG, LPG and hydrogen. Electrical charging stations exist throughout the metropolitan area, as described further below. The West Valley fueling facility just opened in 2014. In 2011, the City opened the North Central fueling facility. Both this station along with the East Valley station have a 60,000 gallon storage capability. South Los Angeles opened in 2007 and, in 2005; the Harbor Area received an LNG station. The City also is upgrading its maintenance facilities to accommodate the repair and routine maintenance of the growing alternative fuel fleet.
The following collection of videos demonstrates the work being done by the City to establish a clean fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. Watch a 2013 Clean Cities TV video about how the City is preparing for electric vehicles. Los Angeles Clean Cities staff coordinated with Maryland Public Television's MotorWeek program to produce several segments which aired on PBS stations nationwide. Watch videos about Los Angeles Clean Cities. View more videos on the Clean Cities Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center.
What is the difference? Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs)—also called electric drive vehicles collectively—use electricity either as their primary fuel or to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicle designs. These vehicles generally produce lower life cycle emissions than conventional vehicles much of which is based on emissions from electricity production.
HEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine or other propulsion source that runs on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine and is not plugged in to charge. Almost every manufacturer has entered the hybrid marketplace. Today, nearly forty different hybrids are on the market.
PHEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine that can run on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The vehicle can be plugged into an electric power source to charge the battery. Some PHEVs are also called extended range electric vehicles (EREVs).
PHEVs have an average all-electric range of 10 to 40-plus miles. On a depleted battery, fuel economy is similar to an HEV.
EVs use a battery to store the electric energy that powers the motor. EV batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. EVs are sometimes referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Average range of EVs is about 100 miles per charge.
Types of Electric Vehicle Charging or Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)
Level 1 (AC/120V): 2 to 5 miles of range gained after one hour of charging. (Common household outlet)
Level 2 (AC/240V): 10 to 20 miles of range gained after one hour of charging. (Could be public or residential)
DC Fast (DC/208-600V): 60 to 80 miles of range gained after twenty minutes of charging. (Public only)
EV Tax Credits and Incentives
Plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles qualify for a $2,500 to $7,500 federal tax credit.
Tax credits and incentives search with the US DOE, Alternative Fuel Data Center (AFDC) Tool.
USDOE Clean Cities Plug-in Electric Vehicle Handbook
The Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Consumers is now available to help drivers make informed decisions about purchasing these advanced technology vehicles. The comprehensive, 16-page guide answers basic questions about PEVs, including how they operate and are charged, the benefits of owning them, how to maintain them, which type fits your needs, and much more. Available on the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center and Clean Cities websites, this booklet the first of a series of handbooks Clean Cities is developing to educate consumers, fleet managers, public station owners, and electrical contractors about the benefits of plug-in electric vehicles as a personal, fleet, or business solution.