December 2, 2002

Government employees to use more energy-efficient vehicles

Ottawa, Ontario – Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has instructed all ministers, secretaries of state and departments to use more energy-efficient vehicles and alternative fuels, effective immediately.

“The Government of Canada is taking leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our own fleet. This is one of the many actions we will take to implement our Climate Change Plan for Canada released yesterday,” said the Prime Minister. “I have asked my ministers to show the way on climate change through the vehicles they drive and the fuels they use.”

All ministers and secretaries of state will follow new guidelines for purchasing climate-friendly vehicles and using alternative fuels. Deputy ministers will be asked to follow their ministers’ example. Starting immediately, E-10 will be used in vehicles whenever available. E-10 is a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol that is commercially available in Ottawa and many parts of Canada. The Prime Minister has also asked his motorcade to use E-10 in its vehicles whenever available.

Vehicles purchased for ministers, secretaries of state and senior officials will be:

  • factory-equipped for natural gas, propane, hybrid electric or E-85 (a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline), where fuelling infrastructure exists or is planned; or

  • among the most efficient in their class; for example, a winner of the EnerGuide Award for fuel efficiency.

Government of Canada departments that operate fleets of vehicles will take the following actions:

  • Drivers will fill up with E-10 whenever available.

  • Starting in the new model year, GHG emissions will be added to cost and fuel consumption as mandatory criteria when making vehicle purchase decisions. In particular, the Government of Canada will:
    • take into account the class of vehicle appropriate for the use;

    • purchase a vehicle that is among the most energy-efficient in its class, including hybrids as appropriate; or
    • ensure that new vehicles are equipped to run on natural gas, propane or E-85, where fuelling infrastructure exists or is planned.

There are approximately 38 executive vehicles assigned to ministers and secretaries of state, along with another 48 for eligible Government of Canada officials. The federal fleet includes more than 23,000 vehicles in service across Canada, including Royal Canadian Mounted Police vehicles and non-military vehicles in the Department of National Defence.

The federal fleet uses nearly 70 million litres of fuel and travels more than 500 million kilometres per year.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from federal on-road vehicles have been reduced by 20 percent from 1995-1996 to 2000-2001, as a result of changes to the Government of Canada?s Motor Vehicle Policy. This decrease is due in part to reductions of kilometres travelled, greater fuel efficiency in vehicles and a modest increase in the number of alternative-fuel vehicles in the fleet. Recent initiatives, including vehicle pooling to provide operating units with the right vehicle for the task, increased use of ethanol fuels, and policy changes encouraging the use of greener vehicles, will also have an impact on GHG emissions reductions.

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