Oshkosh helps lead way in use of alternative fuels
By Associated Press
OSHKOSH (AP) - The state is encouraging municipalities to switch to vehicles that run on alternative fuels, in a bid to reduce fuel costs and reduce carbon footprints.About 10 percent of the government and business vehicle fleets participating in the program are in Oshkosh, the Oshkosh Northwestern Media reported Thursday.The goal of Wisconsin Smart Fleet is to recognize municipalities that have already switched to alternative-fuel options such as natural gas and propane. It's also working to establish a network of early adopters who can provide guidance for other communities and businesses looking to follow suit.The program is evaluating 29 vehicle fleets that have already started to reduce consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel. The program will be expanded statewide next year.Three of the 29 participants are in Oshkosh. They include the city of Oshkosh, which uses compressed natural gas to run its garbage and recycling trucks. The city also has several hybrid buses.The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has several vehicles designed to run on either gasoline or ethanol, and the Smart Fleet program provided the school with a $500 grant to help plan the upgrade of additional vehicles in the future."If we can convert or purchase vehicles that are more fuel efficient ... that saves taxpayers money and saves the environment, said Steve Arndt, the university's director of facilities.
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