It is estimated that Ontario’s municipal fleets, including Police and Emergency Medical Service vehicles, contribute approximately 0.8 MT of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions - or about 43% of Canada’s estimated 1.74 MT of municipal fleet emissions. Fleet operators are becoming increasingly aware of their fleet’s impact on the environment and there is a broad and growing interest across Ontario to implement ‘green fleet’ plans that will reduce the output of harmful emissions in municipalities.
As the cost of fuel steadily increases, Police and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) fleet operators are finding it difficult to adequately fund their equipment operating budgets. These fleets are now amenable to finding new ways of reducing their operating expenses; this with the provision that service levels and emergency response times must not be negatively affected in any way.
Fuel costs are one of the largest single operating expenses (by a wide margin) for today’s vehicle fleets and predictions are for continuing price volatility. Worksite air quality is another important issue of concern. Long-term exposure to harmful exhaust emissions for 1st responders has the potential to negatively impact the health of these professionals.
HIRS™ (Hybrid Idling Reduction System) is in the final stage of being patented.
Lab testing of HIRS™ has been completed at the Chrysler Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) and results are being analyzed by the University of Windsor. Reports will include life cycle analysis, emissions reductions, and return-on-investment data. Winter ‘on-road’ testing is currently underway on the Windsor Police and Ontario Provincial Police cars; and the Simcoe County ambulance. The combined results from actual on-road and lab testing will provide real world data regarding greenhouse gas reductions and cost savings for police and EMS operators.
Marketing and communication strategies for HIRS™ are in development in anticipation of the test results being made public. This demonstration project has created new jobs in Ontario and there is great potential for more in future.
"This is an end of an era. We no longer need to idle fleet vehicles."
The PEMS project testing of HIRS™ (Hybrid Idling Reduction System) has undergone various types of tests over the last year. Most recently the FC technical team spent two weeks in Windsor at the Chrysler Canada Automotive Research & Development Centre (ARDC) and University of Windsor completing severe weather testing. HIRS™ was put to the test in weather cells set to extreme temperatures both hot and cold. Results were very encouraging however FC will not publicly release any test results until all phases of testing are completed and validated; testing is targeted for completion by 2011.
FC hosted an informal lunch for the PEMS stakeholder advisory group at the Radisson Admiral Hotel in Toronto.
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