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Drive Clean Rural USA Project comes to Dixon Park for Hands-on Demonstration
More than thirty people attended the City of Fredericksburg’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Workshop on October 27th, 2022 in Dixon Park. Those in attendance represented the City of Fredericksburg Government, Fredericksburg City Public Schools (FCPS) and the University of Mary Washington, as a part of Fredericksburg’s participation in the Drive Clean Rural USA project. Attendees learned about alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) technology from the Virginia Clean Cities (VCC) project team and from AFV industry experts ABM®, Sonny Merryman Inc., Roush CleanTech®, and Blue Bird®.
The Drive Clean Rural USA project is a critical step for the City as it diligently works to achieve the City Council's goal of powering municipal operations with 100% renewable energy by 2035. As a part of this project and workshop, all three entities are undergoing a comprehensive fleet assessment to establish a baseline for fleet operations. By participating in this effort, the City will be equipped to strategically plan and identify opportunities to transition to a clean fuel-powered fleet city-wide.
Drive Clean Rural USA is a pilot project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, supporting 24 localities across the nation. The recent workshop was organized by Virginia Clean Cities as the grant's sub-recipient and the City's Environmental Sustainability Program.
This past August, the Fredericksburg Police Department successfully debuted three hybrid patrol vehicles into their fleet, with five additional vehicles expected next year. In 2021, Virginia Clean Cities completed the Police Department’s fleet assessment that led to purchasing the City’s first hybrid patrol vehicles. Earlier this year, FCPS received similar success in working with Virginia Clean Cities to acquire its first electric school buses. FCPS received $2,597,240 in grant funding from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to purchase ten electric school buses through the Clean School Bus Program (CBSP).
These joint efforts help meet the City's sustainability commitments by working together to increase energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions. The City's continued partnership with Virginia Clean Cities is instrumental in successfully transitioning to a green fleet. “The project’s next steps will include the finalization of the fleet assessments and recommendations which will be presented to the city in a comprehensive report. In addition to fleet analysis and alternative fuel technical assistance, the Drive Clean Rural USA project also aims to promote the success and leadership of the participating communities through the creation of a replication playbook. Virginia Clean Cities is thrilled with the initiative that the City of Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg City Public Schools, and the University of Mary Washington have taken in their alternative fuel explorations and we are confident that the work done by these three entities will serve as a model for fleets across the nation”, said Sarah Stalcup-Jones, Program Manager and Chief Equity Officer with Virginia Clean Cities.
For more information on the City’s Environmental Sustainability Program, please visit fredericksburgva.gov/green.
If you would like more information about these topics, please contact MacKenzie Bellimam, City of Fredericksburg Environmental Sustainability Coordinator at (540) 372-1023, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.