Fuel Efficient Vehicle Purchasing Strategy




Investing in Tomorrow’s Fuel Savers.

A fuel efficient vehicle purchasing strategy prioritizes the buying or leasing of fuel efficient vehicles, equipment, and components during new asset acquisitions and replacements. It helps you select vehicles that are able to meet the needs of the task at hand and takes technical and financial feasibility into consideration. [1]

Optimal fuel performance with minimal GHG emissions is the primary goal. Life cycle costing is used to evaluate options based on capital costs, operating and maintenance costs, reliability, warranties, depreciation, and resale value alongside commitments to fuel efficiency. An output of the strategy should be a detailed vehicle purchasing policy.

Toronto’s vehicle purchasing strategy led them to purchase 25 ultra-fuel-efficient Smart Cars. / City of Toronto, 2008.This policy is the most important output of a fuel efficient vehicle purchasing strategy. It is the essential tool that provides vehicle and equipment purchasing standards and procedures to ensure the best possible vehicle is purchased. They inform purchasing practices by providing guidance or regulation on what should and should not be used by the fleet. [1]

The City of San Jose in California has developed what may be the most comprehensive and effective green fleet vehicle purchasing policies in North America. The Dawson Creek green vehicle policy provides another good example. Both will be important tools in ensuring the fleets are effectively replaced over time.


A fuel efficient vehicle purchasing strategy helps fleet managers:

  • Reduce GHG emissions and related pollutants.
  • Acquire the most appropriate vehicle and equipment.
  • Minimize fuel consumption.
  • Improve driver satisfaction and equipment life.
  • Reduce operating costs.

Community Examples

  • Qualicum Beach purchased  three electric vehicles for the City fleet.
  • District of Saanich is integrating electric vehicles into the municipal fleet as a key component of the Saanich Climate Action Plan
  • Nanaimo added zero emissions vehicles to the City fleet
  • City of Vancouver has several electric vehicles in their fleet
  • Terrace and BC Hydro partnered to test an electric vehicle in Northwestern British Columbia
  • City of Surrey became the first major Canadian city to host electric vehicle charging station at city hall
 [Use the tab above to learn HOW to reduce emissions with this tool.]

[1] E3 Fleet. (2006) Fraser Basin Council. www.e3fleet.com