How did Culver City, California save $1.6 million in their fleet fuel budget?

After switching a number of fleet units from diesel powered vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Culver City called on Computrol to help meet the fuel management challenge.

Culver City’s streets have been featured in many films and television shows from “Citizen Kane” and “Arrested Development” to “The Wonder Years”. Surrounded by the City of Los Angeles and a rich history in motion pictures and television production, Culver City is ahead of the curve in many ways.

Culver City has been an early adopter of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for its city fleet vehicles. Over 100 high-use fleet units rely on CNG to power them for bus service, garbage pickup, and many of the other transportation services that citizens rely on. In 1996, facing an air quality mandate from South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), Culver City made the investment in an alternative fuel option, recognizing CNG as a great way to meet emission targets and lower their fuel cost. “No other readily available fuel provides lower emissions and reduces our dependence on foreign oil than CNG,” said Jane Leonard, Management Analyst for Culver City’s Equipment Maintenance and Fleet Service Division and Air Quality Programs.

The city’s choice to use CNG has significantly saved money on their fuel costs. Leonard says “we have reduced our fuel costs by 78 percent by using CNG instead of diesel for our transit and refuse fleets.” In 2011, the fuel savings added up to $1.6 million.

The switch from diesel powered fleet vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) required a number of innovations with equipment maintenance and fuel management. The solution Computrol provided Culver City gave them a fuel control system with the ability to support multiple fuel types. In this way, Computrol was able to help Culver City manage their fueling needs for both diesel and CNG with some customization to support the long refueling cycle of CNG units.