A new ordinance passed on Jan. 8 by the city council of Providence, RI, urges the city to buy the most fuel-efficient vehicle model available for its intended purpose. How far-reaching the ordinance will prove to be is not clear; however, because it says purchases also must meet other criteria including cost and reliability. In addition, the council tacked on Buy American and pro-labor union clauses. When choosing among "the most fuel-efficient vehicles," the city would have to give preference to vehicles for which more than 65 percent of their dollar value is ascribed to production within the United States and for vehicles made in "unionized factories" in the U.S. The measure now goes to Mayor David Cicilline for his approval or disapproval. In a related matter, the city council approved a nonbinding resolution endorsing the Clean Cars Campaign. The campaign seeks a state law requiring the sale of new cars with higher emission standards and would increase the availability of hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles. According to the ordinance, any hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicle bought by the city would have to be labeled as such. The State of Rhode Island fleet already uses some bi-fuel CNG cars and a few buses.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials