The Houston-Galveston Area Council is swapping out its fleet of diesel delivery trucks for 30 electric-powered vehicles, an effort to cut 250,000 gallons of diesel consumption in two years.
That, the association of local governments hopes, could help improve air quality in the Houston area, which falls below national standards and is so bad it can affect human health, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Houston-Galveston area is one of a handful of spots across the country designated an 8-hour ozone nonattainment area, one of the more severe ratings applied to air quality.
Overall, the Houston vehicle swap could slash greenhouse gas emissions by 37.5 million tons of carbon equivalents per year, H-GAC said in a recent statement.
The new electric trucks – supported by a grant from the Department of Energy – come from Smith Electric Vehicles Corp., a Kansas City, Mo.-based company that designs and produces zero-emission vehicles.
The Center for Transportation and the Environment, an alternative transportation technology non-profit, plans to handle operational data and will report on how the vehicle swap impacts Houston, the council said.