Increase Efficiency of Cornell Fleet

From 2009 to 2013, Cornell has achieved a 32% reduction in the size of the fleet – from 220 vehicles to 149 vehicles...

Greening the Fleet is a Neutrality goal in the Cornell Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Reduce fossil-fuel consumption of the Cornell fleet through MPG standards in vehicle purchases, alternative-fueled vehicle purchasing, and a fleet management system.

Goal: Reduce fuel consumption of the campus fleet and increase use of alternative fuel.

Greening the Fleet

One of the 2009 CAP’s original 19 actions, “Greening the Fleet” seeks to reduce fuel energy needed to operate university vehicles. The two main components of this action are: 1) to require higher efficiency standards for the campus fleet, and 2) to consider alternative fuels for university-operated vehicles.

Five years ago, the original CAP established goals to reduce the size of the Cornell fleet by 30%, reduce overall costs by 30%, and increase average mileage by 30%. The university has achieved a 32% reduction in the size of the fleet – from 220 vehicles in 2009 to 149 vehicles in 2013, and it has increased fuel efficiency by 15%, from 18.9 mpg in 2009 to 21.7 mpg in 2013. In 2013 alone, the Agile Fleet Commander fleet management system enabled Cornell to better manage use of its existing vehicles and reduce the fleet vehicle count from 166 to 149 vehicles. As of 2015, the current fleet remains at 149 vehicles including:

  • 2 all-electric vehicles (EVs)
  • 6 compact hybrids
  • 9 sub-compact hybrids
  • 2 sub-compact plug in hybrids
As a "Greening the Garages" initiative, Transportation Services added 4 EV charging stations on campus in 2015. The stations charge all-electric fleet vehicles and will also be available for Cornell employees to recharge personal electric vehicles used for commuting to and from work.

At the start of 2014, Transportation Services replaced 12 midsize sedans and 3 subcompacts with Partial Zero Emission Vehicles, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions for these vehicles by 25%. Transportation Services purchased 15 new Toyota Camrys, with a 34 mpg rating, to replace 12 Chevy Impala and 3 Malibu vehicles with a 29 mpg rating. After careful analysis, staff chose the Toyota Camry for its total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the vehicle, which includes mileage, resale value, maintenance costs, etc. As Transportation Services replaces its aging fleet, it will purchase Partial Zero Vehicles when possible.

Next Steps

  • Continue tracking changes in technology and fuel options to further enhance fuel efficiency of the campus fleet.
  • Study the feasibility of installing more EV charging stations at optimal locations (Cornell currently has 7 EV charging sites on campus).


Continue outreach to campus stakeholders on how utilizing the lifetime cost of ownership impacts vehicle selection.