Zero Emission Fleet


We’re phasing out Internal Combustion Engine vehicles (ICEs) in favor of zero emissions vehicles like Electric Vehicles (EVs). It’s all part of our commitment to achieving the goals of the City’s Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy Action Plan.  


43% of the City’s carbon footprint comes from gasoline and diesel fuel to power the City fleet 

A zero emissions fleet means a healthier Bull City. Picture cleaner, quieter City buses, street sweepers and solid waste trucks that use less energy, produce fewer harmful greenhouse gases and less air pollution, and cost less money to operate.  


The City of Durham’s Road Map to a Zero Emissions Fleet 

@Edison Energy 

The City’s strategy to build a zero emissions fleet: 

  • Right-size the fleet and optimize fuel efficiency 
  • Develop policies to ensure equity and accountability  
  • Replace 100% of light-duty passenger cars and trucks with zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2040 
  • Transition medium and heavy-duty vehicles to zero emissions vehicles as technology matures  
  • Install charging infrastructure to support EV expansion 


Accelerating our progress with partnerships 

The City harnessed the power of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps in summer 2022 to conduct a feasibility study and develop tools to drive decision-making. The Fleet Management Department, the Transportation Department, and Sustainability and Energy Management teamed up with two talented EDF Fellows to run the numbers. 

They found that sedans, light-duty pickup trucks and transit vehicles are ready to be electrified now!  

The City estimates that transitioning these vehicles to electric will save $57 million in avoided energy costs and public health impacts and reduce emissions by 12,200 MTCO2e. That is equivalent to taking over 2,600 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the road for one year, burning over 13 million fewer pounds of coal, or consuming 28,000 fewer barrels of oil! 

As for medium and heavy-duty vehicles such as street sweepers and sanitation trucks, we are keeping an eye on the rapidly evolving EV market and continue to use the valuable tool developed by the EDF Fellows to assess when the time is right to electrify.  


The City has received several grants to install electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city.  You’ll see new charging available at several downtown locations and Hillandale Golf Course – with more on the way!  

We are tracking several grant programs, including the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as VW Settlement Grants, Duke Energy grants, and the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology grant to fund even more electric vehicle charging stations in Durham.  


Driven to know more?  

Email us at [email protected]