Fleet Considerations: Air Pollution

Feb 27, 2013

Millions of people nationwide live in monitored   areas with unhealthy air pollution levels.

It’s no secret that highway vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution in the U.S. by producing 26-62% of key chemicals that cause smog and lead to serious health problems.

Recent government-mandated regulations enforce federal emissions standards for all new vehicles, but pre-regulation-era vehicles continue to pollute the air, especially those with poor fuel economy.


That said, fleet managers looking to add vehicles to their fleet have another reason, beyond cost savings, to choose options from among the most fuel-efficient on the market. Below are two helpful tips for choosing either used vehicles or new green technology.

Choose a Green Vehicle

The EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide provides information to help you choose the cleanest used vehicle that meets your needs, including emissions data and vehicles equipped with advanced technology or alternative fuel capabilities.

Choose Green Technology: Stop-start

“Stop-start” technology is a newer alternative that also helps reduce fuel costs and air pollutants. The system eliminates engine idling by shutting off the engine when the vehicle stops and immediately restarting when the brake is released or when the vehicle begins to accelerate. Stop-start vehicles improve fuel economy by 5–10% and help fleets meet strict Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which will increase to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Johnson Controls reports that 97% of American consumers are interested in and ready for stop-start technology. Best of all, fleet managers who take advantage of stop-start technology can save on fuel costs without sacrificing performance.

Environmentally friendly vehicles can be found and added to today’s fleets, provided managers stay persistent with their search. The most fuel-efficient fleets will reduce their fuel costs and do their part in reducing air pollution. It’s a win-win arrangement.

Data sources:



Population exposed to air pollution: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air & Radiation website, accessed August 15, 2008.

Highway vehicle emission shares based on EPA's National Emissions Inventory (NEI) Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data. (Highway vehicle shares calculated based on 2006 total emissions, excluding "miscellaneous" sources such as fires.)