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City of Saskatoon Vehicle Fuel Use

    Status: Needs Improving

The City of Saskatoon uses gasoline and diesel fuel to power its buses, Police and Fire vehicles, its fleet of other on-road vehicles, and its construction and maintenance equipment.

The City's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan includes the following key action within the Transportation priority area:

  • Increase the number of zero emission vehicles in the civic fleet.

Relevant actions from the Low Emissions Community Plan include:

Where are we now?

Fuel used by the City's vehicle and equipment fleet is rising. One reason is Saskatoon’s increasing population and area. City of Saskatoon maintenance, Police, Fire, and transit vehicles must cover more ground and serve more people. Nonetheless, the City’s commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2023 means that fuel use (and associated emissions) must decrease. GHG emissions in the City's fleet increased by 14% from 2014 to 2019, representing 10% of the City's total emissions.


Graph Source: City of Saskatoon – Transit; and Roadways, Fleet, and Support

Data Table
City of Saskatoon Fleet, Equipment, and Transit Fuel
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Fleet Vehicles and Equipment: Diesel (millions of litres) 1.57 1.55 1.60 1.90 2.06 2.04 2.04 2.15 2.12 2.20 2.09
Fleet Vehicles and Equipment: Gasoline (millions of litres) 1.82 1.78 1.92 1.75 1.91 2.00 2.02 2.12 2.06 2.04 2.21
Transit: Diesel and Gasoline (millions of litres) 4.30 4.26 4.35 4.00 4.28 4.20 4.57 4.46 4.46 4.02 3.84

 Source: City of Saskatoon – Transit; and Roadways, Fleet, and Support

What Are We Doing?

Route Optimization
On-board global positioning systems (GPS) have been installed on City vehicles and equipment, including garbage trucks, to optimize routes and reduce idling, resulting in few GHG emissions. Plus, the City is making increased use of auxiliary diesel heaters to keep equipment warm. These auxiliary heaters heat the cab while the engine is shut off.

Electric Vehicle Transition
The City's Low Emissions Community Plan includes a target for the City to electrify its fleet by 2030. In 2021, the City added four plug-in electric vehicles to its fleet, complementing the seven plug-in hybrids currently in operation. An electric vehicle adoption roadmap will be developed to outline how to achieve this target. In the short-term, the City will replace conventional fuel vehicles and equipment with right-sized electric models whenever feasible.

Electric Buses
The City piloted its first electric bus in 2020-21, and is now exploring the feasibility of beginning the transition of the entire fleet to electric models. Results of the pilot indicate that both the lifetime cost and the GHG emissions of an electric bus are lower than a conventional diesel bus. The Low Emissions Community Plan calls for full electrification of the City's transit fleet by 2030. The LEC Plan found that electrifying buses has the lowest marginal abatement cost of any action in the LEC Plan, estimating that the City would save $2,500 for every tonne of CO2e reduced. Find out more about the Marginal Abatement Cost Curve.

Training for Transit Operators
Saskatoon Transit has increased the amount of continual training available to its operators in an effort to increase customer satisfaction.  These programs include training on smooth and defensive driving which, aside from providing a more enjoyable ride, have an added benefit of increasing fuel economy.

What Can You Do?

Keep informed about the City’s expanding efforts to reduce community and City GHG emissions.

   Did You Know?

From 1946 to 1974 many of Saskatoon’s buses were electric. These “trolley” buses took their electricity from overhead lines.