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City of Sacramento reduces fuel consumption by 6% with Samsara reporting

By reducing idling across their gasoline-powered vehicles and gaining real-time visibility into their EVs, the City of Sacramento improved fuel efficiency and paved a clear path towards fleet electrification.

City of Sacramento

Meet the City of Sacramento

The City needed to find a partner that could support their electrification journey.

Home to more than 525,000 residents and California’s state capital, the City of Sacramento provides public services such as fire, police, public works, parks and recreation, and more for a growing population. Behind all of these critical services is the City of Sacramento’s Fleet Management Division.

With 2,500 vehicles and pieces of equipment to maintain, the Fleet Division’s main priority is to provide high-quality service to its stakeholders. “Our stakeholders are the internal departments that make our city run,” said Mark Stevens, former Fleet Manager at the City of Sacramento. “Our mission is to ensure that they have the safe and dependable equipment they need, when they need it.” 

Furthermore, as a public fleet, the team is motivated by saving taxpayer dollars. “We put a big focus on being cost effective and sustainable in order to reach city-wide goals,” said Stevens. “We need to know our operating costs so that we can show that we’re an efficient operation.”

Prior to Samsara, the City’s data was siloed across multiple vendors, with separate software to handle GPS and fleet management. These legacy technologies were inefficient, and their limited functionality couldn’t meet the Fleet Division’s city-wide standards. “Canned reports just don’t work. We were looking for a flexible system with agile reporting,” Stevens said.

They also lacked granular data to benchmark their fleet performance. While they could gather high-level metrics to showcase their performance to the City, it was difficult to collect data to inform decisions around fleet electrification, idling interventions, and other cost-saving measures. “We needed data to start analyzing what we didn’t know yet,” said Stevens. “Having customizable data to make conclusions about our fleet is key.” 

As a leader among public fleets, the City of Sacramento has an ambitious program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The City recently instituted a fleet sustainability plan, which mandates that at least 75% of annual light-duty fleet purchases must be zero-emission vehicles by 2020. As a result, the Fleet Division needed a new telematics system that support their sustainability initiatives, which include features for electric vehicle (EV) fleet management and fuel efficiency reporting.

Before Samsara, the Fleet Division didn’t have a system that could collect data from zero-emission or electric vehicles. Additionally, because they lacked vehicle diagnostics data for their traditional fleet, they didn’t have insight into fuel efficiency, average daily range, or estimated annual fuel savings. This made it difficult to assess electrification opportunities and make vehicle replacement decisions. “We get asked all the time about our operating costs. And before Samsara, it was difficult to assess our vehicle costs,” said Stevens.

The City of Sacramento sought a solution that could provide granular insight into their fleet’s performance—so they could improve citizen services, reduce emissions, and save taxpayer dollars.

Actionable data unlocks efficiencies and enables strategic electrification.

After evaluating several vendors, the City of Sacramento adopted Samsara because it provided real-time location data, insight into sustainability metrics, and improved visibility across their fleet. By consolidating multiple legacy solutions into one unified platform, the Fleet Division streamlined their operations, improving efficiency and reducing emissions.

With Samsara’s Fuel & Energy Report, the Fleet Division can drill down into fuel efficiency and idling—reducing fuel usage consumption on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Plus, Samsara Idling Reports provide real-time data that enable other departments to be more fuel efficient as well. Administrators can then easily tag notable insights and share reports with leadership across the organization—improving transparency and reducing the carbon footprint. “Now, I’m able to show our police department, for example, that they’re idling over our limit and work with them to get their idling times down,” said Stevens. 

Samsara data is also critical to the City’s electrification journey. By analyzing fuel data on the total cost of ownership for their traditional gasoline vehicles, along with the Fleet Electrification Report, the City of Sacramento is able to assess which of their vehicles are good candidates to transition to EVs. “I’m always looking to improve my fleet, and Samsara’s technology gives us new avenues to analyze our data,” said Stevens.

With full visibility into the City’s energy usage, the Fleet Division can adopt a forward-looking approach to making EV investments. Leveraging Samsara’s EV Charging Report, they are able to track changes in historical charging behaviors within a defined geofence. With insights into where vehicles are being charged, and at what frequency, the City can now make smarter decisions around building charging stations in new locations. 

The Fleet Division’s success with EVs has demonstrated that investing in electrification is sustainable and cost-effective. This has influenced other teams in the organization, like Community Development, to incorporate new technologies into their operations as well. 

In addition, Samsara’s open API enabled the City to integrate Samsara with their fleet management software—connecting data on mileage, maintenance schedules, and engine diagnostic codes. This helped them take a proactive approach to vehicle management, reducing costs and improving operational efficiency. For example, by integrating their fuel management software, fuel usage data can now be easily associated with customer accounts—saving time and accelerating billing.

100+ hours of admin work saved—and a 6% decrease in fuel consumption in 2022.

The City of Sacramento experienced massive improvements in fuel usage and efficiency with Samsara. By providing users with driving analytics and alerts, Samsara helped the City reduce fuel usage in 2022 by as much as 6%. By leveraging Samsara’s open API, they saved over 2,150 paper requests. Furthermore, by consolidating multiple vendors into a single, integrated platform, they saved over 100 hours in administrative work.

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