Will County is in the energy business. It sells energy though its landfill gas-to-energy facility and it plans for the energy needs of the future. As the transportation center of the Midwest, with the largest inland port in the country, fuel costs to residents and businesses are a serious concern. Due to the rising cost, the amount of fuel that comes from countries unfriendly to the United States and the variety of innovations in vehicle transportation options, the past reliance on oil based fuel as a sole energy source is over.
While hybrid cars that rely on a combination of electric and gasoline have been rising steadily since 2000, in 2011 they accounted for 2.1 percent of the vehicles sold in the US. Vehicles powered only by rechargeable batteries using traditional electricity as their power source, are now becoming available in both car and truck models. Companies utilizing delivery box trucks are beginning to add these types of trucks to their fleet to reduce fuel costs, but more importantly, avoid the unpredictable higher costs of traditional fuels.
A recent interview with the CEO of FedEx revealed the company’s concern over the impact of changing fuel costs. They are now making efforts to add electric vehicles, hybrids, and compressed natural gas powered trucks to their massive fleet. Others are making this same effort. Groot, the largest privately held waste and recycling company in Illinois converted their fleet of trucks to biodiesel in 2006 and are now replacing trucks with compressed natural gas (CNG). Waste Management has the largest fleet of CNG collection vehicles in North America.
In the future, the types of power used for cars and trucks will continue to diversify. Many of the new options burn cleaner, meaning they create less air pollution and offer increased fuel efficiency overall. Will County shall continue to work with industry, the business community and our residents to meet the growing range of demand.