SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his counterparts from seven other cities Thursday launched the Energy Secure Cities Coalition, dedicated to phasing out gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles in favor of those that utilize alternative fuels.

The coalition also includes the cities of Atlanta; Charlotte; Indianapolis; Orlando; Rochester, New York; Sacramento and West Palm Beach.

"The city of San Diego isn't just a city dedicated to clean technology and renewable energy, we're a city dedicated to being a global leader in environmental sustainability,'' Faulconer said.

"In San Diego, we united local environmental, business and government leaders to increase the number of zero emission vehicles in our municipal fleet to 90 percent by 2035,'' Faulconer said. "I'm proud to join this collaborative nationwide campaign to show we can help to make our world a cleaner, safer place."

According to the mayor's office, shifting its fleet toward other fuels will offer relief for the city budget, and reduce its dependence on oil and exposure to the volatile global oil market.

San Diego owns 40 hybrid passenger vehicles in its current fleet and plans to expand the inventory of hybrid/electric vehicle passenger vehicles by up to 200 each year, over the next five years.

The city also plans to replace around 140 diesel-powered trash trucks with compressed natural gas vehicles. Also planned is switching out 20 percent of non-public safety, light- and medium-duty trucks to alternative fuel models in the next three to five years.

Membership in the coalition will allow staff from each locality to learn from each others experiences as they make the switch, and develop best practices.

The coalition's goal is to expand to at least 25 cities that will remove 50,000 gas-powered vehicles from the road.