NREL/DOE Launch New Alternative Transportation
Nov 09, 2012 - National Renewable-Energy Laboratory
Ways to reduce fleet petroleum use debut alongside
a Web site makeover
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable
Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched a new tool
and redesigned DOE's Alternative Fuels Data Center
Web site to help fleet managers, municipalities and
consumers choose from a wide variety of alternative
fuels and energy efficiency strategies for reducing
petroleum use, vehicle emissions, and operating costs.
The AFDC's new Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool
is an interactive Web application that allows fleet
managers to evaluate the benefits associated with
five alternative fuels – biodiesel, electricity,
ethanol, natural gas and propane – along
with a variety of efficiency measures, such as
and fuel economy improvements.
Fleets across the country are trying to reduce their
vulnerability to spikes in oil prices and are finding
themselves increasingly subject to greenhouse gas
emissions limitations at the federal, state and local
levels," NREL Project Manager Witt Sparks said. "This
tool provides valuable information on a variety
of strategies that can help them reach their desired
and even required outcomes. From a single web page,
a fleet manager can explore multiple strategies
know what the energy and environmental impacts
will likely be before making any substantial investments."
Users of the Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool
can also explore options for fleet improvements
by creating "what-if" scenarios
based on solid data. For example:
"What if I replace 10 of my sedans with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles?"
"What if I start using B20 biodiesel in my heavy-duty trucks?"
"What if I convert my pickup trucks to run on natural gas or propane?"
Once a user or fleet manager establishes a set of measurable objectives to meet
their desired goals, he or she can save the plan, make adjustments as needed
or continue to investigate different scenarios. Easy-to-read charts and tables
display annual reductions in emissions, petroleum use and fuel costs. Additionally,
each section of the tool links to educational resources that provide background
information on each efficiency strategy and alternative fuel.
The redesigned Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is recognized as the go-to
source for sustainable transportation decision-makers. It provides a vast collection
of information, data and tools that facilitate the deployment of alternative
fuels, advanced vehicles and fuel economy improvements. The AFDC is part of a
suite of resources provided by the Energy Department's Clean Cities program,
an initiative to reduce petroleum use in transportation through local public-private
Among the features on the new site is a large library of maps and data, which
users can view and customize through interactive charts and graphics. Featured
data sets cover a wide range of transportation topics, including alternative
fuel use trends, driving habits, hybrid vehicle availability, biofuels production,
transportation regulations and incentives and vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the AFDC's most popular tools is the updated Alternative Fueling Station
Locator. This application allows drivers and fleet managers to find stations
that offer electric vehicle charging, E85, biodiesel, natural gas, propane and
hydrogen. Users can sort by fuel type, find all stations near a given location,
or map a route with stations identified along the way. The tool also identifies
the number of available stations by state and technology across the nation. As
part of the tool's new design, users can now easily embed the Station Locator
into their own websites. Once embedded on another site, the tool will continue
to access and display the most current station location data available on the
In addition to tools and data, the AFDC also features a large collection of case
studies in alternative transportation deployment, in both written and video formats.
These stories serve as road maps for fleets and drivers, so they can learn how
others overcame barriers and found success," AFDC Manager Trish Cozart said. "Users
can find real-life examples of fleets that run on biodiesel, cities that have
developed electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and school districts that
power their buses with propane."
Clean Cities is the deployment arm of the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle
Technologies Program. Through the work of nearly 100 local coalitions, Clean
Cities brings together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deploy
alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements,
and emerging sustainable transportation technologies.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable
energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE
by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.
Visit NREL online at www.nrel.gov
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