2016 Delivered Alternative Fuel Gains for Fleets and Passenger Vehicles


Fake news? After hearing so much recent discussion over fake news and the need for responsible organizations to prevent it, it’s understandable if you’re skeptical now about what you hear on broadcast, what you read in your daily newspaper or what you find online.

But there’s some anecdotal news issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that hasn’t gotten much attention at all. At the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, we find that in 2016 there’s been considerable development of alternative fuels gaining greater viability and usage in powering more public and private industry and transportation needs. (For passenger vehicles, all of the major auto makers set new electric vehicle sales records, albeit from a small base…but that’s a story we’ll expand on soon.)

In Tuscaloosa, AL half of the public-school buses which travel 90 miles daily are now propane powered. In addition to the fuel savings, city officials say the buses are also 50% quieter, enabling bus drivers to hear what’s happening on their bus.

In Worcester, MA, their Regional Transit Authority bus fleet is going electric; they also use an overhead quick charge unit that refuels buses at the top of the bus and enables vehicles to refuel rapidly (going from 10% capacity to 95% in about 5 minutes).

In October, upstate New York’s Monroe County reported that it’s embracing alternative fuels in a big way. The county’s Green Alternative Fueling Station dispenses a variety of fuels—B20, E20, E85, compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane. “When you look at it, it’s a pretty sight,” said Melvin Rose, Monroe County fleet manager. Monroe County’s entire fleet of vehicles—including those driven by workers at the county’s public safety department, public works department and airport—all use the station.

Rose says their vehicles run on Biodiesel, ethanol, compressed natural gas and propane. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Number of Vehicles in Monroe County Fleet:1,100
  • CNG Vehicles:Six 12-passenger shuttle buses
  • Flex-Fuel Vehicles:148
  • Propane Vehicles:Three light-duty trucks, one van and two 12-passenger shuttle buses
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles:23

And earlier in the year, we learned that ampCNG—a Chicago-based developer of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations—now has a fleet of milk trucks that run on CNG made from cow manure produced at Fair Oaks Farms dairy operation in Indiana. In just four years, ampCNG has driven millions of miles on this renewable form of natural gas (or RNG) and has displaced nearly 6 million gallons of petroleum in the process. To date, ampCNG owns 19 CNG fueling stations throughout the country, and ultimately plans to expand to more than 100 stations.

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