Clean Cities has Transformed Transportation Markets for Alternative Fuels
In its 20-year history, Clean Cities has changed the world of alternative fuels, helping to displace more than 5 billion gallons of petroleum. The program has achieved this success through the work of nearly 100 local coalitions across the country and their thousands of stakeholders on the front lines.
When the Energy Department first established Clean Cities in 1993, many people had never heard of alternative fuels. Today, organizations in the public and private sectors are striving to become more sustainable, the price of oil continues to fluctuate, and the impacts of climate change are growing, making the need for alternative fuels self-evident. "Clean Cities addresses these issues that are increasingly important no matter what your political background is," said National Clean Cities Director Dennis Smith.
Spurred in part by Clean Cities, there are now nearly 200 alternative fuel and hybrid vehicle models on the market and more than 27,000 alternative fueling and charging stations in operation.
In particular, the 25 Clean Cities projects across the country supported by $300 million from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have played a special role in Clean Cities' growth. The funding directly deployed more than 8,000 alternative fuel vehicles and nearly 1,500 fueling and charging stations, but that was only the beginning. "The level of experience coalitions and stakeholders gained in deploying these technologies is unparalleled," Bluestein said. Based on their experiences with these projects, many organizations are independently investing in alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Some have even become passionate advocates, informing other fleets and creating new business models based on alternative fuels. The Recovery Act projects created "the critical mass, the tipping point," said Smith.
As Clean Cities celebrates its accomplishments, it also looks forward. Aiming to displace more than 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum-based fuel per year by 2020, it continues to find new ways to shift communities and fleets to a more sustainable transportation future.
Changes Coming to Colorado. . .
(Source: Colorado Department of Revenue)
Effective January 1, 2014, the excise tax rate for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) will change from $.205 per gallon to $.03 per gallon for LPG and LNG and $.03 per gallon equivalent for CNG (a gallon equivalent is equal to 126.67 cubic feet).
Colorado is one of the first states in the nation to reduce these tax rates. The rate changes could help to increase the market for these fuels. In the bill’s legislative declaration, it states “The intended purpose of this rate reduction is to fairly tax liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas and to create tax parity among special fuels based on the differences in each fuel's energy content.”
Certain fuel distributors, retailers and vendors will be required to obtain a Colorado fuel distributor license due to new legislation regarding these special fuels (HB13-1110). Those fuel dealers who may be required to obtain a Colorado fuel distributor license include:
- Any vendor of liquefied petroleum gas or natural gas (a public utility is not a distributor unless it sells these fuels through an alternative fuel vehicle charging or fueling facility that is unregulated under §40-1-103.3 C.R.S.)
- A private commercial fleet operator that uses LPG or CNG from a public utility.
- Any person who refines, manufactures, produces, compounds, blends or imports special fuel or gasoline.
- A person who contracts with a private commercial fleet operator to be a distributor on behalf of the operator.
- A public utility who sells fuel through an alternative fuel vehicle charging or fueling facility.
Distributing fuel in Colorado without a license can subject a dealer to civil penalties.
To apply for a fuel distributor license, go to www.TaxColorado.com, click on Forms and Forms by Number, then download forms DR 0214, 5785, 7064 and 7065.
If you have any questions, contact the Colorado Department of Revenue Fuel Tax Unit at 303-205-8205, option 2.
Alternative Fueling Stations in the Palm of Your Hand
New iPhone app helps drivers find stations(Source: Clean Cities Blog)
Drivers of alternative fuel vehicles can now find fueling stations using Clean Cities' new iPhone app.
The Alternative Fueling Station Locator app, now available through the App Store, allows iPhone users to select an alternative fuel and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Users can view the locations on a map or as a list with station addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation.
"If you drive an electric vehicle, for instance, you can now use your iPhone to effortlessly identify, contact, and navigate to the charging station that's most convenient for you," said Project Manager Trish Cozart of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "Drivers aren't searching for stations while they're sitting at their computers; they need this information while they're out and about, which makes the iPhone an ideal means to deliver it."
The app draws information from Clean Cities' Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), which houses the most complete, up-to-date database of alternative fueling stations in the United States. The database currently contains location information for more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations throughout the country.
The AFDC is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information about advanced transportation technologies and offers unbiased information, data and tools related to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.
E85 Handbook Updated. . . Available Online
The Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85 and Other Ethanol-Gasoline Blends has been updated and is now available. You can order it via the document order form or find it online here: www.afdc.energy.gov/uploads/publication/ethanol_handbook.pdf
The document serves as a guide for blenders, distributors, sellers, and users of E85 and other ethanol blends above E10. It provides basic information on the proper and safe use of these fuels and includes supporting technical and policy references. Updates in this version include a comprehensive list of compatible dispensing equipment, information about equipment for use with E15 and blender pump blends.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles Project Starts in Nine Colorado Counties
July 23, 2013 — Today, Refuel Colorado Fleets, a pilot project to boost the use of alternative fuel vehicles in public and private sector fleets, funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant to the Colorado Energy Office, announced that communities within nine Colorado counties have been selected for the project. Counties selected for the year-long pilot are Routt, Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, Adams, Garfield, Mesa, Montezuma and La Plata. A is funding the project.
Energy coaches employed by four community-based nonprofits will help business and government fleet owners work together with auto dealers, fuel providers, business leaders and local governments in the nine counties to pursue or expand use of alternative fuels.
"The Refuel Colorado Fleets energy coaches will support the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles,” said Jeff Ackermann, director of the Colorado Energy Office. “Each community will determine what makes sense for them, be that electric, natural gas, propane, or other vehicle types. Each of these provides economic and environmental benefits, making this an exciting project.”
Energy coaching will be done by Northern Colorado Clean Cities, Denver Metro Clean Cities, Garfield Clean Energy and Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency. The pilot project is being led by CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region, a Carbondale nonprofit with expertise in alternative fuel vehicle technology, energy coaching and community engagement.
"Colorado has built a strong reputation as a leader in renewable energy and other innovative industries,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. “Refuel Colorado Fleets' work on these projects in counties across the state only enhances that reputation. "There is great promise in alternative fuel vehicles and these types of programs help proliferate their use and allow communities to see how best to implement proven green technologies."
In the coming weeks, energy coaches will work with businesses and local governments in the nine counties to analyze their fleets, including miles driven and age, vehicle type and purpose, to determine the optimal alternative fuel to focus on.
Workplace Charging Challenge
Today, about half of the vehicles in the United States are parked at overnight locations with access to plugs, providing a great foundation for the country's plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging infrastructure. However, employers across the country are beginning to offer charging access in workplace lots, which serve as the next most-likely place a vehicle will spend time parked. In fact, the ability to charge at work can potentially double a PEV driver's all-electric daily commuting range. This untapped resource presents a significant opportunity to expand the country's PEV charging infrastructure.
To support the deployment of this infrastructure, DOE has launched the Workplace Charging Challenge, with a goal of achieving a tenfold increase in the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging in the next five years.
As part of the Workplace Charging Challenge, DOE is calling on America's employers to sign the Workplace Charging Challenge Pledge as "Partners" to make a bold commitment to provide PEV charging access to their workforce. The Pledge also enlists stakeholder organizations as "Ambassadors" to promote and facilitate workplace charging.
Partners who sign the Workplace Charging Pledge will:
- Commit to assessing employee charging demand and developing a plan to install charging stations. Partner plans will include milestones for charging infrastructure installation with a minimum goal of provision of charging for a portion of PEV-driving employees at one or more major employer worksites, and a best practice goal of assessing and meeting all PEV-driving employee demand.
- Take action by implementing a plan to install charging stations for their employees.
- Share progress on achieving plan milestones over time, as well as best practices.
Learn more about the Workplace Charging Challenge: