Archive for July, 2013

Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are becoming more prominent as technology advances and new markets open. EVs are powered completely by an electric motor and the energy stored in the battery, unlike Hybrid Electric or Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV or PHEV) that are a combination of internal combustion engine and electric motor powered by battery. This developing all-electric technology has the benefit of zero direct exhaust or emissions and with continuing increases in driving range, consumers will transition from gas to electric with greater ease.

EV owners enjoy the fact that they never have to visit a gas station again and no longer have the routine of stop and fill on the way to work. Flexible fueling allows EVs to charge overnight at a residence or a fleet facility and any workplace or location with a charging station. Fuel costs for EVs are much lower than conventional fuels because of the low cost of electricity relative to conventional fuel, not to mention the average EV has a 100 mile per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe).

Aside from owner benefits, EVs do not directly emit any pollutants, improving on local air quality for everyone. Overall EV emissions can be associated with what local electricity is sourced, however homeowner use of solar panels and renewable energy could effectively foster a net zero EV that does not impact the air in any way. Many auto makers have or are working on all electric vehicles as gasoline prices continue to rise and demand for an alternative continues. Several EVs are available throughout the nation, including the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus Electric, Tesla and many more, ranging from high end luxury to sports utility electric vehicles.  Find out more about Electric Vehicles and other alternatives at the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.


Clean Cities 20th Anniversary!

It’s a celebration! For two decades the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Clean Cities program continues to successfully coordinate government and industry efforts of pursuing alternative fuels, vehicles and strategies to reduce emissions and create a more sustainable transportation system.

In 1993, six regional sponsors across the country received designation as the first set of Clean Cities coalitions, and now after 20 years the program encompasses almost 75% of the United States’ population with about 90 coalitions, including Dallas-Fort Worth since July of 1995. This anniversary celebrates each coalition’s years of work to lower costs and emissions and encourage healthy, eco-friendly practices among a wide array of stakeholders.

These stakeholder projects, fostered by their respective Clean Cities coalition, are altering local and regional transportation impacts, saving more than 5 billion gallons of petroleum, averting more than 5.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and adding 660,000 alternative-fueled vehicles to the nation’s roadways. Since 2005, the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities coalition has been able to displace more than 90 million gallons of gas, with no signs of momentum slowing anytime soon. The ongoing efforts of regional coalitions and stakeholders have blossomed over 20 years into nationwide progress toward transforming our transportation system into a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly and socially beneficial aspect of the United States’ infrastructure.