DOE: Clean Cities Program Saved 375 Million Gallons of Gas Last Year


Clean Cities coalitions around the nation displaced the equivalent of 375 million gallons of gasoline in 2006, according to a report announced on Sept. 28 by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The amount of gasoline displaced in 2006 was 50 percent more than the 250 million gallons in 2005.

Clean Cities coalitions are on track to reach 3.2 billion gallons of gasoline displaced in 2020, exceeding their established goal by 700 million gallons, according to NREL. Through its almost 90 coalitions, Clean Cities works with government and industry partners to increase the nation's economic, environmental and energy security by reducing petroleum consumption in the transportation sector.

According to the report:

  • Seventy-one percent of the 2006 gasoline displacement came from the use of alternative fuels. Thirty percent of that was from the use of compressed natural gas, mostly in heavy-duty vehicles.
  • The use of E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, grew substantially in 2006, largely because the number of E85 stations doubled -- from 436 to 995 -- in the year. E85 accounted for 24 percent of gasoline displacement from alternate fuels in 2006.
  • Coalitions reported acquiring almost 44,000 hybrid electric vehicles in 2006, a 61 percent increase over the 17,100 HEVs purchased in 2005. HEV use accounted for the displacement of approximately 9 million gallons of gasoline.
  • Idle reduction efforts displaced 8.4 million gallons in 2006, including 1.2 million gallons from truck stop electrification.
  • Almost 2 million gallons were saved by reducing the number of miles traveled.

"The significant progress Clean Cities made in 2006 shows impressive commitment by our coalition members," said Dennis A. Smith, DOE Clean Cities director.

The study was compiled from voluntary reports that represent a subset of the activities going on throughout the nation and indicates the impact of the coalitions and their priorities.

The full NREL study is available in PDF format at http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy07osti/41753.pdf.

Clean Cities is part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program. The program addresses the challenge of moving the United States away from the infrastructure and practices that contribute to dependence on imported petroleum and toward energy independence and security. In support of this challenge, Clean Cities assists the nation in meet­ing its objectives for renewable and alternative fuels use. To find out more about Clean Cities, go to http://www.eere.energy.gov/cleancities.

Also search the Web site's archives for additional articles related to National Renewable Energy Laboratory, including: "DOE Laboratory Releases Fuel-saving Estimates for U.S. Hybrid Electric Vehicles."

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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