Transportation Energy Goal #1: Reduce Petroleum Consumption
Petroleum consumption and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced with the adoption of more fuel efficient vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and flex-fuel vehicles, as well as vehicles running solely on alternative fuels like electricity, natural gas, and biofuels.
To look up fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles and their costs refer to FuelEconomy.gov and Edmonds True Cost to Own. Refer to KPMG's Global Automotive Executive Survey for a fascinating overview of the future from the perspective of executives from the automotive industry.
Vehicle Efficiency Resources
The federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Greenhouse Gas Emissions regulations and advances in vehicle technology (ultra-light and strong materials, drivetrain design, etc.) are spurring a transformation in the automotive industry that is resulting in tremendous savings for consumers as well as reduced GHG emissions from passenger cars and light trucks. Interim targets for fuel economy standards start in model year 2017. By 2025, the average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold must be 54.5 miles per gallon (or the equivalent for alternative fuel vehicles).
Efficient Driving Resources
Efficient driving, also called Eco-Driving, includes driving and vehicle maintenance practices that save money by lowering fuel consumption and maintenance costs. They result in a longer vehicle life. Some resources include:
- Efficient Driving Behaviors to Conserve Fuel
- Idle-Free VT
- Anti-Idling laws in Vermont
Note: As of May 2014, idling longer than 5 minutes is illegal in Vermont.
- Idle reduction for different vehicle sizes
- Truck Stop Electrification
Alternative Fuel Vehicles Resources
This site provides a wealth of information about all types of alternative fuels and vehicles of all sizes. Pages of interest include:
- Vermont laws and incentives
- Federal laws and incentives
- A tools page with cost calculators, vehicle model searches, and locators of alternative fueling stations
- Alternative Fuel Price Report
- Clean Cities Publications
Vehicle technology is advancing rapidly with new models hitting the market every year. For help identifying and comparing new alternative fuel vehicle models, see:
- Light-Duty Vehicles Search for cars
- Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Search for trucks, buses, and tractors
Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs)
ZEVs are vehicles with zero or ultra-low tailpipe emissions, such as battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hydrogen electric vehicles.
- Vermont ZEV regulations
- October 2013 Memorandum of Understanding signed by Vermont, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island to collaborate on the implementation of ZEV regulations.
Department of Public Service Studies
- Alternative Fuel Vehicle User Fee Options (Act 153 of 2012: Section 39)
- A Study on Replacing Motor Fuel Tax Revenues Not Collected from Plug-In Electric Vehicles (Act 12 of 2013: Section 28)
Resources by Type of Transportation
The sections below list resources for the alternative fuel and vehicle technologies that are deemed by the 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) to be the most promising for deployment in Vermont.
A critical strategy explained in the 2011 CEP is the transition of Vermont's gas-powered light-duty vehicles (cars) to electric vehicles (EVs). The Department of Public Service (PSD) is collaborating with other state agencies under the Governor's Climate Cabinet to support the deployment of EVs throughout Vermont. The PSD, Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), and VTrans are lead members of the statewide Drive Electric Vermont stakeholder group, which is coordinated by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation's (VEIC's) Transportation Efficiency team. The PSD is also collaborating with the Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD) and the government of Quebec to establish an EV corridor along major highways connecting Vermont and Quebec. This "green corridor" involves establishing partnerships with private businesses to install and provide public access to electric vehicle charging stations in carefully chosen sites on or near highways, for use by Vermonters and tourists.
- Drive Electric Vermont - This site includes a list of Vermont auto dealers who sell EVs.
- The Northeast Electric Vehicle Network
- State of Charge: Electric Vehicles and Global Warming Emissions
Additional Resources for Consumers, Businesses, and Municipalities:
- Blog post about EVs lower cost to own as compared to new gas-powered cars
- Creating EV-Ready Towns and Cities: A Guide To Planning and Policy Tools
- Community Planning Guide for Plug-in Electric Vehicles
- Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation Handbook for Electrical Contractors and Inspectors
- IRS, Plug-In Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
- Look at your electric utility website; some Vermont electric utilities provide information about electric vehicle charging
- Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Consumers
- Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Fleet Managers
- Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Public Charging Station Hosts
- Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Workplace Charging Hosts
- Siting and Design Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment [large file]
- Site Design for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Technical Resources for Policy-Makers and Utilities:
- An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid
- EV-Ready Codes for the Built Environment
- Hyper-Efficient Devices: Assessing the Fuel Displacement Potential in Vermont of Plug-In Vehicles and Heat Pump Technology
- A First Look at the Impact of Electric Vehicle Charging on the Electric Grid in The EV Project
- Plug-In Electric Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities
- Policy Priorities for Advancing the U.S. Electric Vehicle Market
- Review of Utility Integrated Resource Plans and Electric Vehicle Load Forecasting
- Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI) Roadmap
- Vermont Clean Cities Coalition's Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Stakeholders Readiness Findings Report
The 2011 CEP recommends Vermont state agencies monitor advances in fuel cell electric vehicle technology. Vermont currently has no hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
Medium & Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles powered by biodiesel, natural gas, and electricity are available and new models are released every year. In the near term, fueling alternatives for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles remain limited in Vermont.
The 2011 CEP supports a transition to alternate transportation fuel sources, including biodiesel, natural gas, ethanol, and electricity. Contact Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) for information on natural gas fueling. Natural Gas Vehicles can also run on Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) produced from landfill or farm methane. There are currently no RNG producers in Vermont.
The 2011 CEP recommends that locally grown and processed biodiesel be used to fuel farm vehicles and local business fleets. The Vermont Department of Agriculture and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund are collaborating with farms to produce biofuels as one way to reduce overall energy costs for Vermont farmers.