Transportation Energy Goal #1: Reduce Petroleum Consumption

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Vehicle Efficiency ResourcesEfficient Driving ResourcesAlternative Fuel Vehicle ResourcesCarsMedium & Heavy-Duty Vehicles

 

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 Total Cost to Own. Refer to KPMG’s Global Automotive Executive Survey 2014 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 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions regulations and advances in vehicle technology (ultra-light and strong materials, drive train design, etc.) are spurring a transformation in the automotive industry which is resulting in tremendous savings for consumers and as well as reduced GHG emissions from passenger cars and light trucks. Interim targets for fuel economony 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:

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Resources

The Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center provides a wealth of information about all types of alternative fuels and vehicles of all sizes. This site lists related Vermont Laws and Incentives, as well as Federal Laws and Incentives. Their Tools webpage lists cost calculators, vehicle model searches, and locators of alternative fueling stations. Also refer to the Alternative Fuel Price Report and the Department of Energy Clean Cities Publications page.

Vehicle technology is advancing rapidly with new models hitting the market every year. The Alternative Fuels Data Center Light-Duty Vehicles Search for cars and the Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Search for trucks, buses, and tractors, help you identify and compare new alternative fuel vehicle models.

 

Vermont has adopted Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) regulations which were first introduced in California. ZEVs are vehicles with zero or ultra-low tailpipe emissions, such as battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hydrogen electric vehicles.  In October 2013, Vermont signed a Memorandum of Understanding with seven other states (California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island) to collaborate on the implementation of ZEV regulations.
 

The PSD has participated in a number of legislatively mandated studies assessing the impact of alternative fuel vehicles on the Vermont Transportation Fund:

The sections below list resources for the alternative fuel and vehicle technologies which are deemed by the 2011 CEP to be the most promising for deployment in Vermont.

 

 Cars

A critical strategy explained in the 2011 CEP is the transition of Vermont’s gas-powered light-duty vehicles (cars) to electric vehicles (EV). The PSD is collaborating with other state agencies under the Governor’s Climate Cabinet to support the deployment of EVs throughout Vermont. The PSD, ANR, and VTrans are lead members of the statewide Drive Electric Vermont stakeholder group which is coordinated by the VEIC’s Transportation Efficiency team. The PSD is also collaborating with the 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 our highways, for use by Vermonters and tourists.

There are many resources covering a myriad of topics about EVs and EV charging station infrastructure. Please contact Drive Electric Vermont or the PSD for more information.
 

General Resources:

Additional Resources for Consumers, Businesses, and Municipalities:

Technical Resources for Policy-Makers and Utilities:

Fuel Cell Technology: 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 is 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. Contact the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Bioenergy Initiative for information about industry development. Also look for updates on the New England Regional Biodiesel Workgroup.