Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The DOE's Public-Private Partnership is Reducing Petroleum Use

Early in July, the DOE announced that six companies have been added to the five charter members involved with the National Clean Fleets Partnership. The initiative is designed to help large companies incorporate electric vehicles, alternative fuels and fuel-saving measures into their fleets. The goal is to reduce US petroleum use by 2.5 billion gallons by 2020.

Collaboration is also part of the Obama administration’s National Clean Fleets Partnership. The public-private partnership promotes a peer-to-peer information exchange, and allows small and large companies to work together to benefit from buying vehicles in bulk.

The program enables companies to use DOE cost calculators, interactive maps, customizable database searches, and mobile applications to compile and analyze essential data. Each company will work with the DOE to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce petroleum use in their fleets. DOE will also help connect partners with clean fuel providers and equipment manufacturers where their fleets operate.

The partnership was Introduced in April 2011, and is run by the Department of Energy (DOE), it includes charter members AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, UPS, and Verizon. The five charter members are planning to deploy over 20,000 advanced technology vehicles, and will displace over 7 million gallons of petroleum a year, according to the DOE.

In 2009, ATT announced it would spend up to $565 million to deploy about 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles over the course of a decade. In 2010 the company has avoided the purchase of over one million gallons of gas and diesel fuel. ATT has indicated that it has deployed more than 3,500 alternative fuel vehicles as of March 2011.

In June, FedEx announced that it was adding 4,000 new fuel efficient trucks and cars to its fleet including hybrid and electric vehicles.

Since 2005, PepsiCo has been working on greening its vehcle fleet. As of 2009, the company had 1,250 hybrid vehicles, which amounted to the second largest non-governmental fleet of hybrid vehicles in the US.

In addition to Coca-Cola, Staples, Enterprise Holdings, General Electric, Osram Sylvania, and Ryder Systems inc., are now part of the National Clean Fleets Partnership. Between them they operate nearly a million commercial vehicles.

Coca-Cola has the largest hybrid delivery fleet in North America. Staples says it has increased the fuel economy of its fleet by more than 20 percent since 2007 through fuel-saving steps and the company is also in the process of testing all-electric delivery trucks in Ohio and California. Enterprise Holdings, offers Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs to consumers for rentals. General Electric has committed to convert half of its global vehicle fleet to alternative fuels and to deploy a total of 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015. Osram Sylvania aims to replace 10-12 percent of its fleet annually with more energy-efficient vehicles. Ryder recently opened its first natural gas vehicle maintenance facility, including two liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations, to support hundreds of heavy-duty LNG trucks.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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