Q. What is Clean Cities?
A. Clean Cities is a government-industry partnership designed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector by advancing the use of alternative fuels and vehicles, idle reduction technologies, hybrid electric vehicles, fuel blends and fuel economy.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Clean Cities contributes to the environmental, economic, and energy security of the United States by reducing our dependence on imported petroleum. Established in 1993 in response to the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, the partnership has provided tools and resources for voluntary, community-based programs that deploy alternative fuels across the country.
Q. What is considered an Alternative Fuel?
A. As defined by EPAct, the alternative fuels that Clean Cities support are Natural Gas, Ethanol, Methanol, Biofuels, Hydrogen, Electricity, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (propane) and P-Series fuel. All of these fuel types are defined in great detail in our About Fuels section.
Q. Why consider Alternative Fuels now? What are the Benefits?
A. There is no better time than the present to reduce our region’s and the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and to strengthen the United States’ energy security. The development and use of alternative fuels will do more to alleviate our dependence on imported fuels than any other initiative currently underway in the US. The utilization and promotion of alternative fuels can be done by corporations, small business owners, or individuals and is a simple, effective and immediate way to make a difference.
In addition to attaining a greater level of energy security and independence, there are many other benefits to using an Alternative Fuel. These include reduction in harmful emissions including greenhouse gases and the creation of jobs assisting the domestic economy.
Q. How does the cost of an AFV compare with that of a traditionally fueled vehicle?
A. The cost of an AFV is slightly higher than a traditionally fueled vehicle. However, funding is available on the federal, state and local government levels to assist with the incremental cost. Incremental Cost is the difference between the cost of and AFV and a traditionally fueled vehicle. To research cost associated with AFVs you can visit www.fleets.doe.gov.
Q. What types of AFVs are available today?
A. There are Alternative Fueled Vehicles available in all vehicle classes; passenger cars, light-duty, middle-duty, work and heavy-duty trucks, and school busses. In some cases if the type of vehicle you are looking for is not available in CNG, they may be part of an upfitters product package. Standard diesel engines can use Biodiesel with little or no modifications.
If your organization would like to ease into the AFV market dual fuel vehicles are also available through certified organizations.
For the most up to date information on what models are being produced for each fuel type, you can visit the manufacturer’s web site or the Clean Cities’ web site.
Q. What are the safety concerns of operating an AFV compared to a traditionally fueled vehicle?
A. CNG: Pressurized tanks have been designed to withstand severe impact, high external temperatures, and automotive environmental exposure and must meet U.S. DOT safety standards.
Propane: Pressurized propane tanks are designed to withstand severe impact and temperatures and must meet American Society of Mechanical Engineers and DOT safety standards. In addition, the fuel system is shielded from exhaust components and has additional safety valves installed.
Electric: There is no combustible fuel utilized in an electric vehicle, making it a safe alternative.
Biodiesel: Pure biodiesel is non-toxic. Blended biodiesel (B-20) has a higher flashpoint than regular diesel fuel.
E85: Has the same safety concerns as traditionally fueled vehicles.
Q. What alternative fuels are available in our region and how can I locate stations?
A. Compressed Natural Gas, Propane and Biodiesel are all currently available at publicly accessible locations on Long Island. Biodiesel and Ethanol are available in various different blends, (B5, B10, B20, E10 or E85) through OGS and the New York State Contracts. Stations are opening all the time offering each of these fuels. To find the most up to date information you can visit the Alternative Fueling Station Locator page of the GLICCC website.
Q. What types of Tax Incentives are there if I purchase an AFV?
A. There are both State and Federal incentives towards the purchase of AFVs. These incentives vary from fuel type to fuel type, as well as budget year. Please contact us when you are ready to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle for the most up-to-date information.