Alternative Fuel Vehicles
The Energy Policy Acts of 1999 and 2005 and E.O. 13423 address the use of alternative
and renewable fuel sources, energy efficiency and all aspects of energy supply and
Alternative fuels are fuels which are not derived form petroleum. Alternative fuels
include biodiesel (link to definition a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines
derived from natural oils like soybean oil.), electricity, ethanol ( link to definition
clean-burning, high octane motor fuel that is produced from renewable sources.
At its most basic, ethanol is grain alcohol, produced form crops such as corn),
hydrogen, natural gas and propane.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) are vehicles designed to operate using at least
one alternative fuel such as ethanol or biodiesel. Ethanol (e85) can be used in
combination with gasoline to power Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). FFVs are specially
designed to run on e85, gasoline or any blend of the two.
E85 is a blend of 85 percent denatured ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. In certain
areas, higher percentages of gasoline will be added to e85 during the winter to
ensure that vehicles are able to start at very cold temperatures. Much like diesel
fuel, e85 is available at specially marked fueling pumps. Today nearly 700 fueling
stations offer e85.
To search for Alternative Fuel Stations near you go to
Another common mix is e10, a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline.
E10 is available many areas across the United States and can be used in any gasoline.
If all vehicles used e85, this alone can reduce ozone-forming pollution by twenty
percent. A typical e85 ethanol vehicle can save as much as four tons of CO2 every
year if they used e85 ethanol instead of regular gas.
Much of the increased interest in ethanol as a vehicle fuel is due to its ability
to replace gasoline from imported oil. The Unites States is currently the worlds
largest ethanol producer, and most of the ethanol we use is produced domestically
from corn grown by American farmers.
E85 also provides important reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When made
from corn, E85reduces lifecycle GHG emissions (which include the energy required
to grow and process ethanol)
Advanced Technology Vehicles (ATVs) are powered by fuel cells and hybrid drive trains.
Plug in hybrid electronic vehicles (PHEVs) are one example of and ATV and are required
by E.O. 13423 when they are commercially available at reasonable prices. This component
of the Green Procurement Program promotes powering items by fuel sources other than
fossil derived and nuclear sources or by using the traditional sources more efficiently.
The Frederick National Lab Fleet currently has 50 gas operated (18 are micro) and 26 Flex
Fuel (E85) vehicles. There are also four electric carts and 13 diesel. Unfortunately,
there are no bio-diesel fuel stations located in the Frederick area.
All purchases of vehicles are Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) unless the specific
type of vehicle required is not available as an AFV.
For more information on Alternative Fuel Vehicles go to http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/