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 demand.

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 Fuel

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 world’s 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 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