With the arrival of spring and the season of summer quickly approaching, I’m sure many of you are busy making travel plans for family vacations or even industry conferences. With travel comes the stark realization that gasoline prices are again on the rise. This month’s eNews features a story titled “Middle East Instability and Oil Woes: Rising Gas Prices Increase Focus on Alternative Fuels,” which emphasizes the need for America to break its dependency on foreign oil.
Even before the United States quits relying on unstable countries to acquire petroleum, there are steps you can take to lessen that dependence now. If you have a flexible fuel vehicle, search for fuel stations that offer blends of ethanol, such as E10, E15 and E85. When you travel, consider renting a hybrid electric vehicle, which requires less gasoline fill ups and cuts down on emissions. And, while you may not be thinking about purchasing a new vehicle right now, start learning about various alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, so you will know which one is right for you when you are ready to buy. Even think about contacting your local dealerships to ask them if they carry a hybrid version of a car or truck you would consider purchasing.
Other Industry Headlines from this issue include Google Maps’ announcement that users can locate electric vehicle charging stations through the popular search engine, thanks to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s GeoEVSE Forum. NREL also has developed a website tool that aids in plug-in hybrid electric vehicle deployment. In addition, exciting biofuels news consists of community recycling programs that are putting residents’ cooking oil to good use as well as beer by-products and the agave plant: emerging as possible sources of vehicle fuel.
In consortium news, the NAFTC was proud to again sponsor the 2011 Energy Independence Days, an annual event in Washington, D.C., that brought together Clean Cities coordinators and industry representatives. It was also a pleasure to see University of Northwestern Ohio students at the recent Work Truck Show and Green Truck Summit as they saw firsthand how alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles are becoming more prominent among fleets. And, be sure to read about Ivy Tech’s conversion of an extreme utility vehicle that will run on various alternative fuels.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of us at the NAFTC if we can be of assistance.
NAFTC Executive Director