Funding to be used to promote use of alternative-fuel vehicles

July 17, 2014 By    

The Department of Energy will provide up to $4.5 million in funding to boost the use of alternative fuels — including propane — through the Clean Cities program.

The Clean Cities program works with nearly 100 local coalitions and thousands of stakeholders across the country to decrease the use of petroleum in transportation. Alternative fuel vehicles — those that use propane, electricity, natural gas and flexible fuel —┬áreduce America’s dependence on oil, support the domestic economy, and decrease carbon pollution, according to the Energy Department.

The funding will be used for seven to 15 deployment projects pertaining to on-the-road demonstrations, safety-related training, and emergency preparedness. The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will accept applications for these projects through October 1.

The money for on-the-road demonstrations will be used to give more drivers first-hand experience with vehicles that use alternative fuel. Potential car buyers will drive these vehicles for extended periods of time and data about their experiences will be gathered, the Energy Department says. The idea is to help drivers better understand the benefits of alternative-fuel vehicles by making them accessible through car sharing, car renting, and commercial fleet leasing programs.

Funding will be used to train emergency first responders, public safety officials and automotive technicians how to safely handle and respond to incidents involving alternative fuel vehicles.

City, state and regional emergency management plans will receive funding to help them incorporate the use of alternative fuels. This is important, the Energy Department says, because natural disasters often interrupt gasoline and diesel fuel supplies. When that happens, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure can be valuable resources for disaster relief and emergency response teams.

The Clean Cities program has supported community-led efforts to deploy vehicle and infrastructure technologies across a broad portfolio of alternative fuels since 1993. It has helped reduce nearly 6 billion gallons of petroleum, limit pollution and save money, according to the Energy Department.

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