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New Alternative Transportation Web Tools From NREL, DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched a new tool and redesigned DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center Web site to help fleet managers, municipalities and consumers choose from a wide variety of alternative fuels and energy efficiency strategies for reducing petroleum use, vehicle emissions, and operating costs.

The AFDC’s new Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool is an interactive Web application that allows fleet managers to evaluate the benefits associated with five alternative fuels – biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, natural gas and propane – along with a variety of efficiency measures, such as idle reduction and fuel economy improvements.

“Fleets across the country are trying to reduce their vulnerability to spikes in oil prices and are finding themselves increasingly subject to greenhouse gas emissions limitations at the federal, state and local levels,” NREL Project Manager Witt Sparks said. “This tool provides valuable information on a variety of strategies that can help them reach their desired and even required outcomes. From a single web page, a fleet manager can explore multiple strategies and know what the energy and environmental impacts will likely be before making any substantial investments.”

Users of the Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool can also explore options for fleet improvements by creating “what-if” scenarios based on solid data. For example:

“What if I replace 10 of my sedans with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles?”
“What if I start using B20 biodiesel in my heavy-duty trucks?”
“What if I convert my pickup trucks to run on natural gas or propane?”

Once a user or fleet manager establishes a set of measurable objectives to meet their desired goals, he or she can save the plan, make adjustments as needed or continue to investigate different scenarios. Easy-to-read charts and tables display annual reductions in emissions, petroleum use and fuel costs. Additionally, each section of the tool links to educational resources that provide background information on each efficiency strategy and alternative fuel.

The redesigned Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is recognized as the go-to source for sustainable transportation decision-makers. It provides a vast collection of information, data and tools that facilitate the deployment of alternative fuels, advanced vehicles and fuel economy improvements. The AFDC is part of a suite of resources provided by the Energy Department’s Clean Cities program, an initiative to reduce petroleum use in transportation through local public-private partnerships.

Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1sWJc)
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