Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Reducing Petroleum, One Billion Gallons at a Time

October 22, 2014

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This hybrid electric Prius that was on display at the National Alternative Fuels Day Odyssey kick-off event has been specially modified for training purposes. With this "cut-away" vehicle, mechanics and other students learning about hybrid electric vehicles can see the inside of the car and better understand how it is different from a conventional gasoline vehicle.

This hybrid electric Prius that was on display at the National Alternative Fuels Day Odyssey kick-off event has been specially modified for training purposes. With this "cut-away" vehicle, mechanics and other students learning about hybrid electric vehicles can see the inside of the car and better understand how it is different from a conventional gasoline vehicle.

William Davis, the director of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium that organizes Odyssey Day, recognizes the Department of Energy's contributions towards promoting alternative fuel vehicles with DOE's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar.

William Davis, the director of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium that organizes Odyssey Day, recognizes the Department of Energy's contributions towards promoting alternative fuel vehicles with DOE's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar.

In 2013, the Clean Cities Program and its stakeholders saved more than one billion gallons of petroleum. Last Friday, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation Reuben Sarkar announced this milestone at the kick-off event on the National Mall for the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey (Odyssey Day).

In 2013, the Clean Cities Program and its stakeholders saved more than one billion gallons of petroleum. Last Friday, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation Reuben Sarkar announced this milestone at the kick-off event on the National Mall for the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey (Odyssey Day).

What has nine zeros? A billion.

And what does that have to do with the Energy Department’s Clean Cities program?

Well, in 2013 alone, the program and its stakeholders saved more than one billion gallons of petroleum!

This is the first year that Clean Cities’ efforts have reduced that much petroleum in a single year, bringing its cumulative petroleum reduction up to more than 6.4 billion gallons.  Last Friday, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation Reuben Sarkar announced this milestone at the kick-off event on the National Mall for the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey (Odyssey Day).

With a mission of reducing petroleum in the transportation sector, Clean Cities works to bring more alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure to the roads, reduce vehicle idling, and promote other petroleum-saving solutions.  The national program works with nearly 100 local coalitions, which collaborate with 14,000 stakeholders to choose the technologies that make sense for their region. With options including plug-in electric vehicles, natural gas, propane, and biofuels, there’s a cleaner, more efficient option to meet every need.

Last year’s billion gallon accomplishment reflects the hard work of Clean Cities coalitions and the Energy Department to implement projects, build partnerships, educate fleet managers, inform consumers, and provide technical assistance. In 2013, Clean Cities also prevented the production of 7.5 million tons of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.  This is equivalent to removing 1.5 million vehicles from the road.  With this rate of petroleum reduction, the program is ahead of schedule for reaching its 2020 goal of reducing 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum a year.

Achieving this milestone couldn’t have come at a better time.  This past weekend, about 100 groups, including a number of Clean Cities coalitions, hosted Odyssey Day events. Odyssey Day is a biennial, global celebration of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles organized by the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Training Consortium. Partners come together to inform and educate fleet managers and consumers through workshops, vehicle displays and ride-and-drives. As more than a quarter-million people participated in the 2012 Odyssey Day, this year’s event provided thousands more with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with alternative fuel vehicles.

The kick-off event highlighted the diverse array of activities in alternative fuel vehicles going on in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.  Through a partnership with Clean Cities, the National Parks Service is bringing alternative fuel vehicles to the National Mall.  The Parks Service will install four electric vehicle charging stations (two of which will be open to the public), acquire two plug-in electric vehicles, and use idle reduction technologies in its work trucks.  In addition, the National Mall is partnering with the Propane Education and Research Council to deploy six propane lawn mowers that produce half as many greenhouse gases as the mowers they replaced.

Similarly, the Smithsonian Institution has reduced its petroleum use by 15% annually over the last nine years, an impressive downward trend. Looking ahead, the Smithsonian is increasing alternative fuel use by upgrading a compressed natural gas station, improving its biofuels storage, and installing public charging stations at museums. As partners of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities coalition, these stakeholders are making a major difference—the coalition reduced 10 million gallons itself in 2013.

From educating consumers to bringing alternative fuel vehicles to the National Parks, Clean Cities is reducing petroleum one vehicle, one fleet, and one community at a time.