By Jon LeSage
When it comes to marketing green vehicles, questions come up that need to be answered in order to be taken seriously. For dealers, there are some resources available that are ideal for staff training.
Mark Smith, National Clean Fleets Partnership Manager for the US Dept. of Energy’s Clean Cities program, and by Terry Levinson, Senior Analyst at Energetics Inc., recently presented these at the NAFA conference in Atlantic City, NJ. They cover laws and incentives on these vehicles, charging and fueling station locations, ways to reduce petroleum consumption, and how to reduce fuel guzzling idle time.
Smith demonstrated three features on the DOE Clean Cites website that offer valuable information:
Federal and State Laws and Incentives:
You can find federal and state laws and incentives for alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation-related topics. Users can search all laws and incentives, view tables of laws and incentives, read key legislation, and find local laws and incentives
Alternative Fuel Station Locator:
As of press time, there were 11,597 of these stations in the US – electric vehicle charging stations, and alternative fueling stations: compressed natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol (E85), hydrogen, liquefied natural gas, and propane autogas. This site shows you where all of them are located, along with addresses and operational details. It all started when Google approached Clean Cities about setting up a mapping system for finding charging stations, which was later joined by Yahoo Maps and others to create Geo ESVE.
Petroleum Reduction Planning Tool:
Car owners can do simple calculations to evaluate vehicle choices and increase fuel savings. These include replacing vehicles, using alternative fuels in existing vehicles, reducing idling, reducing mileage, and driving efficiently.
Levinson has conducted several studies in reducing idling times and has been seeing some very impressive numbers for car owners that adopt these strategies. For those interested in reducing idle time, there are five practices to adopt with employees:
- Offer drivers incentives and rewards for idle time reduction.
- Have a clear policy in place about idling.
- Conduct educational workshops for drivers.
- Post signage for employees as reminders about idle reduction policies.
- Ask drivers to make a pledge to reduce their idle time.
Levinson says there are several new technologies on the market to consider, including engine idle management solutions. A Dept. of Energy newsletter offers resources for learning more about these technologies and management practices that are being utilized to reduce idle time. Click here to read past issues and get on the subscriber list.