Excellent Resources to Answer Common Questions on Green Vehicles

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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:


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


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.


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:

  1. Offer dri­vers incen­tives and rewards for idle time reduc­tion.
  2. Have a clear pol­i­cy in place about idling.
  3. Con­duct edu­ca­tion­al work­shops for dri­vers.
  4. Post sig­nage for employ­ees as reminders about idle reduc­tion poli­cies.
  5. 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. and get on the sub­scriber list.

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