Clean Cities Celebrates 20 Years of Data Collection and Dissemination

September 21, 2011

Clean Cities is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC), a premier online resource for alternative transportation information created in 1991 in response to the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988.

Back in its early days the AFDC functioned as a dial-up computer network that allowed users to submit data and access results. Users could also order technical reports and other documents through a telephone hotline. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory created the AFDC website in 1995, providing easier access to those resources.

The site, as well as the data behind it, has expanded over the years, establishing the AFDC as an indispensable source of information for fleets, fuel providers, policymakers, consumers, and others seeking to reduce petroleum use in transportation.

"I use the AFDC daily," said Dallas–Fort Worth Clean Cities Coordinator Mindy Mize, who works with the North Central Texas Council of Governments. "And it's not just me who's using it. We have a big air-quality staff that takes advantage of AFDC resources on a regular basis."

The AFDC's data sets include transportation- related laws and incentives, models and specs for light- and heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicles, and alternative fueling station locations. Each data set is updated and reviewed according to a strict schedule, to ensure accuracy and timeliness. And because the data sets reach back many years, it's possible for users to accurately map trends and histories, in addition to finding reliable information about present-day transportation options.

"The assortment of tools has grown impressively over the years, continually keeping pace with technological innovations in the marketplace," National Clean Cities Director Dennis Smith said. "The AFDC takes a lot of the guesswork out of a fleet’s efforts to implement new technologies, switch over to an alternative fuel, or employ other strategies to reduce its gasoline and diesel use."