U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

About Clean Cities

The U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program advances the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum use in transportation. Part of DOE's Vehicle Technologies Office, Clean Cities has saved more than 5 billion gallons of petroleum since its inception in 1993.

Who We Are

Almost 18,000 stakeholders contribute to Clean Cities' goals and accomplishments through participation in nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions across the country. A broad spectrum of private companies, fuel suppliers, local governments, vehicle manufacturers, national laboratories, state and federal government agencies, and other organizations join together under Clean Cities to implement alternative-transportation projects in their communities.

What We Do

Clean Cities helps vehicle fleets and consumers reduce their petroleum use. Clean Cities builds partnerships with local and statewide organizations in the public and private sectors to adopt:

  • Alternative and renewable fuels
  • Idle-reduction measures
  • Fuel economy improvements
  • New transportation technologies, as they emerge.

Clean Cities works to reduce U.S. reliance on petroleum in transportation by:

  • Establishing local coalitions of public- and private-sector stakeholders committed to reducing petroleum use
  • Identifying funding and financial opportunities to support Clean Cities projects
  • Developing information resources that educate transportation decision makers about the benefits of using alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and other measures that reduce petroleum consumption
  • Reaching out to large fleets that operate in multiple states
  • Providing technical assistance to fleets deploying alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and idle reduction
  • Analyzing data from industry partners and fleets to develop tools and information for the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) that help stakeholders reduce petroleum consumption
  • Working with industry partners and fleets to identify and address technology barriers to reducing petroleum use.

Why We're Here

Clean Cities dates back to the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. These laws, which encouraged the production and use of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and the reduction of vehicle emissions, led to the creation of the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) in 1991. The AFDC's mission was to collect, analyze, and distribute data used to evaluate alternative fuels and vehicles.

In 1992, the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) required certain vehicle fleets to acquire AFVs. Subsequently, DOE created Clean Cities in 1993 to provide informational, technical, and financial resources to EPAct-regulated fleets and voluntary adopters of alternative fuels and vehicles.

The AFDC became and continues to be the clearinghouse for these resources. Its sister website, FuelEconomy.gov, provides consumers with information on fuel economy, emissions, and energy impact of all vehicles, based on vehicle data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The site also provides tips for drivers on maximizing fuel efficiency. FuelEconomy.gov was created in response to DOE's requirement under the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act to publish and distribute an annual fuel economy guide for consumers.

Photo of a fueling station sign.

Our Mission

Clean Cities advances the energy, economic, and environmental security of the United States by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum use in transportation.

The United States relies heavily on foreign oil to power its transportation sector. Our country imported about 40% of the petroleum it consumed in 2012, and about two-thirds of these imports came from outside North America, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Because transportation accounts for about 71% of U.S. petroleum consumption, reducing our dependence on petroleum-based fuels in this sector supports our economy and our energy security.

Increased economic and energy security aren't the only benefits of reducing petroleum use in transportation. Gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles are major sources of greenhouse gases, smog-forming compounds, particulate matter, and other air pollutants. Widespread use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles could greatly reduce the emissions that impact our air quality and public health.