Fermilab on Target for 20% Reduction in Motor Vehicles' Fossil Fuel Use by FY 2005
September 17, 2003
BATAVIA, Ill.--With more than 25 percent of the vehicles in its fleet now equipped to run on alternative fuels, the Department of Energy's Fermilab is well along the road to reaching the federally mandated goal of a 20 percent reduction in fossil fuel use by FY 2005.
The lab now has 63 alternative-fuel vehicles: 20 vehicles running on E85, a mixture of gasoline and alcohol containing up to 85 percent ethanol; 40 vehicles capable of running on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or conventional gasoline; and three vehicles running exclusively on electricity. The lab has also reduced its total fleet by 18 vehicles in the last two years, and recently had a 6,000-gallon E85 underground storage tank and fuel delivery system installed thanks to the Department of Energy.
The effort at Fermilab, and across federal agencies, stems from Executive Order 13149, "Greening the Government Though Federal Fleet and Transportation Efficiency," that took effect on April 21, 2000. The goal for "Reduced Petroleum Fuel Consumption" states: "Each agency operating 20 or more motor vehicles within the United States shall reduce its entire fleet's annual petroleum consumption by at least 20 percent by the end of FY 2005, as compared with FY 1999 petroleum consumption levels."
In FY '99, Fermilab vehicles used 100,578 gallons of gasoline and 28,166 gallons of diesel fuel. To meet federal requirements, Fermilab's targets for FY '05 consumption are about 80,000 gallons of gasohol and about 22,500 gallons of diesel fuel. So far, the only differences noted by the lab's transportation corps are the changes in hookups for the new fuels, and the recharging connections for the near-silent electric vehicles.
"Everything is basically operating the same as always, with no differences," says Brian Niesman, manager for distribution and shipping in Business Services. "The vehicles can do everything they did previously, and that's the whole point. We are still moving items from point A to point B, whether people, parts or equipment, and we're burning much cleaner fuel while we do it."
Vehicles are owned by the Department of Energy or leased through the General Services Administration, which negotiates with manufacturers. The DOE's list of alternative fuels includes alcohols (ethanol E85 and methanol); compressed natural gas (CNG); electricity stored in batteries; hydrogen; liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); liquids from coal; and biodiesel, made from plant oils or animal fats. On the horizon for Fermilab and other federal facilities are gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, and vehicles using hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Fermilab is a U.S. Department of Energy/Office of Science national laboratory, operated under contract by Universities Research Association, Inc.