On Friday, President Obama announced the National Clean Fleets Partnership, with AT&T, FedEx, PepsiCo, UPS and Verizon as charter members. This public-private partnership is intended to help large companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations.
Through the Partnership, the Department of Energy (DOE) will assist companies in their efforts to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost-savings by offering specialized resources, technical expertise, and support. The partnership is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program’s “Clean Cities” initiative.
The five charter members represent five of the US’ 10 largest national fleets and collectively own and operate more than 275,000 vehicles. Their planned current and near-term petroleum reduction strategies will account for the deployment of over 20,000 advanced technology vehicles and annual petroleum displacement in excess of 7 million gallons. DOE is challenging other companies to join this important effort.
In 2009, there were more than 3 million commercial fleet vehicles on the road, consuming nearly 4 billion gallons of fuel. Fleets, which are typically centrally managed and comprised of a large number of vehicles, offer significant opportunities to reduce fuel use and carbon pollution. Through the National Clean Fleets Partnership, the Department of Energy will help companies:
Reduce fuel use through the use of more efficient vehicles and technologies, including hybrids; and
Replace conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles with advanced technology vehicles or ones that use alternative fuels, such as electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen, or propane
Partners will benefit from opportunities for collaboration with DOE and their peers, as well as DOE technical tools and resources.
In light of President Obama’s announcement of The National Clean Fleets Partnership, we applaud the public-private partnership model inherent in this partnership. We would like to reinforce the long-run advantages of electrification in reducing fuel consumption, over alternative forms of fuel as we move toward clean fleets. As battery costs come down as expected over the next few years, electric drive vehicles will become the most cost effective option by the latter half of the decade.
The 2010 Fleet Electrification Roadmap, which PRTM developed with the Electrification Coalition, outlines how Fleet operators can be early adopters of electric drive technology, and serve as a catalyst for the broader consumer market. The combination of high utilization rates, predictable routes, common use of central parking facilities, and total cost of ownership approach to vehicle acquisitions will make EVs and PHEVs attractive to operators of several fleet segments. These factors, combined with implementation of operational innovation and policy levers, could lead to EV and PHEV penetration in 2015 as high as 7% of fleet vehicle sales, or a fleet vehicle parc of more than 200,000. Such volumes would utilize some 20% of the announced capacity for advanced batteries and other components, benefiting the entire EV/PHEV sector in accelerating the volume driven cost reductions, and contributing to the faster adoption of EVs and PHEVs among consumers.—Oliver Hazimeh, Director, PRTM