Ohio Governor Bob Taft has instructed the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to use at least one million gallons of B20 biodiesel fuel and 30,000 gallons of E85 ethanol per year, and to select only Flex-Fuel (capable of running gasoline or ethanol blends up to E85) vehicles for new car purchases.
ODOT uses about four million gallons of diesel fuel a year to fuel its 4,200 pieces of heavy equipment that can run on biodiesel or diesel fuel. The equipment includes pick-up trucks, dump trucks (snow plows) and off-road equipment.
Ohio DOT has been testing the use of alternative fuels since 1999 in a pilot program that required the purchase of $1 million worth of alternative fuels for use in the ODOT fleet. Since then, ODOT has used 1.2 million gallons of biodiesel fuel, for a total of about $1.6 million.
As part of the pilot program, ODOT installed an ethanol tank in Columbus for use in sedans and small cars. At the same time, it began acquiring flex-fuel passenger vehicles that can operate on either normal gasoline or fuel blended with high levels of ethanol.
ODOT now owns 193 flex-fuel vehicles and requires that all new sedans purchased are flex-fuel. As part of the governor’s initiative to further invest in alternative fuels, ODOT will now add an ethanol tank as it constructs new district offices around the state.