|On-road alternative fueled and hybrid vehicles made available 2009 (including light-, medium- and heavy-duty. Inset pie chart shows type percentage of total AFV units. Data: EIA. Click to enlarge.|
A total of 1,076,350 alternative fueled and hybrid vehicles were made available in the United States in 2009, a decrease of almost 29% from 2008 that reflected market conditions during 2009, according to the recently released report “Alternatives to Traditional Transportation Fuels 2009” by the US Energy Information Administration.
Of those, E85 flexible fuel vehicles dominate the market with nearly 75% of the total AFV and hybrid vehicles. The majority of these E85 units are intended for private use as traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, the EIA notes.
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT92) mandates the EIA to collect data annually on alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs) made available by suppliers, and to estimate the number of AFVs in use in the United States. EIA collects data specifically on:
The number of alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs) supplied each year; i.e., new AFVs and conventionally fueled vehicles converted to operate on an alternate fuel;
The number and type of advanced technology vehicles supplied each year; i.e., gasoline-electric hybrids and diesel-electric hybrids; and
The number of AFVs in use and the amount of alternative transportation fuel consumed for a limited set of fleet user groups.
|The amounts of fuel consumed by fleet AFVs. Source: EIA. Click to enlarge.|
The estimated inventory of AFVs in use by fleets in the US excludes gasoline and electric hybrids. It also reflects vehicles believed to be used primarily as AFVs—for example, privately owned E85 vehicles that consume traditional fuels are not included as opposed to those that use E85 fuel.
EIA estimates the inventory of AFVs in use by fleets in the US totaled 826,318 in 2009, 6.5% more than in 2008. (This figure excludes gasoline-electric and diesel-electric hybrids because the input fuel is gasoline or diesel rather than an alternative transportation fuel. DOE, which has EPACT92 implementation authority, ruled that gasoline-electric and diesel-electric hybrids are not “alternative fuel vehicles”.) Of those AFVs, 61% are E85 vehicles; 18% are LPG vehicles; and 14% are CNG vehicles. 2009 total fuel consumption estimates are:
- Total alternative fuel: 431,107 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons up .2% from 2008
- Natural gas: 225,165 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons, accounted for about 52% of all alternative fuels consumed due to its predominant use in the transit bus sector.
- Propane consumption: 129,631 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons
- E85 consumption: 71,213 thousand gasoline-equivalent gallons
- Electricity, hydrogen, and other fuels accounted for about 1%.