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Title: Refueling Behavior of Flexible Fuel Vehicle Drivers in the Federal Fleet

Abstract

Federal fleets are a frequent subject of legislative and executive efforts to lead a national transition to alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. Section 701 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires that all dual-fueled alternative fuel vehicles in the federal fleet be operated on alternative fuel 100% of the time when they have access to it. However, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, drivers of federal flex fuel vehicles (FFV) leased through the General Services Administration refueled with E85 24% of the time when it was available--falling well short of the mandate. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory completed a 2-year Laboratory Directed Research and Development project to identify the factors that influence the refueling behavior of federal FFV drivers. The project began with two primary hypotheses. First, information scarcity increases the tendency to miss opportunities to purchase E85. Second, even with perfect information, there are limits to how far drivers will go out of their way to purchase E85. This paper discusses the results of the project, which included a June 2012 survey of federal fleet drivers and an empirical analysis of actual refueling behavior from FY 2009 to 2012. This research will aid inmore » the design and implementation of intervention programs aimed at increasing alternative fuel use and reducing petroleum consumption.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Federal Energy Management Program Office
OSTI Identifier:
1134133
Report Number(s):
NREL/TP-5400-61777
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; FEDERAL FLEETS; ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND ADVANCED VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIES; SECTION 701; ENERGY POLICY ACT 2005; EPACT 2005; DUAL-FUELED ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES; AFVS; FEDERAL FLEX FUEL VEHICLES; FFVS; GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION LEASED VEHICLES; GSA LEASED VEHICLES; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY; DOE; NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY; NREL; LABORATORY DIRECTED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT; LDRD; Transportation

Citation Formats

Daley, R., Nangle, J., Boeckman, G., and Miller, M. Refueling Behavior of Flexible Fuel Vehicle Drivers in the Federal Fleet. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1134133.
Daley, R., Nangle, J., Boeckman, G., & Miller, M. Refueling Behavior of Flexible Fuel Vehicle Drivers in the Federal Fleet. United States. doi:10.2172/1134133.
Daley, R., Nangle, J., Boeckman, G., and Miller, M. 2014. "Refueling Behavior of Flexible Fuel Vehicle Drivers in the Federal Fleet". United States. doi:10.2172/1134133. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1134133.
@article{osti_1134133,
title = {Refueling Behavior of Flexible Fuel Vehicle Drivers in the Federal Fleet},
author = {Daley, R. and Nangle, J. and Boeckman, G. and Miller, M.},
abstractNote = {Federal fleets are a frequent subject of legislative and executive efforts to lead a national transition to alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. Section 701 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires that all dual-fueled alternative fuel vehicles in the federal fleet be operated on alternative fuel 100% of the time when they have access to it. However, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, drivers of federal flex fuel vehicles (FFV) leased through the General Services Administration refueled with E85 24% of the time when it was available--falling well short of the mandate. The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory completed a 2-year Laboratory Directed Research and Development project to identify the factors that influence the refueling behavior of federal FFV drivers. The project began with two primary hypotheses. First, information scarcity increases the tendency to miss opportunities to purchase E85. Second, even with perfect information, there are limits to how far drivers will go out of their way to purchase E85. This paper discusses the results of the project, which included a June 2012 survey of federal fleet drivers and an empirical analysis of actual refueling behavior from FY 2009 to 2012. This research will aid in the design and implementation of intervention programs aimed at increasing alternative fuel use and reducing petroleum consumption.},
doi = {10.2172/1134133},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2014,
month = 5
}

Technical Report:

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  • On December 19, 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) was signed into law as Public Law 110-140. Section 246(a) of EISA directs Federal agencies to install at least one renewable fuel pump at each Federal fleet fueling center under their jurisdiction by January 1, 2010. Section 246(b) requires the President to submit an annual report to Congress on Federal agency progress in meeting this renewable fuel pump installation mandate. This guidance document provides guidelines to help agencies understand these requirements and how to comply with EISA Section 246.
  • Per Executive Order 13031, “Federal Alternative Fueled Vehicle Leadership,” the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity provided $998,300 in incremental funding to support the deployment of 220 electric vehicles in 36 Federal fleets. The 145 electric Ford Ranger pickups and 75 electric Chrysler EPIC (Electric Powered Interurban Commuter) minivans were operated in 14 states and the District of Columbia. The 220 vehicles were driven an estimated average of 700,000 miles annually. The annual estimated use of the 220 electric vehicles contributed to 39,000 fewer gallons of petroleum being used by Federal fleets and the reduction in emissionsmore » of 1,450 pounds of smog-forming pollution. Numerous attempts were made to obtain information from all 36 fleets. Information responses were received from 25 fleets (69% response rate), as some Federal fleet personnel that were originally involved with the Incremental Funding Project were transferred, retired, or simply could not be found. In addition, many of the Department of Defense fleets indicated that they were supporting operations in Iraq and unable to provide information for the foreseeable future. It should be noted that the opinions of the 25 fleets is based on operating 179 of the 220 electric vehicles (81% response rate). The data from the 25 fleets is summarized in this report. Twenty-two of the 25 fleets reported numerous problems with the vehicles, including mechanical, traction battery, and charging problems. Some of these problems, however, may have resulted from attempting to operate the vehicles beyond their capabilities. The majority of fleets reported that most of the vehicles were driven by numerous drivers each week, with most vehicles used for numerous trips per day. The vehicles were driven on average from 4 to 50 miles per day on a single charge. However, the majority of the fleets reported needing gasoline vehicles for missions beyond the capabilities of the electric vehicles, usually because of range limitations. Twelve fleets reported experiencing at least one charge depletion while driving, whereas nine fleets reported not having this problem. Twenty-four of the 25 fleets responded that the electric vehicles were easy to use and 22 fleets indicated that the payload was adequate. Thirteen fleets reported charging problems; eleven fleets reported no charging problems. Nine fleets reported the vehicles broke down while driving; 14 fleets reported no onroad breakdowns. Some of the breakdowns while driving, however, appear to include normal flat tires and idiot lights coming on. In spite of operation and charging problems, 59% of the fleets responded that they were satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied with the performance of the electric vehicles. As of September 2003, 74 of the electric vehicles were still being used and 107 had been returned to the manufacturers because the leases had concluded.« less
  • This report focuses on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) fiscal year (FY) 2012 effort that used the NREL Optimal Vehicle Acquisition (NOVA) analysis to identify optimal vehicle acquisition recommendations for eleven diverse federal agencies. Results of the study show that by following a vehicle acquisition plan that maximizes the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, significant progress is also made toward the mandated complementary goals of acquiring alternative fuel vehicles, petroleum use reduction, and alternative fuel use increase.
  • The purpose of this technical report is to compare the altemative-fuel fleet requirements of the Administration`s National Energy Strategy (NES) with the alternative-fuel fleet requirements of S. 2166 (National Energy Security Act of 1992) and H.R. 776 (Comprehensive National Energy Policy Act). This comparison covers differences in oil displacement potential, cost of oil displacement, alternative-fuel vehicle (AFV) annual purchases, and number of AFV`s in operation by the year 201 0. This technical report is intended to provide perspective on the abilities of the NES, S. 2166, and H.R. 776 to help increase the use of alternative fuels in the USmore » transportation sector, reduce dependence on petroleum, and enhance environmental quality. The estimates contained herein are reflective of S. 2166 as passed by the Senate on February 19, 1992, and H.R. 776 as reported by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 30, 1992.« less
  • On December 19, 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) was signed into law as Public Law 110-140. Section 246(a) of EISA directs Federal agencies to install at least one renewable fuel pump at each Federal fleet fueling center under their jurisdiction by January 1, 2010. Section 246(b) requires the President to submit an annual report to Congress on Federal agency progress in meeting this renewable fuel pump installation mandate. This guidance document provides guidelines to help agencies understand these requirements and how to comply with EISA Section 246.