Virginia Clean Cities Celebrates 17th Anniversary with First-ever Alternative Fuel Vehicles Rally at the Raceway
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program is marking two decades of progress in the deployment of alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, fuel economy improvements, and other local strategies to cut petroleum use in transportation. DOE launched the national program in 1993, and Virginia Clean Cities has been a key contributor to the program’s mission in the Commonwealth since its founding in 1996.
Among other alternative fuel projects, Virginia Clean Cities managed the largest propane autogas deployment project in U.S. history with a government partner- converting over 1,189 vehicles to propane across Virginia and the Southeast. Virginia Clean Cities also managed the Commo
nwealth’s electric vehicle deployment planning through the Richmond Electric Vehicle Initiative as well as working groups for other alternative fuels such as CNG and propane.
In light of the coalition’s 17th anniversary, Virginia Clean Cities and its partners hosted the first-ever alternative fuel vehicles rally for Richmond and the Commonwealth at the Richmond International Raceway (RIR) on Thursday, November 21. This coincided with the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program.
Alternative fuel vehicles of all types drove across the Commonwealth to converge on RIR for the Clean Fuel Awards for government officials and fleets. There was a full program with alternative fuel and fleet industry partners including a ride and drive with propane powered medium duty vehicles, natural gas powered light and heavy duty vehicles and electric cars like the Tesla model S Nissan Leaf. Entrepreneurs, fleet managers, and policy makers came together for a State of the Alternative Fuel Industry Address.
As part of the program, Virginia Clean Cities announced the latest alternative fuel fleet vehicle interim numbers in the Commonwealth including 16,695 vehicles in 96 fleets. Virginia Clean Cities also announced that there are currently 347 alternative fuel stations in Virginia. Alternative fuel vehicles include hybrids and vehicles fueled by electricity, propane, CNG, E85 and biodiesel. Finally, Virginia Clean Cities announced that 9 million gallons of petroleum have been displaced from usage of these alternative fuels as well as 70,000 ton of greenhouse gases.
“The key to Clean Cities’ lasting success over two decades is its ability to build relationships,” said Alleyn Harned, Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities. “Through the coalitions, stakeholders learn from one another’s experiences, replicate past successes and work together on projects and events. This kind of collaboration creates economies of scale for alternative fuels and tipping points of demand for advanced vehicles, so petroleum is no longer the only game in town.”
Clean Cities advances the nation’s environmental, economic, and energy security by supporting local actions to cut petroleum use in transportation. A national network of nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions brings together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deploy alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements, and new transportation technologies as they emerge.