The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced 20 new projects to help states and local governments develop infrastructure, training, and regional planning needed to help accelerate the adoption of alternative fuel cars and trucks. These alternative vehicles can run on “fuels” such as natural gas, electricity and propane. In total, the DOE has awarded nearly $11 million.
“Building a clean and secure U.S. transportation system that leverages our domestic energy sources will give American families, businesses, and communities more options and reduce fueling costs,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press statement. “At the same time, these projects will help lead the way to further reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and protecting our nation’s air and water.”
Through the DOE’s Clean Cities initiative, projects will address a range of community infrastructure and training needs, such as providing safety and technical training for fleet operators, mechanics, first responders, and code officials; streamlining permitting and procurement processes; and helping public and private fleets integrate petroleum reduction strategies into their operations.
For example, the American Lung Association in Minnesota, based in St. Paul, Minnesota was awarded $248,788. The funds will be used for The Accelerating Alternatives for Minnesota Drivers project, that will provide safety and technical assistance and training related to Plug-in Vehicle (PEV) and natural gas fueling infrastructure; establish the Minnesota Natural Gas Vehicle Workgroup and create a strategic plan for statewide natural gas vehicle implementation; establish a Minnesota green fleet recognition program; and create the DriveElectricMN.org website as an online resource for electric vehicle (EV) users (and potential EV users) in Minnesota.