Study: More Fleets Using Ethanol & Biodiesel

John Davis

A study from a group that represents fleet managers of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment shows that more fleets are using alternative fuels, and ethanol and biodiesel are high on the list of the fuels of choice.

The survey from the NAFA Fleet Management Association
found that the number of corporate fleets with sustainability initiatives soared from 64.5 percent to 76.6 percent within the past year:

The survey shows public service fleets are far more aggressive in their approach to sustainability, using a larger variety of methods and alternative fuels than their corporate counterparts. Three-quarters of all public service fleets use a mix of hybrid and other fuel efficient vehicles as well as the use of alternative fuel vehicles…

While 91 percent of the corporate fleets who use alternative fuel vehicles report the use of E85, no other alternative fuel topped the 10 percent mark. Public service fleets, however, were evenly split between those who used E85 vehicles (64.4 percent) and those using vehicles run on biodiesel (63.5 percent). In addition, public service fleets used vehicles run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) at 33.7 percent, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) at 16.3 percent, and electricity. Within the next year, a number of public service fleets plan to procure light-duty hybrids (66.4 percent), E85 (57.9 percent), bio-diesel (52.3 percent), battery electrics (44.9 percent), plug-in hybrids (32.7 percent), and heavy-duty hybrids (29 percent). In addition a significant amount plan on procuring CNG (15 percent) and LPG (13.1 percent) and nearly 3 percent are looking to procure hydrogen. Meanwhile, corporate fleets are mostly interested in procuring light-duty hybrids (63.8 percent) and E85 (53.2 percent) in the upcoming year; the numbers for CNG, bio-diesel, heavy-duty hybrids, and plug-in hybrids are all less than 11 percent, although close to 20 percent are interested in battery electrics.

The survey also showed that sustainability programs have been hurt by the poor economy, but nearly three-quarters of fleet managers believe sustainability will become more important again in the next few years.

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