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Small Company Makes Big Changes to Boost Clean Energy Economy

December 5, 2013 by Clean Cities

Nestled in Piney Flats, Tennessee, is a small company poised for big growth. Diversified Power International (DPI) designs and manufactures a wide range of products that greatly improve the efficiency of battery-related drive systems including solar energy storage systems and all-electric vehicles.

As the nation moves toward greater adoption of new energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, DPI is rapidly expanding its engineering, development, and manufacturing operations to keep up with demand. Through the Energy Department’s State Energy Program (SEP), DPI leveraged funds from the Tennessee Solar Institute, funded by the Tennessee State Energy Office, to provide high-level training to both its existing and new employees and upgrade its production facility. The upgrades included new equipment and new process lines, as well as energy efficiency measures.

More importantly, DPI established a manufacturing line for products previously made overseas, bringing high-tech jobs back to the United States. For the complete story, see the EERE Blog.

EPA and DOE Release Annual Fuel Economy Guide with 2014 Models

December 5, 2013 by Clean Cities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are releasing the 2014 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to identify and choose the most fuel efficient and low greenhouse gas-emitting vehicles that meet their needs. The 2014 models include efficient and low-emission vehicles in a variety of classes and sizes, ensuring a wide variety of choices available for consumers.

“For American families, the financial and environmental bottom line are high priorities when shopping for a new vehicle,” said Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This year’s guide is not just about how the latest models stack up against each other; it’s about providing people the best information possible to make smart decisions affecting their pocketbooks and the planet.”

“The Energy Department is committed to building a strong 21st century transportation sector that cuts harmful pollution, saves consumers money, and leads to a more sustainable energy future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “By providing reliable, user-friendly fuel economy information, the Fuel Economy Guide is helping Americans choose the right fuel efficient vehicle for their family and business and save money at the pump.”

The guide provides “Top Ten” lists allowing consumers to see the most efficient advanced technology vehicles as well as the most efficient gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. Consumers will also find a broad range of information in the guide that can be helpful while shopping for a new vehicle—including an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices. An online version of the guide, available through, allows consumers to enter local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate. Also, for the second consecutive year, the guide includes a 1–10 greenhouse gas rating for each model, providing a quick and easy way for consumers to identify vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA fuel economy estimates are the best way to compare the fuel economy among vehicles. Official fuel economy testing is controlled, repeatable, and accounts for a variety of real-world conditions for the average driver, like air conditioning usage and a variety of speed and temperature conditions. Individual mileage will vary depending on factors such as driving style, high air conditioning usage, carrying extra weight and towing, and weather.

For tips on more efficient driving check out the gas mileage tips at


More information, including a complete version of the guide and details on the fuel economy labels, can be found at and at for mobile devices. EPA and DOE will update the guide online as more 2014 vehicles become available.

Discover Clean Cities Blog

December 2, 2013 by Clean Cities

The Clean Cities blog is an informative resource.  Please follow this link to access the blog.  Enjoy!

Clean Cities Offers Fleets New Tool to Evaluate Benefits of Alternative Fuel Vehicles

November 26, 2013 by Clean Cities

Clean Cities is providing fleets a new tool to calculate payback periods and emissions benefits of alternative fuel vehicles.

Developed by Argonne National Laboratory, the Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) Tool can help a fleet estimate vehicles’ petroleum use, greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, and total cost of ownership.

The AFLEET Tool provides three calculation options:

  • The Simple Payback Calculator uses acquisition and annual operating costs to calculate the payback period for purchasing a new alternative fuel vehicle relative to a comparable conventional vehicle; it also calculates the vehicle’s average annual petroleum use and emissions.
  • The Total Cost of Ownership Calculator evaluates the net present value of operating and fixed costs over a new vehicle’s planned ownership period, as well as its lifetime petroleum use and emissions.
  • The Fleet Energy and Emissions Footprint Calculator estimates the annual petroleum use and emissions of existing and new vehicles, accounting for older vehicles’ higher air pollutant emissions.

The AFLEET Tool requires Microsoft Excel to run and may be downloaded free from Argonne National Laboratory or accessed through the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Biodiesel Production Tops 1 Billion Gallons

November 18, 2013 by Clean Cities

For the third consecutive year, biodiesel production has surpassed the billion-gallon milestone, according to recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency statistics.

The stats were derived from the most recent Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) data updated by the EPA monthly. According to figures from September, close to 140 million gallons of biodiesel were manufactured, pushing the year-to-date total past 1 billion gallons. In addition, 27 million gallons of renewable diesel, a diesel replacement similar to biodiesel, was also produced.

“This is a tremendous achievement that is a testament to the hard work of the biodiesel industry and the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard as an effective policy for diversifying our fuel supplies,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.

For 2013, biodiesel production is on its way to possibly reach more than 1.7 billion gallons by the end December, which more than exceeds the RFS requirement of 1.28 billion gallons.

App Helps Lead the Way to Alt Fuels

November 18, 2013 by Clean Cities

According to NREL, there are more than 15,000 alt fuel filling stations in the U.S. Photo courtesy National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

According to NREL, there are more than 15,000 alt fuel filling stations in the U.S. Photo courtesy National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

A new iPhone app by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) allows users to locate fueling stations offering alternative fuels, including electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, E85, propane, and hydrogen, nation-wide.

Available for download through Apple’s App Store, the Alternative Fueling Station Locator app allows iPhone users to select which type of alternative fuel they need to power their green vehicle and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. The app also provides the station addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation.

“Generally, people don’t search for a station while they’re sitting at a computer; they need this information while they’re out and about, which makes a mobile application the ideal means to deliver it,” said NREL Project Manager Trish Cozart.

The app pulls data from Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuels Data Center, a comprehensive, up-to-date database of alternative fueling stations in the United States. The database contains location and contact information for more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations throughout the country.


ARPA-E Awards $66 Million for Transformational Technologies

October 11, 2013 by Clean Cities

The Energy Department announced on September 19 that 33 breakthrough energy projects will receive approximately $66 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The support comes under two new programs, one designed for recycling metals for lightweight vehicles, and the other to develop biological technologies to convert biogas to liquids for transportation fuels. Funding will go to recipients in 15 states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

The Modern Electro/Thermochemical Advancements for Light-metal Systems (METALS) program provides $32 million to find cost-effective and energy-efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and titanium, which are ideal for creating lighter vehicles that can save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. For example, the Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto, California will develop a new electrochemical diagnostic probe that can identify the composition of light metal scrap for efficient sorting, which could reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and costs by enabling recycling of typically discarded light metal scrap.

The Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy (REMOTE) program provides $34 million to find advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert biogas to liquid fuel for transportation. This program aims to lower the cost of gas to liquid conversion while enabling the use of low-cost, low-carbon, domestically-produced natural tgas. For example, GreenLight Biosciences, in Medford, Massachusetts will develop a cell-free bioreactor that can convert large quantities of methane-to-liquid fuel in one step, which could enable mobile fermenters to access remote sources of natural gas for low-cost conversion of natural gas to liquid fuel. See the Energy Department press release and the complete list of projectsPDF.

Energy Department, EPA Release Used-Vehicles Fuel Economy Tool

October 11, 2013 by Clean Cities

The Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 12 released a new label that features EPA fuel economy estimates and carbon dioxide estimates for used vehicles sold in the United States since 1984. Consumers may create the new label electronically using a new tool on This electronic graphic can be downloaded and included in online advertisements on the web, while the paper label may be printed and affixed to the vehicle window. Because a vehicle’s fuel economy changes very little over a typical 15-year life with proper maintenance, the original EPA fuel economy estimate remains the best indicator of a used vehicle’s average gas mileage.

The Obama Administration has taken steps to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in the United States, establishing the toughest fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles in U.S. history. These standards are expected to save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump—or more than $8,000 in costs over the lifetime of each vehicle—and eliminate six billion metric tons of carbon pollution.

All new vehicles now include a comprehensive fuel economy and environmental window sticker from the EPA, including passenger vehicles that meet the new fuel economy standards. With the tool, used vehicle sellers can provide potential buyers with fuel economy information that they can easily understand. Last year, more than 40 million used cars were sold in the United States—roughly three times the number of new cars sold in 2012. See the Energy Department Progress Alert and the website.

Compelling LPG Video

October 11, 2013 by Clean Cities

Clean Cities Blog – Spotlight on Propane

August 27, 2013 by Clean Cities

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