Category Archives: Alternative Fuels

Are School Buses Ready to Go Electric?

school buses

Photo: Zemlinki! via Flickr

We often blog about how businesses with vehicle fleets can be more fuel-efficient. But what about our nation’s largest fleet: school buses. Tasked with carrying 25 million children to school every day, our collective school bus fleet is the largest form of mass transit in the United States. Making the 480,000 buses in operation more fuel-efficient would go a long way to reducing oil usage in our country.

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How Electric Vehicles Can Work for You

Sustainable America's Public EV Charging Station

As a Washington, DC, native, I thought I understood traffic well, but I didn’t truly know how bad it could be until I moved to Connecticut. I drive a Ford C-Max Energi to work, and this 16-mile drive can easily take an hour door-to-door, and that’s all highway miles.

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How We Got an EV Charger at Work (and You Can, Too)

Sustainable America's EV charger at the office

The electric charging station at our office in Stamford is a Level 2 with room for two cars to charge at once.

I drive a plug-in electric hybrid to work, and often mine isn’t the only PEV in the lot. With all this electric vehicle traffic, we realized it was high time to install an EV charger at our headquarters. We are not the only tenants in our building, and we wanted everyone to be able to fill up their batteries at work. Here’s how we went about it, plus some tips for those of you who want to lobby your employer to install a charger at your workplace.

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Students Seeking Fuel Cell

Darien High School Fuel Cell Team's car

The Darien High School Fuel Cell Team needs to raise $8,200 to buy a new fuel cell in order to cope at the Shell Eco-Marathon in April.

We’re inspired by a group of high school students in Connecticut who are building their own hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle — a project that has been in the works for a decade. There’s just one catch: They need to raise money for a new fuel cell in time to compete at the Shell Eco-Marathon in April. Learn more about these enterprising kids and how to support their project.

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The Future of Driving, Right in Our Parking Lot

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid was one of cars on display at our office on Sept. 18. Photo: It's Relevant

The first step to getting people to switch to alternative-fuel vehicles is to get them behind the wheel of one. That was the idea behind our “Cars and Cocktails” event last week in Stamford, where we assembled something for everyone—from super-affordable electric cars to a top-of-the line Tesla—all in one parking lot.

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“Pump The Movie” Takes on America’s Oil Addiction

Pump, the movie

How can we end our addiction to oil here in America? Many people—electric carmakers, advanced biofuel researchers, public transit advocates—are working to answer this question from different angles. But a new documentary boils it down to a simple equation: Give Americans a choice at the pump and watch the market do its work.

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It’s National Drive Electric Week!

National Drive Electric Week

If you’re in the market for a car — or just curious about what’s new in electric vehicles — you need to know about National Drive Electric Week happening September 15–21. There are 146 events scheduled throughout the week, all offering the opportunity to experience a wide range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars, trucks and motorcycles. Here’s how to find one near you.

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How Much Can You Save with an Electric Vehicle?

Charging an electric vehicle

Photo Credit: Melissa Hincha-Ownby via Compfight cc

If you know anything about electric vehicles, you probably know that they cost less to operate than gasoline-fueled cars. But the savings get harder to discern when you’re trying to figure out which car to buy. Will a used plug-in electric hybrid get better mileage than a new fuel-efficient gas-powered car? How do the electricity rates in your area affect the costs? A new tool called EV Explorer can answer those questions.

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Alt Fuels: One More Reason to Love Our National Parks

Glacier National Park has offered biodiesel shuttles since 2007

Glacier National Park. Photo: GlacierNPS via Flickr

The naturalist John Muir once wrote, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” That may explain why more than 270 million visitors flocked to U.S. National Parks in 2013. All those people mean plenty of cars, though, so the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program is working to protect our parks from pollution by finding ways to support and promote clean and alternative fuel usage within their boundaries.

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The Ups and Downs of Charging an EV at the Airport

EV parking at the airport

Photo Credit: jurvetson via Compfight cc

The road to widespread electric vehicle adoption continues to be a bumpy one. One of the continuing problems is a relatively limited distance that can be driven between charges and the still-developing EV-charging infrastructure. As a new plug-in hybrid driver, one of the biggest challenges I’ve come across since I’ve started using our organization’s Ford C-Max Energy is charging it at the airport. Here’s what I’ve found…

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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