Friday, July 24, 2015

Outlook: The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industry

By Guest Blogger: Sandra Curtin
                           Research and Communications Manager
                           Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association 

It’s an exciting time to be part of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry.  This energy technology has moved into the commercial realm, with proven benefits spurring repeat customers, growing sales and deployments in a wide range of market sectors.

Fuel cells – devices that utilize hydrogen and hydrogen-rich fuels to generate electricity through a chemical reaction, rather than combustion – are low-to-zero emission, efficient, resilient technologies sold to provide stationary and backup power, portable power, and power for industrial vehicles, zero-emission light duty motor vehicles, and buses.

The hydrogen and fuel cell industry now supplies fuel cells to Fortune 500 companies to deliver clean, reliable, efficient, and cost-effective power for retail sites, warehouses, data centers and other critical facilities.  Municipalities are using them, too, to power facilities like public buildings, emergency services, and waste water treatment plants.  By using fuel cells, both public and corporate facilities can remain up and running when grid power goes down.

Fuel cells are scalable, allowing the technology to power a building, or produce enough power to supply tens of thousands of homes.  eBay boasts one of the largest fuel cell installations in the U.S., with 6 megawatts (MW) installed at its South Jordan,Utah, data center. There are more than 230 MW of fuel cells installed in the U.S. across thousands of sites, ranging in size from a few kilowatts for off-grid applications, providing primary or backup power to cell phone towers, lighting, and monitoring equipment, to multi-MW power plants that supply power directly to the utility grid.  Fuel cells are also a leading solution in the material handling market, with more than 7,000 fuel cell-powered forklifts operating in warehouses and distribution centers across North America.

After finding success in stationary power generation and material handling applications, fuel cells are now moving into the mainstream, available to everyday customers, with the commercial introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).  In December, Hyundai began leasing Tucson FCEV to individual customers in southern California, Korea and in Europe.  Toyota plans to sell its Mirai FCEV  to the public this autumn and Honda is expected to follow shortly after in 2016.  Most of the other major auto manufacturers are also developing FCEVs.  By 2020 the industry expects to place tens of thousands of FCEVs in the hands of customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Governments and businesses around the world are investing in developing hydrogen infrastructure to prepare for these vehicles.  California has set aside $20 million per yearto fund at least 100 hydrogen stations, enough to support an initial FCEV market.  Automakers are also supporting the launch of FCEVs in California by investing millions in funding and loans to hydrogen station developers.  Beyond California, a network of hydrogen stations is also planned across five northeastern states.  Japan’s government has an initial goal of opening 100 hydrogen stations and had allocated more than $175 million to subsidize construction and operation and  major Japanese automakers have joined to help develop the country’s hydrogen fueling infrastructure.  Korea’s government has a goal of opening 200 hydrogen stations by 2025.  In Europe, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia are developing networks of hydrogen stations and are emerging markets for FCEV introductions.

Ultimately, we are confident in the outlook of our industry.  Whether powering homes, businesses, data centers, cell towers, municipalities, forklifts, cars, or buses, fuel cell technologies have a proven track record of providing clean, efficient, and reliable power, and we expect continued growth in the coming years in existing markets, as well as new ones.

UCCC invites guest bloggers to share their insights into the alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle market. We appreciate their contributions and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community.

July Question of the Month

Question: What factors affect fuel prices?

Answer: When gasoline and diesel prices spike, we often want to blame someone for our pain at the pump. The reality is that the oil industry is a complex market. Though there are numerous factors that could ultimately influence the price of fuel, such as weather, government policies, and international relations, there are four factors that have the most significant influence. These factors include the cost of crude oil, refining costs and profits, distribution and marketing costs, and fuel taxes. Alternative fuels, such as natural gas, propane, electricity, and biofuels, can mitigate some price fluctuations attributable to short-term events, like natural disasters, because they diversify the fuel supply; however, some alternative fuel prices are also dependent on similar factors.

In May 2015, the average retail price of regular grade gasoline was $2.72, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Below is a summary of the factors that affect gasoline prices, and the relative percentage of each component. We have also described how each of these factors may affect alternative fuel prices.

Crude Oil
As of May, approximately 51% of the cost of gasoline was related to the price of crude oil. The fluctuation in crude oil price is the biggest factor in the volatility of the price of gasoline, as the other costs (described blow) are relatively static.

Crude oil prices are largely a product of supply and demand. Global demand has grown in recent years due to world economic growth and increased access to vehicles, particularly in developing nations. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which produced about 40% of the world’s crude oil between 2000 and 2014, also has significant influence on oil prices by setting production limits among members. Part of the reason oil prices have declined significantly since July 2014 is that OPEC nations are not limiting production, resulting in a global ‘glut’ of crude oil. Much of this glut stems from a surge in oil production in the United States and Canada over the last few years from unconventional sources, like shale. This price could change dramatically, however, if there is a major global supply disruption. 

With the exception of electricity and natural gas, alternative fuel prices can also be impacted by the price of crude oil and the price and demand for petroleum products. Higher or lower demand for gasoline also influences ethanol demand, for example, and ethanol is closely linked to the price of gasoline, as shown in the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report. Biodiesel wholesale costs are largely influenced by the price of diesel. Propane costs historically tend to follow crude oil prices, though not to the same extent as other fuels, and change seasonally because of the demand for propane as heating fuel in the winter.

Alternative fuel prices are also affected by the applicable commodity price, though the impact varies by fuel. For example, the price of natural gas only comprises 20% of the compressed natural gas (CNG) price at the pump, according to the American Gas Association (AGA). Because the natural gas is a relatively small percentage of the overall fuel price, a swing in the natural gas commodity prices has less of an effect on the CNG price at the pump. In addition, natural gas costs are typically regulated and less expensive than petroleum (on a gasoline gallon equivalent, or GGE, basis) and the infrastructure is independent of oil infrastructure.

Refining Costs and Profits
Crude oil must be refined into gasoline and diesel so it is compatible with our vehicles. Refining oil takes energy and costs may vary based on the type and origin of the crude oil used in the process. In May, refinery costs and profits represented about 22% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

Alternative fuels, such as propane, natural gas, and biofuels, are also “refined” or otherwise altered before they can be used in vehicles. Propane is a by-product of crude oil refining and is also produced as a liquid from natural gas and oil wells. Propane from natural gas liquids does not require refining; however, it must go through a scrubbing process to remove contaminants, as well as a separation process. Natural gas is produced from natural gas and oil wells, and is also subject to a separation and treatment process to remove contaminants. It must also be compressed in order to be transported in major distribution pipelines. Biofuel production facilities are often called ‘biorefineries’ because they produce and refine crude biofuels at the same location.

Distribution and Marketing
Since many of us do not live next to oil refineries, gasoline and diesel must be transported to local fueling stations first through a sophisticated system of pipelines, trucks, or barges to a network of fuel terminals, which can also be referred to as a distribution rack. The distributors, also called jobbers, load and blend the gasoline and diesel with other products (e.g., ethanol, biodiesel) in tanker trucks, which is driven to your local retail outlets and placed in underground storage tanks. In every part of the supply chain there are costs associated with employee salaries and benefits, equipment, taxes, insurance, and other types of overhead. In May, these resulting costs equaled about 10% of the price of a gallon of gasoline.

Finally, motor fuel taxes contribute to the construction and maintenance of the roads we use on a regular basis. In the early 1900s, state governments devised ways to collect taxes on each gallon of fuel to help cover these costs and increase revenue. In May, federal, state, and local taxes accounted for 17% of the average retail price of a gallon of gasoline. Federal excise taxes are currently $0.184 per gallon of gasoline or ethanol and $0.244 per gallon of diesel or biodiesel. Propane and CNG are taxed at $0.183 per gallon of propane or GGE of CNG, and liquefied natural gas is taxed at $0.243 per gallon. The September Question of the Month will delve into this topic in more detail.

State and local fuel taxes vary widely by jurisdiction. Though motor fuel taxes are applied to each gallon of gasoline or diesel sold, alternative fuels can also be taxed on an energy equivalent basis with gasoline and/or diesel. Some states use alternatives to traditional state fuel taxes, such as annual fees for alternative fuel vehicles or taxes based on the number of miles traveled. Look for the August Question of the Month for more information on these alternatives.

Though the alternative fuel supply chain differs slightly from conventional fuels, many of the same factors influencing oil prices also impact alternative fuels. Now when you fill up your vehicle, take a moment to think about all the infrastructure and people required to process and deliver fuel from the field to the pump.

For more information on fuel prices, please refer to the following websites:
·         EIA’s Factors Affecting Gasoline Prices (
·         EIA’s Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update (
·         Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuel Price Report (
·         U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, Form 720 (
·         AGA’s 2015 Playbook (

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June Question of the Month

Question of the Month: What are the latest updates on hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicle deployment?

Answer: Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have been around for a while, mostly in limited quantities and locations through demonstration projects. But these vehicles, with their potential to significantly cut petroleum consumption and reduce emissions, are starting to make their way into dealerships and onto roads across the country. Though the market for FCEVs is still in its infancy, many government organizations and private companies are working on research and deployment efforts to make hydrogen a widespread, viable, affordable, and safe alternative vehicle fuel.

Below are some of the recent activities related to FCEV commercialization:

Vehicle Availability
FCEVs are beginning to enter the consumer market in certain regions in the United States and around the world. Hyundai introduced the 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell in California last year for lease, and Toyota Motor Company announced they will release the 2016 Mirai for sale this October at eight California dealerships that were specially selected for their experience with alternative fuels and their proximity to existing hydrogen fueling stations. Vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes/Daimler, Nissan, and Volkswagen are expecting to launch FCEV production vehicles in select regions of the country in the coming years. Other automakers continue to introduce their FCEVs through demonstration projects. The FCEV market is also growing for buses, ground support equipment, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, back-up power, prime power applications, and continues to be strong for forklifts.

While OEMs are offering affordable lease options, some of which include the cost of fuel, FCEVs are still expensive. However, production costs have decreased significantly in recent years and FCEVs are expected to be cost-competitive with conventional vehicles in the coming years.

Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure
As the FCEV market expands, hydrogen fueling infrastructure will need to grow to match demand. Most of the hydrogen stations available today have been built to support OEM FCEV demonstration projects. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) Alternative Fueling Station Locator (, there are 12 publicly accessible hydrogen stations in the United States, with many more in the planning stages. According to the California Fuel Cell Partnership (, there are 49 more stations in development in California that will be publically available. Development efforts are also underway in Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Like the vehicles, the high cost of fueling equipment remains a key challenge. Hydrogen station costs can vary significantly based on hydrogen feedstock, station capacity, utilization, proximity to production, and available incentives. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Hydrogen Station Cost Calculator estimates that stations can cost between $2 and $5 million. However, like FCEVs, as the demand grows, the cost of hydrogen fueling equipment will decrease and the number of stations will increase.

Codes, Standards, and Incentives
The widespread deployment of FCEVs and the associated network of hydrogen fueling stations requires the development, maintenance, and harmonization of codes, standards, and regulations to keep up with the technology. These efforts are ongoing and are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as well as domestic and international organizations.

Incentives will also continue to be important to promote and maintain a market for hydrogen and FCEVs. California is leading in the number of relevant state incentives. For instance, to meet the objectives of California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program, the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program ( is allocating $20 million annually for the construction of at least 100 public hydrogen stations in California by January 1, 2024. In addition, California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project offers up to $5,000 for the purchase or lease of approved FCEVs ( Nine other states (Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have also adopted California’s ZEV mandate to increase the number of ZEVs, including FCEVs, on the roads.

Ongoing Research and Development
Significant research and development efforts by DOE, the national laboratories, and other H2USA partners have brought the hydrogen industry to where it is today ( Through their Fuel Cell Technologies Office (, DOE continues to support research in the areas of hydrogen production, delivery, and storage, as well as technology validation, manufacturing, and market transformation.

Additional Resources
·         AFDC’s Hydrogen page ( provides basic information on hydrogen, FCEVs, and the associated infrastructure.
·         AFDC’s Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search ( allows users to look for available FCEVs.
·         DOE’s website ( covers relevant safety, codes, and standards.
·         AFDC’s Hydrogen Laws and Incentives page ( is a searchable tool with information on state regulations and incentives pertaining to hydrogen.

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

Dedicated-CNG Civic Still Available in Utah

Honda Discontinues dedicated-CNG Civic & Civic Hybrid models

June 15th, American Honda North America announced that they will be discontinuing its dedicated-CNG Civic Natural Gas and Civic Hybrid models. Challenges with refueling infrastructure and consumer demand where the major drivers of this decision according to Honda VP John Mendel. This change is part of Honda's shift towards a new generation of advanced technology vehicles for the 2016 model year, including a new fuel cell vehicle. Official Release

Currently, there are over 250 dedicated-CNG Civics (model year 2014 and model year 2015) in stock at Honda Dealerships across the country. Honda has committed to provide  the same high level of service and warranty support for all natural gas civic clients in the future. Below is a list of all Utah dealers that have dedicated-CNG vehicles in stock. As of today, there are only eight 2014 Civic Natural Gas units remaining in the state of Utah. American Honda has offered to bring additional vehicles in from out-of-state for business and fleet customers if there is demand. However, if these vehicles are not purchased in the near term, they will be used for fill out-of-state orders. 

 If you are interested, as a fleet or consumer, please contact the dealers listed or Elizabeth Munger a Honda Field Sales Consultant (512-694-1004 or

Natural gas industry partner letter issued on June 15th:

In the News:

NGI THE WEEKLY GAS MARKET REPORT: Honda Drops Production of NGVs; Moves to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
FLEETS & FUELS: Honda Drops CNG After 15 Years
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Honda to Discontinue CNG and Hybrid Civic Models
AUTOMOTIVE NEWS: Honda will drop CNG vehicles to focus on hybrids, EVs
NGT NEWS: Honda Scraps the CNG Civic

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May Question of the Month

Question of the Month: How can I improve my gas mileage while driving this summer?

Answer: Whether you are taking a summer road trip or just running errands around town, there are things you can do to improve your fuel economy and save money on fuel in the summertime.

You may notice an increase in your fuel economy as the weather gets warmer. This is because vehicle engines, transmissions and other components take less time to warm up and summer gasoline blends can have slightly more energy per gallon than winter blends. However, if you use your air conditioning (AC) a lot or drive with the windows down, you might actually see your fuel economy drop.

AC is the main contributor to reduced fuel economy in the summertime. In fact, using the AC can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by as much as 25%, or even more if you are driving a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). Driving with the windows down can also reduce fuel economy due to greater aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) on the vehicle. Though this has a small effect on fuel economy, aerodynamic drag is more apparent when driving at the highway speeds typical for road trips.

The following tips can help you use the AC more efficiently and therefore improve fuel economy in the summer:
·         Read the owner’s manual for detailed information on how your vehicle’s AC system works and how to use it efficiently.
·         Park your vehicle in shady areas or use a sunshade to keep the interior from getting too hot.
·         Do not use the AC more than needed. If you need to use the AC, avoid using the “max” setting for extended periods.
·         If you are driving at high speeds, use the AC instead of rolling down the windows. If the vehicle is too hot, you may lower the car windows to expel hot air for the first few minutes. Once the hot air has left the vehicle, switch to using the AC.
·         Avoid excessive idling. Idling can use a quarter to half a gallon of fuel per hour, and more if the AC is on. Do not idle the vehicle to cool it down before a trip; most AC systems actually cool the vehicle faster while driving.
·         PEV owners, pre-cool your vehicle with the AC while still plugged in.Since PEVs use battery power to provide AC, it can drain the vehicle’s batteries and reduce the vehicle’s overall range. If you need to use the AC to cool down your PEV, try to do so while the vehicle is still charging.

The following tips should be used year-round to improve fuel economy:
·         Use cruise control while driving on highways to maintain a consistent speed and conserve fuel.
·         Remove any unnecessary weight from the vehicle. Vehicles with heavier loads tend to have reduced fuel economy. An additional 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce fuel economy by 1%.  
·         Avoid transporting cargo on the rooftop of the vehicle. Traveling with cargo on the roof increases wind resistance and can significantly lower your fuel economy. Rear-mounted cargo has a much smaller effect on fuel economy than rooftop cargo.
·         Avoid aggressive driving. Aggressive driving (speeding, quick acceleration and heavy braking) can reduce fuel economy by as much as 33% at highway speeds and 5% at city speeds. This informational video shows real-world effects of aggressive driving on fuel economy:
·         Ensure your tires are properly inflated. Tires that are not inflated to the proper pressure can reduce fuel economy by 0.3% for every one pound per square inch (PSI) drop in pressure in all of the tires. Having your tires inflated to the proper pressure is also safer and can help tires last longer.
·         Pay attention to the speed limit. Not only is this a safe practice, but gas mileage tends to decrease when driving at speeds above 50 miles per hour.

For more information on how to improve your fuel economy, please refer to the following websites:
·         Fuel Economy in Hot Weather -
·         Gas Mileage Tips -
·         Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape -

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April Question of the Month

Question of the Month: 

What are the weight limits for heavy-duty vehicles on interstate highways? What weight limit exemptions exist for vehicles equipped with idle reduction technology?

Answer: Under federal law, no vehicle weighing more than 20,000 pounds (lbs) on one axle, 34,000 lbs on a tandem axle, or 80,000 lbs overall may access federal interstate highways (e.g., Interstate 70, which runs across the country from Maryland to Utah), regardless of where they get on the highway.[1] States must enforce these requirements, or they may not be eligible for federal highway funding. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) allows states to offer weight-limit exemptions for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) with on-board idle reduction technology.

Please note that states may set their own weight restrictions for roads that start and end within their boundaries, but we will focus on interstate highway requirements here.

Idle Reduction Technologies
Federal regulations allow states to adopt weight exemptions for auxiliary power units (APUs) or other qualified technologies that reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions from engine idling. APUs are portable, vehicle-mounted systems that provide power for climate control and electrical devices without idling. For long-haul trucks, these systems typically have a small internal combustion engine (usually diesel) equipped with a generator to provide electricity and heat. Other on-board idle reduction technologies include automatic start-stop controls, energy recovery systems, fuel-operated heaters, coolant heaters, and battery-electric and thermal-storage air conditioners.

State Weight Exemptions
States may permit HDVs equipped with idle reduction technology to exceed the specified weight limit by up to 550 lbs to compensate for the additional weight of the equipment. The allowance was previously 400 lbs, but the federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) legislation, enacted in 2012, increased it to 550 lbs. States must enact a law or institute an enforcement policy with their own exemptions to reflect this increased weight allowance. A map of APU weight exemptions by state is available on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) State Recognition of the Auxiliary Power Weight Exemption to Gross Vehicle Weight website ( Vehicle weight limit exemptions for APUs are also displayed in the table below. As the map and table show, many states have not updated their laws and enforcement policies to reflect the increase in the federal allowance to 550 lbs, which means the exemption is still limited to 400 lbs. There are also six states where the exemption is not permitted at all.

APU Weight Exemption
State Implementation
550 lbs
State Legislation
400 lbs
State Enforcement Policy
State Legislation
State Legislation
* West Virginia Code 17C-13A-4 refers to the U.S. Code directly for the exact weight.

States must require HDV drivers to demonstrate eligibility for vehicle weight limit exemptions. For example, drivers may need to have paperwork on hand that verifies the weight of the idle reduction equipment and be able to demonstrate that it is functional. Requirements are different from state to state.

More information on these state weight limit exemptions is also available on the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Laws and Incentives database ( The Advanced Search options ( allow you to identify specific exemptions by location, technology/fuel type (idle reduction), incentive/regulation type (exemption), and user-type (vehicle owner or driver). Each description of a state idle reduction weight exemption includes a reference to the applicable legislation or policy.

Refer to the following for more information on idle reduction technologies and state vehicle weight limit exemptions for this equipment:
·         EERE National Idling Reduction Network News (
·         AFDC’s Onboard Idle Reduction Equipment for Heavy-Duty Trucks page (
·         Argonne National Laboratory’s Idle Reduction Tools and Outreach Materials (

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

March Question of the Month

Question of the Month:  

Question of the Month: What are the key terms and considerations I should remember when discussing emissions?

Answer: When discussing emissions, it is important to use the appropriate terms, know the context, and present a complete picture. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a number of tools and resources available to understand and calculate the emissions benefits of alternative fuels and vehicles (see below). But first, let's get back to the basics.

Criteria Pollutants versus Non-Criteria Pollutants
Vehicles emit both criteria pollutants and non-criteria pollutants. In compliance with the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies six common pollutants as criteria pollutants based on certain health and environmental standards:
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Oxides of nitrogen (NOx)
  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • Ozone
  • Oxides of sulfur (SOx)
  • Lead
For more information about criteria pollutant emissions:(

Greenhouse gases (GHGs), including carbon dioxide,are considered non-criteria pollutants. The following also fall into this category:
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Total hydrocarbons (HCs)
  • Methane
  • Air toxics
  • Other organic gases

For more information about GHG emissions: (

Measuring Emissions
You can evaluate vehicle emissions through a number of lenses. Considering emissions in different contexts can present a more impactful picture, depending on the stakeholder.
  • Life cycle emissions:Emissions generated through all stages of a fuel's life, including raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal or recycling. Life cycle emissions are typically considered when evaluating "global pollutants," or pollutants that have an impact regardless of where they are emitted.  For example, GHGs are usually measured on a life cycle basis.
  • Tailpipe emissions: Emissions directly from the exhaust of the vehicle. Tailpipe emissions are considered when looking at "local pollutants," or pollutants that impact air quality directly where they are emitted. For example, criteria pollutants, such as PM, are typically measured as tailpipe emissions.
  • Evaporative emissions: Emissions from the vehicle's fuel system and during the fueling process, not including the combustion of the fuel. Evaporative emissions are also considered when evaluating "local pollutants."
When quantifying or presenting emissions benefits for a particular project, make sure to ask yourself which type of information would have the most impact. For example, an air quality organization (e.g., your local American Lung Association chapter) would like to hear about tailpipe and evaporative emissions. A national company focused on their footprint and impact on climate change would want to hear about life cycle emissions.

Emissions Standards
EPA sets tailpipe and evaporative emissions standards for new vehicles.
  • For information on federal non-GHG emissions standards, including CO, NOx, PM, and organic gases, visit the EPA's Emission Standards Reference Guide: EPA's Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program page ( covers the regulations for light-duty, medium-duty, and some heavy-duty vehicles that will be phased in beginning in 2017.
  • For information about federal GHG emissions standards, which are implemented in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's fuel economy standards, visit EPA's Regulations & Standards page:

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) enforces vehicle emissions standards for California that are more stringent than federal EPA standards. Vehicles may be certified as compliant with federal standards, CARB standards, or both. For information on CARB's emissions standards, visit the Mobile Source Program Portal ( Several other states have chosen to comply with certain CARB standards as well, so read up on the requirements in your state. See the AFDC Laws & Incentives website for more information (

Other Considerations
It is important to take into account the "full package" when looking at alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) emissions; again, try to anticipate questions from the audience to tease out the most relevant information. For example, keep the following in mind:
  • While a fuel may not offer large reductions in one pollutant, it may offer significant benefits in other pollutants.
  • Emissions information should also be presented in the larger context of federal and state regulations.
  • Be sure you are comparing "apples to apples" when looking at AFV and conventional vehicle emissions. For instance, look at which pollutants are covered, and whether tailpipe, life cycle, and/or evaporative emissions are being measured. Every study is different, so it can be very difficult to compare outcomes of one to outcomes of another.

Emissions Analysis Tools
With all of that in mind, the following tools can be used to calculate fleet emissions and plan for overall emission reductions:

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team