Alternative Fuel Vehicle Data

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) now publishes data about fuel use and number of vehicles for four types of alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleets: federal government, state government, transit agencies, and fuel providers. The total fuel used by these four types of fleets does not represent the total use of fuels by AFVs in the United States.

2014 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Data

Federal and State governments and alternative fuel providers (natural gas, electricity and propane providers) have legislative and regulatory fleet acquisition and fuel consumption requirements related to petroleum reduction and the environment. Of these fleets, the Federal government continues to be the largest user of alternative fueled vehicles with nearly 190,000 vehicles in the fleet in 2014. Of these vehicles, 97% were light-duty E85 flexible fueled vehicles consuming just over 12.8 million gasoline equivalent gallons of E85.

       

Most fleets acquire flexible fueled E85 vehicles due to their availability and a growing refueling infrastructure, but the overall majority of alternative fuel consumption remains in the transit agency sector where just over 10,000 heavy duty passenger buses consumed 115 million gasoline-equivalent gallons of natural gas in 2014.

       

A look at AFV inventory in the federal fleet by fuel type

The Federal fleet consists of vehicles fueled by electricity, ethanol (E85), natural gas, propane, and hydrogen. Growth in E85 flexible fueled vehicle inventory continues to rise due to vehicle availability and a growing refueling infrastructure. In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service phased out a segment of their natural gas fleet, replacing them with more cost-effective E85 flexible fueled vehicles. Use of electric battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles is on the rise in the federal fleet due to increased efficiency and targeted Executive Order 13693 requirements for acquisitions of zero-emission and plug-in hybrids. (Click on the "ethanol" label in the graph below to see more details on the other smaller fuel types.)

   

About EIA's AFV Data Collection and Changes

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes data about fuel use and number of vehicles for four types of alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleets: federal government, state government, transit agencies, and fuel providers. The total fuel used by these four types of fleets does not represent the total use of fuels by AFVs in the United States. AFV data collection requirement The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires EIA to collect two separate kinds of AFV data.

AFV data collection requirement

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires EIA to collect two separate kinds of AFV data:

  1. The annual inventory of AFVs in use and the fuel consumed by those vehicles
  2. The annual supply of AFVs made available by original equipment manufacturers and conversion facilities

AFVs are predominately marketed to and used by fleets. Certain types of fleets are required under EPACT92 and other rules to purchase and use AFVs.


EIA's two AFV data collections (Form EIA-886)

  1. EIA collects data about fuel use and number of vehicles predominantly from fleets. Because EIA's data collection did not elicit sufficient survey coverage for local and municipal governments, private fleets, and household vehicles, EIA will only publish fuel use and number of vehicles for these four fleets:
    • Federal government agencies
    • State government agencies
    • Transit agencies
    • Fuel providers (for example, companies that sell natural gas, electricity, or propane are mandated, as noted above, to use alternative fuel in their fleet vehicles.)

    Also note that because EIA is publishing data on four fleets, we can no longer publish national totals on the number of vehicles or fuel consumption. EIA intends to expand the coverage of AFV fleets to include local governments in the 2016 data release.

  2. EIA also collects data on the supply of AFVs from these types of suppliers:
    • Original equipment manufacturers
    • Aftermarket vehicle converters

    The supply of AFVs (either manufactured or converted) also includes vehicles such as gasoline-electric hybrids and diesel-electric hybrids. These data are published in the Supplier data section, but they are not included in the User data section because they are not considered alternative fuel vehicles as defined in the Energy Policy Act of 1992.


Changes to historical ethanol (E85) vehicle inventory and fuel consumption data

EIA determined with the 2013 data release that estimated data published since 2003 for E85 fuel use in vehicles overstated actual fuel use. EIA revised the annual E85 consumption data for 2010 and 2011 using actual survey data for the federal and state government sectors and recalculated the fuel use for other sectors that still required estimation to better align with actual reported consumption by AFV users.