Can't fix your car problem on your own? Ask a live mechanic!



Alternative fuel vehicles big in two states

alternative fuel vehicles imageNew York City has taken a leadership role in working with today’s alternative fuels. The state of New Jersey has also been a large supporter of several different programs at the municipal and state government level. Both areas of the United States cited three basic reasons for continuing to push their programs forward. The three reasons cited are to clean up the air, create local jobs, and reduce dependency on imported fuel. Just as was desired by President George Bush senior in 1988 through 92 and again with Bill Clinton in 92 through 2000, and even continued on with our current President Bush.

Alternative fuels learn from history

With a history of more than a decade of alternative fuel vehicle use, what has been learned in these two states, and what works for government fleets. New York City’s Mark Simon of the department of transportation, assistant Commissioner Rocco D. Reiko of the Department of sanitation, and the New Jersey Department of treasury’s, recently shared insights from the relatively long experiences with alternative fuel vehicles. They cover the most popular and growing fuel choices, all of which provide a reduction in petroleum fuel use, better or as good emission levels, and minimal upset to existing fleet procedures and operations.

Both New York City and New Jersey were early adopters of hybrid light duty vehicles in 2001. Both have a mix of Toyota previous and Ford escape vehicles. Both report that everything is going on about as advertised with these hybrid units. For the prius fuel economy in New York City was reported about 40 miles per gallon, whereas the New Jersey fleet reported about 48 miles per gallon. The New Jersey miles per gallon is surprising because hybrids have better fuel economy rating in city traffic. But the mpg figure reflects both the actual driving cycle and the amount of air conditioning used in the vehicle. The New York’s city fleet is enormous and has more than 1700 generation one and generation 2 Toyota previous hybrids and Ford escape hybrids.

New Jersey’s hybrid fleet is more modest comprising of only 91 prius and 44 Ford escape hybrid vehicles. Buying the Toyota prius was an expensive endeavor, but the fuel savings have been significant. In addition, service problems have been minimal, and no premature battery failures were reported in New Jersey or New York City. Reported savings of about 600 gallons per vehicle per year compared to a conventional vehicle. These results were significant enough for both states to receive approvals from local governments and city councils to continue this program.

Mark is a master mechanic and a member of the society of automobile engineers (SAE). You can learn more about hybrid vehicles at his latest report on the status of the alternative fuels vehicle.