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72197-1 Report Abstract

A Study of Costs Associated with Alternative Fuels Development: A Case Study

Naomi W. Ledé, Texas Southern University, July 1995, 92 pp. (72197-1)

New legislation and significant advancements in alternative fuels development have generated considerable interest in costs and benefits associated with vehicle technology research and development. Further, interest in alternative fuels developed as a possible way to enhance energy security in the United States. The Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), passed during the administration of President George W. Bush, introduced the need to examine the future use of alternative fuels as well as the role of traditional vehicle fuels.

The primary objective of the study was to conduct a case study of a large-scale fuel conversion project to assess selected costs and related issues. Several approaches were used to document the project. An inventory of public transit agencies engaged in demonstration projects involving alternative fuels as conducted with representative sample of large public transit systems in the nation. Included in the survey were questions pertaining to fuel supply arrangements, fuel reserve storage requirements and/or deficiencies; future plans for managing energy resources and costs associated with fuel conversion/alternative fuels use — whether planned or currently in operation. The case study approach was used to document the methodological and logistical problems encountered during the course of projects involving alternative fuels use compared with a control sample using diesel fuel. Monthly status reports on the alternative fuel project included data on accumulated mileage, road calls/unscheduled maintenance, fuel consumption, fuel cost per mile, alternative fuel purchases, schedule of activities, personnel, safety, and diesel emission test results. The data collected indicate several conclusions and future implications about technical and safety issues associated with the testing and use of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Keywords: Alternative Fuel, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Training Requirements, Vehicle Related Issues, Facility Requirements, Environmental Considerations, Cost (Facility and Operating), Fuel Consumption

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Reference Report #72197-1