April 19, 1999
GOVERNOR SHAHEEN ANNOUNCES STATE ELECTRIC VEHICLE PROGRAM
As a kick-off to Earth Week activities, Governor Shaheen announced the addition of 13 electric vehicles to the state's motor vehicle fleet at a State House Plaza press conference April 19. "State government should be a leader in fighting pollution, and this initiative reflects that leadership. New Hampshire is now well ahead of federal Department of Energy requirements for our state Alternative Fuel Vehicle fleet," the Governor said. "The state's fleet of 13 electric vehicles will reduce toxic emissions by 4,000 pounds per year and save 7,500 gallons of gasoline per year. These vehicles will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions-the primary cause of global warming- by 32.5 tons per year."
The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fleet is a joint program of the Governor's Office of Energy and Community Services (ECS), the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. In addition to cutting air pollution, alternative fuel vehicles also have lower maintenance costs and a longer engine life than conventional vehicles.
Prior to the event, the Governor also signed a proclamation declaring April 22 as Earth Day in New Hampshire.
STATE FLEET OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL, LOW EMISSION VEHICLES GROWS
As the heavy summer driving season begins, the state of New Hampshire is increasing its efforts to improve air quality, combat global warming, and promote energy security by expanding its fleet of clean-burning alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). This week a vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) was added on a test basis to the state's fleet of 13 electric vehicles, a propane-powered passenger van, and two flexible fuel vehicles capable of operating on ethanol or gasoline. State agencies began using the electric vehicles in April.
Several state agencies are now road testing a Honda Civic CNG vehicle, considered the world's cleanest internal combustion car. The state hopes to acquire up to a dozen of these vehicles in the next 12 to 18 months, and to install several CNG refueling stations.
According to the Governor's Office of Energy and Community Services (ECS), AFVs have important environmental and public health benefits. Motor vehicles are a major source of smog and other air pollutants associated with respiratory and heart disease. AFVs also help reduce the nation's dependence on imported oil. More than 50 percent of the country's oil is now imported- 20 percent more than was imported in 1973.
In addition, alternative fuels help combat global warming. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from the consumption of gasoline, diesel, and other fossil fuels are the principal cause of global warming.
The state's AFV fleet is the result of a joint effort of ECS, the Department of Environmental Services, and the Department of Transportation and is known as the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Project. Federal grants provide the AFV project with funding to defray the added costs of purchasing AFVs, and also pay the cost of installing refueling facilities. The ultimate goal of the project is to plant the seeds for widespread use of AFVs by transit fleets, municipalities, commercial fleets, and the general public.
Members of the media interested in test driving the Honda CNG vehicle or any of the state's other AFVs can contact Derek Greenauer, Energy Program Manager, Governor's Office of Energy and Community Services, 603-271-0477.
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