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Alternative Fuel Vehicle Types

Electric Vehicles:

Benefits of Driving an Electric Vehicle

  • Quiet, Clean Driving Experience

Electric Vehicles (EVs) offer a quiet, fume-free, smooth driving experience. Since the motor does not operate when the vehicle is at a stop, an EV has no idle noises. When an EV is under power, the only sounds are the soft hum of the motor and the tires whirring over the roadway.

  • High Performance

First-time EV drivers are constantly surprised by the quality of the EV driving experience. EVs provide fast acceleration by delivering power instantly to the wheels. By providing high torque at low speeds, they give a feel of smooth and quick responsiveness. Well-designed EVs travel at speeds equivalent to conventional vehicles and offer all the same safety and high-performance features.

  • Environmentally Friendly

EVs are today's only zero-emission vehicles. They have no tailpipes and emit no pollutants. Instead of gasoline from oil refineries, EVs use fuel from electric power stations. Although power plants using fossil fuels do generate emissions, power plant emissions generated for EV use are typically much lower than emissions from the comparable use of gasoline-powered cars. For power plants using renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydropower, no air pollution at all is created.

  • Energy Security

America imports more than half the oil it uses, and that percentage is rising. EVs help lessen the country's dependence on imported petroleum and reduce the national security concerns associated with that growing dependency.

  • Lower Operating Costs

The per-mile fuel cost of operating an EV can be less than one-third that of a gasoline-powered car. The exact amount of savings depends on the local electricity rate, which varies by utility. In addition, EV owners eliminate many familiar maintenance costs - tune-ups, oil changes or muffler replacements are unnecessary.

  • Easy Refueling

One of the conveniences to EV drivers is that refueling can be done easily and safely overnight at home, at work, or at public locations where electric charging units have been installed.

New Hampshire
Electric Vehicle Fleet Information

New Hampshire's electric vehicle fleet was obtained through the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Project (AFVP), a cooperative venture of the Governor's Office of Energy and Community Services (ECS), the Department of Environmental Services (DES), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The fleet consists of four Solectria Force sedans and nine Chevrolet S-10 pickup trucks. These vehicles are ideal for general duty short trip use such as travel to meetings, in town errands, mail runs and other light deliveries.

The AFVP mission is to promote a state fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. Funding for the project is provided from a federal transportation (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) grant awarded to ECS through the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. The S-10 pickups were provided at no cost by General Motors, through the settlement of environmental litigation with the federal government.

Specification Solectria Force Chevrolet S-10 Pick-Up
Battery System Lead acid (gel type) Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
Energy Efficiency (vs. gasoline powered) 12 to 2 times as efficient 13 to 12 times as efficient
Energy Cost $.90/charge, or 2-3 4/mi. $4.00/charge, or 6 4/mi.
Range per charge, miles 25-30 miles city driving 40 + at steady 45 mph 50+ miles city driving 80+ at steady 45 mph
Battery Life 3 + years 6 + years
Top Speed 70 mph 75 mph
Heat Kerosene fired, hot water core Diesel fired, hot water core
Charger 3 kW, 220 V onboard system 6.6 kW inductive system
Cost $27,000 (Base price) $45,000

Propane or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) Vehicles:

Currently, there are 163 propane vehicles in use in New Hampshire. This is by far the most common AFV type in the Granite State. A simple reason for this might be the availability of refueling sites. Most propane vehicles are conversions, which mean that they started off as gasoline powered vehicles but were later converted to propane.

Some of the benefits of this fuel include:

  • Lower CO, hydrocarbon, and particulate emissions
  • Wide availability of refueling sites across New England
  • Propane is domestically produced
  • Generally, propane is cheaper than gasoline
  • Similar refueling times with conventional gasoline
  • Reduced maintenance
    • Spark plugs last longer
    • Oil changes needed less frequently
    • Less internal carbon buildup

Natural Gas (Compressed [CNG] or Liquefied [LNG]) Vehicles:

There are 29 Compressed natural gas vehicles in New Hampshire. Of the models that are currently available, the Honda Civic GX is the most popular among the state agencies’ 15 CNG vehicles because it is the only dedicated CNG subcompact sedan available on the market and is manufactured in Ohio. The US EPA has rated the Honda Civic GX as the cleanest internal combustion vehicle on the road today.

Some of the benefits of this fuel include:

  • 90% of the nation’s natural gas is domestically produced
  • 60 to 90% reduction in CO emissions over gasoline
  • 30 to 50% reduction in NOx emissions over gasoline (NOx is a contributor to Urban Smog)
  • Fastest growing AFV type (Between 1996 and 1997, more than 19,000 CNGs were added to the road)
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Generally, CNG costs about 25% less than gasoline

Biodiesel Vehicles:

Biodiesel is an alternative form of diesel fuel made from vegetable oils or animal fats such as soybeans or rapeseed. Biodiesel is generally delivered blended with diesel fuel at an 80%(diesel) 20% (biodiesel) blend. Vehicles can also be operated on 100% biodiesel. Currently, the state does not have any biodiesel vehicles, but has a large potential for them since no conversion is needed from conventional diesel engines. ECS is currently working with stakeholders to develop a pilot project with school busses and/or public  works heavy-duty vehicles  to run on biodiesel.

Some of the benefits of this fuel include:

  • It is all natural, renewable, and dissolves in water faster than sugar.
  • It is 11% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur.
  • Biodiesel lowers toxic emissions and particulate matter
  • Biodiesel requires no engine modification and does not affect engine performance.
  • Aids U.S. farmers
  • Requires no new refueling infrastructure

Flexible Fuel Vehicles:

New Hampshire's State Fleet currently has 39 Flexible Fueled Ford models in its fleet. Flex Fuel vehicles can run either on conventional gasoline or a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Ethanol is a liquid fuel that can be made from a variety of renewable resources. Ethanol is most commonly produced by fermenting sugars derived from the starch in corn, sugar cane, or wheat. Technology is being adapted to produce ethanol from forestry wastes, municipal waste, and vegetation.

Some of the benefits include:

Great flexibility for long travel

Lower emissions for CO, hydrocarbons, particulates, and NOx over conventional gasoline

Fuel is produced in the U.S.

For more information, contact:
Derek Greenauer, Energy Program Manager
Governor's Office of Energy & Community Services
phone: 603-271-0477
fax: 603-271-2615

Back to Alternative Fuel Vehicles

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