Refueling Behavior of Flexible Fuel Vehicle Drivers in the Federal Fleet

Section 701 of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) 2005 (EPAct § 701) requires that all dual-fueled alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in the federal fleet be operated on alternative fuel 100% of the time when they have access to it. However, most drivers do not choose alternative fuel even when it is available. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, drivers of federal flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) leased through the General Services Administration (GSA) fueled with E851 24% of the time when available—falling well short of the EPAct § 701 requirement to use alternative fuel. If federal vehicles used E85 100% of the time, the estimated impact is a 45 million gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) increase over the 12.2 million GGE of E85 use reported in FY 2012. Given that federal fleet vehicle drivers do not use their own money to pay for fuel, this behavior is difficult to explain on economic grounds—as is commonplace in research on refueling behavior. Identifying the motivation behind this behavior is critical to understanding how to encourage and increase alternative fuel use in the federal fleet and beyond. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) surveyed federal fleet drivers in June 2012 to identify the factors that influence fuel-purchasing behavior, and analyzed actual federal fleet refueling behavior from FY 2009 to 2012. This paper discusses the results of the survey and analysis, and how this research will aid in the design and implementation of intervention programs aimed at increasing alternative fuel use and reducing petroleum consumption.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 86p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01530913
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NREL/TP-5400-61777
  • Contract Numbers: DE-AC36-08GO28308; Task Nos. 0667.1201, FE13.5000,
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2014 12:01PM