ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 1992: LIMITED PROGRESS IN ACQUIRING ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES AND REACHING FUEL GOALS
In 1992, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act with the objective, among others, of reducing petroleum use in transportation by encouraging the use of alternative fuels in light-duty vehicles (cars and light trucks). With the first deadline approaching for the Act's petroleum replacement goals, the General Accounting Office (GAO) was requested to determine (1) the progress made in acquiring alternative fuel vehicles and using alternative fuels to meet the Act's fuel replacement goals, (2) the impediments to using alternative fuel vehicles, and (3) the measures that can be taken to address those impediments. Briefly, GAO found the following: Limited progress has been made in acquiring alternative fuel vehicles and reducing the consumption of petroleum fuels in transportation. From their estimates, the Department of Energy (DOE) has concluded that the Act's goals for replacing petroleum fuels with alternative fuels would not be achieved under current conditions. The goals are not being met principally because alternative fuel vehicles have significant economic disadvantages compared to conventional gasoline vehicles. Fundamental economic impediments - such as the relatively low price of gasoline, the lack of refueling stations for alternative fuels, and the additional cost to purchase these vehicles - explain much of why both mandated fleets and the general public are disinclined to acquire alternative fuel vehicles and use alternative fuels. Any efforts to significantly expand the use of alternative fuel vehicles will need to address their current cost disadvantages relative to vehicles that use gasoline. While dramatic measures would be necessary to meet the Act's goals with alternative fuel vehicles, some modest increases in the use of alternative fuels and/or reductions in the use of gasoline could occur if limitations in the Act's approach were addressed.
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- Report to Congressional Requesters.
U.S. General Accounting Office441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC United States 20548
- Publication Date: 2000-2
- Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
- Pagination: 40 p.
- TRT Terms: Alternate fuels; Costs; Economics; Fuel consumption; Motor vehicles; Strategic planning
- Identifier Terms: Energy Policy Act of 1992
- Subject Areas: Economics; Energy; Finance; Highways; I10: Economics and Administration;
- Accession Number: 00796988
- Record Type: Publication
- Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/RCED-00-59,, HS-042 992,, B-284298
- Files: HSL, NTL, TRIS, USDOT
- Created Date: Aug 22 2000 12:00AM