Alternative Fuel Vehicles: What Do the Drivers Say?

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Golden, Colo., Nov. 19, 1997 -- What do the people who drive them really think about alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)?

That was the question on the table when the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched a nationwide survey of federal fleet managers and AFV drivers in 1996. The answers are in Perspectives on AFVs: 1996 Federal Fleet Driver Survey.

Two hundred and fifty drivers were surveyed during each quarter of 1996. Interviews were conducted with drivers of five different vehicle types: original equipment manufacturer (OEM); dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) models; CNG after-market conversions; flexible-fuel methanol models; flexible-fuel ethanol models, and gasoline models.

Overall, drivers reported positive experiences, with primary concerns being lack of range (particularly for the CNG models) and lack of convenient fueling stations. Responses also indicated that performance and reliability of the AFVs seem to be very similar to that of comparable gasoline vehicles.

PI/Dwights conducted this survey for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and DOE. In July, DOE released a companion report containing the results of a similar survey of AFV fleet managers.

Both the driver and the fleet manager reports are available in .pdf format through DOE's Alternative Fuels Data Center home page on the World Wide Web . For a hard copy, call the National Alternative Fuels Hotline at 1-800-423-1DOE.