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ALTERNATIVE FUELS USE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD. Sharon Subadan, Chief Division of Fleet Management Services.

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ALTERNATIVE FUELS USE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD.

Sharon Subadan, Chief

Division of Fleet Management Services

Montgomery County is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area which is designated as a serious NON-Attainment Area concerning air quality. Fleet Management Services of the Department of Public Works and Transportation takes great pride in being among the first local jurisdictions to deploy the use of domestic alternative fuels, in the thrust towards cleaner vehicle emissions and national self-reliance.Montgomery County continues to strive to reduce its emissions, while not investing in one technology, it has adopted a “technology neutral” plan.

  • In our fleet we have:

    • 91 flex-fuel (Ethanol) vehicles;

    • 6 Hybrid-Electric Sedans.

    • 12 CNG vans & light trucks;

    • 42 Compressed Natural Gas buses;

  • Involvement in alternative fuels reflects the county’s strong commitment to local and national Clean-Air programs. At the county government level we are obligated to provide the type of leadership that could be emulated by our citizens, therefore, our participation in alternative fuel usage is two-pronged

    (1) to help provide cleaner air for our citizens to breathe, and

    (2) to serve as a prototype for other public and private establishments that are interested in

    expanding fuel alternatives.


ETHANOL

In March of 2002 Fleet Management Services embarked on a project to install a 10,000 gallon Ethanol fuel tank and dispensers at our Gaithersburg facility in partnership with Maryland Corn Growers and the State of MD who provided 70% of funding for the project.

The project was completed and opened ceremoniously on May 21, 2002 during National Public Works Week. This station is now open to the public.


  • Several makes/models are available to include Dodge Caravan & Stratus; Ford Explorer & Taurus; Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban & Silverado

  • Currently the county has 91 flex-fuel light vehicles in its fleet. With increased knowledge, awareness, and availability of E-85 at our modern state-of-the-art Gaithersburg site, we are experiencing more and more usage of the product.

  • It is our intention to include 10% of our light equipment purchases as flex-fuel vehicles in each fiscal year as funding and vehicle availability permits

  • Flex-fuel vehicles can interchangeably use E-85 or unleaded fuel and are available at no additional cost


  • E-85 is a blend of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline. Ethanol contains hydrogen and carbon, but also contains oxygen in its molecular structure. The oxygen makes ethanol a cleaner burning fuel that could be produced chemically from ethylene or biologically from corn, grain, agricultural waste, or any material containing starch or sugar. Our Ethanol is made primarily from domestically produced corn and other renewable agricultural and agro-forestry feedstock.

  • One gallon of ethanol fuel provides as much energy as three-quarters of a gallon of unleaded gasoline.

  • By using E-85, there is a significant reduction in both carbon-monoxide and hydrocarbon tailpipe emissions. Oxygenated ethanol promotes a more complete combustion of fuel that lowers the level of CO emissions by as much as 30-percent, and reduces the net emissions of greenhouse gases by 37-percent.

  • The current Washington Metropolitan Area price for regular unleaded gasoline is $1.769 as compared to the current price for E-85 hosted by Montgomery County at $1.889, a 9% difference.

  • Accommodations to include use of E-85 by members of the public using credit cards is available with Visa and Mastercard

  • Montgomery County has applied to MDOE for funding $160,000.00 for 3 additional E-85 sites, Colesville, Silver Spring (will be open to public) and Seven Locks (closed to the public).Plan will include a 10,000-gallon capacity ethanol tank.

  • Montgomery County was the recipient of the 2003 NACO Award, in the category of Transportation. The County received the Best of Category for its E-85 site, which allows purchases to be made by the general public via Visa and MasterCard. The site is the first of its kind to have two proprietary fuel management systems working in series.


Hybrid-Electric Vehicles gasoline. Ethanol contains hydrogen and carbon, but also contains oxygen in its molecular structure. The oxygen makes ethanol a cleaner burning fuel that could be produced chemically from ethylene or biologically from corn, grain, agricultural waste, or any material containing starch or sugar. Our Ethanol is made primarily from domestically produced corn and other renewable agricultural and agro-forestry feedstock.

  • Vehicle runs on electricity. Engine acts as a generator.

  • There are currently 6 hybrid-electric sedans in our Fleet

  • 45-50 MPG in City and Highway

  • Lower Operating Cost

  • To be used in high mileage applications in order to reduce fuel usage. Increased Fuel

    economy up to 28%

  • Lower Vehicle Emissions, reduce dependence on foreign oil

  • Smooth and quiet operation

  • No need to have an additional fueling station or facility upgrades

  • A percentage of light vehicles and trucks will be purchased as replacement vehicles

    as funding is available.

  • The FY05 proposed budget includes funding for 5 hybrid-electric buses which

    will replace older diesel buses.


  • COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS gasoline. Ethanol contains hydrogen and carbon, but also contains oxygen in its molecular structure. The oxygen makes ethanol a cleaner burning fuel that could be produced chemically from ethylene or biologically from corn, grain, agricultural waste, or any material containing starch or sugar. Our Ethanol is made primarily from domestically produced corn and other renewable agricultural and agro-forestry feedstock.

  • CNG bus program is proving to be an overwhelming success now with 42 full size transit buses in operation

  • First 24 have accumulated mileage greater than 2.5 million miles. These miles were previously recorded by old diesel buses.

  • All 42 are expected to accumulate an average of 4,000 miles/year with the new buses

  • maintenance costs parallels those associated with comparable diesel buses ($0.91 per mile).

  • A new fast-fill fuel station is being built in 2004 (cost of $3.4M). Due to the demand of the permanent CNG compression units, a new natural gas pipeline was required to supply the need. The new line is an 8” line that is dedicated to the site. It will deliver at a minimum pressure of 80 PSI and will supply enough gas to produce over 1,000,000 DGEs annually.

  • The permanent CNG site, located at the main facility, is equipped with 3 Hanover 800HP electric driven, 4 stage units, two TGT single hose dispensers. The site will handle fueling of up to 200 CNG buses within a 8 hour timeframe.

  • Bus procurement in the next 2 years will be CNG, bringing the total to 79 replacement buses (26% of total)

  • The FY05 proposed budget includes funding for 15 CNG buses which will replace older diesel buses


This year the County removed 18 1989 diesel buses from service that produced a total of 40.49 tons of emissions per year and replaced them with 18 low-floor CNG buses which will produce a total of 7.50 tons of emissions per year.  The replacement of those 18 diesel buses with new CNG buses reduced the County emissions from transit fleet by 30.22 tons per year.

1989 Diesel buses - 1.91 tons of NOX emission/yr per vehicle

0.11 tons of PM emission/yr per vehicle

2003 CNG buses - 0.32 tons of NOX emission/yr  per vehicle

0.02 tons of PM emission/yr per vehicle

  • Low Floor Buses

  • Allows driver to lower floor 4 inches closer to curb

  • The ramp can be angled from 8% slope to nearly flat

  • Can be operated automatic or manually


CNG Fuel Site service that produced a total of 40.49 tons of emissions per year and replaced them with 18 low-floor CNG buses which will produce a total of 7.50 tons of emissions per year.  The replacement of those 18 diesel buses with new CNG buses reduced the County emissions from transit fleet by 30.22 tons per year.

CNG fast-fill fueling station is under construction and will allow more CNG buses to be fast-filled and will significantly reduce fueling time. The permanent CNG fast fill site will fill each bus within 5 minutes. The expected completion is scheduled for May 2004.

Due to the demand of the permanent CNG compression units, a new natural gas pipeline was required to supply the need. The new line is an 8” line that is dedicated to the site. This will deliver a minimum pressure of 80 PSI and will supply enough gas to produce over 1,000,000 DGEs annually.

The permanent CNG site located at EMOC is equipped with 3 Hanover 800HP electric driven, 4 stage units, 2 TGT single hose dispensers. The site will handle fueling of up to 200 CNG buses within a 8 hour time frame.


Proposed Actions service that produced a total of 40.49 tons of emissions per year and replaced them with 18 low-floor CNG buses which will produce a total of 7.50 tons of emissions per year.  The replacement of those 18 diesel buses with new CNG buses reduced the County emissions from transit fleet by 30.22 tons per year.

  • 12 year replacement schedule for Ride-On buses

  • 8 year, 80,000 mile replacement cycle for passenger vehicles

  • Technology neutral plan for Ride On bus to reduce emissions by 25% by 2005 & 50% by 2010

  • Future purchase of hybrid-electric buses

  • Replace 20% of passenger vehicles with clean technology vehicles ( hybrid-electric, flex-fuel)

  • Encourage municipalities to sign an emission reduction pledge

  • Provide annual scorecard by departments for annual fleet emissions

  • Add retrofit requirements and idling restriction language to County issued construction contracts


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