What’s Best for Me?
There are a wide variety of clean transportation technologies and behaviors available for nearly every application and lifestyle. Sometimes the most difficult part of adopting these technologies is determining the most appropriate clean transportation option for you. That’s where Fuel What Matters comes in. We’re here to help you figure out what options are best suited for your needs and interests.
I am interested in Reducing Fuel.
In 2020, Americans used about 123 billion gallons of motor gasoline– over 330 million gallons a day. Total gasoline consumption accounted for about 59% of total transportation sector energy consumption, 44% of total petroleum consumption and 16% of total U.S. energy consumption.
With more than 260 million vehicles consuming millions of barrels of petroleum every day in the United States, you can do your part to use improved driving behavior and strategies to conserve fuel and improve your driving efficiency. Whether you try to employ idle reduction strategies or simply carpool to work with coworkers, there are many ways to conserve fuel and save yourself money.
- Efficient Driving
Drivers can conserve fuel by learning how different driving behaviors affect fuel economy and by adopting techniques to save fuel and money. There are several efficient driving techniques one can use, including idle reduction, driving conservatively, combining trips, reducing vehicle load and more.
Ridesharing programs help connect people to travel together which can reduce travel costs, traffic and parking demand. Some local and regional governments even provide incentives to encourage ridesharing, such as access to high occupancy (HOV) lanes, discounted fees on roads or lanes, and special parking privileges for vehicles with multiple passengers.
Light-duty vehicles (cars, sport utility vehicles and small trucks) account for about 92% of all gasoline consumption in the United States.
I am interested in Electric & Hybrid Vehicles.
Driving electric, hybrid and plug-in vehicles has a whole host of benefits including energy security, cost savings, a better fuel economy and reduced emissions. Electric vehicles (EVs) require less expensive and less frequent maintenance while offering high quality performance, known for operating smoothly and quietly while also providing more torque and agility when driving.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) typically use less fuel than similar conventional vehicles, because they employ electric-drive technologies to boost vehicle efficiency through regenerative braking—recapturing energy otherwise lost during braking. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles, also referred to as battery electric vehicles, are both capable of being powered solely by electricity, which is produced in the United States from natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, wind energy, hydropower, and solar energy.
Drivers who purchase EVs are also eligible for tax credits and incentives for making the green choice. In North Carolina and many other states, qualified EVs may use HOV or carpool lands, regardless of the number of occupants, allowing them to bypass high congestion traffic areas.
"The most notable societal drivers for going electric are noxious emissions (criteria pollutants), energy supply, security and cost, and greenhouse gas emissions. There are also numerous purely automotive reasons to electrify including noise, vibration and harshness, driver feel, packaging flexibility and acceleration performance. By most measures, EVs are just better vehicles, so the decision to drive them kind of makes itself." -Dave Erb, EV driver
I am interested in Renewable Fuels.
In 2020, petroleum products accounted for about 90% of the total U.S. transportation sector energy use. Gasoline is the most commonly used transportation fuel in the U.S. and accounted for 62% of total U.S. transportation energy use, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Renewable energy, however, could help diversify the nation’s reliance on petroleum products. Coming from sources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited, renewable resources are virtually inexhaustible in duration Total U.S. renewable energy production and consumption reached record highs in 2020.
Renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are often domestically produced, making them more accessible and reducing transportation costs for businesses and consumers.
Using ethanol or biodiesel reduces the consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel made from crude oil, which can reduce the amount of crude oil imported from other countries. Ethanol and biodiesel are also cleaner-burning fuels than pure gasoline and diesel fuel.
I am interested in Biking, Walking & Transit.
There are many reasons to be interested in alternative transportation options- some of which require little to no upfront costs. Whether you need to get around campus, get to and from work or going on your next adventure, there’s more than one way to get there. Clean transportation can affect more than just environmental health, though, it can also improve your personal health. So what are your options?
Clean transportation options such as biking, riding transit and walking can help to improve the air quality in areas of high congestion. Aside from the air quality benefits, transportation options like biking and walking also provide other healthy benefits.
In many cases, you can skip the traffic and save money on gas just by taking the bus or biking. Instead of paying for gasoline or parking, explore transit options in your city.
Car trips of under a mile add up to about 10 billion miles per year, according to the 2009 U.S. National Household Transportation Survey. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the U.S. could save about $575 million in fuel costs and about 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Biking and walking not only improves air quality by eliminating car emissions, but it’s also good for your health- it may help you lose weight, live longer, boost your mood, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
A household can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.
I am interested in Gaseous Fuels.
Alternative fuel, otherwise known as non-conventional and advanced fuels, are derived from resources other than petroleum. Gaseous fuels such as hydrogen, natural gas and propane produce fewer carbon emissions and harmful particulates than standard diesel. Many of them are also produced domestically, making them more accessible with an established distribution network, relatively low cost and emissions benefits.
Alternative fuels enable the U.S. to diversify its fuel supply with domestic fuels and reduce overall consumption of imported petroleum in recent years. These fuels are also more environmentally friendly, with hydrogen producing no air pollutants or greenhouse gasses, while natural gas and propane produce up to 10% less greenhouse gas emissions.
About half of the U.S. population lives in areas where air pollution levels are high enough to negatively impact public health and the environment and the transportation sector accounts for about one-third of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.