The latest Department of Energy statistics show that our country is consuming close to 20 million barrels of oil per day – about half of which is imported – and that nearly 70 percent is used for transportation. How can you reduce dependency on foreign oil at the gas pump? Simple: Use less of it.
Alternative fuel vehicles such as plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles are gaining popularity. In fact, the 100,000th plug-in electric vehicle was sold in the United States in May of this year. “It’s encouraging to see that in less than three years, after the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were released, we have 100,000 drivers opting to plug in instead of filling up at the pump,” said Kenneth Hernandez, program manager for TECO Energy’s initiatives for alternative fuel vehicles.
In addition to reducing demand for foreign oil, electric vehicles provide extensive environmental benefits over traditional fuels, such as gasoline or diesel fuel. Switching to an electric vehicle can reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 95 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 95 percent.
Worried about running out of juice while on the road? There are more than 400 charging stations in Florida, and many are conveniently located at public parking garages and retail stores.
Natural Gas Vehicles
Along with electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles are excellent transportation alternatives. According to NGV America, natural gas vehicles in the United States offset the use of nearly 360 million gallons of gasoline in 2011. By using domestically produced natural gas, we reduce the amount of imported petroleum.
In Florida there has been a significant increase in natural gas-fueled vehicles and the number of fueling stations to support them. “Within the Peoples Gas service territory alone, we’ve added 15 fueling stations over the past 18 months,” Hernandez said. “These stations are fueling almost 600 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, a number that could double over the next 12 months. As more publicly accessible stations are opened, we hope to see individual consumer interest begin to expand as well.”
Check out our website to learn more about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles. Visit tecoenergy.com/afv for information on the types of vehicles available on today’s market, cost savings, environmental benefits and more.