July 2008, Business Fleet - Feature
Considering Alternative Fuels? Funding Help Is Available
Funding opportunities for public and private fleets can come from propane, natural gas, biodiesel, E-85,electric vehicle charging stations, or any other fuel that's considered clean vehicle technology, Donaldson says.
A major clearinghouse of funding opportunities is the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities, a government-industry partnership established to provide tools and resources to promote and deploy alternative fuels, vehicles and information.
Donaldson has assisted Clean Cities management with policy and implementation strategies. Each of CleanFUEL USA's representatives are members of local Clean Cities coalitions and participate in events and program execution plans for infrastructure and vehicle procurement for public and private fleets.
CleanFUEL USA will also consult with fleet operators on the best opportunities for funding based on various characteristics of the fleet. The company provides a two-page fleet profile questionnaire that asks fleet managers information such as how many vehicles they oversee, the vehicle makeup, how many miles they travel per year and how many gallons of fuel they use.
CleanFUEL USA provides fleets with the proper forms to inform the IRS that their business received the funding. The company also offers businesses a proprietary fuel card that lets them pull up detailed fuel reports on each of their vehicles.
Generally, fleets apply for funding in one or more of the following four areas: building an infrastructure, buying the alternative-fuel vehicle, obtaining a credit toward each gallon of alternative fuel purchased and developing cleaner vehicle technologies.
Fleets can apply for funds to help build infrastructure for the supply of alternative fuel their company will use.
"The right infrastructure is the first step," says Jon Van Bogart, CleanFUEL USA's western regional manager. He said federal incentives are available that fund 30 percent of the cost of infrastructure, up to $30,000. These incentives are available for propane, natural gas, biodiesel and E-85 fueling systems, as well as electric vehicle charging stations, or other fuels that are considered clean vehicle technology.