What is Alternative Fuels
Alternative Fuels come from resources other than petroleum. Alternative fuel uses sources like corn, vegetable oils, animal fats, natural gas, propane and hydrogen. Various Alternative Fuels are produced domestically, thus reducing our dependence on imported oils and some are derived from renewable sources. Alternative fuel produces less pollution than normal gasoline or diesel (U.S. Department of Energy, n.d. ). Alternative fuel is produce for a variety of vehicles commonly called Alternate Fuel Vehicles (AFV) or Flex Fuels Vehicles (FFV). Alternative fuel types are E85, Biodiesel, CNG, Propane and Hydrogen. The Alternative Fuel types that align with unleaded and diesel fuel primarily used in rental car company fleets are E85 and Biodiesel. The types Alternative Fuel most widely used are E85 and Biodiesel and readily available throughout the United States. Another type of AFV/FFV is hybrids vehicles. Hybrids have a gasoline or diesel engine and are support by electric motor connected to power train of AFV/FFV. In this essay, we will concentrate on E85 and Hybrids as a suitable alternative fuel for rental car conversion. Alternative Fuel Cost Benefit
The benefits of switching to Alternative Fuel or Hybrids are tremendous. The first possible benefit is cost saving on fuel purchased each year. The cost saving is potentially a winfall for Lotus and customers needing incentive for converting to AFV/FFV. If you use a national average, figure of $3.35 a gallon for unleaded fuel. Typically, having an AFV/FFV using E85 will save you $1,700 in fuel cost each year. The second benefit is the environment. E85 is made with a gasoline-ethanol blend containing 51% to 83% ethanol depending on geography and season. Using ethanol reduces imported oil and lowers greenhouse gas emission (U.S. Department of Energy, n.d. ). The overall benefit is on the environment of reducing some of the effects of using petroleum-based fuels. If the environment is left uncheck, you can expect disastrous problems in the future. Hybrids also are a cost benefit because of their savings on fuel purchased. Hybrids range on tank of gas because miles per gallons (MPG) are higher overall. The cost per mile for fuel using a hybrid is greatly reduced. The conversion of Lotus’s Rental Car fleet to AFV/FFV provides flexibility when vehicles need refueling. The customer can chose from normal unleaded fuel or E85 or even a hybrid. This flexibility allows the customer to make a decision with potential cost savings when refueling the rental car. In addition, reduces Lotus Rental Car dependence on oil and improving environmental awareness. Alternative Fuel Potential Saving from Tax Credits and Government Incentives The benefits to converting to all AFV/FFV fleet are tremendous. The gasoline sold today already contains low-level blends of ethanol. The existing low-level blends require no special fuel handling and can be used in any gasoline driven car. In this case, its possible current Lotus Rental Car fleet can be converted without special handling equipment. According to Department of Energy (DOE) Alternative Fuel Data Center (AFDC) AFV/FFV are available with no incremental cost and are affordable options ("Ethanol Benefits and Considerations", n.d.). The refueling points at each Lotus Rental Car center do not require any modification and existing fuel pumps and tanks can easily be incorporated to dispense E85 to fleet of rental cars. The federal government in 2005 passed the Energy Policy Act and subsequently American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The purpose of 2005 Energy Policy Act offered subsidies, incentives and tax credits to users and companies of alternative fuel vehicles (Department of Energy, 2005). To coincide with federal government 2005 Energy Policy Act, states and local government also implement similar incentives and tax credit to users and companies who switch to AFV/FFV....
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