Connecticut Aiming for Transportation Fuel Diversity

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy unveiled his administration's Comprehensive Energy Strategy this week, and a substantial portion of that plan is focused on supporting the expansion of alternative fuel vehicles in the state.

‘Connecticut's current transportation system is over-reliant on oil-based fuels, which are increasingly expensive and which contribute significantly to the state's greenhouse gas emissions profile,’ the report states. ‘With 95 percent of Connecticut's transportation energy supplied by gasoline and diesel, transportation emerges as the least fuel-diverse of any of the state's energy use sectors.’

Malloy's plans include measures designed to expand and improve public transit, but the majority of the transportation-related provisions in the Comprehensive Energy Strategy are focused on passenger and commercial vehicles. To support alt-fuel vehicle growth, the state is promoting more refueling infrastructure in order to facilitate a ‘broader range of vehicle choice.’

Connecticut currently has a modest complement of both private and public-access alternative fuel stations that dispense compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), propane autogas, ethanol blends and hydrogen, as well as a nascent network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The report notes that access to alternative fuels ‘is still limited,’ but the Malloy administration is watching trends closely and is aware of the increasing demand for more options.

‘The state will continue to monitor and take advantage of technology breakthroughs that are economically viable and environmentally preferable,’ the report says. ‘This approach provides an open platform that enables new and varied technologies – electric, natural gas, propane, biofuel, hydrogen fuel cell and other vehicles – a chance to prove themselves and to provide a choice to drivers.’

The governor wants to promote pilot projects that open up more alternative fueling infrastructure to more drivers and help both government and private fleets to transition into alt fuels. In terms of funding such projects, there are a few options, such as direct natural gas utility investment in CNG and LNG stations and state funding through the Clean Energy and Finance Investment Authority.

For more details about what Connecticut is planning, click HERE.

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