Industry Partners are Critical to the Mission

Photo of a Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine


Clean Cities Top 20 Facts

Cummins Westport and American Honda lead the way in developing alternative fuel vehicles

Almost 18,000 stakeholders contribute to Clean Cities' goals and accomplishments by participating in nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions across the country. Private companies, fuel suppliers, local governments, vehicle manufacturers, national laboratories, state and federal government agencies, and other organizations partner under Clean Cities to implement alternative-transportation solutions in local communities.

As part of Clean Cities' 20th anniversary this year, DOE recognized two long-time industry partners for their notable contributions to widespread deployment of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).

Cummins Westport: Longest continuously available heavy-duty dedicated AFV product line

Cummins Westport designs, engineers, and markets 6- to 12-liter spark-ignited natural gas engines for commercial transportation applications. Today, more than 34,000 Cummins Westport engines are in service worldwide. This includes the new 2013 ISX12 G 11.9-liter engine, a natural gas option for on-highway trucks—the largest automotive heavy-duty truck market in North America.

"Cummins Westport remained committed to develop robust products and make them continuously available to customers, even in the face of changing market conditions," said National Clean Cities Director Dennis Smith. "It worked hard to refine the technology and bring customers to the table, often in partnership with DOE, the national labs, Clean Cities coalitions, and vehicle manufacturers."

Photo of the 2013 Civic Natural Gas

American Honda: Longest continuously available light-duty dedicated AFV product line

Honda first released the Civic Natural Gas in 1998. The vehicle was originally marketed primarily to fleet customers nationwide, and it is now available to fleets and retail consumers from select dealers across the country.

Over the years, Honda representatives have participated in hundreds of local and national Clean Cities events, providing education, information, and technical expertise as well as "loaner/demo" Civics.

"Honda has remained committed to this technology and to the vision of a transportation future in which natural gas plays a larger role," said Smith. "The company and its dealers have worked closely with Clean Cities coalitions to help fleets successfully incorporate these vehicles into their operations to cut petroleum use."

Fleets considering engine options like the Cummins Westport offerings or light-duty vehicle options like the Civic Natural Gas should consult the Alternative Fuels Data Center's (AFDC) Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Search and Light-Duty Vehicle Search.

Clean Cities 20th Anniversary Logo

blog post written by

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • For more information:
  • Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
  • 800-254-6735

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Coalitions: The Backbone of Clean Cities

Photo of Melissa Howell


Clean Cities Top 20 Facts

Clean Cities' longest-tenured coordinator has served for nearly two decades

Since the first six Clean Cities coalitions received official U.S. Department of Energy designation in 1993, these organizations have been making an impact in their communities every day. The Clean Cities model for local decision making works because of coalitions' unique mix of businesses, fuel providers, vehicle fleets, state and local government agencies, and community organizations. Their activities stimulate local economies, facilitate the adoption of new transportation technologies, and make their communities less dependent on petroleum. Today, there are nearly 100 coalitions representing about 75% of the U.S. population.

Within each coalition, a Clean Cities coordinator works to connect the puzzle pieces, identify projects, find and leverage funding, and help stakeholders implement projects in the community.

Meet Melissa Howell of the Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership (KCCP). Howell has led the Kentucky coalition since 1994 and is Clean Cities' longest-tenured coordinator. Over the years, she has worked with hundreds of fleets and other transportation decision makers to implement strategies to cut petroleum use and vehicle emissions.

As one example, Howell worked closely with Mammoth Cave National Park over several years, helping it become the first national park in the country to operate all its vehicles on alternative fuels. See the video case study.

Thanks also to Howell's leadership, thousands of students across Kentucky ride to school on some 156 hybrid electric buses. The buses are fitted with data loggers that help determine which routes make the best use of the hybrid technology, and some are achieving double the fuel economy of their diesel counterparts. Read the case study.

Howell has been a very active mentor, especially to new coordinators in other coalitions. She's often called upon to share her experience and knowledge to reinvigorate stalled projects, overcome technical barriers, and instill confidence in rising leaders. These qualities have earned her great accolades over the years, including Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year (2008) and her induction into the Hall of Fame (2011). Most recently, she was named Alternative Transportation Pioneer at the Clean Cities 20th anniversary event. Read more about Howell and her coalition's accomplishments in a Q&A post on the blog.

Clean Cities 20th Anniversary Logo

blog post written by

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • For more information:
  • Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
  • 800-254-6735

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The Technical Response Service

Photo of a vehicle engine


Clean Cities Top 20 Facts

Clean Cities has provided top-notch technical assistance for more than 20 years

Clean Cities coalitions and their stakeholders implement thousands of projects every year within their local communities—all in the pursuit of cutting U.S. petroleum use. These projects are aided by the robust collection of information and technical resources within the Clean Cities program framework. And one of the most valuable of these resources is the Clean Cities Technical Response Service (TRS).

As far back as 1992, the service began as the National Alternative Fuels and Clean Cities Hotlines before being combined into the current Clean Cities TRS in 2005.

Learn why Margaret Larson (Honolulu Clean Cities co-coordinator) said, "The Technical Response Service is my best friend" in this case study.

But the TRS isn't just available to Clean Cities coordinators. It's also for stakeholders and people like you. The staff keeps abreast of industry trends and current research and publications, and they are experts at identifying the right resources to assist you.

Stakeholders in particular have relied on the TRS to help them:

  • Explore the benefits of various fuels and technologies
  • Quantify the costs of infrastructure and vehicles and calculate returns on investment
  • Identify incentives that will help offset the costs of vehicle acquisitions and infrastructure development
  • Understand standards, laws, regulations, and requirements
  • Locate fueling stations and related information
  • Identify case studies, best practices, and lessons learned.

Consider the TRS your go-to source for information. You can reach the service at or 800-254-6735. Keep this contact information handy or add it to your contacts list.

Have a particularly tough challenge? Clean Cities offers hands-on technical assistance for eligible projects through Tiger Teams. These technical experts help Clean Cities coordinators, stakeholders, equipment manufacturers, and fuel providers overcome obstacles to deploying alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.

Clean Cities 20th Anniversary Logo

blog post written by

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • For more information:
  • Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
  • 800-254-6735