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#12 Clean Cities Top 20 Facts Heavy-duty guide and search make it easy to explore alternative fuel options Clean Cities offers a robust collection of tools and publications designed to inform decision makers and help stakeholders deploy alternati...

Electric Drive Vehicle and Infrastructure Key Terms

What are the key terms to know when discussing electric drive vehicles and their fueling infrastructure? It is important to know how to "talk the talk" when it comes to electric drive vehicles. Becoming familiar with the terms below will help you bett...

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

Reducing Vehicle Idling

#10 Clean Cities Top 20 Facts An idling vehicle gets 0 mpg Idle reduction has been one of Clean Cities' key strategies for cutting petroleum use since 2004. Reducing vehicle idling has immense potential for serious emissions benefits and cost sav...

Spotlight on Propane

#9 Clean Cities Top 20 Facts More than 250 million gallons of petroleum displaced since 2004 Worldwide, propane is the third most common vehicle fuel, next to gasoline and diesel fuel. Over the last 20 years, Clean Cities has played an important ...

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

Success Stories and Case Studies

Where can I find case studies and other information about fleets that have successfully adopted alternative fuels and advanced vehicles? Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Resources The AFDC Case Studies search is a great resource for examples of wh...

Spotlight on Fuel Economy

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually begins to decrease at speeds above 50 mph. #7 Clean Cities Top 20 Facts Small changes can make a big impact Over the last 20 year...