CHICAGO — From electric vehicles (EVs) to dairy biomethane, alternative fuels are on the rise.
Electric charging and other alternative fuels have a long way to go before they can be competitive with gasoline. However, multiple energy firms and associations have recently made investments or commitments to increase the availability of EV charging and other gasoline alternatives.
Here are five recent examples of the rise of alternative fuels …
Midwest charging network
Detroit-based DTE Energy and Consumers Energy are joining in a pledge to make interstate travel easier for EV owners by 2022. Six energy companies will join in facilitating the construction of a network of fast charging stations across the Midwest from Michigan to Kansas, making it possible for EV owners to drive longer distances without worrying about their next charge.
Renewable natural gas
Brightmark LLC and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. are forming a joint venture, Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC, to own projects across the United States to produce and market dairy biomethane, a renewable natural gas (RNG).
- San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron’s ExtraMile chain is No. 9 in CSP’s 2020 Top 202 list of convenience store retail brands by store count.
Equity investments by each company in the new venture will fund construction of infrastructure and commercial operation of dairy biomethane projects in multiple states. Chevron will purchase RNG produced from these projects and market the volumes for use in vehicles operating on compressed natural gas.
Ethanol and biodiesel
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invested $22 million out of the up to $100 million in grants available to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales, a move that already is affecting the fuel forecourt at some convenience stores and gas stations. These funds were made available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) to recipients in 14 states. The initial $22 million in HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually.
The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has declared a “new era” for its members and the fuels industry and, as a result, has renamed itself the Energy Marketers of America (EMA).
The name change reflects the industry’s growing portfolio of liquid fuels and other alternative energy sources such as renewable diesel and biodiesel that have “played a critical role in lowering emissions over the past half century,” said the Alexandria, Va.-based group, a federation of state and regional trade associations that collectively represent about 8,000 independent petroleum marketers. “Through innovation and technological advancement, they will continue to reduce emissions further in the coming decades.”