Alternative Fuels

The objective of the Alternative Fuel Workgroup is to share information and seek funding for a variety of projects including: low and zero emission fuel use, alternative fuel powertrain conversion, alternative fuel vehicle and equipment replacement, and diesel fuel conservation.

On this page:

Cleaner Fuel Use

Heavy duty vehicles pollute the air we breathe because their fuel is, typically inherently dirty. A "cleaner fuel" is a cleaner-burning replacement for regular diesel fuel, whether it is a modified form of the same fuel or an outright alternative to diesel. Unlike retrofit devices, the use of cleaner fuels reduces harmful air pollutants before they are combusted in the engine.

The Collaborative is fuel neutral and supports "cleaner" forms of diesel fuel and alternatives to diesel fuel.

Engine Retrofit

Diesel engines retrofitted with after-treatment air pollution control devices can achieve considerable emissions reductions. Many of these devices significantly reduce emissions on stationary and mobile diesel engines. The Collaborative broadly defines diesel engine retrofits as engine replacements, repair, retrofit (after-treatment controls) or repower.

The term “retrofit” is most often used to describe exhaust aftertreatment devices. While exhaust aftertreatment technology represents a very promising category of solutions for in-use emissions reduction, it is only one of a number of options. In addition to cleaner fuel use and idle reduction technologies and practices, here are some other opportunities to reduce diesel emissions:

Fuel and Idle Reduction

Heavy duty vehicle/vessel idling provides heat or air conditioning inside the vehicle/vessel for driver/occupant(s’) comfort, keeps the engine and fuel warm during cool weather, and provides electrical power for onboard applications. While this can often best be accomplished simply through behavioral changes by the drivers, there are certainly relevant technologies to reduce idling-related air pollution:

West Coast Collaborative Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Corridor Coalition (WCC AFICC)

The mission of the WCC AFICC is to accelerate the modernization of west coast transportation corridors by deploying alternative fuel infrastructure for medium and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment in synergy with other investments. Public-private collaboration to plan projects, leverage funding, and construct modernized corridors with alternative fuel infrastructure will create jobs, increase domestic fuel supply diversity, reduce emissions, improve public health and support more robust medium and heavy-duty fleet operations.

The WCC hosted a series of AFICC webinars focused on medium and heavy-duty alternative fuel infrastructure needs in the western United States. The webinar series also included informational briefings regarding medium and heavy-duty plug-in electric, hydrogen fuel cell electric, natural gas, and propane powertrain technologies and related infrastructure. See the list below for recordings and slide decks from the WCC AFICC webinar series:

WCC AFICC Medium and Heavy-Duty Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Strategic Development Plan

The WCC AFICC commissioned CALSTART to prepare the Medium and Heavy-Duty Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Strategic Development Plan (March 2020) to help identify potential diesel emission reduction strategies on the West Coast of the United States. The WCC AFICC seeks stakeholder input on investment needs for plug-in electric (EV), hydrogen (H2), propane (LPG), compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (CNG and LNG) fueling infrastructure for medium and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. The plan outlines medium and heavy-duty alternative fuel infrastructure gaps, evaluates project implementation readiness, and highlights near-term investments needed to support medium and heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicle and equipment deployment. This document captures a snapshot in time and should be considered as an initial, possible framework for medium and heavy-duty alternative fuel infrastructure investments on the West Coast, not a prescriptive list of specific projects that must be endorsed for funding, or implementation. The information and recommendations within the plan are presented by CALSTART, and do not necessarily represent the views of other WCC Partners. The plan can be referenced by stakeholders to support participation in eligible funding opportunities.

Additional Medium and Heavy-Duty-Accessible Alternative Fuel Stations in the WCC States and Territories

The strategic plan document referenced above reflects project proposals submitted by fleets, equipment users, fuel providers and other WCC Partners who participated in the AFICC's 2016-2019 alternative fuel infrastructure needs assessment for medium and heavy-duty fleet operations in California, Oregon, and Washington. The WCC AFICC believes that the proposals listed in the March 2020 plan cover a small percentage of the demand for medium and heavy-duty alternative fuel infrastructure on the West Coast. With that in mind, the WCC conducted a web survey in 2021 to solicit additional medium and heavy-duty-accessible EV, H2, LPG, CNG and/or LNG infrastructure project proposals (e.g., Class 5+ on-highway vehicles >16,001 lbs, locomotives, marine vessels, and other heavy-duty nonroad equipment) from WCC Partners seeking funding assistance and partnerships to support implementation elsewhere in the WCC states and territories, including: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Tribal Lands, and the U.S. Pacific Island Territories: American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands. Survey closed on September 30, 2021.

Additional AFICC updates to be announced via the WCC Communicator Newsletter – CLICK HERE TO JOIN