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E&EM Research Results Published in Energy Policy Journal

A paper summarizing the results of Mike Helwig’s doctoral research project on optimizing use of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) by large federal fleets was published in the spring 2007 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Energy Policy. In his research, Mike developed a set of 28 tiered integer programming models that were demonstrated to be effective in optimizing acquisition of AFVs pursuant to the requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct), and use of alternative fuels under Executive Order (E.O.) 13149.

Dr. Mike Helwig

Under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, 75 percent of Light Duty Vehicle acquisitions by federal agencies must be AFVs. EPAct’s intent was to reduce United States reliance on oil imports, with federal agencies assuming a leadership role in acquiring AFVs and using alternative fuel in those AFVs. Executive Order (E.O.) 13149, issued in 2000, required federal agencies to reduce petroleum consumption 20 percent relative to a 1999 baseline and use alternative fuels the majority of the time in their AFVs by 2005.

Most federal agencies met the EPAct 75 percent acquisition requirement in 2004. However, most will not achieve the petroleum reduction and alternative fuel use requirements. Frequently, federal agencies acquire the relatively expensive AFVs and then fuel those vehicles with gasoline. Besides wasting taxpayer dollars, this approach does not meet the intent of EPAct.

It was surmised that federal agencies lack an objective, quantitative methodology for AFV acquisitions and Executive Order 13149 compliance. Several types of optimization models were constructed, using the United States Navy as a test case, for models focusing on EPAct and/or E.O. 13149 compliance. Results of a tiered set of models indicate there are efficiencies that federal agencies could take advantage of when developing EPAct and E.O. 13149 compliance strategies that are not currently being exploited.

The full paper can be seen by clicking on this link: Energy Policy Paper on Optimizing AFVs


Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor


The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)
Spring 2007 (Volume 8, Number 1)