The University Record, April 26, 1999

U joins Ann Arbor area partnership for 'clean cities'

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

No, it's not a pile-up on the interstate. It's a collection of alternative fuel vehicles--ones that use something other than a petroleum-based, non-renewable source of energy for power. Approximately 20 different alternative fuel vehicles were showcased on North Campus April 19 to celebrate the official recognition of the Ann Arbor area as one of the U.S. Department of Energy¹s (DOE) Clean Cities Partners. The Ann Arbor area is the 69th Clean Cities area in the country and the second in Michigan. It is the first in the nation to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a partner. Photo by Bob Kalmbach
The University, the City of Ann Arbor, local schools, utilities, governments and other interested organizations have formed a partnership for cleaner air and a reduction in the use of non-renewable fuels.

The culmination of this partnership was the official recognition of the Ann Arbor area as one of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Clean Cities Partners. To become a partner, an area must have a definite plan to bring alternative fuel vehicles into use in the community.

A ceremony acknowledging this official designation took place April 19 at the Media Union. Some 20 alternative fuel vehicles, ranging from electric pickups to a school bus, were on display.

The Ann Arbor Area is the 69th Clean Cities area in the country and the second in Michigan. It is the first in the nation to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a partner, and represents the first partnership with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Air Quality Division for Clean Cities.

The EPA defines an alternative fuel as any fuel that is substantially non-petroleum and yields energy security and environmental benefits. These include methanol, ethanol, natural gas, liquid propane gas, hydrogen, bio-fuels and electricity.

The U-M currently has six electric Ford Ranger pickup trucks in use daily as working vehicles on the campus. These vehicles, used by a variety of U-M divisions, have a range of about 50 miles per day, says Patrick Cunningham, director of Parking and Transportation Services. And, according to Cunningham, the University is planning to purchase as many as 50 alternative fuel vehicles in the next year.

In addition to the U-M, members of the Ann Arbor Area Clean Cities Coalition include: City of Ann Arbor; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor; Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division; Detroit Edison Co.; Michigan Consolidated Gas Co.; Ann Arbor Transportation Authority; Eastern Michigan University; Ann Arbor Public Schools; and the Ecology Center, a local environmental organization.