Alternative Fuels

Information on DOE's Methanol Vehicle Demonstration Program Gao ID: RCED-88-38BR October 7, 1987

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the status of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Methanol Vehicle Demonstration Program, focusing on: (1) reasons why other federal agencies have not participated in the program; (2) DOE experience in acquiring and operating demonstration fleets; (3) coordination between the DOE and Department of Defense (DOD) programs; and (4) a recent initiative to acquire flexible-fueled vehicles which could operate on gasoline, methanol, or a combination of both fuels.

GAO found that: (1) other federal agencies have not participated in the DOE program because of vehicle requirements, concerns about methanol reliability and availability, and data collection requirements; (2) although DOE gained experience in operating methanol-fueled vehicles, its demonstration fleets contributed little to increasing the federal and commercial use of methanol fuel and vehicles; (3) DOE and DOD exchange monthly reports on program status and maintain informal contact; and (4) DOE will probably provide technical assistance and advice to a government initiative to procure 5,000 flexible-fueled vehicles.

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