Nassau County Clean Fuels Feasibility Assessment
The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (North Florida TPO) took advantage of a unique opportunity for fleets to upgrade with new, clean fuel vehicles.
Due to lingering effects of the Great Recession, most county agencies have deferred vehicle replacements. As a result of an agreement between Volkswagen and the U.S. Government settling claims that the automaker sold vehicles in violation of US EPA emission standards (VW Settlement), Florida is set to receive more than $166 million for emissions reduction projects. The funds will be allocated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection under terms currently under development.
Nassau County public fleet data was assessed to determine feasibility of transitioning to clean fuels.
The stakeholders included in this analysis include:
- City of Fernandina Beach
- Nassau County Board of County Commissioners
- Nassau County School District
- Nassau County Transit
The feasibility of transitioning fleets to propane (Autogas), compressed natural gas (CNG), electricity, biofuels, and hydrogen was evaluated from technical and economic perspectives. The evaluation was based on fleet data from Nassau stakeholders, including: number and age of vehicles, their location, fuel expenditure, fuel use, and vehicle miles traveled.
Using cost-benefit analysis, a base case was established demonstrating the profitability of transitioning trucks, school buses, and transit buses to propane autogas or compressed natural gas and passenger vehicles to electric vehicles. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to test project feasibility in response to changes in incentives, fuel prices, and delivery method. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated the resilience of EVs to changes assumptions.
Geospatial analysis was utilized to map present locations of fleets and fueling infrastructure and evaluate locations for future infrastructure. The analysis demonstrated the difficulty of siting a common fast-fill compressed natural gas fueling facility in the county.