About Clean Cities

Photo of a fueling station sign

Our Mission

Clean Cities coalitions foster the economic, environmental, and energy security of the United States by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels, energy efficient mobility systems, and other fuel-saving technologies and practices.

The United States consumes approximately 20 million barrels of petroleum per day, about three-fourths of which is used for transportation. Transportation also has a significant economic impact on American businesses and families, accounting for nearly one-sixth of the average household’s expenses (second only to housing). Improving efficiency and reducing costs in this sector can thereby make a notable impact on our economy. Increasing the use of domestic alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies can also reduce the emissions that impact our air quality and public health.

Increased economic and energy security aren't the only benefits. Widespread use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles could reduce the emissions that impact our air quality and public health.

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), Clean Cities coalitions foster the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels, energy efficient mobility systems, and other fuel-saving technologies and practices. Since beginning in 1993, Clean Cities coalitions have achieved a cumulative impact in energy use equal to nearly 8 billion gasoline gallon equivalents through the implementation of diverse transportation projects.

Who We Are

Nearly 100 local coalitions serve as the foundation of Clean Cities by working in communities across the country to implement alternative fuels, fuel-saving technologies and practices, and new mobility choices. Clean Cities coalitions are comprised of businesses, fuel providers, vehicle fleets, state and local government agencies, and community organizations. Each coalition is led by an on-the-ground Clean Cities coordinator who tailors projects and activities to capitalize on the unique opportunities within their communities. Nationwide, nearly 15,000 stakeholders participate in Clean Cities coalitions, and through their collective efforts they are transforming local and regional transportation markets.

What We Do

At the national level, VTO develops partnerships and provides technical assistance and analysis, information resources, and online tools and data. At the local level, coalitions leverage these resources to create networks of local stakeholders and provide technical assistance to fleets implementing alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements, and emerging transportation technologies.

Together, Clean Cities' efforts support a broad set of approaches that improve transportation efficiency at the local, state, and national levels. Clean Cities' activities include:

  • Building partnerships with local coalitions of public- and private-sector transportation stakeholders
  • Developing unbiased and objective information resources covering alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, new mobility choices, and other strategies that improve transportation efficiency and reduce costs
  • Maintaining interactive, data-driven online tools to help stakeholders evaluate options and achieve goals
  • Sharing best practices and lessons learned to inform choices and build a strong national network
  • Using robust processes to collect and maintain relevant data sets to inform transportation decision making
  • Providing technical assistance to help fleets deploy alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and fuel-saving measures
  • Working with industry partners and fleets to identify and address technology barriers and research needs
  • Empowering local decision makers to successfully identify and implement new transportation strategies
  • Seeding local alternative-fuel markets through projects that deploy vehicles and fueling infrastructure.

Why We're Here

Clean Cities dates back to the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. These laws, which encouraged the production and use of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and the reduction of vehicle emissions, led to the creation of the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) in 1991. The AFDC's initial objective was to collect, analyze, and distribute data used to evaluate alternative fuels and vehicles.

In 1992, the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) required certain vehicle fleets to acquire AFVs. Subsequently, DOE created Clean Cities in 1993 to provide informational, technical, and financial resources to EPAct-regulated fleets and voluntary adopters of alternative fuels and vehicles.

DOE’s VTO facilitates national coordination of Clean Cities coalitions through its Technology Integration Program and provides additional resources. The AFDC continues to be the clearinghouse for these resources. Its sister website, FuelEconomy.gov, provides consumers with information on fuel economy, emissions, and energy impact of light-duty vehicles, based on vehicle data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.