Considering giving yourself an alternative fuel vehicle this holiday season, but worried about fuel availability to keep it running? Louisiana is making that easier, with alternative fuel corridors clearly marked.
"We have Interstate 10, Interstate 12, interstate 49, 55, 59, and Interstate 20 across north Louisiana," says Vivian Aucoin with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. She is coordinating Louisiana's participation in the Federal Highway Administration project.
"This is a program that FHWA started two years ago. It puts up signs and lets people know that there are alternative fuels available in the area," she explains.
"It doesn't cost anything, other than our time to get it started. But we weren't sure how it would work out in the wash, and so we decided to let our neighbor Texas test the waters first."
By spring, those driving electric, LNG, CNG or propane-fueled vehicles will know they can get the go-juice to travel Louisiana, too.
"Instead of hitting the Texas border and seeing a sign that says 'End Alternative Fuel Corridor,' they will see signs telling them how far to their next station," Aucoin says.
Louisiana has enough alternative fueling stations already in place to make the program work, but DEQ would like to offer more electric refueling. Those vehicles only have a range of 50 miles before needing a re-charge, so Aucoin and her staff are looking for conventional gas stations to participate, and install the EV chargers. She says it's a good way for convenience stores to increase their commerce.
"They don't make a whole lot off of gas, right? It's when you go in and you get your snacks and your cokes. That's where they make their money, so they're going to want people to come in and shop while they're charging their vehicle,” Aucoin says, with a grin.