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Biofuels NREL Alternative Fuel Station App

Published on November 12th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

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Need An Alternative Fuel Station? Now There’s An App For That.

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November 12th, 2013 by
 

Ever wonder if you could fit more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations into the palm of your hand? Range anxiety, meet the iPhone.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a new app, the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, listing the location and details of fueling stations across America for alternative-fuel vehicles.

NREL Alternative Fuel Station App

Image via Silvio Marcacci/CleanTechnica

The app is now available for free on iPhones or iPads on Apple’s iTunes store, and could be the next step toward a sustainable transportation future.

A Cure For Range Anxiety Wherever You Are

NREL’s app has one function – put the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) into the hands of drivers, which it does  extremely well. The AFDC is the most comprehensive and updated list of alternative fueling stations, but was previously only available online as a website.

“Generally, people don’t search for a station while they are sitting at a computer,” said Trish Cozart, NREL project manager. “They need this information while they are out and about, which makes a mobile application the ideal means to deliver it.”

Stations are filtered and displayed according to the alternative fuel your vehicle runs on: biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electricity, E85 ethanol, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas, or propane. Once the fuel is specified, the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius of either the user’s location or a set address are listed out on an Apple Map, and directions are one tap away.

But beyond just showing station locations and hours of operation, the app also provides details specifics for each alternative fuel. For instance, EV drivers can filter results by electric charger type while all fuel types can be sorted using filters for station owner or payment method.

NREL Alternative Fuels Data Center

Alternative Fuels Data Center image via National Renewable Energy Laboratory

An Open-Sourced Alternative Fuel Future?

While comprehensive, NREL’s data isn’t exclusive. AFDC information and functionality is also available as a widget for developers to embed on their own websites, and all data is provided through NREL’s developer API for use in other mobile and online applications – meaning anyone can use and improve upon a steady stream of updated information.

So alternative fuel vehicle drivers, search away. Just maybe pull over on the side of the road first, okay?

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About the Author

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate-focused public relations company based in Washington, D.C.



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