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State Vehicle Fleet's Record Use of Biofuel Supports Illinois Agriculture

To expand the State's use of cleaner-burning, domestically produced biofuels in its cars and trucks, Illinois government has become a major buyer of E85, biofuel and flexible-fuel vehicles.

State drivers have fueled their vehicles with more than 1 million gallons of E-85 and biodiesel since April 2005, when CMS first began tracking renewable fuel use. CMS procures both vehicles and fuel for Illinois government agencies.

Signed in April 2004, Executive Order 7 encouraged State employees to use biofuels and the state purchasing experts at CMS to prioritize flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) in fleet vehicle purchases. Since then, 75% of all cars purchased for the fleet have been FFVs which can run on gasoline or E-85 fuel, comprised of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. And most Illinois Department of Transportation trucks can operate on B-5, a common blend of biodiesel.

This has helped spur new consumer markets for the fuels as exhibited by the rapid spread of E-85 fueling stations across the state; when the Executive Order was signed, there were 25 stations, today there are more than 140. A statewide listing of stations offering E-85 is available at www.illinoisgreenfleets.org.

To further support Illinois farmers and expand the use of clean and renewable energy, state agencies have been required by law since January 2007 to purchase FFVs that run on E-85 fuel and diesel-powered vehicles that run on B-5 biodiesel.

The purpose of the law is to increase the number of fleet vehicles that can run on environmentally friendly fuels so that Illinois government will continue to serve as a national model for "green" fleet operations.  It also encourages State agencies to purchase fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles.

The State’s Commitment to Biofuels Has Made It a National Leader:

  • The National Conference of State Fleet Administrators presented CMS with the Honda/NCSFA Environmental Leadership Award in fall 2005, to recognize its achievement in improving environmental quality through fleet management.
  • In 2006 the State of Illinois ranked 14th in Ford Motor Company’s “Top 100 Alternative-Fueled Fleets” among both the private and public sectors.