Clean Energy Roadshow promoting alternative fuel vehicles comes to Augusta

August 29, 2019. The Ninth Annual Clean Energy Roadshow featured alternative fuel vehicles and technology that cities and companies are embracing not only to cut emissions but save money.

   Clean energy came to Augusta on Wednesday but the city is already on board with using alternative fuels that some would like to see more vehicles using.

   The Ninth Annual Clean Energy Roadshow stopped at Georgia Cyber Center as it makes it way around the state, led by Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, who has long promoted greater use of alternative fuels and drives an electric car himself. While Georgia has done away with tax breaks for buying those cars, there is a bill already prefilled for the next legislative session that would restore about half of it, he said.

   Republicans like him are interested not in necessarily the climate change aspect of promoting electric vehicles as they are in advancing the technology like autonomous driving vehicles that will all be electric and in promoting technology sectors like cyber and financial tech or Fintech, which are big and growing in Georgia, Echols said.

   But other alternative fuels are also gaining traction here. Clean Cities Georgia, an initiative begun by the Department of Energy in the early 90s to reduce the dependence on foreign oil, has been promoting the use of natural gas and propane as well, said Co-coordinator Stephanie Stuckey.

   Augusta has been moving forward with compressed natural gas (CNG). The city of Augusta began requiring its garbage trucks to use it in 2013 and so many other local companies have switched their fleets that the city had to open a second compressed natural gas station to meet the demand, said Keith Daniel, accounting manager for Augusta Environmental Services. Not only are the vehicles cleaner for the environment but they are much quieter, he said.