Celebrate independence from the gas pump with alternative fuel vehicles - News Release

Celebrate independence from the gas pump with alternative fuel vehicles

This July 4th, learn more about the benefits and cost savings of electric and natural gas vehicles

TAMPA, July 3, 2013

The latest Department of Energy statistics show that our country is consuming close to 20 million barrels of oil per day – about half of which is imported – and that nearly 70 percent of it is used for transportation. How can you reduce your dependency on foreign oil at the gas pump? Simple: Use less of it.

Plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles have become increasing popular. In fact, the 100,000th plug-in electric vehicle was sold in the United States in May of this year. “It’s encouraging to see that in less than three years, after the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were released, we have 100,000 drivers opting to plug in instead of filling up at the pump,” said Kenneth Hernandez, program manager for TECO Energy’s alternative fuel vehicle initiatives.

In addition to reducing demand for foreign oil, electric vehicles provide extensive environmental benefits over traditional fuels, such as gasoline or diesel fuel. Switching to an electric vehicle can reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 95 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 95 percent.

Worried about running out of juice while on the road? There are more than 400 charging stations in the state of Florida, and many are conveniently located at public parking garages and retail stores.

Along with electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles are excellent transportation alternatives. According to NGV America, natural gas vehicles in the United States offset the use of nearly 360 million gallons of gasoline in 2011. By using domestically produced natural gas, we can reduce the amount of imported petroleum.

In Florida there has been a significant increase in the use of natural gas-fueled vehicles and the number of newly installation fueling stations to support them. “Within the Peoples Gas service territory alone, we’ve added 15 fueling stations over the past 18 months,” Hernandez said. “These stations are fueling almost 600 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, a number that could double over the next 12 months. As more publicly accessible stations are opened, we hope to see individual consumer interest begin to expand as well.”

Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas have developed informative websites to help our customers learn more about the benefits of electric and natural gas vehicles. Visit tampaelectric.com/ev for information on the types of vehicles available on today’s market, charging options, cost savings, environmental benefits and more. At peoplesgas.com/ngv, customers will find details about residential and commercial fleet vehicles, fueling information, environmental benefits and more.

Tampa Electric Company and Peoples Gas are the principal subsidiaries of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida. Tampa Electric serves more than 687,000 customers in West Central Florida; Peoples Gas serves more than 345,000 customers in most of Florida’s major metropolitan areas and beyond. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia.

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