NREL developed mobile app for alternative fueling station locations released

Nov 12, 2013

iPhone users now have access to a free application that locates fueling stations offering alternative fuels, including electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, e85 Ethanol, propane and hydrogen. The Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed the new mobile application for DOE's Clean Cities program. Clean Cities supports local stakeholders across the country in an effort to cut petroleum use in transportation.

The Alternative Fueling Station Locator App, now available through Apple's App Store, allows iPhone users to select an alternative fuel and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Users can view the locations on a map or as a list containing station addresses, phone numbers and hours of operation.

"If you drive an electric vehicle, for example, you can now use your iPhone to easily identify, contact and navigate to the charging station that is most convenient to you," NREL Project Manager Trish Cozart said. "Generally, people don't search for a station while they are sitting at a computer; they need this information while they are out and about, which makes a mobile application the ideal means to deliver it."

The draws information from Clean Cities' Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), which houses the most comprehensive, up-to-date database of alternative fueling stations in the United States. The database contains information for more than 15,000 alternative throughout the country.

"The number of vehicles on the road has been increasing steadily over the last two decades," Cozart said. "Drivers and fleets have an unprecedented array of options to cut or eliminate petroleum use, and this new app serves as one more tool to make that easier."

The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information about advanced transportation technologies. The AFDC offers unbiased information, data and tools related to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.

In addition to the iPhone app, the AFDC provides multiple ways to access and use its alternative fueling station data. TheAlternative Fueling Station Locator functions as a "widget", meaning that users can embed the tool onto their own websites. The data are also available via data feeds that developers can access and use in their own mobile and web applications. Provided through NREL's developer site, developers can retrieve the data through a web services API (application programming interface).

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