Tiger Teams Technical Assistance: Reliable, Universal Open Architecture for Card Access to Dispense Alternative Fuels
Description: Report discusses the dilemma of incorporating consistent, convenient, universal card access (or ''pay-at-the-pump'') systems into alternative fueling stations across the country. The state of California continues to be in the forefront of implementing alternative fuels for transportation applications. Aggressive efforts to deploy alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in California have highlighted the need to provide adequate fueling stations and develop appropriate, user-friendly means to purchase fuel at the pump. Since these fuels are not typically provided by petroleum companies at conventional fueling stations, and acceptance of cash is often not an option, a payment method must be developed that is consistent with the way individual AFV operators are accustomed to purchasing automotive fuels--with a credit card. At the same time, large fleets like the California Department of General Services must be able to use a single fuel card that offers comprehensive fleet management services. The Gas Technology Institute's Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) and its stakeholders have identified the lack of a common card reader system as a hurdle to wider deployment of AFVs in California and the United States. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Clean Cities Program, the IWG has outlined a multi-phased strategy to systematically address the barriers to develop a more ''open'' architecture that's similar to the way gasoline and diesel are currently dispensed. Under the auspices of the IWG, survey results were gathered (circa 1999) from certain fuel providers, as a means to more carefully study card reader issues and their potential solutions. Pilot programs featuring card reader systems capable of accepting wider payment options have been attempted in several regions of the United States with mixed success. In early 2001, DOE joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) ...
Date: March 1, 2002
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