Organization Information

Environmental Management

Postal Service Flex-Fuel Vehicle Usage

Section 701 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires all Postal Service™ dual-fuel vehicles to operate on alternative fuel rather than conventional petroleum, unless granted a waiver by the Department of Energy (DOE).

This mandate applies to anyone with access to a Postal Service vehicle, including drivers, fleet managers, and facility managers. This also includes Postal Service employees and contractors who may not have an assigned vehicle, but who may operate a vehicle as a minor portion of their responsibilities.

Dual-fuel vehicles are vehicles that can operate on two different types of fuel — an alternative fuel and petroleum fuel. They are also referred to as flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs).

Almost all dual-fuel vehicles in the postal fleet are E85 FFVs, which operate on either gasoline or E85. Take the following steps to determine if you are driving an E85 FFV:

n Check your gas cap. Most manufacturers began placing yellow gas caps on FFVs as of model year 2008.

n Check the fuel door. Some FFVs have labels on the fuel door indicating the fuel type.

n Look for badges or labels on your vehicle’s body. Most FFVs have the terms “FFV,” “E85 FFV,” or “Flex Fuel” on badges attached to the rear or side of the vehicles.

n Check with your local fleet manager to determine if the vehicle is an E85 FFV.

Each time you drive a different Postal Service vehicle, first determine if it is an E85 FFV to ensure that you are refueling the vehicle with the correct fuel.

Conditions for the DOE waiver mentioned above are outlined in section 701 of the law. Vehicles may qualify for a DOE waiver if:

n Alternative fuel is not reasonably available, which means that alternative fuel cannot be obtained within 3 miles (one way) from the vehicle’s:

n Refueling location, if using the Voyager credit card; or

n Vehicle domiciled location, if the refueling location is not displayed using the Voyager credit card.

n Alternative fuel is unreasonably expensive, which means that the standard marketed price for alternative fuel is more than gasoline at the same station. For the liquid fuels E85, liquid petroleum gas, and liquid natural gas, the marketed price is expressed in gallons. For compressed natural gas, the marketed price is gasoline gallon equivalent.

To find the nearest alternative fuel stations, use the DOE’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator at

To find an alternative fuel station along your driving route or outside of your normal operating area, use the Plan a Route tool on the Alternative Fueling Station Locator at

There is also a mobile version of the Alternative Fueling Station Locator that can help identify the nearest alternative fuel stations. Simply search for and visit the Alternative Fueling Station Locator from your smartphone or other mobile device at Drivers must be stopped, with the vehicle in park, before using any mobile tool while operating a federal vehicle.

E85 or ethanol fuel pumps may look different from conventional fuel pumps at fueling stations. In most cases, the E85 fuel pump will have a separate, yellow-colored nozzle handle or hose to distinguish it from conventional fuel pumps. The pump will also have a label stating that the fuel is E85 and for flex-fuel vehicles only.

The E85 pump itself may be located at a stand-alone site or under a separate canopy from the conventional fuels at the fueling station. Regardless of the pump’s location at the station, please note that the fueling process for E85 is the same as for a standard gas or diesel fuel pump.

Since 2009, federal agencies have been required to inventory and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the use of alternative fuel as a substitute for petroleum is the most effective way that fleets can meet these greenhouse gas and petroleum reduction requirements.