Get Involved

The fuels and vehicles that comprise the transportation system must work together for the benefit of the consumer. Only by objectively evaluating the opportunities and challenges that affect this system can we make decisions that will ensure long-term sustainability, both environmentally and economically.

Diversity is Our Strength

Effective fuels policies and market decisions are best developed when diverse stakeholders collaborate on creating objectives that are fact-based, sustainable and ultimately benefit the consumer.

Historically, a lack of coordination has led to business and policy decisions that do not incorporate the diverse elements necessary to promote a successful market. The resulting dysfunctional implementation has stymied innovation and imposed unnecessary costs on businesses, consumers and the environment.

In 2013, the leaders of NACS, representing the convenience and fuel retailing industry -which sells 80% of the transportation fuel in the United States-took action to address this problem, and established the Fuels Institute.

A Credible Resource

The Fuels Institute is a not-for-profit organization led by a group of diverse stakeholders including fuel retailers, fuel producers, automobile manufacturers, environmental advocates, academics, government entities and others. The Institute delivers comprehensive research and analysis concerning fuels, vehicles and related policy issues with the intention to create a market in which consumers can safely, conveniently and affordably purchase the fuels they need.

To preserve its objectivity, the Institute does not lobby or advocate for action in either the private or public sector. We instead seek to establish a common baseline of information upon which stakeholders can debate various options for resolving challenges in the market. We exist to facilitate an economically and environmentally sustainable U.S. transportation fuels system, with the aim to better understand the ultimate affect decisions will have on consumers.

To satisfy its mission, the Fuels Institute must pursue participation of all affected stakeholders. By doing so, it will ensure its research projects are comprehensive, addressing the multitude of issues facing the market and accurately incorporating the various perspectives of those who are interested and concerned about the topics being evaluated.

Participation

The Fuels Institute welcomes the participation of all stakeholders affected by the changing fuels and vehicles landscape. Contact us to learn more about these unique opportunities to get involved:

  • Serve on the Board of Directors, which maintains executive and fiduciary responsibility for the Institute. New candidates are appointed by the Fuels Institute Nominating Committee.
  • Join the Board of Advisors, which identifies, coordinates, directs and reviews the Fuels Institute's research projects. New advisors are appointed by the Board of Directors.
  • Volunteer to participate in a Task Group, which are formed to oversee research projects and serve as the expert resource to the firm who's conducting the study. Any eligible participant in the Fuels Institute may volunteer to participate on a Task Group.

Funding

Contributions to the Fuels Institute qualify organizations to participate at various levels of the organization as opportunities are available. These contributions are intended to support the operations of the Fuels Institute - including administration, public activities, production of materials and various research projects. Additional resources may be solicited from interested stakeholders to support larger research projects.

The Fuels Institute Board of Advisors is responsible for ensuring that no analysis published by the Institute is unduly influenced by any interested parties. All projects are peer reviewed, and the opinions of all stakeholders are incorporated in the final reports of the Institute.

Fuels Institute publications are presented as a collaborative work product of the Fuels Institute and do not represent the position of any individual participant. All funding for the Fuels Institute and its published reports is disclosed to maintain a high level of credibility and integrity.

The Fuels Institute is a nonprofit tax-exempt social welfare organization under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are not tax deductible as charitable donations, but may be deductible as a business expense; you should consult with your own tax advisor as to the deductibility of any contributions.

The Fuels Institute includes a balanced representation of all affected stakeholders, to ensure that its research projects are comprehensive evaluations and that all perspectives are accurately presented in its analysis.

Organizational Structure

The Fuels Institute is a 501(c)(4) research organization comprised of a Board of Directors, a Board of Advisors and various Task Groups.

The Board of Directors is charged with executive and fiduciary responsibility for the Institute. It's comprised of 11 members - six individuals appointed by NACS , and five others selected by the Fuels Institute Nominating Committee to represent other stakeholder communities.

The Board of Advisors identifies, coordinates, directs and reviews the research projects of the Fuels Institute. Each member is able to recommend research topics, participate in project development, serve on a Task Group, review and recommend edits to the document and include additional opinions in the appendix of any report issued by the Institute. This group is appointed by the Board of Directors and represents a balanced mix of stakeholders..

When the Board of Advisors recommends a research project, eligible stakeholders form a Task Group, which develops the objectives of the research project, determines the scope of work and recommends organizations to complete the research. The Task Group also serves as the expert resource to the Institute and the selected research organization, providing input throughout the process and conducting the first round of peer review. The Fuels Institute incorporates a diverse set of stakeholders to ensure that all facets of the market are accurately represented in each project. Types of organizations that participate in the Fuels Institute include:

  • Retail delivery and transportation fuels companies
  • Oil, natural gas and refined products manufacturers
  • Biofuels, electric motors and fuel cell companies
  • Vehicle and equipment manufacturers
  • Special interest groups focused on consumers, the environment and public welfare
  • Academics, research organizations, government entities and market analysts

Purpose

The Fuel Quality Council (FQC) will study the relationship between diesel fuel quality and modern high pressure common rail diesel engines, identify possible issues with that relationship, and evaluate the viability of potential solutions.

Activities

The Fuel Quality Council will engage in a number of data collection, analysis and research initiatives as directed by the General Council and Steering Committee. These initiatives will include the following:

  • Eliminate Silos. FQC will bring together the diverse stakeholders in the diesel fuel and engine supply chain, facilitating collaboration among these entities in order to evaluate market conditions and potential solutions in a comprehensive manner.
  • Not Recreate the Wheel. FQC will review current research and literature pertaining to diesel engine performance and diesel fuel quality, identify gaps in knowledge and develop a plan to contribute value to the knowledge base.
  • Quantify the Problem. FQC will collect maintenance and warranty claim data from truck owners, fleet operators and engine manufacturers, catalogue the issues being reported, and issue a report summarizing the scope and observable trends of the issues.
  • Benchmark Fuel Quality. FQC will work with the engine manufacturers to understand the optimum specifications for diesel fuel and develop a model to compare the quality of diesel fuel in North America relative to that marketed in other countries with a significant population of diesel-powered vehicles.
  • Map the Problem. FQC will compare maintenance data with the fuel quality benchmark and map the relationship between fuel quality and engine problems. This will isolate any existing problem and enable targeted evaluation of potential solutions.
  • Evaluate the System.If data evaluation identifies a problem with fuel quality, FQC will evaluate the entire fuel supply and distribution system, from nozzle to refinery, to identify potential sources of the problem.
  • Determine Value.If there is a persistent issue with fuel quality and engine performance, FQC will evaluate any potential mitigation solutions to determine their return on investment and provide stakeholders with an assessment concerning the value of taking steps to address the issues.

Who Should Be Involved?

The Fuel Quality Council will be most successful with broad participation by all who are engaged in the diesel fuel and engine markets. Participants should include but not be limited to:

  • Engine manufacturers
  • Fleet operators
  • Refiners
  • Biofuel producers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Storage and dispensing equipment providers
  • Vehicle and engine equipment providers
  • Additive manufacturers
  • Vehicle maintenance providers
  • Fuel storage tank and dispenser maintenance providers

Structure & Participation

Any interested stakeholder is eligible to participate in the Fuel Quality Council by becoming a member of either the General Council or Steering Committee:

  • General Council - $5,000
    The General Council represents the breadth of the industry, pulling input from all stakeholders to develop the research objectives of the Fuel Quality Council, identify specific research initiatives, guide and review all findings and reports, and contribute market data for analysis in research projects.
  • Steering Committee - $10,000
    The Steering Committee is the governing body of the FQC, managing the budget, overseeing overall operations, contracting with outside research entities, and granting final approval to release of findings and reports.

Contacts

John Eichberger
Executive Director
jeichberger@fuelsinstitute.org
703-518-7971

Amanda Appelbaum
Director, Research
aappelbaum@fuelsinstitute.org
703-518-7974

To learn more about how you can get involved with the Fuels Institute, please contact us.

John Eichberger
Executive Director
jeichberger@fuelsinstitute.org
703-518-7971

Donovan Woods
Director, Operations
dwoods@fuelsinstitute.org
703-518-7973

Amanda Appelbaum
Director, Research
aappelbaum@fuelsinstitute.org
703-518-7974