Glossary of Terms

Alternative fuel – According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), alternative fuels include the following:

  • Pure methanol
  • Pure ethanol
  • Other alcohols (minimum mix of 85 percent alcohol with gasoline)
  • Natural gas
  • Liquid natural gas/propane
  • Coal-derived liquid fuels
  • Hydrogen
  • Electricity
  • Pure biodiesel (B100)
  • P-series
  • Other fuels derived from biological materials

Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) – Under the DOE definition, per the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct), alternative fuel vehicles include any vehicle (dedicated or dual-fueled) that can operate on at least one alternative fuel as listed in the alternative fuel section above. Note that traditional hybrids are not considered alternative fuel vehicles because combustion engines recharge the batteries in these types of vehicles.

Battery electric vehicle (BEV) – A BEV is a vehicle that is fueled solely on electricity. All BEVs are considered zero-emission vehicles. A Nissan Leaf is an example of a BEV.

Department of General Services (DGS) leased assets – DGS manages a leasing program that provides both monthly and daily rentals to state agencies. Assets leased by DGS to customer departments will be accounted for on the customer department's individual page.

Energy Policy Act (EPAct) – This is an act passed by Congress in 1992 that set goals and requirements to increase clean energy usage and improve energy efficiency. Pursuant to this act, states' annual purchases of light-duty vehicles must be 75 percent alternative fuel vehicles, and states are required to report on these purchases annually. DGS compiles and completes this report on behalf of the state fleet.

Fleet and Asset Management System (FAMS) – This is a centralized data collection system that was deployed in 2008 to track the state fleet assets in one place. Data in FAMS is provided by individual state departments and is updated on a continual basis.

Fleet asset – Fleet assets are defined in Management Memo 13-01 as mobile equipment that is self-propelled and/or registered by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fuel economy standard – Fuel economy – expressed in miles per gallon (MPG) – is defined as the average mileage traveled by an automobile per gallon of gasoline or equivalent amount of other fuel. The state's fuel economy standard is set at 38 MPG for passenger vehicles and 22.2 for light duty trucks, vans and SUVs, see SAM Section 3620.1.

Gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) – For non-gasoline fuel consumption, this is the energy content equivalent to a gallon of gasoline.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) – Any gas that absorbs infrared radiation, slowing down the passage of re-radiated heat through Earth's atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide and ozone, as well as other gases, and absorb heat at different rates. Some greenhouse gases are naturally occurring, and others result from human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels.

Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) – This is the maximum operating weight of a vehicle (including all vehicle components as well as passengers and cargo). Vehicles are typically classified as light duty, medium duty, or heavy duty based on their GVWR. DGS uses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions classifications as defined by the U.S. Department Of Energy (DOE) to determine light-duty assets. The full set of classifications is listed on the following DOE website (titled "Vehicle Weight Classes & Categories"):

According to the EPA emissions classifications, light duty is defined as any vehicle with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) – An FCV is a type of electric vehicle that uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power its motor. The Toyota Mirai is an example of an FCV. These vehicles are considered zero-emission vehicles.

Miles per gallon (MPG) – This is a measurement of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed, and determines a vehicle's fuel economy.

State fleet composition – This fleet total includes all assets in FAMS except aircraft, neighborhood electric vehicles and non-self-propelled assets. It only includes entities defined as a state agency pursuant to California Government Code Section 11000 and California Government Code Section 13332.09.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) – A PHEV is a type of vehicle that can be fueled on either electricity or gasoline. PHEVs are solely reliant on electricity when electrically charged and are considered transitional zero-emission vehicles. A Chevrolet Volt is an example of a PHEV.

Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) – As defined on page 3 of Management Memo 16-07, a ZEV is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from its onboard source of power. BEVs and FCVs are pure zero-emission vehicles. PHEVs are considered transitional zero-emission vehicles and may be considered toward the ZEV requirement based on established ratios set by the California Air Resources Board using the PHEV certified electric driving range. See table below:

PHEV to ZEV Ratio Table
Vehicle Type
Minimum Range
Maximum Range
Low Range PHEV
Mid Range PHEV
Long Range PHEV
Extra Long Range PHEV

A list of current state fleet contract vehicles can be found at the Cal eProcure website.