Vehicle caravanacross Missourifor environment

A statue of Thomas Jeefferson looks out over the future of hybrid and alternative fueled vehicles. The vehicles were on display at the capitol on April 5, 2005.

Greg Salzer

A statue of Thomas Jeefferson looks out over the future of hybrid and alternative fueled vehicles. The vehicles were on display at the capitol on April 5, 2005.

Greg Salzer

JEFFERSON CITY – Kermit the Frog visited the capitol this week riding in a bright green mild-hybrid Chevrolet Silverado as part of the “Drive Clean and Green Across Missouri” public awareness campaign.

A dozen hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles parked on the front lawn of the Missouri State Capitol April 5 as part of an event sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Energy Center, St. Louis Regional Clean Cities and Kansas City Clean Cities coalitions.

The event was organized to show Missourians the latest in alternative and hybrid vehicles designed to help protect the environment by reducing emissions, reduce dependency on foreign oil and utilizing renewable energy sources.

Rodger Randolph, owner and driver of a Honda Insight, described the Silverado pickup Kermit the Frog rode along with as a mild hybrid.

Randolph said the truck generates and stores powers for use on a job site.

Other vehicles on display were full hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles, including those operating on biodiesel, compressed natural gas, propane or ethanol.

As gas prices continue to escalate nationwide, those driving one of several varieties of vehicles using E85 had an added benefit.

The price for E85, 85 percent Ethanol, is now less than the price of a gallon of regular unleaded.

At one of the two Conoco Convenient Marts in Jefferson City April 5, the price of E85 was $2.09, 10 cents cheaper than regular unleaded.

Material provided by the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition said the price of E85 is largely competitive with gasoline. As more stations begin providing the fuel, the price would become more competitive.

E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol, distilled from corn, and 15 percent gasoline.

There are currently nine locations in Missouri supplying E85.

The first hybrid Ford Escape off the assembly line in Kansas City is now part of the Department of Natural Resources fleet.

Randolph said the hybrid Ford Escape in the caravan was borrowed from Doyle Childers, director of the Department of Natural Resources.

“The caravan is designed to create greater public awareness of the fuels and the vehicles,” Kerry Lordray said.

The “Drive Clean and Green Across Missouri” caravan began at the St. Louis Arch on April 4 and was scheduled to end Friday in Kansas City.