RENO, NV - By implementing the use of fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuels by getting its own garage in order, the State of Nevada can set a good example to be energy-efficient, said the chairman of a state Senate subcommittee, according to

"What we're trying to do is get our arms around what vehicles are out there and how they're being used," said state Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, after a subcommittee meeting of the Senate Committee on Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation. "But, we want them to be energy-efficient as much as possible."

With about 6,000 registered vehicles in numerous departments, the state generally decide on what types of vehicles to purchase.

"We got all kinds of different-sized fleets that really don't have any standards set for them," said state Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno.

"In these economic times, we really should be looking at an overall management system. Six-thousand vehicles is a lot of vehicles, but when you look at FedEx, or UPS or some of these large companies, they've got many more vehicles, and they manage them. They manage them correctly because they put the focus on them."

Townsend feels that the state needs to look at the number and types of vehicles they have to  find out if there is a more efficient way to operate both long-term and short-term.

That means using fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuel wherever possible, Schneider and Townsend said.

One difficulty with alternative fuels -- such as natural gas, ethanol or biodiesel -- is availability, especially outside the two metro areas.

"We need to look at what can the state do to get alternative fuels out on (the rural areas of Highway) 95, out on (Interstate) 80, in those areas away from the cities," Schneider said. "What kind of incentives can we offer? Where we want to get is to make these fuels available not only to the state vehicles, but also the general public. That's the ultimate goal."

Townsend said a bill likely would go forward that sets standards for state fleets.

"We want to be energy efficient as much as possible," Schneider said. "Government has to lead the way in new technologies."