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Debunking Myths About Electric Vehicles

 

 

This video is full of misinformation about electric vehicles. Read about the debunked myths below.

Myth #1: Electric cars are more toxic to humans than other cars. 

They based this claim on a study which has been debunked for inflating their emission estimates by 40% by accounting for battery replacement without recycling and adding the need for a replacement gasoline car with the EV.

Myth #2: EV batteries are made from rare Earth materials. 

In the video they claim that batteries are made from rare metals like lithium, cobalt, and cerium. Another claim they make is that the materials come from overseas from countries with a lot of pollution like China and the Republic of the Congo. There are many different battery chemistries using different minerals. They are not all the same nor do they have the same impact. Most battery makers try to avoid all rare earth metals.

Myth #3: Batteries always end up in landfills and are toxic. 

This is completely false. Battery recycling is expected to become a big business in the near future. Many automakers are making less energy dense batteries, using old batteries for energy storage, and recycling the minearls in old batteries to make completely new batteries. 

Article orignally posted on Electrek.

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8 Online Tools to Help Save You Energy

Map showing alternative fueling stations across the United States.
Photo: Use the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to find alternative fueling stations near an address or ZIP code or along a route in the United States.

When it comes to improving energy efficiency, there are a lot of questions homeowners should ask first. Be sure that you are getting the biggest bang for your buck by doing some research before taking on a home improvement project.

Fortunately, several tools and calculators are available onl to help people save energy and money. We've rounded up some of the best online tools to make your energy upgrade research easier. Start by asking yourself the questions below to figure out how to prioritize based on your personal situation.

QUESTIONTOOL OR CALCULATORINFORMATION
What appliances or electronics are using the most energy in my house?

Energy Saver's Home Appliance and Electronic Device Energy Use Calculator

Estimate your annual energy use and cost to operate more than 50 common household products
How does my energy usage compare to others across the country? Energy Star's Home Energy Yardstick This home assessment tool uses your last 12 months of utility bills to score your household efficiency on a scale of 1 to 10 in comparison to similar homes.
What energy-saving upgrades make the most sense based on my local climate and energy prices? Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Home Energy Saver Enter information about your house to get a customized list of energy savings recommendations.
How much can I expect to save by upgrading to energy efficient products? Energy Department's Energy- and Cost-Savings Calculators Understand payback periods for various products based on capacity, energy costs, hours of use, and efficiency levels.
What tax credits, rebates, and savings are available for any upgrades I make? Energy Department's Database of Incentives Search for federal, state, and local incentives to offset the cost of energy efficient improvements and renewable energy technologies in your home.

Which car should I take?

FuelEconomy.gov’s Trip Calculator

Drivers with more than one vehicle in their garage can determine which will be the best for their trip.

Is there a more cost-effective and energy efficient vehicle that would be right for me? Energy Department's Vehicle Cost Calculator Compare emissions and lifetime operating costs of specific vehicle models, including conventional cars and trucks, as well as vehicles running on alternative fuels, such as electricity, ethanol, natural gas, or biodiesel.
Where can I get fuel for my non-gasoline-powered car? Energy Department's Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Find more than 16,000 public alternative fuel and charging stations across the country.

Whether you decide to unplug your coffee maker, upgrade your insulation, invest in smart home technologies, or just use less gas on a road trip, we hope that these tools allow you to make the right choice for your budget.

*This blog originally appeared on the Energy Saver website.

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They’re Here! Station Locator Android App and Mobile Trip Calculator

A photo of a person holding a smart phone with a map pulled up.

What's new for Clean Cities mobile tools and resources?

Two new mobile tools have recently become available:

  • Station Locator app for Android: Android users can now access the Station Locator app through the Google Play store. As with the original iPhone app version, users can access the Station Locator from their mobile device and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Results display either on a map or in a list with station addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation. Also available for iPhone from the iTunes store.

 

  • Trip Calculator mobile page: FuelEconomy.gov recently launched a mobile web page version of their popular Trip Calculator tool. This page allows users to easily calculate fuel economy for a trip while on the go.

Other Mobile Resources

  • AFDC Station Locator mobile page: If you’d rather not use an app, the Station Locator mobile page provides an easy way to view alternative fueling station information on your smartphone screen, regardless of the type of mobile device used. Users can access the Station Locator by navigating to this link in an internet browser.

 

  • Find-a-Car app (Android and iPhone): The Find-a-Car app allows users to view the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings, fuel cost estimates, and safety ratings for new and used cars and trucks. The app also allows users to input driving habits to personalize results, and to scan QR codes on window stickers while car shopping to assist in comparing vehicles. The app is available to download on the Google Play store and download on the iTunes store.

 

  • Find and Compare Cars mobile page: The Find and Compare Cars mobile page allows users to search for vehicles by year, make, and model. Searches can also filter by vehicle class and combined miles per gallon (MPG).

 

  • EPA Fuel Economy Label mobile page: The EPA Fuel Economy Label mobile page explains what each piece of information detailed on fuel economy labels for gasoline, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles means.

 

  • Calculate My MPG mobile page: On this page, users receive assistance calculating and tracking fuel economy and comparing it with the EPA ratings. To get started, users must first create an account by accessing the tool online. Look for an update to the mobile page later this year.

 

  • Gas Mileage Tips mobile page: This page provides drivers with quick tips for obtaining better gas mileage and shows how much money per gallon they can save as a result.

You can rate and provide feedback on the Google Play and iTunes stores for the Station Locator and Find-a-Car apps. You may also contact the TRS at any time with feedback about these mobile resources, as well as suggestions for new tools.

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Fact of the Week: Idling vs. Starting/Stopping Engine

It is More Efficient to Stop and Restart a Vehicle’s Engine than to Idle for as Little as Ten Seconds

Research from Argonne National Laboratory shows that stopping and restarting a vehicle for as little as ten seconds uses less fuel than idling the engine. Start-stop systems increasingly available on some cars and trucks automatically shut down the engine to save fuel. The fuel used when idling varies by the accessories used (radio, lights, and fans), vehicle make and model, ambient conditions, and many other factors.

Fuel Use for Idling and Restarting

 

Graphic showing fuel use for idling and restarting. See dataset for more detailed information.

Note: cc = cubic centimeters. s = seconds.

Sources:

Estimates from CSRA based upon work by Argonne National Laboratory.

Argonne National Laboratory, Which Is Greener: Idle, or Stop and Restart? Comparing Fuel Use and Emissions for Short Passenger-Car Stops, Argonne National Laboratory, 2013.

Fact #984 Dataset

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Volkswagen Settlement Fund (Updated): How to Apply

Volkswagen Settlement Update: Louisiana

Baton Rouge, LA - The state has announced that it will distribute the Mitigation Trust Fund dollars among lasting, sustainable solutions. In order to be considered, you must send in your project concepts directly to the lead agency, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

  • The state will give preference to projects proposed by public agencies that offer long-term benefits to the community at large and show a significant reduction in NOx.
  • The state is considering using a portion of the fund for the replacement of or repowering of publicly owned school buses as provided in the Consent Decree and the replacement of or repowering of aging state-owned heavy equipment fleet vehicles that are eligible under the mitigation trust. The vehicles will be replaced with new cleaner vehicles and or new cleaner burning engines.
  • Any funds remaining after these projects are implemented may be used for  projects proposed by other public or private entities as long as they meet the criteria outlined in Appendix D.
  • Funding is for vehicle REPLACEMENT or a repower, not to expand your fleet.

Please note that the state has NOT finalized their mitigation plan so your project proposals are very important! You still have time to get your ideas before them and have some influence over the general plan. Also, the mitigation plan is NOT a list of the final approved projects. The state's mitigation plan is a guidance document that will be flexible and able to adapt to changes.

No project will be considered unless you apply (and that includes school bus replacement projects).

How to Apply

Proposals may be submitted by email to Perry Theriot at perry.theriot@la.gov; faxed to 225-219-0000; mailed to the Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Perry Theriot, P.O. Box 4303, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4303; or it may be hand delivered to 602 N. Fifth Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.   

Deadline: EXTENDED - All proposals must be received by the LDEQ no later than 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 27, 2017

Proposal should contain the following information:

  • What you want to do
  • How much it will cost
  • The amount of funding you are requesting
  • The associated NOx benefits of your project

Helpful, but not required:

  • Any additional matching funds for your project, if applicable
  • Air quality in your area / Whether or not your parish is in attainment or close to being in non-attainment
  • Any other benefits that this funding would bring to your region
  • Your budgetary constraints or other information that would help the LDEQ to understand the financial need of the applicant

If you have any questions about qualifying projects or what type of information to include in your letter, please refer back to Appendix D. Even though the LDEQ will continue to accept applications after the deadline, we urge you to send in your proposals sooner rather than later.

View the Full Public Notice (Updated):  LDEQ's VW Settlement Notice  

The full Partial Settlement, including Appendix D is available for review at: https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/871306/download

Related Links

Background

On Jan. 4, 2016, and as amended on Oct. 7, 2016, the United States, on behalf of the Environmental Protect Agency (EPA), filed a complaint against Volkswagen (VW) alleging violations of the Clean Air Act regarding approximately 500,000 model year 2009 to 2016 vehicles containing 2.0 liter diesel engines and approximately 80,000 model year 2009 to 2016 motor vehicles containing 3.0 liter diesel engines. The complaint alleges that each of these vehicles contains, as part of the computer control modules, certain algorithms and calibrations that cause the emissions control systems to perform differently during normal vehicle operation and use than when undergoing emissions testing. The use of these prohibited defeat devices caused the vehicles to produce NOx emissions significantly in excess of those allowed by law. On June 28, 2016, the State of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), filed a similar complaint against Volkswagen.

Partial Consent Decree

The consent decree provides for the establishment of an Environmental Mitigation Trust to provide funds to the states to remediate the air quality impacts of the 2.0 liter vehicle emissions. Louisiana’s initial share is approximately $18 million over a three-year period. The $18 million to be distributed from the trust fund will pay for defined eligible projects also known as eligible mitigation actions. These include projects to reduce NOx from heavy duty diesel sources near population centers, such as large trucks, school and transit buses. A complete list of eligible mitigation actions is found in Appendix D-2 of the Consent Decree. The goal of each Eligible Mitigation Action shall be to achieve reductions of NOx emissions in the United States.

 

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2017 DERA National RFP Webinar

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


EPA Clean Diesel News - 06/02/17

2017 DERA National Request for Proposals

Webinar - RFP Information Session

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

EPA will host a webinar to provide an overview of the 2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Request for Proposals (RFP). Time will be allotted for questions and answers.

Registration is not required, simply follow the link below at the designated time to enter the webinar. Audio is available through your computer speakers or by telephone.

Webinar: 2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Overview #2
Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Time: 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern
URL: https://epawebconferencing.acms.com/dera2017rfp2/
Audio: 1-866-299-3188, code 3439147#

The RFP closing date has been extended to July 5, 2017. More information about this funding opportunity is available at https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants .

If you have questions, please contact CleanDiesel@epa.gov.

 

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New Alternative Fueling Station Locator App for Android

Android users can now access the Alternative Fueling Station Locator app available through the Google Play Store. Just like the iPhone app, it allows users to select an alternative fuel and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Users can view the locations on a map or as a list with station addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation.

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Getting Started With Biodiesel

Fuel retailers interested in biodiesel should answer these questions

Have you been looking for ways to increase your fuel margins? Introducing biodiesel blends to your product offering is a great place to start.

There are fuel retailers that have increased their margins by several cents per gallon after adding biodiesel blends to their fuel lineup. That doesn’t mean there aren’t questions you should consider before calling a supplier to place your first biodiesel order.

Should I buy blended fuel or blend myself?

Starting out, you will need to decide how you want to purchase biodiesel. One option is to buy diesel fuel that already has biodiesel blended into it. You can see if your current diesel supplier has a biodiesel blended option or can make one available. If not, you can seek a fuel distributor that does.

The other option is to do the blending yourself. This often provides the best margin opportunities for you but also comes with additional considerations. You will need to install a dedicated biodiesel storage tank and blending system. While the initial cost may seem expensive, it can provide a relatively quick payback of between six to 18 months. A number of states offer grants and loans to help retailers finance these infrastructure upgrades, so research those options.

If you purchase biodiesel from a producer, you will need to decide if you want the biodiesel with or without Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Every gallon of biodiesel produced generates 1.5 RINs. These can be traded for a monetary value, with the value fluctuating based on market conditions. If you buy the biodiesel without RINs, the RIN value should be captured in the price of the biodiesel. If you buy it with RINs, you will want to trade the RINs either by using a thirdparty vendor, which will likely charge a commission, or by trading them yourself. 

Do I have a reliable supplier?

Whether buying blended fuel from a fuel supplier or straight biodiesel (B99/B100) from a biodiesel producer, you should ensure the biodiesel meets ASTM D6751 standards for biodiesel and that the producer participates in the voluntary BQ-9000® quality assurance program. This is the best way to give your customers a quality product. Also look for suppliers that are knowledgeable about the fuel retail industry and have a reliable and cost-effective supply chain to your locations.

What is the right blend level?

In every state, biodiesel blends of up to 5 percent can be sold without additional labeling at the pump. This is because the blended fuel still meets ASTM D975 diesel fuel specs. Blends from B6 to B20 are a good option to maximize profits with positive blending economics but do require additional labeling. Weather can also be a factor, but maybe not as much as you think. Proper storage, handling and additive use allows retailers to sell B20 year-round no matter their location, but if you are in a colder climate you may feel more comfortable dialing the blend back a bit in the winter.

What economic incentives are available to me?

Speaking of positive blending economics, many states recognize the benefits of making biodiesel more available and offer incentives to retailers that sell it. In Iowa, for example, outlets that sell B5 blends get a 4.5-cents-per-gallon tax credit, plus an additional 3-cents-per-gallon tax rollback on B11 and higher blends. In Texas, retailers can save up to 4 cents per gallon on the state fuel tax, depending on the blend level. If you operate stores in more than one state, familiarize yourself with each state’s regulations.

Answering these questions will help you get started so you can take advantage of the benefits of adding biodiesel to your locations. However, you don’t have to do this alone. REG has a team of experts to help you.

Get started today by talking with Jon Scharingson, Executive Director, Sales and Marketing for REG at (515) 239-8042 or Jon.Scharingson@regi.com.

 


(844) 405-0160 regi.com

© 2017 Renewable Energy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BQ-9000 is a registered trademark of the National Biodiesel Board, used with permission.

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UPDATE - DERA Funding Available

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Clean Diesel News - 06/01/17
2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

New Deadline: July 5, 2017
$23M in Additional Funding

The 2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Request for Proposals (RFP) has been amended and extended until July 5, 2017.  The changes to the RFP include:

  • Increasing total funding available from $11M to $34M
  • Modification of funding limits by region
  • Addition of Clean Alternative Fuel Conversions to the list of eligible diesel emission reduction solutions

 The amended RFP, including a summary of the changes, is available atwww.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants#rfp and at www.grants.gov.
 

If you have questions, please contact CleanDiesel@epa.gov.

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TRS Question of the Month

Question of the Month: How can I compare the energy content of alternative fuels and gasoline or diesel? What implications does this have for overall fuel and vehicle comparisons?

Answer:

Alternative fuels have varying energy densities and are measured using a number of different units, which can make comparing them tricky. The gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) unit allows drivers to make apples-to-apples comparisons of a given quantity of energy from alternative fuels and assess which fuel best suits their needs. Understanding the energy content of fuels can help inform comparisons of fuel prices and vehicle driving range.

What is a GGE? How about a DGE?

A GGE is a standardized unit used to compare the energy content of all fuels. This unit quantifies the amount of alternative fuel that has the equivalent energy content of one gallon of conventional gasoline. For medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel applications, diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) is often used.

How are GGE and DGE values determined?

Energy content is measured in British thermal units (Btus) per gallon of fuel, and is often referred to as the lower heating value of the fuel. To calculate GGE and DGE, the energy content of one gallon of gasoline or diesel is divided by the energy content of the comparison fuel. For example, conventional gasoline has an energy content of 116,090 Btus per gallon, while propane has an energy content of 84,250 Btus per gallon. As such, 1.38 gallons of propane has the same amount of energy as one gallon of conventional gasoline.

The table below displays the energy content, GGE, and DGE values of conventional and alternative fuels.

Fuel

Energy Content*

Quantity of Fuel in 1 GGE

Quantity of Fuel in 1 DGE

Gasoline

116,090 Btu/gallon

1.00 gallon

1.11 gallon

Low Sulfur Diesel

128,488

Btu/gallon

0.90 gallon

1.00 gallon

Biodiesel (B20)

126,700 Btu/gallon

0.92 gallon

1.01 gallon

Biodiesel (B100)

119,550

Btu/gallon

0.97 gallon

1.07 gallon

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

923 Btu/cubic foot (ft3) or

20,160 Btu/lb

125.77 ft3

or

5.76 lb

139.21 ft3

or

6.37 lb

Liquefied Natural Gas

21,240 Btu/lb

5.47 lb

6.05 lb

Ethanol (E100)

76,330 Btu/gallon

1.52 gallon

1.68 gallon

Ethanol (E85)**

88,258 Btu/gallon

1.32 gallon

1.46 gallon

Electricity***

3,414

Btu/kilowatt hour (kWh)

34.00 kWh

37.64 kWh

Propane

84,250 Btu/gallon

1.38 gallon

1.53 gallon

Hydrogen

288.88 Btu/ft3

or

51,585 Btu/lb

401.86 ft3

or

2.25 lb

444.78 ft3

or

2.49 lb

*Lower heating value. Source for CNG and hydrogen (Btu/ft3): Transportation Energy Data Book, Edition 35. Source for remaining values: Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Fuel Properties.

** E85 that is sold in the United States today actually contains, on average, approximately 70% ethanol. Therefore, E85 energy content calculated as [(.70) x (E100 energy content)] + [(.30) x (gasoline energy content)]

*** Electric vehicles are more efficient (on a Btu basis) than combustion engines, which should be taken into account when calculating and comparing miles per GGE (see below).

The values in the table above can help standardize fuel amounts for comparisons. For example, if you have 10,000 ft3 of CNG, you can determine the equivalent number of GGEs by dividing by 125.77 ft3 to get 79.5 GGE. Similarly, to determine the number of DGEs, you would divide by 139.21 ft3 to get 71.83 DGE.

How are GGE and DGE used to compare fuel prices?

Fuel prices can be represented in dollars per GGE or DGE for consistency in pricing between fuels. For that reason, the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report shows prices on an energy-equivalent basis (Table 3 in recent reports, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/publications/search/keyword/?q=alternative%20fuel%20price%20report). If values for price per GGE or DGE are not available, you can do the calculation on your own. For instance, if one gallon of E85 is $2.04, you would multiply by 1.32 (see table above) to find that this price equates to $2.69 per GGE after adjusting for energy content.

What are the factors that impact how far I can drive between fill ups?

The energy content of fuels is one factor that affects driving range. Filling up with a less energy-dense fuel often means that you will not be able to drive as far. However, tank size and vehicle efficiency also play a significant role.

Some alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) have similar tank sizes to conventional vehicles, while others have larger fuel tanks to compensate for the difference in energy content. For example, vehicles that run on propane and biodiesel typically have similarly sized fuel tanks as their conventional fuel counterparts. As you can see in the table above, both of these fuels have lower energy densities than their conventional fuel counterparts, which subsequently can result in lower fuel economy and shorter range per tank. In the case of propane, bi-fuel vehicles are available that can operate on both conventional fuel and propane for extended driving range. In addition, propane and biodiesel offer many other benefits that can offset this difference.

CNG and hydrogen vehicles, on the other hand, often have larger tanks to offset the lower energy densities associated with these fuels. Fleets and drivers purchasing a CNG vehicle may have the option to install an additional CNG storage tank onboard the vehicle. Alternatively, bi-fuel CNG vehicles are also available to extend the range. As for hydrogen, these vehicles tend to have larger fuel tanks overall.

Tank size is not the only other factor that affects range; vehicle efficiency also plays a role. For instance, all-electric vehicles (EVs) are significantly more efficient than conventional gasoline vehicles. According to FuelEconomy.gov, EVs use anywhere from 59% to 62% of the electricity from the grid to power the vehicle, while conventional gasoline vehicles can only convert 17% to 21% of the energy from gasoline to power the vehicle (https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evtech.shtml). This is one reason why EVs have such significant fuel economy advantages over conventional vehicles, even when you are comparing the fuels on an energy-equivalent basis.

 

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icfi.com
800-254-6735

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