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New Tools in Transportation: AFLEET Update

Propane School Bus FuelingA newly updated version of the AFLEET Tool from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory is now available. AFLEET — short for Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation Tool — is a free publicly available tool that calculates and compares the costs and environmental benefits of a broad range of alternative fuel technologies.

The AFLEET Tool is ideally suited to aid those who make purchasing decisions for fleets as they compare vehicle technologies for emission reductions and air quality gains. This new version adds the ability to look at air pollutant emissions from well-to-wheel as it lets users evaluate not just “at-the-tailpipe” air pollutants, but also those arising from fuel production.

New AFLEET Features:

  • Idle Reduction Calculator 
  • Low-NOx engine option for CNG and LNG heavy-duty vehicles
  • Diesel in-use emissions multiplier sensitivity case
  • Well-to-pump air pollutants
  • Vehicle cycle petroleum use, GHGs, and air pollutants
  • Renewable diesel vehicles
  • Electric commercial trucks
  • Updated biofuel and RNG feedstocks

Learn more about AFLEET here.

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Vehicle Technologies Office Fact of the Week

Over half of all carbon monoxide (CO) emissions in 2002 were from highway vehicles; by 2016 that fell to 30%. The share of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from highway vehicles declined from 43% of all NOx emissions in 2002 to 34% in 2016. The highway share of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions declined by 9% during this same period. Highway vehicles contributed less than 3% of all particulate matter (PM) emissions.

Highway Share of All Pollutant Emissions, 2002-2016

Graphics showing highway share of all pollutant emissions (CO, NOx, PM, and VOC) from 2001 to 2016

Note: Particulate matter emissions include both fine particle matter less than 10 microns (PM-10) and fine particle matter less than 2.5 microns (PM-2.5). Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Emissions Inventory and Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data.Fact #998 Dataset

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Sponsorships and Table Top Exhibit Space Available for LCF Fall Stakeholder Meeting & Annual Awards

November 2, 2017 | 10:30 am-2:00pm | BRCC

Show your support for Clean Cities and sponsor or exhibit at our Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards and Fall Stakeholder Meeting.

Don't miss our biggest event of 2017! Join up to 100 of our stakeholders for lunch and networking at the new BRCC Automotive Technology Center to celebrate this year's outstanding projects and individuals who have made significant contributions to alternative fuels in our state at our Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards. 

Sponsorships, LIMITED table top exhibit space & vehicle display opportunities are available. Contact Stephanie at stephanie@louisianacleanfuels.org

  • Table-Top Exhibits:  $150 (Limit 8)
  • Vehicle Display: Free (First come- first serve: Space is limited. No more than 4 light duty vehicles allowed on front circle. Medium/Heavy Duty Vehicles must park on the side of the training center)
  • Lunch Sponsorships:  $300 (Unlimited)
  • Awards Ceremony Sponsorship Levels:  $500 & $1,000. Sponsors at $1,000 level given the opportunity to speak at the event or give out the award of their choice.

Are you an LCF Member? Check to see if you qualify for free or discounted sponsorships and booth space! Call or email Stephanie today!

 

 

Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, LDEQ Secretary to preside as Master of Ceremonies

As Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Dr. Brown is responsible for facilitating the Department’s Mission of providing service to the people of Louisiana through comprehensive environmental protection in order to promote and protect health, safety and welfare while considering sound policies regarding employment and economic development, with a vision of being a respected steward of the State's environment.  


Don't miss this great opportunity network with other members and clean fuel stakeholders over lunch!
 

Tentative Agenda:

10:00 - 10:30 AM       Registration, Networking & Exhibits


10:30 - 11:30 AM

 

 

 
  • VW Settlement
  • FHWA Alt Fuel Corridors
  • Changes to the state tax credits
  • New Membership Benefits
11:30 - Noon   Sponsor or Keynote Presentation (TBD)
Noon - 12:30 PM   Lunch, Networking & Exhibits
12:30 - 1:30 PM   Clean Fuel Leader Awards
LDEQ Secretary, Chuck Carr Brown
1:30 - 2:00 PM   Networking & Exhibits

 

Meeting Location:

BRCC's McKay Automotive Technology Center
2115 North Lobdell 
Baton Rouge, LA 70818

 

Lodging Suggestions:

Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Baton Rouge Downtown
Address: 462 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: (225) 382-2100

Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center (Downtown Hotel)
201 Lafayette Street,
Baton Rouge, LA  70801

WATERMARK Baton Rouge, Autograph Collection
Address: 150 3rd St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: (225) 408-3200

Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown
Address: 200 Convention St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: (225) 343-1515

Baton Rouge Marriott
5500 Hilton Avenue  (Near College Drive and I-10)
Baton Rouge, LA 70808 USA

Holiday Inn Express Downtown
400 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Best Western Chateau Louisianne Suite Hotel
710 N Lobdell Boulevard Baton Rouge, La, 70806

Any hotel in the College Drive / I-10 area or in Downtown Baton Rouge
would be convenient.

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5 Ways Alternative Fuels Aid Response to Hurricanes and Natural Disasters

Back-to-back hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated parts of Houston and Florida and left millions of residents in the dark. The long lines and “out of fuel” gas station signs are reminders that most of the transportation sector still relies on gasoline and diesel. However, in a number of cities and states, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) are playing a big role in responding to natural disasters and improving emergency preparedness.

Take a look at these five examples:

1. Hurricane Harvey temporarily knocked out nearly 30% of the nation's refining capacity. While refineries worked to recover from the storm, compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in the area were able to remain up and running. Natural gas is supplied by underground pipelines so stations can operate without a hitch throughout an emergency. Many natural gas fueling stations also come equipped with emergency natural gas-fired generators that can keep the stations running during a blackout. 

An aerial view of a shuttle bus driving on the street.

2. Atlantic City, New Jersey relied on its fleet of 190 CNG buses to shuttle residents to safety when Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. While other fleets struggled with fuel shortages these shuttles were able to stay moving during and after the storm thanks to uninterrupted CNG supply.

3. Flexibility is also important for vehicles servicing critical infrastructure needs. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has a fleet of bi-fuel (gasoline and natural gas) Ford F350 pickup trucks that operate at key airports, tunnels, and bridges. Being able to run on either fuel provides fueling flexibility, as well as extended range during normal operations.

4. AFVs can also help with recovery. New Richmond, Wisconsin sent a hybrid-electric utility bucket truck as part of a mutual aid mission to help with Hurricane Sandy cleanup. These vehicles operate on battery power when stationary and allow crews to fix power lines. The battery power eliminates engine idling and saves fuel at the same time. Some companies also use biodiesel and have reserve tanks in case of emergency—this helps stretch supplies of regular diesel even further.

5. Diverse fueling options also help reduce recovery time after a disaster. Following Hurricane Sandy, Eastern Propane was able to keep their fleet of propane-powered trucks running, delivering propane to the surrounding community and helping clear tree limbs and branches along the way. In Long Island, utility operators National Grid and Long Island Power Authority used their CNG cars and trucks for infrastructure repairs and cleanup.

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles Aid in Emergency Recovery Efforts

Watch: See how alternative fuels and other advanced vehicle technologies can help emergency fleets react to and recover from natural disasters. 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) supports a balanced portfolio of early-stage research and works directly with its nationwide network of Clean Cities Coalitions to enable widespread use of alternative fuels and energy efficient mobility technologies that enhance energy affordability, reliability, and resilience and strengthen U.S. energy security. Learn more about VTO’s Initiative for Resiliency in Energy through Vehicles project.

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How Does a Lithium-ion Battery Work?

Lithium-ion batteries power the lives of millions of people each day. From laptops and cell phones to hybrids and electric cars, this technology is growing in popularity due to its light weight, high energy density, and ability to recharge.

So how does it work?

This animation walks you through the process.

Animation created by Sarah Harman and Charles Joyner

The Basics

A battery is made up of an anode, cathode, separator, electrolyte, and two current collectors (positive and negative). The anode and cathode store the lithium. The electrolyte carries positively charged lithium ions from the anode to the cathode and vice versa through the separator. The movement of the lithium ions creates free electrons in the anode which creates a charge at the positive current collector.  The electrical current then flows from the current collector through a device being powered (cell phone, computer, etc.) to the negative current collector. The separator blocks the flow of electrons inside the battery.

Charge/Discharge

While the battery is discharging and providing an electric current, the anode releases lithium ions to the cathode, generating a flow of electrons from one side to the other. When plugging in the device, the opposite happens: Lithium ions are released by the cathode and received by the anode.

Energy Density vs. Power Density

The two most common concepts associated with batteries are energy density and power density. Energy density is measured in watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) and is the amount of energy the battery can store with respect to its mass. Power density is measured in watts per kilogram (W/kg) and is the amount of power that can be generated by the battery with respect to its mass. To draw a clearer picture, think of draining a pool. Energy density is similar to the size of the pool, while power density is comparable to draining the pool as quickly as possible. 

The Vehicle Technologies Office works on increasing the energy density of batteries, while reducing the cost, and maintaining an acceptable power density. For more information on VTO’s battery-related projects, please visit www.vehicles.energy.gov

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TIGER 2017 Announced!

Funding for Local Transportation Priorities
DEADLINE: OCTOBER 16TH

Bike Lane StreetsThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the 2017 TIGER grant applications. TIGER funding directly supports local infrastructure projects that promote safety, accessibility, mobility, and economic redevelopment. Multi-million dollar awards will be available for community-scale transportation initiatives that create jobs, enhance mobility, and improve quality of life. This is one of the best and most competitively sources of funding for transportation projects in local communities. In keeping with prior years, the minimum request for communities in an urbanized area is $5 million and a 20% match is officially required. Rural projects can request a minimum of $1 million.

On July 25, Sustainable Strategies DC organized a call between senior DOT leaders and a dozen mayors from across America to recommend improvements that will create new opportunities for small- and medium-size localities. The newly released solicitation reflects changes based upon numerous concerns that these mayors expressed, and it emphasizes projects in rural communities more than in previous years.

Sustainable Strategies DC is already working with communities nationwide to pursue these competitive funds. Based on our previous experience in winning TIGER grants and knowledge of how the program will likely change, we are helping localities develop strategies now to be most competitive for TIGER funds. Click here for more information on TIGER services that Sustainable Strategies DC provides and contact President Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881to discuss how we can assist you with your application. The deadline to apply is October 16th, 2017

 
For information on additional opportunities, please contact Sustainable Strategies DC or click here for their website.  

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Technologies That Will Transform the Transportation System

The transportation system is in the midst of a dramatic worldwide transformation that has the potential to impact our daily lives. Many factors are contributing to this change: overall U.S. demographics are shifting, more people are moving to cities, and connected devices are empowering consumers with more choices and on-demand services. The arrival of new technologies, such as connected and automated vehicles, and the rise of the shared-economy, including car-sharing and ride-hailing, have the potential to provide new, low-cost, mobility options. 

Dramatic Energy Impacts

These new transportation technologies have the potential to provide improvements in safety, affordability, and accessibility to the American people. However, they also present challenges that must be understood. A recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) indicates that the future impact of new mobility systems, including connected and automated vehicles, could range from a 60% decrease in overall transportation energy to a 200% increase.

Graphic that depicts the disruption of transportation energy in the future with cars driving toward a
Graphic | Sarah Harman

Energy Efficient Mobility Systems Research

To maximize the advantages of emerging disruptive technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles, VTO launched Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS). This comprehensive research program aims to identify and make full use of energy efficiency opportunities of advanced vehicle technologies and infrastructure, its interactions with existing infrastructure, and improved mobility of people and goods.

Current Mobility Projects

New recently announced “living lab” projects in Washington, Texas and New York are integrating smart mobility technologies in a holistic approach to the movement of people and/or goods that maximize energy efficiency. These projects will test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems, creating an essential feedback mechanism to the EEMS research program.

Connected Driving Software Prototype Demo
Watch and learn how connected technologies can improve the safety and fuel efficiency of your car.  

In addition, three EEMS projects will conduct research that evaluates energy savings benefits from connected and automated vehicles. These projects will lead to the creation of new software, controls, and technologies that use connectivity and automation to improve vehicle efficiency and analyze the system-wide energy opportunities available through connectivity and automation combined with shared mobility. 

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Energy Department Invests $13.4 Million in Transportation Projects

Via energy.gov

Today, the Energy Department (DOE) announced $13.4 million in support of five new cost-shared, community-based projects focused on energy efficient mobility systems including connected and autonomous vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure including natural gas, propane, biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity.

This Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) funding is an investment in highly-innovative, highly-leveraged, and scalable projects that will provide real-world experience and generate knowledge and lessons learned to help improve our nation's energy security, support energy independence, improve transportation efficiency, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness. 

The following projects will serve as "living labs" to test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York) will receive $2 million to evaluate changes in freight demand patterns that reduce energy use, incorporate energy efficient technologies and practices into freight logistics, and publish lessons learned.   
  • Pecan Street Inc. (Austin, Texas) will receive $1 million to pilot "last mile" electric bus services. The project includes a feasibility assessment of new technologies such as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles and dynamic app-driven re-routing.
  • City of Seattle Department of Transportation (Seattle, Washington) will receive $1.9 million to accelerate the use of EVs in shared mobility applications in four major U.S. markets and establish best practices for all U.S. metro regions.

Two additional alternative fuel community partner projects across the Southeast and Midwest regions will bring together over 20 diverse partners including communities, businesses, fleets and Clean Cities coalitions.

  • Center for Transportation and the Environment (Atlanta, Georgia) and its partners will receive $4.6 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure throughout the southeastern United States.
  • Metropolitan Energy Center, Inc. (Kansas City, Missouri) and its partners will receive $3.8 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as supporting infrastructure, through community-based partnerships throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. 

To learn more about the Department's work with industry, academia, and community partners on advanced vehicle technologies, please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office website

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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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