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How to tell if a conversion system is certified

Question of the Month: How can I determine whether an alternative fuel conversion system or other aftermarket device claiming to improve fuel economy or reduce emissions has been appropriately certified or verified?

Answer: To ensure an aftermarket system or device is legitimate, you must first confirm that it has been properly vetted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and any applicable state authority, such as the California Air Resources Board (CARB). There are a number of ways to do this, as described below.

Certified Conversion Systems
Always request documentation! Conversion system manufacturers should be more than willing to provide a copy of their EPA-issued Certificate of Conformity (or CARB Executive Order) upon request. For vehicles falling into EPA’s “intermediate age” and “outside useful life” categories, the manufacturer should be able to prove the company has satisfied demonstration and notification requirements.

You can consult EPA’s Alternative Fuel Conversion website (http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/fuels/altfuels/altfuels.htm) for files listing “EPA-Compliant Conversion Systems.” All conversion systems listed on this website comply with EPA’s conversion regulations (Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 85, Subpart F). Keep in mind that each system is designed for a specific group of vehicles. Since conversion systems are only listed on this page at the request of system manufacturer, there may be other certified systems, so contact the EPA Compliance Information Hotline for more information (734-214-4343complianceinfo@epa.gov).

California has its own compliance requirements for conversion systems sold within the state.  For information about California’s requirements, see the CARB Aftermarket, Performance, and Add-On Parts Regulations website (http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/altfuel/altfuel.htm), Note that several other states that have adopted the same regulations.

SmartWay and Other Emission Reduction Technologies
Ask manufacturers of other emissions- and fuel-saving devices whether their products have been reviewed by EPA.

EPA evaluates the fuel-saving benefits of devices such as idle reduction devices, aerodynamics technologies, and low rolling resistance tires. The SmartWay Verified Technologies website (http://epa.gov/smartway/forpartners/technology.htm) provides more information about specific products and models. EPA verifies and approves diesel retrofit technologies for use in its engine retrofit programs and provides information about emissions reductions. See the Verified Technologies List (http://epa.gov/cleandiesel/verification/verif-list.htm). It is important to note that EPA does not endorse these or any other commercial products.

EPA’s Gas Saving and Aftermarket Retrofit Device Evaluation Program, also called the “511 Program” (http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/reports.htm), evaluates aftermarket retrofit devices that claim to improve automobile fuel economy and/or reduce exhaust emissions in cars and light trucks. The most recent test report from this voluntary evaluation program is dated 2005, indicating a lack of recent interest, but the program is still relevant.

Check with your state environmental or energy department to confirm whether they have similar programs.

For more information on aftermarket system and device evaluation, see the following websites:

 

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

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Clean Cities Announces Funding Opportunity: Purchasing/Procurement Process To Pool AFV Orders

DE-FOA-0001237: Development of Processes and Procedures for Pool Bulk Multi-Fleet AFV Orders

The objective of this FOA is to develop and implement effective purchasing/procurement processes designed to coordinate and consolidate bulk alternative fuel vehicle and advanced vehicle orders and reduce per-unit prices of commercially-available vehicles. It is anticipated that the aggregated purchasing/procurement process will enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers to increase production volumes, achieve economies of scale, and reduce incremental vehicle costs specific to electric drive, natural gas, propane, hybrid, and other alternative fuel vehicle and advanced vehicle technologies. 

Applications will address the following:

  • Management and administration of all aspects of the aggregated vehicle procurement/purchasing program being proposed 
  • Group purchasing initiatives or organizations such as a buyer’s consortium, where potential members/users have a mutual interest to procure alternative fuel vehicles and advanced vehicles based on vocation, fleet type, geography, vehicle class, configuration, or classification to effectively leverage volume orders and coordinate and bundle procurement packages 
  • Projected vehicle orders as well as acquisition, delivery, and deployment timelines 
  • Projected volume price reduction when compared to current commercially-available singular alternative fuel vehicle and advanced vehicle prices
  • Approaches and plans for coordination/consolidation of standardized vehicle specifications to streamline manufacturing and reduce unnecessary product variations
  • Approaches and plans for coordination of order and delivery schedules that complement OEM manufacturing windows and end-user procurement cycles
  • Criteria used to determine competitive or sole source approaches
  • Innovative contracting, financing, and payment/escrow strategies for vehicle purchases
  • Identification and recording of best practices and lessons learned

For more information, see the full solicitation.

Additional Information:

Project funds will not be used for the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles and advanced vehicles. The intent is for proposing teams to create processes and procedures that can be used by a wide variety of public and private fleets and individuals who wish to acquire alternative fuel vehicles and advanced vehicles. Project teams are envisioned and may include vehicle OEMs and dealers, suppliers, fleet management and purchasing/procurement organizations, state and local agencies, utility companies, vehicle leasing companies, fuel providers, and trade groups engaged in AFV-related businesses. EERE expects to make multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately two years.

Source: US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) , Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO)

Articles:
Fleets and Fuels

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LCF's Office Hours for Thanksgiving

Louisiana Clean Fuels will be closed Thanksgiving Day (11/27) and the following Friday (11/28).  If you need to contact us, please feel free to send an email at info@louisianacleanfuels.org and we will get back to you on Monday.  

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

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Clean Cities Hits Major Petroleum-Reduction Milestone

Clean Cities Hits Major Petroleum-Reduction Milestone
Louisiana Clean Fuels contributes to national program's success in cutting America’s petroleum use by one billion gallons in one year

The U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program and its nearly 100 coalitions across the nation reached a major petroleum-reduction milestone—reducing one billion gallons in 2013 alone! This keeps the Clean Cities program on track to meet its ambitious petroleum-reduction goal of 2.5 billion gallons a year by 2020.

DOE launched the national program in 1993, and Louisiana Clean Fuels has been a key contributor to the program's mission in Louisiana since its founding in 2000. Louisiana Clean Fuels has coordinated several alternative fuel projects, hosted countless workshops and celebrations and expanded its territory to include 56 parishes. With the addition of the parishes covered by our sister organization, Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership, the entire state of Louisiana is covered by Clean Cities. Louisiana Clean Fuels is supported in part by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources

Reducing America’s oil dependency and our transportation system’s environmental footprint are at the heart of Clean Cities’ efforts. Nationwide, Clean Cities and its stakeholders prevented the production of 7.5 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2013. This is equivalent to removing more than 1.5 million cars from the road. Louisiana Clean Fuels and its stakeholders have led the charge in our 56 parishes saving 982,714 gallons of petroleum in 2013 alone.

“From 15 million gallons in its first year to a cumulative 6.4 billion through 2013, Clean Cities is shifting transportation away from petroleum—one vehicle, fleet, and community at a time,” said Clean Cities National Director Dennis Smith.  The collaborations and relationships that local coalitions create are key to our national success.”

The coalitions’ local knowledge, combined with the objective, reliable technical expertise of the Energy Department and its national laboratories, make Clean Cities unique in its ability to incite change. 

“We are proud that Louisiana Clean Fuels is a part of this large, nation-wide movement toward advancing our nation’s environmental, economic and energy security.” Ann Shaneyfelt, Executive Director of Louisiana Clean Fuels said. “We’re thrilled about this milestone, and we’ll keep doing our part in Louisiana to reach that 2020 national goal.”

A national network of Clean Cities coalitions brings together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deploy alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements, and new transportation technologies as they emerge.

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Louisiana Clean Fuels Attends REG Geismar Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Renewable Every Group, Inc. is a leading North American advanced biofuels producer and developer of renewable chemicals.  REG utilizes a nationwide production, distribution and logistics system as part of an integrated value chain model to focus on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced biofuels and converting diverse feedstocks into renewable chemicals.  With 10 active biorefineries across the country, research and development capabilities, and a diverse and growing intellectual property portfolio, REG is committed to being a long-term leader in bio-based fuels and chemicals.      

For more than a decade, REG has been a reliable supplier of advanced biofuels which meet or exceed ASTM quality specifications.  REG sells REG-9000 biodiesel to distributors so consumers can have cleaner burning fuels that help diversify the energy complex and increase energy security.  REG-9000 biodiesel is distributed in most states in the U.S.  REG also markets ultra-low sulfur diesel and heating oil in the northeastern U.S.

On November 19, 2014, REG is opening its doors to the public for their grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in Geismar, LA.  REG Geismar Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Scott Hedderich welcomed guests.  Following the welcome, Executive Director of Manufacturing Operations and Services, Mr. Derek Winkel informed guests of about the company and plans of action for the refinery.  Ascension Parish President, Mr. Tommy Martinez, and REG President and CEO, Mr. Daniel Oh, provided commentary on the biorefinery.  Ann Shaneyfelt and Lauren Lambert-Tompkins of Louisiana Clean Fuels were invited to the ceremony as community leaders, and toured the biorefinery that will now be producing renewable hydrocarbon diesel at 75-million gallons per year.  REG acquired the Louisiana plant in 2014.

Pictured are Oils From the Biorefinery

For more information please visit, www.regi.com

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Are Medium-Duty NGVs The Next Big Market?

The medium-duty market may be ripe for the picking for compressed natural gas (CNG) conversions, but defining the segment and potential customers among the estimated 8 million such vehicles on the road is an important challenge.

"It's the work truck market, with medium-duty being a sub-set that stops between the 22,000- to 24,000-pound ranges," says Stephe Yborra, director of market development for NGVAmerica and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation. "How we define 'work truck' versus 'medium duty' is different because we can have light-duty work trucks, but when we say medium-duty, we are really talking classes four through seven."

The owners and operators of these medium-duty trucks are common on city streets.

"Many are businesses providing consumable goods and services, or commercial services," Yborra says. "It could be the local pest control or plumbing and heating [company], or the guy delivering fresh fruit, restaurant supplies and food."

This is where the medium-duty market begins to open up, according to Yborra.

"We have a lot of possibility with delivery vehicles because even though they are sticking to a specific area, there is significant fuel use," he says. "They are usually trucks that leave in the morning and then come back at night."

A home base of operations and daily routes are both qualifiers when determining which medium-duty fleets are potential customers for CNG conversion. When running shorter routes, a fleet will not have to rely on CNG refueling infrastructure outside its central location. However, having available infrastructure remains vital for getting most fleets on board, especially if they are looking at expanding.

Doyle Sumrall, managing director of NTEA, uses Columbus, Ohio, as an example. The city currently has two public-access fast-fill CNG stations that serve a variety of vehicles in the Columbus area, from bus and transit vehicles to short-haul, tractor-trailer rigs. Some vehicles utilizing the station come from farther away, knowing the option to fill up in Columbus exists.

"Fleet managers look at that with a high degree of confidence and see they will have fuel long-term and at a favorable price," Sumrall says. "This spider web and networking of natural gas makes it easier for fleets between five and 15 trucks to make the decision to go to natural gas."

Sumrall often talks with fleets that want to switch to CNG, and the bottom line is always an essential consideration.

"They all have an equally strong interest in saying they are doing the right thing for the environment and the community, but they cannot do it at the expense of their operation," he says.

The good news is that most medium-duty owners can generally see a payback relatively quickly.

"The repetitive routes create a reasonably good payback in two or three years," Yborra says. "In the case of a step van, they might pay themselves back in two years and keep it for 10 or 11."

Sumrall shares a similar view.

"Most fleets would like to see a payback in three years, and if the miles they drive annually will generate that payoff, they see it as a good economic investment and something to build on long-term," he says.

The overall cost of fuel also remains a factor for medium-duty fleets.

To read the full article, please visit www.ngtnews.com



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trillium CNG Announces Plans to Open Public CNG Station in Monroe, Louisiana

Trillium CNG announced in Chicago, Illinois their plans to open a CNG station in Monroe, Louisiana on November 13th.  Trillium, a business unit of integrys Energy Group, plans their station to be at the E-Z Mart Convenience Store and Truck Stop located at 338 Highway 594 in Monroe.  

The station will feature Trillium CNG's proprietary fast-fill hydraulic intensifier compressor, and will allow two trucks to fuel simultaneosly with a separate duel hose dispenser. Monroe's E-Z Mart station will also be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

For more information please visit, www.trilliumcng.com

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Sparq Natural Gas Brings Baton Rouge’s First Public Compressed Natural Gas Station

CNG Station in Baton Rouge to get much needed upgrade

Sparq Natural Gas announced the kickoff of its Louisiana Natural Gas Vehicle strategy which includes upgrading the CNG fueling station for Lavigne Oil Company at the 8968 S. Choctaw station.  The upgrade and expansion of the facility includes: removing older compressors and replacing with modern compressors, fueling hoses, natural gas fueling storage, and new fueling dispensers.

At Louisiana Clean Fuels’ Fall Stakeholder Breakfast and National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Odyssey Day, Sparq announced the details of their development plans.  Sparq is also interested in the Baton Rouge area for potential opportunities for future CNG stations. Improvements at the Lavigne station should begin in the next few weeks with a tentative completion by 2Q 2015.

“By doubling the existing compression on site, customers will immediately realize the cost savings benefits of compressed natural gas, at a site they are used to fueling and utilizing. Sparq’s commitment to provide a modern faster fill stems from our experience in what customers want: lower priced fuel, at a convenient setting, produced right here at home in Louisiana.” – Norman Herrera, Chief Executive Officer, Sparq Natural Gas, LLC.

For more info, please contact:
Norman Herrera, Chief Executive Officer
Sparq Natural Gas, LLC
norman.herrera@sparqng.com
www.sparqng.com

 

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