March 2018 Print

Letter from the Executive Director

Clean Fuel Enthusiasts, Members and Stakeholders,

Just last weekend I was in southern Utah admiring one of the great American natural wonders, Arches National Park. Experiencing such an awe inspiring vista in person reminded me of the importance of our joint mission. By ensuring our energy security and protecting our air quality, we are also protecting the wild and natural areas that make our country one of the most ecologically diverse and beautiful places on earth. I came back relaxed, renewed and focused.

Why is our coalition important? By definition, a coalition is a group that has joined together for a common purpose. You, our members are a very important part of this equation. We don't exist without you, and together we do more than we can ever do alone. 

So what is it that we do? By working together to remove the barriers that fleets and individuals experience when adopting alternative fuels and advanced technologies into their operations, LCF helps to ensure the stability and acceptance of AFVs in the marketplace. 

Together, the collective members of our coalition are doing great things in our state. Without your support we would not have accomplished 1/2 of what we have done this past year.
As part of our commitment to alternative fuels and the mission of Clean Cities, Louisiana Clean Fuels...
  • Conducts free workshops on the current and emerging technologies that can help fleets reduce emissions and save money.
  • Educates first responders, mechanics and others on issues critical to supporting an AFV fleet; such as safety and inspections.
  • Works with the state office of procurement to help simplify the process of ordering an AFV from the state bid list.
  • Supports the McKay Automotive Training Center at BRCC so that a new generation of AFV trained mechanics will one day be working in shops and with fleets across the state.
  • Maintains a robust website that serves as a source of news, funding and technical information for the public
  • Launched a Green Fleets Certification Program to help fleets analyze the effectiveness of their AFV and fuel saving programs and promote their accomplishments
  • Offer affordable (and sometimes free) suitability analysis to LCF members and stakeholders to help them make informed decisions when considering replacing conventional vehicles with Electric, CNG or Propane.
  • Conducts extensive infrastructure planning activities to support the development of a robust fueling infrastructure

We are also...

  • Serving on the Volkswagen Settlement working team with the state's lead agency in order to assist fleets with the proposal process and conduct NOx analysis of their proposed projects for the state
  • Assisting the DEQ and DOTD with the state's FHWA Alternative Fuel Corridors proposal and will assist the the state with the installation of natural gas and propane signage across our approved AFV Corridors.
  • Working on a state-wide DC Fast Charging Master Plan that will help the state improve its electric vehicle corridors

How can you get involved? Join LCF as a member and show your support for Clean Cities! Check out the many options on our website and help us advance alternative fuels in Louisiana.

Love the boot, don't pollute and Keep Louisiana Beautiful. LCF supports the efforts of Keep Louisiana Beautiful and its affiliates across the state. Learn more about their #LeadersAgainstLitter campaign. 

Regards,

Ann Vail
Executive Director, LCF

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Funding Opportunities

Open for Proposals: 
LDNR's Revolving Loan Fund

Call for Proposals: The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources hereby gives public notice that it is requesting energy efficiency loan applications from interested, public entities (domiciled in Louisiana) for the "Louisiana Revolving Loan Fund Program." Qualified proposals will be eligible for a loan with a fixed interest rate of 2% not to exceed a term of ten years. Copies of the Application along with the Guidelines and Regulations may be obtained by:

1- Writing to: Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources, Technology Assessment Division

Attn: Louisiana Revolving Loan Fund - Suite 1272E 
P.O. Box 94396
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9693

or

2- E-Mail a request to larlf@la.gov  

or

3- By downloading the documents on their website (links below)

Please note that all requests must include a contact name, company name, physical mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and fax number of the applicant.

Applications must be mailed to the address identified above or delivered to:

Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources, Technology Assessment Division,
617 North 3rd Street - 12th Floor, Suite 1272E
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Applications must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. CST on April 27, 2018 after which time and date no applications will be accepted. It is the position of the Department of Natural Resources that receipt of the completed electronic application forms no later than 3:00 pm CST on April 27, 2018 at the e mail address provided in the Program Requirements and Guidelines (larlf@la.gov) will suffice as having met the program guideline deadline. Applications will be evaluated according to criteria defined in the Guidelines and Regulations, and all prospective applicants will be notified in writing if their proposal is selected and approved for loan funding.

For application and guidlines & requirments, visit the LDNR website:  http://www.dnr.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/1152

 

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Announcements

Enrollment open for LCF Green Fleets 

The Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF) Green Fleets Program is designed to assist fleets in deploying solutions that improve the economic and environmental performance of vehicle operations. Through the LCF Green Fleets program, Louisiana Clean Fuels conducts emissions analysis and quantification of on-road vehicles for fleets throughout the LCF territory.

Benefits of Being an LCF Green Fleet:

  • Educational opportunities with workshops, trainings, and more.
  • Recognition and certification for environmental fleet leaders.
  • Branding and promotional tools for fleet achievement.
  • Informational resources on technology options and available incentives.
  • Funding assistance with grant opportunities (Better data makes a better application!) 

For more information on the Green Fleet Certification Program please visit this page.

To get started on your fleet's certification please fill out this enrollment form or email tyler@louisianacleanfuels.org.  


IRS Issues Procedures for Claiming Alternative Fuels Credit

Article by The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas

IRS Notice 2018-21 was issued on March 7. It establishes the procedures for claiming the $0.50 credit for alternative fuel sold or used in calendar year 2017. 

The notice requires that a single one-time claim for all alternative fuels (including CNG and LNG) should be made no later than September 29, 2018. Claims should be made using Form 8849 (Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes) accompanied by Schedule 3(Certain Fuel Mixtures and the Alternative Fuel Credit). Claims for 2017 may be submitted at any time, but April 2 is the official start date.

To file a claim, a person must be a registered alternative fueler. If you previously submitted claims to the IRS or are a retail seller of fuel, then you are likely registered. First time claimants who are not registered must file Form 637 (Application for Registration) prior to making claims for credits. This information does not constitute tax, accounting or legal advise. If you file a claim, you should seek advice from tax counsel or an accountant to ensure that claims are properly submitted. 

Notice 2018-21 is available HERE.

IRS tax forms can be accessed HERE


What's new for Louisiana 2017 Individual Income Tax?

Guidance from LDR for Individual Tax returns for 2017

Alternative Fuel Credit – Code 71F – Acts 325 and 403 of the 2017 Regular Legislative Session made several changes to the credit. (R.S. 47:6035) See Revenue Information Bulletin 17-016 for details of the changes including the calcula- tion as explained below.

Credit for the purchase of a qualifying new vehicle:

  • If purchased prior to June 22, 2017, the credit is 36 percent of the cost of the qualified clean-burning motor vehicle fuel property that is installed. If the taxpayer is unable to determine the exact cost attributable to the qualified clean-burning property, the credit is equal to 7.2 percent of the cost of the vehicle or $1,500, whichever is less.
  • If purchased on or after June 22, 2017 but before June 26, 2017, the credit is equal to 7.2 percent of the cost of the qualified vehicle or $1,500, whichever is less.
  • If purchased on or after June 26, 2017, the credit is equal to 10 percent of the cost of the qualified vehicle or $2,500, whichever is less.

Credit for vehicle conversions or building of fueling stations: If the purchase and installation was completed prior to June 22, 2017, the credit is 36 percent of the cost of the qualified clean-burning motor vehicle fuel property. If it was completed after June 21, 2017, the credit is 30 percent.

Source:  Louisiana Department of Revenue - http://revenue.louisiana.gov/TaxForms/IT540Bi(2017).pdf

View original announcement here


FHWA Alternative Fuel Corridors for Louisiana Announced

Advancing America's 21st Century Transportation Network

Via fhwa.dot.gov - With the designation of alternative fuel corridors, FHWA is establishing a national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highway system corridors. FHWA intends to support the expansion of this national network through a process that:

  • provides the opportunity for formal corridor designations on an annual basis;
  • ensures that corridor designations are selected based on criteria that promote the "build out" of a national network;
  • develops national signage and branding to help catalyze applicant and public interest;
  • encourages multi-State and regional cooperation and collaboration; and,
  • brings together a consortium of stakeholders including state agencies, utilities, alternative fuel providers, and car manufacturers to promote and advance alternative fuel corridor designations in conjunction with the Department of Energy.

Rounds 1 and 2 (FY 2016 and FY 2017) of FHWA's Alternative Fuel Corridor Designations, have included:

  • 58 Nominations;
  • Segments or entire lengths of 71 Interstate corridors (including Hawaii);
  • 44 states (plus the District of Columbia) designated as corridor-ready or corridor-pending for one or more alternative fuel types. (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/alternative_fuel_corridors/)

LCF worked closely with the state's Department of Environmental Quality to complete their proposal to the FHWA. We participated in and helped lead two outreach meetings with the DEQ and worked with the Capitol Region Planning Commission to create maps of our fueling infrastructure that were used in both presentations and in the final proposal to FHWA.

In order for an interstate to qualify for AFV Corridor signage in Round 2, the following requirements must have been met:

Fuel/
Technology

Signage Ready NHS Segment
has…

Signage Pending NHS Segment has…

EV Charging

Public DC Fast Charging no greater than 50 miles between one station and the next on corridor

Public DC Fast Charging chargers separated by more than 50 miles

Propane

Public, primary propane stations no greater than 150 miles between one station and the next on the corridor

Public, primary propane stations separated by more than 150 miles

CNG

Public fast fill, 3,600 psi CNG stations no greater than 150 miles between one station and the next on the corridor

Public, fast fill, 3,600 psi CNG stations separated by more than 150 miles

LNG

Public LNG stations no greater than 200 miles between one station and the next on the corridor

Public LNG stations separated by more than 200 miles 

Results

We are excited to announce that multiple corridors have been approved for signage for the following fuels in Louisiana: CNG, Propane and LPG. To see how our state stacks up against the rest of the country, and to view which corridors have been approved (and which are pending), please visit the FHWA AFV Corridors website and select "Maps".

You may be wondering why we do not currently have any approved electric charging corridors. Under the program requirements, in order to get an interstate designated as an EV charging corridor, you mush have public DC Fast Chargers every 50 miles. While we have over a hundred level 2 chargers in our state, Louisiana does not yet have one single public DC Fast charger that is not also a Tesla Super-Charger. Since the Tesla chargers are proprietary only to Tesla owners, they do not count as "public" under this signage program.

Moving Forward

The next step in this program is to get the highway signage installed on the corridors shown below. The Louisiana DEQ and LCF will work with our DOTD on this next exciting phase.  Additionally, in order to help spur the installation of a fast charging network in our state, LCF has begun working with its stakeholders to create a statewide DC Fast Charging Master Plan. We will also continue to work with our stakeholders to both improve and support the current CNG, Propane and LNG corridors.

Propane  CNG LNG

 

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Calendar of Events

Date

Event

Location

April 17-19 Green Transportation Summit & Expo Tacoma, WA
April 29 Louisiana Earth Day 2018 Festival Baton Rouge, LA
April 30 - May 2 Advanced Clean Transportation Expo Long Beach, CA
October 25 LCF Fall Stakeholder Meeting and Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards Baton Rouge, LA

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Welcome New Members

2018 Membership Renewals

Thank you to Trillum and Amasa for renewing their commitment to Clean Cities and Louisiana Clean Fuels!

Platinum Member

Bronze Member

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Industry News

LCF Member in the News: UPS Teams With Workhorse for 50 All-Electric Delivery Trucks

UPS announced today it plans to deploy 50 plug-in electric delivery trucks that will be comparable in acquisition cost to conventional-fueled trucks without any subsidies – what the package delivery company calls “an industry first that is breaking a key barrier to large-scale fleet adoption.”

UPS is collaborating with Workhorse Group Inc. to design the vehicles from the ground up. Each truck will have a range of approximately 100 miles between charges, making the vehicles ideal for delivery routes in and around cities. The class 5, zero-emission delivery trucks will rely on a cab forward design, which optimizes the driver compartment and cargo area, increases efficiency, and reduces vehicle weight, according to the partners.

The new trucks will join UPS’ Rolling Lab, a growing fleet of more than 9,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

“Electric vehicle technology is rapidly improving with battery, charging and smart grid advances that allow us to specify our delivery vehicles to eliminate emissions, noise and dependence on diesel and gasoline,” says Carlton Rose, president of global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS.

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CATS to roll out electric buses this year

Posted by Alexandria Burris
Via Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Looking to reduce costs and replace aging diesel buses, the Capital Area Transit System is joining with other transit agencies across the country to incorporate battery powered electric buses into their fleets.

CATS recently spent $2.8 million for three electric buses from Los Angeles-based BYD, the largest battery-electric bus manufacturer in North America, and will begin field testing the vehicles later this year.

“Electric buses are a big step forward,” CATS Board President Jim Brandt says in a statement. “They represent a chance to pilot new technology in Baton Rouge, and we are very excited about that.”

The buses have zero emissions and cost roughly $1 less per mile to operate than typical diesel buses.

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GM plans to expand Bolt EV output, asks Congress to help

Posted by David Shepardson
Via Reuters

General Motors Co (GM.N) Chief Executive Mary Barra called on the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to expand a consumer tax credit for electric vehicles as the automaker said it would boost production of its EV Chevrolet Bolt in response to strong demand.

Barra also called on U.S. regulators to take into account when scoring automakers’ emissions the potential for autonomous ridesharing vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and petroleum consumption. The Trump administration is reviewing whether Obama administration emissions standards that called for roughly doubling average U.S. vehicle fuel efficiency by 2025 are appropriate.

“We feel tax credits should be expanded so our customers continue to receive the benefit going forward,” Barra told an energy conference in Houston. “We believe in an all-electric future.”

GM has sold more than 160,000 plug-in and full-electric vehicles eligible for the credit. The $7,500 consumer tax credit phases out over a 12-month-period soon after an automaker hits the 200,000 mark and the largest U.S. automaker is expected to hit the mark later this year. The tax credit is aimed at helping defray the cost of pricier electric vehicles.

Introduced in October 2016, the Bolt was the first mass-produced electric vehicle to go more than 200 miles (320 km) between charges, and sell at a sticker price of under $40,000.

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Utilities are paying their customers to buy electric vehicles

Written by Michael J. Coren
Via Quartz

Electricity utilities were never designed for a world in which electricity demand didn’t go up forever.

For a century, that was fine. But after 2005, US demand leveled off and, in some regions, began to decline. The Tennessee Valley Authority is now preparing for an unprecedented 13% drop in demand across the region it serves in seven states, Vox reports, the first sustained drop in the utility’s 85-year history.

As customers generate their own power from renewable sources, efficiency measures spread, and the economy sheds industrial customers, electricity providers are barreling toward bankruptcy (pdf). Economic growth no longer guarantees higher consumption.

Utilities scrambling to reinvent themselves are turning to electric vehicles. The transport sector may be the only major new source of electricity demand for developed economies. Bloomberg estimates that electrifying the US light-duty fleet would add 774 terrawatt hours of demand to the grid, nearly the same as the entire US industrial sector today. Globally, EVs are expected to drive electricity consumption up 300-fold by 2040 (pdf), to about 5% of total consumption.

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Goodyear unveils new tire for electric cars to reduce wear from powerful instant torque

Posted by Fred Lambert
Via Electrek

There’s no getting around it, the instant torque of electric vehicles can be quite hard on tires – especially with the heavier and more powerful models, like Tesla’s.

Goodyear claims to have a solution with a new tire aimed at the electric vehicle market.

After testing, Goodyear says that “traditional tires can wear out up to 30% faster on electric vehicles.”

At the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show this week, they unveiled the “EfficientGrip Performance with Electric Drive Technology”, which they claim will reduce the wear from high torque.

Chris Delaney, President of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa, says that they are working to bring the technology to market next year:

“The combination of increasing regulations to reduce emissions, the desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and rapid gains in battery technology is creating an ideal environment for electric vehicles. We are working with automakers to introduce our Electric Drive Technology next year designed to address the unique performance requirements of this growing vehicle segment.”

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XL Hybrids Announces Rebranding, Hiring Surge to Meet Vehicle Electrification ‘Megatrend'

Posted by Betsy Lillian
Via NGT News

xl hybridsOn the heels of a record year of sales – surpassing 60 million customer miles driven – XL Hybrids, a provider of electrified truck solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, has rebranded to XL.

The company says it plans to offer more plug-in vehicle systems to complement its core hybrid-electric technology, as well as roll out enhancements to its connected vehicle telemetry offering, XL Link.

With an increasing number of companies and local/federal agencies taking aggressive steps toward a low-carbon economy, XL says its business has continued to grow. In 2017, XL delivered 234 hybrid-electric vans to Verizon, marking one of the fleet industry’s largest-ever single deployments of electrified commercial vehicles in vehicle classes 2 to 6. Furthermore, among new customer deployments for XL is the University of California Los Angeles, which is now using the company’s hybrid-electric vans for student transport. Notably, XL also recently announced its new HEV Ford F-250 and PHEV Ford F-150 offerings for commercial fleets.

“Vehicle electrification is a global megatrend, and hundreds of the largest fleets are leading the way with hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid electric technology,” states Tod Hynes, CEO of XL.

Continue reading...

 

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ENERGY.GOV

Fact of the Week: Non-Hybrid Stop-Start Systems Doubled for Light Trucks from 2016 to 2017

Stop-start systems have been used on hybrid vehicles since hybrids were first introduced almost 20 years ago.

In recent years, manufacturers have begun installing stop-start systems in non-hybrid vehicles as well. A vehicle equipped with stop-start will shut down the engine when the vehicle is stopped and start the engine when the brake pedal is released to reduce engine idle time. This is particularly effective in city driving where brief but frequent stops are required due to traffic lights and congestion. The market penetration of non-hybrid stop-start systems on cars grew from 9.1% in 2016 to 14.2% in 2017 while light trucks nearly doubled, reaching 20.3% in 2017. Engines with stop-start technology have different architecture to prevent premature wear of engine components, including the starter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, stop-start systems improve fuel economy by about 4-5%.

Continue reading...

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About LCF

LCF is a US Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, supported by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and member organizations. By providing you with objective data, technical resources and the right connections, we can help your fleet find reliable alternative fuel vehicles that will stabilize or lower your fuel cost.

The mission of Louisiana Clean Fuels, Inc. is to advance the nation’s environmental, economic and energy security by supporting local actions to diversify transportation fuel options. 

As a member of the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, LCF strives to achieve its goals by employing a variety of strategies which include: promoting and implementing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, fuel blends, increased fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction technologies.

225-342-7972  |  www.LouisianaCleanFuels.org  |  info@louisianacleanfuels.org

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