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    Progress in electric vehicle range and emissions

    Originally posted to Fuels Fix | Original Article

    Demystifying emissions comparisons and the viability of electric vehicles for Louisiana residents and businesses with new data and research.

    Just 10 years ago, the electric vehicle industry began expanding and limited research was available about the vehicle benefits, capabilities, or impacts. Over the last few years, EV production has been a rapidly changing industry as car manufacturers address climate concerns and customer needs. With new technology and years of progress, our knowledge on EVs has developed, and new research can provide us with the answers to our previous concerns or misconceptions. 

    EV Well-to-Wheel Emissions Misconceptions

    Vehicle emissions can be broken into two categories: air pollutants and greenhouse gases. When comparing these emissions, there are two forms of analysis: direct and well-to-wheels. Direct emissions are those coming from the use of the vehicle and are also known as tailpipe emissions. The operation of electric vehicles (EVs) produces no tailpipe emissions, but there are still emissions associated with these vehicles. Well-to-wheel emissions include all emissions related to fuel production, processing, distribution, and use. For gasoline vehicles, well-to-wheel emissions come from the extraction, refining, and distribution of petroleum, while electric vehicle emissions are produced by the electric power plants and the extraction and processing of the primary energy sources used for electricity production. The actual amount of emissions associated with EVs is dependent on the makeup of the electricity grid where the vehicle is charged. 

    One misconception when discussing well-to-wheel emissions from electric vehicles is that electric grids with primary sources of electricity coming from fossil fuels will result in higher emissions for EVs than the average gasoline vehicle. While the exact emissions data does depend on the electricity sources, well-to-wheel emissions of electric vehicles are generally still significantly cleaner than gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. This is largely due to their fuel economies: EVs convert over 77% of the electrical energy from the grid to power while conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 12-30% of the energy from gasoline to power. According to Argonne National Lab’s Assessment of Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicles in the United States, this efficiency resulted in energy savings from light-duty plug-in electric vehicles of 44.8 trillion Btu, or 470 million gallons of gasoline in 2019 alone. 

    In Louisiana, our reliance on fossil fuels for energy can result in slightly higher electricity emissions than other renewable-based states. Based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s analysis on the electricity generation in Louisiana, approximately 72% of our state’s energy comes from natural gas. While the emissions levels for natural gas are much greater than what is possible with renewable energy sources, it still has much lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal or oil. This results in significantly lower emissions for electric vehicles in Louisiana than gasoline vehicles, and this trend will continue as our energy generation becomes cleaner.


    Image: Per vehicle emissions based on Louisiana’s power mix (Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.html)

    For further analysis on EV emissions in Louisiana, the U.S. Department of Energy has created a ‘Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator’ which allows users to choose an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, input their location by zip code, and compare total well-to-wheels emissions of their car to the average new gasoline vehicle. Using this for a 2020 Chevy Bolt in Baton Rouge, the electric vehicle’s emissions are estimated to be 120 grams of CO2 per mile (gCO2/mi) while the average new gasoline vehicle emissions are estimated as 410 gCO2/mi. 

    EV Battery Emissions and Progress 

    Another topic that is recently evolving in relation to electric vehicle emissions is the impacts of battery production. Different studies, summarized by the International Council on Clean Transportation in 2018, have shown different emissions impacts, ranging from 56 to 494 kg CO2e/kWh with an average estimation at 150 kg CO2e/kWh. This translates to about 56 gCO2/mi. Based on the reports mentioned previously, gasoline vehicles are responsible for about 100-290 gCO2/mi more than EVs. 

    The International Energy Agency conducted its own study on a ten-year comparative life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions analysis based on 2018 data in their recently released Global EV Outlook 2020. Their comparison shows that batteries represent about a third of electric vehicles’ lifetime emissions; however, the total CO2 emissions of the ten-year life-cycle for a battery electric vehicle (BEV) with an 80kWh capacity (or about 370 mi. range) is currently approximately 20% less than the emissions of a comparable internal combustion vehicle life-cycle. Thus, while EV batteries are still associated with substantial emissions, it does not outweigh the benefits of reduced emissions associated with the use of EVs. As battery technology and recycling improve and EV designs become more efficient and cost-effective, the life-cycle emissions of an EV are expected to continue to decrease, while increasing costs of achieving better fuel efficiency in combustion vehicles will limit reductions to GHG emissions in the future.

    (Comparative life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions over ten year lifetime of an average mid-size car by powertrain, 2018, IEA, Paris, International Energy Agency Global EV Outlook 2020)

    However, there are still negatives associated with the production of EV batteries. As of now, most batteries for EVs (along with other electronic devices like your cell phone), are made from lithium, a naturally-occurring mineral found within the earth. To extract lithium, a lot of water is needed and unfortunately, the most lithium-rich spot in the world, South America’s Lithium Triangle also happens to be one of the driest. In parts of Chile, 65% of all of the region’s water is going to mining activities, and this has a harsh impact on local farmers. Locals are also often underrepresented in the mining process, as large companies come in and extract resources from their land with little or no pay. It is no doubt that these lithium batteries are essential in the electrification of vehicles, and thus the fight against global warming and pollution, but lithium cannot be considered a just solution if the industry continues to contribute to water depletion and global extractivism.

    EV Range Anxiety 

    Range anxiety, or the fear that your EV will run out of power because it has a shorter range on a full charge than a conventional vehicle on a full tank of gas, is one of the most common concerns for interested EV buyers. While it is true that EVs have a shorter range than conventional vehicles, there are a few things to note that can help mitigate consumer range anxiety. 

    The average American driver drives about 37 miles per day. Most EV drivers begin their daily commute with a full charge after charging overnight. With the shortest range on a full charge at about 57 miles for older EV vehicles and a modern range at about 200 miles, it is unlikely that an EV driver would be stranded without a charge on an average day. 
    Even in the last two model years, ranges of electric sedans, wagons, and SUVs have increased by an average of 5-10% over the previous year, based on data of 74 commercially-available all-electric vehicles from AFDC’s alternative fuel vehicle search. The chart below shows that the average range of an EV sedan or SUV is now above 240 miles with many sedans approaching 400 miles.

    Further, while EV infrastructure scarcity is a legitimate issue, EV charging stations are on the rise in many regions, in part thanks to increased incentives and funding sources like the VW Mitigation Trust. In the last few years, Louisiana has installed enough EV charging stations along I-10 to complete a short FHWA Alternative Fuel Corridor and designate the rest of I-10 and I-12 as pending corridors. However, many owners of newer EVs with ranges of 300+ miles find that they rarely need to charge in public. By adding EV charging stations at places of work, the charging needs of people with older EVs with shorter ranges would be satisfied. 

    Ultimately, most EV owners charge at home with Level 2 chargers. These chargers can cost as little as $1,000, and state tax credits and utility incentives can lower that cost. But if needed, tools like the Alternative Fuels Data Center Fueling Station Locator can also assist in finding EV charging stations in the United States and Canada.

    Louisiana Clean Fuels and Electric Vehicles

    As a Clean Cities coalition, Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF) works with businesses, municipalities, and individuals looking to make the transition to alternative fuels vehicles, including electric vehicles. We provide technical assistance on matters including which vehicles to purchase, feasibility analysis, charging infrastructure placement and installation, and available funding. Our history of successful partnerships in Louisiana includes support for public and private fleets as well as serving as subject matter experts (SME) for our stakeholders, state legislators and policymakers. 

    In summary, electric vehicles are a viable cleaner option that is not only gaining in popularity but is constantly improving. States, local municipalities, businesses, and utilities who educate themselves and actively prepare for this near seismic shift in our transportation systems will be better positioned to capitalize on the benefits of electric vehicles while avoiding the pitfalls that result from lack of preparation. 

    How to Learn More About Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure Needs

    This fall, LCF is hosting several webinars designed to inform elected officials, utilities, regulators and fleets – large and small – on the various EV related topics from “EV Market Watch” where we delve into market trends and show the variety of currently available EV work trucks, to advanced topics like our webinar on Multi-port, 1+MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EVs. Visit our website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed about alternative fuels projects and programs as well as ways to reduce your emissions through technology and proven fleet management practices.

    Resources:

    Emissions from Hybrid and Plug-In Electric Vehicles

    Emissions Associated with Electric Vehicle Charging: Impact of Electricity Generation Mix, Charging Infrastructure Availability, and Vehicle Type

    Louisiana State Profile and Energy Estimates

    EV Sales Trends: COVID-19 Implications

    Read the original article on Fuels Fix


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    New Webinar Wednesday Series: Transportation Electrification for Utilities 

    Louisiana Clean Fuels Webinar Series Offers Deep-Dive into Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning

    This three-part webinar series was created to provide the latest information on recent developments and obstacles on defining required resources for informed planners of heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Parts 1 and 2 will provide a more technical deep-dive into EV infrastructure planning for heavy-duty and MW applications. Preparing Utilities for EVs will be a good primer for utilities and businesses that are just getting started with their EV planning.

    Who should attend?

    • Large and Small Utilities
    • Regulators
    • Heavy-duty fleets
    • Truck stops 
    • Elected officials


    PART 1: Multi-Port, 1+MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EVs

    Wednesday, September 16th | 11:00 AM CDT

    EV experts from Oncor Electric Delivery LLC and Argonne National Laboratory will share insights on recent developments and obstacles on defining required resources for informed planners of medium-duty and heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  In-depth technical issues will be covered, with emphasis on minimizing charging location footprint of equipment for charging systems from 100kW to 1MW and above installations.  Consequences of managed vs unmanaged charging networks will be addressed that directly impact capital equipment and operating costs.

    Speakers:

    • Ted Bohn, Principle Engineer: Smart Metering/Electric Vehicle-Smart Charging Standards @Argonne National Laboratory
    • David Treichler, Director Strategy and Technology Oncor Electric Delivery LLC

     


    PART 2: Multi-Port, 1+MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EVs

    Wednesday, September 23rd | 11:00 AM CDT

    In this second part of our Multi-Port, 1+MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EVs series, Trucking and EV experts from NACFE, HDR, Inc, and Argonne National Laboratory will review the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative objectives and status.  MD/HD electric vehicle charging usage modeling activities will be covered along with possible scenarios for upgrading existing truck stops to accommodate widespread EV trucking adoption.  Adjacent technology and deployment effects of zero-emission truck requirements such as the CARB Advanced Clean Trucks Rule and CA transport refrigeration unit (TRU) zero-emission programs (shore power) can lead to leveraged investments for EV charging and shore power for overnight parking.  The session will also look ahead to near future charging technology developments headed to pilot deployment in the coming year.

    Speakers:
    • Ted Bohn, Principle Engineer: Smart Metering/Electric Vehicle-Smart Charging Standards @Argonne National Laboratory
    • Fernando Garcia, Vice President @HDR Inc.
    • Dave Schaller, Industry Engagement Director @NACFE

     


    Preparing Utilities for EVs

    New Date: Wednesday, September 30th | 10 AM CDT

    In this final installment of our webinar series on electrification, EV experts from Entergy and AEP will share their best practices, lessons learned, and forecast in order to help utilities that are just getting started with developing their own proactive programs for EVs and infrastructure. (This webinar was previously scheduled for September 9th and was post poned due to Hurricane Laura to allow participating utilities time to respond to the disaster)

    Speakers: 

    • Edward O'Brien, Senior Economist, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
    • Scott Barrios, Senior Account Manager @Entergy eTech Program
    • Jeffrey W. Lehman, PE, Electric Transportation Program Manager @AEP

     


    Clean Cities Partners

                


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    East Baton Rouge Parish School System Still Making Progress in Transitioning to Cleaner School Buses

    By Olivia Montgomery, LCF Intern | Originally posted to Fuels Fix | Original Article

    After the August 2016 floods wiped out about 110 school buses in East Baton Rouge Parish, the school system seized the opportunity to transition its fleet to cleaner fuel options, becoming the recipient of Louisiana Clean Fuels’s Rising Star Award in 2017. Thanks to the availability of Volkswagen Settlement funding, a number of other school systems in Louisiana are now making the transition too, including in the parishes of Ascension, Lafayette, Winn, Rapides, St. John the Baptist, Beauregard, Bossier, Plaquemines, St. Helena, Union, Vernon, and Tangipahoa. 

    Nearly four years later, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) continues its efforts to reduce its fleet’s emissions. In 2016, the school system received nearly $773,000 in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to purchase 30 buses. DERA grants fund 25% of the total cost of new buses. EBRPSS has since received two more DERA grants, in addition to receiving a portion of the civil settlement from automaker Volkswagen, who settled claims with US authorities after violating emissions laws by installing a “defeat device” in thousands of vehicles. Ultimately, these four grants total $4,485,894.50 and, in conjunction with EBRPSS funds, will purchase 130 propane school buses over time. 

    EBRPSS’s shift to propane school buses showcases an important trend across the country and offers benefits including reduced operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Propane buses are shown to reduce fuel costs significantly. Roush CleanTech, manufacturer of the propane autogas system installed in Blue Bird Vision school buses, estimates fleets can lower their fuel costs by 40% by switching to propane, in addition to lower costs of maintenance over time. Case studies support this estimate, with Mesa Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona reporting having saved $2.91 per gallon on fuel compared to diesel. Mesa expects to save $4.43 million on fuel costs over five years, and they expect each bus will have a longer lifespan than conventional diesel buses, with about five additional years on the road for each bus. EBRPSS reports spending $1,970,173 on fuel from July 2015 to June 2016. If the school district saves 40% per year, as Roush CleanTech estimates is possible, the savings would total an annual $788,069.20 reduction in fuel costs.


    Reducing emissions in school bus fleets is another direct benefit to children in the school system. Children are more susceptible to harmful side effects of exhaust due to their developing respiratory systems and faster rates of breathing. With school buses able to seat about 70 children per bus, reducing diesel exhaust and improving air quality is a top priority of school systems making the switch to propane. EBRPSS alone serves 42,000 children. A comprehensive study by the Propane Education and Research Council shows propane school buses emit up to 96% less NOx and 13% less carbon dioxide than diesel buses. 

    The future looks bright in regard to EBRPSS’s ability to procure more propane buses. The school system plans to apply for additional DERA grants in the years to come, and many states are adopting more programs to aid school systems in their transition to cleaner school bus fleets. For example, West Virginia counties using compressed natural gas or propane autogas in their school bus fleets may be eligible for a 10% reimbursement to offset the maintenance and costs of those buses. In Nevada, penalties assessed for air pollution violations are deposited into the account of the school district where they occurred and may be used for the purchase of school buses that operate on alternative fuels. At this time, EBRPSS will incrementally acquire buses through the referenced grants, and hopefully, new funding sources become available to continue the school system’s transition to cleaner fuels after all 130 new propane buses have arrived.

    Read the original Fuels Fix Article


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    NGVi Natural Gas Training Moves Online Due to COVID-19 Concerns

    Discount codes available for Louisiana Fleets

    The continued support of our Louisiana natural gas fleets is important to us at Louisiana Clean Fuels. As such, LCF is working with NGVi to offer Natural Gas Vehicle training within Louisiana to our stakeholder natural gas fleets. We value the safety and health of our stakeholders, so we have made the difficult decision to move our in-person training courses to online and virtual formats.

    Please note that the previously in-person courses offered on August 4-7 and September 29-30 are CANCELLED and will only be available in the online or virtual formats.

    These classes offer advanced training for skilled workers to help them qualify for high-paying jobs that are in high demand by dealers, OEMs and national fleets. Louisiana Clean Fuels and Cummins Westport understand how important these training classes are and are sponsoring the Level 2 and Level 3 classes respectively. These sponsorships are allowing us to provide a $100 discount to the first five individuals from Louisiana fleets to register for each of these virtual classes.

    These essential courses cover three levels of natural gas vehicle training: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices (Level 1), CNG Fuel System Inspector Training (Level 2), and Heavy-Duty NGV Maintenance and Diagnostics Training (Level 3), in addition to CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification.

    Discounts for Louisiana natural gas fleets are available! See SESSION COSTS below for details.

    Level One: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices

    Self-Paced Pre-Requisite Course

    This is a one-day training course that offers a clear understanding of natural gas, its properties and characteristics, the differences between that and diesel/gasoline, fuel system components, the safety considerations in the facility, etc. This course is offered as a prerequisite to the higher-level training courses, or as a stand-alone course through the e-learning program. Students will receive a login and password and will have 30 days to access and complete the training.

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

    • Technicians who will perform basic preventive maintenance on natural gas vehicles (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.)
    • Technicians who will perform mandated CNG fuel system inspections
    • Technicians who will perform NGV diagnostics and repair procedures
    • All employees involved in NGV fleet operations
    • Fleet or dealer service managers and supervisors
    • Corporate/agency safety managers
    • Risk management staff


    REGISTER FOR LEVEL 1 TRAINING

    Level Two: CNG Fuel System Inspector Training

    Date Options: Sep 16 - Sep 17 | Oct 7 - Oct 8 | Nov 18 - Nov 19

    This is a two-day training course that prepares technicians to adequately and safely conduct the fuel system inspections that are required every 3 years, 36,000 miles, at the time of any onboard fire or accident over 5mph. This course also helps prepare the technicians to sit for the certification exam to become certified fuel system inspectors.

    PREREQUISITES

    Level 1: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices

    WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND?

    Experienced vehicle technicians employed by fleets or dealerships who are:

    • Responsible for performing CNG fuel system inspections; or
    • Preparing to take the CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification exam; or
    • Planning to renew their CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification; or
    • Seeking to refresh knowledge on CNG fuel system inspections.
    • Fleet managers and supervisors, safety managers and risk management staff are welcome to contact us to discuss available training options.


    LOUISIANA FLEET DISCOUNT

    LCF is sponsoring the Level 2 training classes for our stakeholder fleets! The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 2 course qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of LCF’s sponsorship. Please call LCF (225-342-7972) or email [email protected] for the limited discount code - please put "NGVi Training Discount" in the subject line of your email. All stakeholders may receive a 10% discount when using the discount code CC2020 to register. Multiple discount codes may be stacked.

    REGISTER FOR LEVEL 2 TRAINING

    CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification

    NGVi’s certification exam can be taken in conjunction with any CNG Fuel System Inspector training course. Each student will have up to 3 hours to complete the exam and will receive their results within two weeks via email. If the student successfully passed the exam, their certification packet will be mailed out right away.

    REGISTER FOR CERTIFICATION EXAM

    Level Three: Heavy-Duty NGV Maintenance and Diagnostics Training

    Oct 20 - Oct 21

    The number one challenge facing heavy-duty NGV technicians is how to distinguish between a fuel quality problem, a fuel system problem or an engine problem. This course is the only training available that treats these three elements as a system and helps technicians understand how they are interrelated. Emphasis is placed on the safety knowledge and repair practices that are unique for Cummins heavy-duty natural gas engines.

    The course covers the components of all CNG fuel systems (regardless of manufacturer), as well as all Cummins 6.7 Liter, 9 Liter and 12 Liter natural gas engines.

    The course includes operational theory with more than a dozen hands-on exercises. It is a perfect prerequisite to fuel system or engine manufacturer training. This course also helps prepare technicians for the ASE H1 exam.

    Prerequisites

    Level 1: NGV Essentials and Safety Practices

    Who Should Attend?

    • Technicians with at least basic skills in heavy-duty vehicle repair, who will be maintaining, diagnosing and repairing NGVs.
      Technicians familiar with the basic operation of vehicle diagnostic equipment.

    Louisiana Fleet Discount

    Cummins is sponsoring the Level 3 training classes for our stakeholder fleets! The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 3 course with discount code CUMMINS100 qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of Cummins’ sponsorship. All stakeholders may receive a 10% discount when using the discount code CC2020 to register. Multiple discount codes may be stacked.

    REGISTER FOR LEVEL 3 TRAINING

    Session Costs*

    • Level 1: NGV Essentials & Safety Practices: $495
    • Level 2: CNG Fuel System Inspector Training: $895
      • The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 2 course qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of LCF’s sponsorship. Please call LCF (225-342-7972) or email Victoria Herrmann at [email protected] for the limited discount code - please put "NGVi Training Discount" in the subject line.
    • Exam: CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification: $295
    • Level 3: Heavy-Duty NGV Maintenance and Diagnostics Training: $1,695
      • The first 5 Louisiana fleets to register for the Level 3 course with discount code CUMMINS100 qualify for an additional $100 discount, courtesy of Cummins Westport’s sponsorship.

    *All stakeholders may receive a 10% discount when using the discount code CC2020 to register. Multiple discount codes may be stacked.

    How to Register



    Virtual vs. E-Learning

    What is Virtual Training?

    Virtual training is instructor-led training in a virtual classroom. You will experience the same high-quality learning with expert instructors and updated content that NGVi has been delivering since 1989 -- from the comfort of your own space. 

    How Does It Work? 

    Technicians participate in real-time over the internet through our virtual classroom platform on designated class dates. Class times include multiple breaks and an allotted lunchtime. Prior to accessing the virtual classroom, technicians must complete the prerequisite NGV Essentials and Safety Practices, which is delivered on-demand through our e-learning platform.

    What is E-Learning?

    Our interactive e-learning courses are professionally developed and produced, and the content is identical to our live training. Once your enrollment is confirmed, the training is available on-demand 24/7 so you can learn at your own pace.

    How Does It Work?

    Technicians receive a login and password that allows them access to the learning management system for up to 30 days. They can work their way through individual modules at their convenience, and once the post-test has been passed, they will access their certificate of completion to print immediately.

    Learn more: What Is Virtual Training? from NGVi on Vimeo.


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