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    Louisiana Clean Fuels Seeks Nominations for the Katry Martin Award

    Awards Ceremony to be held November 5, 2020, at the LCF 20th Anniversary Gala and Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards

    Every two years, LCF honors one person whose kindness, positive attitude, and passion for alternative fuels sets them apart from their peers. The award's namesake, Katry Martin, served as the Executive Director of St. Landry Parish Solid Waste. Under his leadership, St Landry Parish was the first landfill in Louisiana to successfully commission, operate and monetize Environmental Attributes. While many others talked about the merits of carbon offsets, St. Landry Parish planned and executed. Additionally, St. Landry Parish was one of the first to build, own and operate a Renewable Natural Gas (CNG) Project at the landfill. This project is the template for smaller RNG (CNG) Projects on a global basis. Katry was revered for being a visionary who was also able to take his ideas and put them into practice.

    LCF awarded Katry and St. Landry with the Innovative Project award at our 15th Anniversary Celebration in 2015, something that he was extremely proud of. Anyone who met him knew him to be a kind, humble, and passionate man who was responsible for dreaming up and making St. Landry's groundbreaking RNG facility a reality. Katry passed away on October 10, 2017, after a brief battle with cancer. The Katry Martin Award serves as a chance for LCF to honor his legacy and recognize his contributions to alternative fuels.

    Winner of the First-Ever Katry Martin Award in 2018:  Faltery "F.J." Jolivette

    Anyone who has ever met F.J. will understand why he was selected to honor his former boss as the first-ever winner of the Katry Martin Award. His kindness, humility, and passion for his job set him apart from his peers and endear him to everyone he meets. As the operator of St. Landry Parish Solid Waste's landfill gas to renewable natural gas facility, F.J. has been an integral part of the renewable natural gas industry for many years. His incredible work at St. Landry has been recognized across the nation and internationally – he once gave a presentation in Africa on the use of landfill gas as a vehicle fuel! His industry leadership has kept St. Landry's project thriving since 2012, and he truly exemplifies the qualities that were so well-loved in Katry Martin.

     

    LCF is asking for nominations of one individual in Louisiana whose character and contribution to Clean Cities, alternative fuels, petroleum and/or emissions reduction honors the legacy and spirit of Katry Martin.

    DEADLINE EXTENDED: Nominations for the 2020 Katry Martin Award are due Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

    submit a nomination

    Note: Louisiana Clean Fuels staff are not eligible for this award.


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    LCF Publishes 2019 Annual Report Data Showing Hopeful Future for Louisiana’s Air Quality

    Historically, a number of parishes in Louisiana have struggled to remain in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act. When parishes are out of compliance, referred to as being in non-attainment status, their ozone levels may threaten the health of those in the area, particularly children, the elderly, or those with respiratory conditions. Ozone, a respiratory irritant, is created through reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are primarily produced by road transportation. Since 2000, Louisiana Clean Fuels has worked to transition Louisiana’s transportation sector to cleaner, alternative fuel technologies that produce less NOx and lower transportation emissions that threaten the health of Louisianians and keep the state in non-attainment status. The report below details the progress of this transition to alternative fuel technologies.

    The data we collect is used as a benchmark to gain an accurate picture of alternative fuel and vehicle usage in Louisiana, which will help both LCF and the Department of Energy understand the alternative fuels market and the progress we are making towards our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. This Annual Report allows us to track the growth of the different alternative fuel market sectors and identify which projects are most effective at reducing emissions. We also use the data we collect for the Annual Report in the consideration of recipients for the 2020 Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards.

    After months of collecting and analyzing the data, the Annual Report is complete, and our findings are ready to be shared.

    In 2019, LCF stakeholders reduced usage of a total of 9,422,169 gallons of gasoline-equivalent (GGEs). Primarily, this was achieved through the usage of alternative fuel vehicles (66%) rather than vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel. Other methods of reduction worth mentioning are fuel economy improvements (16%) in vehicles and idle reduction measures (14%), both of which focus on decreasing fuel consumption in vehicles. Not only do our stakeholders use vehicle improvements to reduce fossil fuel consumption, but a large number of them are also diversifying their fuel options and switching to other fuels besides gasoline and diesel to power their fleets.

    • Members of LCF’s Green Fleets Certification Program used over three million gallons of alternative fuel, accounting for 34% of our stakeholders’ GGE Reductions. 
    • From 2017 to 2019, East Baton Rouge School district increased their number of propane-fueled buses from 10 to 60 with a corresponding propane fuel use increase of over 1400%. Lafourche school district also increased its usage of propane-fueled school buses, using 25% more propane in 2019 than in 2017.
    • Despite only comprising 2% of our alternative fuel usage, electric vehicles accounted for 6% of our Greenhouse Gas reductions. The majority of this usage is from SporTran’s and CATS’ electric transit buses, but we’re seeing increasing benefits from the growing number of individually owned electric vehicles on the road with public charger usage increasing by 73% in our region.



    In addition to reducing petroleum usage, LCF stakeholders also reduced 45,673 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019. Idle reduction (37%) and improvements in fuel economy (42%) were responsible for the majority of the reduction of GHG emissions. As these measures reduce overall fuel consumption for any vehicle, AFV or not, these kinds of measures have the largest impact on keeping emissions down during the transition to cleaner alternative fuels that reduce emissions even further. As investment in alternative fuel fleets continues to rise, replacing older diesel and gasoline vehicles, GHG emissions reduced by AFVs will increasingly account for a larger share of emissions reductions in Louisiana.

    This third chart shows a breakdown in the GGEs reduced and the GHG emissions reduced by fuel type. In 2019, LCF stakeholders reduced 6,413,389 GGE and 8,374 tons of GHG emissions specifically through alternative fuel usage. Louisiana is known for having a very strong natural gas industry, and this data illustrates that compressed natural gas (CNG) is indeed an incredibly popular alternative fuel for our stakeholders. CNG accounts for 70% of the GGEs reduced but only 47% of the GHG emissions reduced in 2019. Also of note in GGE reduction is propane, which accounted for 19% of the 6.4 million total for 2019. Biodiesel (25%) and renewable natural gas (RNG) (12%) played a notable role in our stakeholders’ reduction of GHG emissions in 2019, despite accounting for only 1.6% and 3.7% respectively of the petroleum reductions by our stakeholders, showing the dramatic effectiveness of biodiesel and RNG at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Compared to 2018, total levels of GHG and GGE reduced remain relatively the same. The amount of CNG reported used by stakeholders in 2019 dropped by 15% from the previous year, which accounts for a drop in GHG and GGE reduced. In addition to a nearly twenty-fold increase in biodiesel usage from 2018, GGE reduced from Propane and RNG usage increased by 50% and 30%, respectively, offsetting most of the drop in GGE reduced from CNG. While decreases in CNG usage are noteworthy, the respective increases in Propane and RNG, in particular, are representative of an increasingly diverse alternative fuel usage among LCF stakeholders.


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    FOTW #1151: Lithium-Ion Battery Capacity for New All-Electric Vehicles Sold in the United States Reached a Record High in 2019

    Originally posted by the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy | Original Article

    With a 1% increase in sales and increasing battery pack size, all-electric vehicles (EVs) captured a record amount of total plug-in vehicle battery capacity sold in 2019, 17.4 gigawatt-hours. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) accounted for a smaller portion of total plug-in vehicle battery capacity due to their lower sales volumes and because they require smaller battery packs than EVs, since they have gasoline-powered engines to extend total vehicle range. PHEV sales decreased 32% from 2018 to 2019, about the same as the decrease in PHEV battery capacity. Calendar year 2018 was the first full year of Tesla Model 3 sales, which accounted for the large increase in total battery capacity between 2017 and 2018.

    Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Assessment of Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicles in the United States, 2010 – 2019, June 2020.

    Fact #1151 Dataset

    Read the original article


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    Webinar Wednesday Series: EV Work Trucks & Fleet Electrification Basics


    Our next Wednesday Webinar Series is a 2-part series that focuses on Electric Work Trucks and helping fleets start to plan for adding these low maintenance & quiet vehicles to their fleets. On September 30th we will host "EV Market Watch - Work Trucks", then on October 7th, we will host "First Steps for Fleets Interested in EVs". Registration is free for both webinars.

    Part 1: EV Market Watch - Work Trucks

    Wednesday, September 30th | 2 PM CDT

    Join us for Part 1 in the series: "EV Market Watch - Work Trucks!" Discover all of the options available on the market today and what vehicles are coming soon. The webinar will feature Michael Coates, the editor of the Clean Fleets Report who will facilitate a moderated discussion with Keith Brandis with the Volvo Lights project and Alexander Voets with Daimler Trucks North America to discuss existing news about their EV vehicle line ups and pilot programs.


    PART 2: First Steps for Fleets Interested in EVs

    Wednesday, October 7th | 2 PM CDT

    Register to learn about the differences between EVs and gaseous fueled vehicles, benefits of EVs, and total cost of ownership. This webinar will cover things to consider when making the decision to try EVs, fleet analysis and EV Suitability of your fleet, utilizing data and telematics to inform your EV procurement decisions, along with understanding the new networks and types of partnerships you will need.

    Audience: Companies/fleets that are taking the first step to look at if EVs are right for them

    Covering:

    • Understanding differences between EVs and gaseous fueled vehicles, benefits of EVs; total cost of ownership. 
    • Things to consider when making the decision to try EVs - duty cycle, routes, engaging your utility. 
    • Fleet Analysis and EV Suitability of your fleet / utilizing data and telematics to inform your EV procurement decisions. 
    • Understanding the new networks and types of partnerships you will need 




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    Clean, Green and Quiet: Baton Rouge's Newest Transit Buses are Electric!

    By LCF Intern, Olivia Montgomery & Executive Director, Ann Vail

    Have you seen the smart looking green and yellow CATS buses driving around Baton Rouge? These “green” new buses are so quiet that many Baton Rouge residents may not have noticed them yet. In 2019, Capital Area Transit System (CATS), the transit authority in Baton Rouge, added three new electric buses to its fleet, with hopes to continue the transition to electric in years to come. CATS currently has three 35-foot electric BYD buses in operation and three more were ordered in December. The agency will be ordering an additional  three electric BYD buses by October 2020.  

    While it is not uncommon to see electric buses in the fleets of larger cities, they are more of a rarity in mid-sized Southern cities like Baton Rouge. So what prompted CATS to make this addition to their fleet? In 2014, CATS commissioned a study by the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute in order to review alternative fuel options for its fleet. At the time, CATS knew that some of its fleet would reach its useful age and need to be replaced. This set the stage to commission a study to assist with determining whether alternatively fueled buses could reduce costs and promote environmental sustainability. 

    At the time the study was commissioned, CATS buses burned through about 2,000 gallons of fuel per day. The CATS fleet currently has 57 conventional diesel buses, 3 trolleys, and 16 cutaway vans. A variety of alternative fuel options are available for public transit fleets, including compressed natural gas, liquified petroleum gas, biodiesel, and electric or hybrid-electric, but the UNO study specifically recommended the switch to electric. After weighing specifics like feasibility and climate conditions specific to Baton Rouge, CATS decided to follow UNO’s recommendation to go electric. 

    Procuring buses with new technologies is not always easy. CATS was charged with quickly finding funding sources and a manufacturer that could meet deadlines on deliverables. Around this time, Louisiana Clean Fuels hosted an electric bus demonstration at the transit shelter in town square and invited local decision makers, CATS staff, and board members along for the ride. On this ride, LCF and their stakeholders were able to inform CATS of an upcoming FTA grant opportunity and offered to provide assistance with their grant application. The demo was a success and solidified local leadership’s support for CATS’s decision to procure electric buses. 

    CATS applied for the competitive grant funding – with assistance from Capital Region Planning Commission, Louisiana Department of Transportation – from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low to No- Emissions Program and received $2.5 million in 2019, in combination with other Federal funds, to purchase their first three buses.

    In April 2020, CATS announced it received an additional $3.8 million FTA grant to procure additional buses. CATS also received some local matching funds for the project. The FTA Low to No Emissions program is the same grant that in 2016 awarded $3.9 million to Sportran in Shreveport LA to purchase its first five electric buses, three depot chargers and an on-route fast charger. The Shreveport transit agency also received $1.5 million in August of 2018 for additional electric buses. 

    If one could offer advice to another fleet looking to procure electric buses, CATS Communications Director, Amie McNaylor, says she suggests engaging the experts. McNaylor credits the help of industry experts in navigating the process of procuring buses with unfamiliar technology. McNaylor described that, during the ordering process, electric bus batteries improved from first generation to second generation batteries with longer ranges, and having an expert around smoothed out these bumps in the process. Louisiana Clean Fuels connected CATS staff with industry experts and experienced EV transit bus fleet managers who acted as a liaison of sorts between CATS and the manufacturer, asking the right questions and finding the right specifications for CATS’ unique needs. 

    After hammering out the details, CATS ultimately purchased three 35-foot electric buses manufactured in California by BYD. These buses can reach 62 miles per hour speeds and seat 32 passengers, with additional capacity for standing passengers. BYD estimates its buses cost about $1 less per mile to operate when compared to diesel buses. CATS will also save on maintenance costs as electric vehicles do not require oil changes. 

    Aside from cost savings and emissions reduction, McNaylor says the public has responded favorably to the new electric buses. Some riders have tweeted that the buses are much quieter, and people tend to be drawn to the electric buses at press events. CATS operators seem to enjoy driving the new buses as well. 

    So what’s next for CATS? CATS is continuing to work on expanding the electric vehicles in the agency’s fleet. Additional electric buses will be purchased that will serve as the flagship of the Plank/Nicholson Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor, a collaboration with the City-Parish and Build Baton Rouge  These buses will make possible the 15-20 frequency of the morning and afternoon peak hours on the BRT corridor; there will be 30 minute frequency during the basetime of the route. However, CATS does plan to continue to procure more electric buses in the future, and it is expected that the CATS Board of Commissioners will approve the purchase of the final three buses on the agency’s contract with BYD, bringing an eventual total of nine electric buses in the fleet. In the meantime, the three recently-ordered buses are in the manufacturing process and will be incorporated into the fleet soon, and CATS also hopes to install more electric bus charging stations at its maintenance facility. 


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