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    FTA Announces $180 Million Available through the Low or No Emission Grant Program

    PROPOSALS DUE 4/12/2021

    Priority will be given to projects that help improve air quality and advance environmental justice; a portion of the funds can be used to help transportation workers learn technical skills to operate and maintain new clean vehicles

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced the availability of up to $180 million in competitive grant funds through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for FTA's Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant Program.

    The Low-No Program helps eligible project sponsors purchase or lease low- or no-emission vehicles and supports facilities that use advanced technologies to provide cleaner, more energy efficient transit operations in communities across the country. This year's NOFO will prioritize applications with an environmental justice component as well as those that will support workforce development activities to help America’s transit workers succeed.

    "The Biden Administration is committed to investing in clean transportation, and the Low or No Emission Program will put more American-made, energy-efficient buses into service across the country," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "This is an important step forward in ensuring that communities have access to high-quality, zero-emission transportation options." 

    In support of the President's January 20, 2021, Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, FTA is placing a priority on projects that will help improve air quality in non-attainment and maintenance areas for certain criteria pollutants under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This consideration will further the goals of the Executive Order, including the goal to prioritize environmental justice.

    "Through the Low-No grant program, transit operators nationwide have the ability to replace aging buses near the end of their lifecycle with newer, cleaner models that are more efficient to operate and maintain," said FTA Acting Administrator Nuria I. Fernandez.

    To support American industry, FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA's Buy America requirements (49 U.S.C. 5323(j)), which require that all iron, steel, and manufactured products be produced in the United States and that the cost of components and subcomponents of rolling stock produced in the United States must be more than 70 percent of the cost of all components. 

    To further support America’s recovery from COVID-19, all providers of public transportation that are awarded funding through the Low-No Program must have fair and equitable labor protections in place as required by Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5333(b)), which help preserve the rights and benefits of transit employees.

    As part of FTA's commitment to helping transit professionals keep up-to-date on technological advancements, Low-No recipients are permitted and encouraged to use up to 0.5 percent of their requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible under Federal public transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5314(b)) and an additional 0.5 percent for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute. 

    Eligible applicants for Low-No funding include public transit agencies, state transportation departments and Indian Tribes. Projects will be evaluated by criteria defined in Federal law and in the (NOFO), including the applicant’s demonstration of need, the project's benefits, project implementation strategy, and capacity for implementing the project.

    Complete proposals must be submitted electronically (funding opportunity FTA-2021-001-LowNo) through the GRANTS.GOV "APPLY" function by April 12, 2021.

    Instructions for applying can be found on FTA’s NOFO page and in GRANTS.GOV (funding opportunity FTA-2021-001-LowNo). Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by April 12, 2021.

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    Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants Now Open: 2021 Request for Applications

    Deadline to Apply - March 16, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET)

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is excited to announce the availability of approximately $46 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant funds to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, between 40 and 70 awards are anticipated.

    Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.

    Visit the DERA web page for more information

    Important Dates

    Information Webinars: Join Webinars

    • January 26, 2021; 1:00 p.m. (ET)
    • February 3, 2021; 3:00 p.m. (ET)
    • February 11, 2021; 2:00 p.m. (ET)

    Deadline for Submittal of Questions:
    March 5, 2021; 4:00 p.m. (ET)

    Application Deadline:
    March 16, 2021; 11:59 p.m. (ET)

    Notification of Chosen Applicants:
    April-May, 2021

    Eligible Applicants

    The following U.S. entities are eligible to apply for DERA National Grants:

    • Regional, state, local or tribal agencies/consortia or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality
    • Nonprofit organizations (Like Louisiana Clean Fuels) or institutions that represent or provide pollution reduction or educational services to persons or organizations that own or operate diesel fleets or have the promotion of transportation or air quality as their principal purpose.


    School districts, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), cities and counties are all eligible entities to the extent that they fall within the definition above.


    Eligible Uses of Funding

    Eligible diesel vehicles, engines and equipment include:

    • School buses
    • Class 5 – Class 8 heavy-duty highway vehicles
    • Locomotive engines
    • Marine engines
    • Nonroad engines, equipment or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo (including at ports or airports), agriculture, mining or energy production (including stationary generators and pumps).


    Grant funds may be used for diesel emission reduction projects including:


    Funds awarded under this program cannot be used to fund emission reductions mandated by federal law. Equipment for testing emissions or fueling infrastructure is not eligible for funding.

    Please refer to the full RFA for specific information about this competition.

    Informational Webinars

    Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 12:00 PM CST
    Join the Webinar
    Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
    Participant Code: 863 530 573#

    Wednesday, Feburary 3, 2021 | 2:00 PM CST
    Join the Webinar
    Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
    Participant Code: 609 539 899#
     
    Thursday, February 11, 2021 | 1:00 PM CST
    Join the Webinar
    Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
    Participant Code: 451 189 144#

     

    Visit the DERA web page for more information


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    DOE Announces $60 Million to Accelerate Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research and $35 Million for Bioenergy Research and Development

    Originally posted by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy | VTO Original Article | Bioenergy Original Article

    Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $60 million in new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research and up to $35 million in funding for bioenergy feedstock technologies and algae research and development. The vehicle technologies funding supports research that will lead to more affordable, efficient, and secure transportation energy. The bioenergy technologies funding opportunity announcement (FOA) supports the White House priority for advancing the domestic bioeconomy, as well as the Bioenergy Technologies Office’s goals of improving the performance and lowering the cost and risk of technologies that can be used to produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts.

    VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIES FUNDING

    Funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, this funding opportunity supports priorities in batteries and electrification, advanced engine and fuel technologies, materials, and new mobility technologies. Topic areas include:

    Batteries and Electrification (Up to $35 million)

    • Advanced liquid electrolytes for lithium-ion cells under extreme conditions, such as extreme fast charging, and mechanical, thermal, or electrical abuse
    • Novel liquid electrolytes for lithium-sulfur cells that improve the overall stability and performance of these cells
    • Lithium-sulfur and lithium-air battery cell development
    • High-power-density traction inverters for use in light-, medium-, or heavy-duty vehicle applications


    Advanced Combustion Engines and Fuels (Up to $5 million)

    • Development of simulation tools that couple engine combustion with aftertreatment systems to enable optimization of light- or heavy-duty aftertreatment systems for near-zero exhaust emission while maintaining or improving engine efficiency.


    Materials Technology (Up to $11.5 million)

    • Production demonstration of lightweight multi-material passenger vehicle glider systems.


    New Mobility Systems (Up to $17.5 million)

    • Cooperative driving automation in vehicles enabled by low-cost infrastructure upgrades or novel applications
    • New mobility systems technologies or practices demonstrated in real-world transportation systems.


    Transportation and Energy Analysis (Up to $1.2 million)

    Some of these topics also support DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge, which draws on the extensive research capabilities of the DOE National Laboratories as well as universities and industry to accelerate the development of energy-storage technologies and sustain American global leadership in the energy storage technologies of the future.

    The application process will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. Concept papers are due on February 5, 2021, and full applications are due on April 7, 2021.

    For more information and application requirements, please visit the EERE Program Information Center and Grants.gov

    Read the original article

    BIOENERGY FUNDING

    Topic Areas include:

    • Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Enable Production of Conversion-Ready Feedstocks (up to $15M):
      • Measurement of variability of key MSW characteristics within and across unique MSW streams
      • Development of novel methods for rapid/real-time measurements.
    • Algae Productivity Exceeding Expectations (APEX) (up to $20M):
      • Improvements in productivity with traditional carbon dioxide (CO2) supply
      • Improvements in productivity with Direct Air Capture (DAC) of CO2 from ambient air.

    The Feedstock Technologies Topic Area will focus on the characterization of MSW streams. Projects will work on understanding MSW variability and informing the steps necessary to produce conversion-ready feedstock. The Advanced Algal Systems Topic Area looks to improve seasonal productivity of algae via a diverse portfolio of strains and improvement approaches. Projects will develop tools to accelerate current and future strain and cultivation improvements.

    The application process will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. Concept papers are due on February 1, 2021, and full applications are due on April 5, 2021.

    For more information, please visit the EERE Program Information Center and Grants.gov.

    Read the original article


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    Fourteen States combine efforts to “DRIVE Electric USA”

    Accelerating the Adoption of Electric Vehicles

    DRIVE Electric USA will fully develop 14 state-based “Drive Electric” programs that will engage individuals, utilities, legislators, dealerships and others towards removing adoption barriers and accelerating plug-in electric vehicle use in our states.

    Louisiana Clean Fuels is proud to be a part of the DRIVE Electric USA project funded by the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office. The project is running from October 2020 through December 2023 and is comprised of a group of diverse stakeholders, including Clean Cities Coalitions from fourteen states, electric vehicle and EVSE OEMs, and other committed partners who are dedicated to raising awareness and adoption of EVs across the United States. We will use our states as great and dissimilar examples of how to successfully build statewide, successful EV efforts to drive the purchase and use of EVs of all sizes and by general citizens and fleets.

    DRIVE Electric Participating States

    In order to accomplish this goal, project leaders and implementers will educate consumers, utilities, utility regulators, and government officials while engaging auto dealers and fleet leaders, conducting EV infrastructure planning, and developing local EV chapters. All of this will occur under the banner of each branded, statewide EV initiative which will be guided by that state’s stakeholders; Louisiana's branch of this project is called DRIVE Electric Louisiana. Additionally, a 28-member Project Advisory Committee (PAC) will provide input and guide the coalitions and their statewide efforts to break down barriers as quickly as we can towards accelerating EV adoption in our states.

    In addition to accelerating EV adoption, the project will advance state-of-the-art, innovative approaches to reduce interrelated EV market barriers and plans to create a “Replication Playbook” that other states can utilize to further their own initiatives. The activities, outputs and outcomes in the project are built on seven “Priority Areas” of focused work:

    1. Create and strengthen branded, statewide “Drive Electric” programs in each state, and build capacity into those programs through funded time
    2. Educate consumers by developing multiple, local EV “chapters” in all states
    3. Directly engage and educate all of our utilities and regulators
    4. Advance infrastructure in all states via statewide corridor, regional and community EVSE planning, including a focus on limited-income communities
    5. Educate state and local government officials about EV policy best practices
    6. Engage dealerships & OEMS to develop state-based, preferred EV dealer programs including light-duty and medium/heavy-duty OEMs
    7. Significantly increase fleet EV adoption across many types of fleets and sizes of vehicles

    The team’s goals are anchored in creating or strengthening state-based EV initiatives in the following 14 states (after each state, the Clean Cities Program that is leading that state’s efforts are listed):

    1. AlabamaAlabama Clean Fuels Coalition
    2. ColoradoDenver Metro Clean Cities Coalition
    3. FloridaCentral Florida Clean Cities Coalition
    4. GeorgiaClean Cities-Georgia
    5. KansasKansas City Regional Clean Cities
    6. LouisianaLouisiana Clean Fuels
    7. MissouriSt. Louis Clean Cities
    8. North CarolinaTriangle Clean Cities
    9. OhioClean Fuels Ohio
    10. PennsylvaniaEastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation
    11. TennesseeEast Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition
    12. UtahUtah Clean Cities
    13. VirginiaVirginia Clean Cities
    14. WisconsinWisconsin Clean Cities

    Learn more at www.driveelectricusa.org. More information about DRIVE Electric Louisiana is coming soon.


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