Blog

    Louisiana Climate Initiatives Task Force Established: Louisiana Clean Fuels Executive Director Appointed to Transportation Committee

    By Emily Devereaux & Samantha Breaux, LCF Interns

    In November 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards called to order the Climate Initiatives Task Force, first established with Executive Order 2020-18 earlier that year. The goals of the Task Force are threefold:  (1) review current efforts to update the state’s greenhouse gas inventory, (2) to investigate and make recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Louisiana, and (3) develop policies and strategies to achieve net emissions reduction targets while improving the health and welfare of the people of Louisiana. With a diverse group of experts from areas such as transportation, manufacturing, power production, and land use, the task force aims to work alongside and build upon other state efforts to produce better outcomes for the people. This includes working with the state government, colleges, universities, the private sector, and all Louisianians to promote an inclusive environment.

    About the Taskforce

    The establishment of the Climate Initiatives Task Force is a response to an accumulation of data and science sourced from Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 Special Report Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius. These reports include information on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change that will directly impact Coastal Louisiana through sea level rise. According to the 2017 Coastal Master Plan, sea level rise and subsidence could result in the loss of 2,250 to 4,120 square miles of Louisiana land over the next 50 years. This loss threatens Louisiana residents, wildlife, and the economy through increased flood risk and loss of habitat. As Governor Edwards put it, global temperature rises and sea level changes along with other impacts of climate change will “harm the state’s natural and cultural heritage.” 

    To help avoid the worst impacts of climate change and sustain the Louisiana coast, the Task Force will be working to help the state achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This long-term goal is supported by specific emissions reduction goals set for 2025 and 2030 which are outlined in the image below retrieved from the presentation at the Task Force’s first meeting in November.

    The first at-large meeting outlined the climate crisis and its implications for the Gulf Coast Region, the structure and next steps of the Task Force, and the decision-making process that will be used to achieve the defined goals. To start, the Task Force recognized the potential risks for urban infrastructure, health risks, and increased flooding in coastal and low-lying regions as a consequence of the climate crisis. Decisions will be supported by an analysis of various solutions, desired outcomes, and responses to legal mandates and the integration of science and policy. The first meeting also outlined the advisory groups and committees that will provide support, including the Transportation Committee.

    Transportation Committee 

    The Transportation Committee of the Climate Initiatives Task Force held their first meeting on December 1, 2020, to discuss the foundational steps of the committee, which will help to propel the work that has just begun. Louisiana Clean Fuels Executive Director Ann Vail was appointed a member of this committee and is excited to help shape a greener future for Louisiana. “I am thrilled to be part of this esteemed committee,” Ann said of the appointment. “My two main goals are to keep our stakeholders informed of and involved in the process and to ensure that the task force has the most up-to-date, relevant, and comprehensive information on the many means by which we can reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector.” The primary objectives of this committee will be: (1) reduce emissions specifically in the transportation sector, (2) maintain the viability of transportation providers, and (3) increase access to reliable, efficient, and affordable transportation options. Additionally, the committee recognizes the necessity to move away from oil-based fuels and will consider how to prepare the EV grid for these industry shifts. The committee will also promote education about emissions and transportation efficacy as well as other strategies mentioned in the discussion of the fundamental objectives. A recording of the meeting can be found here

    Progress and Call for Ideas

    Since last year, the Task Force has published their first Interim Report, detailing the purpose and members of each advisory group and committee, establishing a project timeline and goals, and describing the mission and values of the Climate Initiatives Task Force. The deliverable timeline, found below, is expanded upon in the last page of the report. 

    As shown above, the Task Force is currently calling on the public to comment on the process, materials published by the task force and committees, and on items discussed at the meetings. All public comments and thoughts should be sent to [email protected]. In the subject line of your email, please include reference to the Climate Initiatives Task Force and any specific agenda item # from the meeting you are commenting on. The body of your message should include your name and address before your comment. 

    The task force will also request project ideas from the public and AFV stakeholders on specific ways that Louisiana can reach its goal of Net Zero Emissions by 2050. For more information, view the recording of LCF’s 2021 Annual Stakeholder Meeting where Task Force members Terrence Chambers and Dr. Chuck Carr Brown were invited to discuss the state’s goals and share information on an upcoming online form for stakeholders to submit their GHG-reducing project ideas. This form will likely become available this fall, but until then, you can start getting your ideas ready by thinking of the following items for your proposal: action name and description, sector emissions and greenhouse gas targeted, negative consequences, impacts, available infrastructure or technology, timeframe, funding needs, and challenges. 

    For more information on the Louisiana Climate Initiatives Task Force, please visit https://gov.louisiana.gov/page/climate-initiatives-task-force


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    Fleet Electrification: First Steps for Fleets Transitioning to Electric Vehicles

    By Juliane Ding & Samantha Breaux, LCF Interns

    There are many reasons why a business or government agency may be interested in adding EVs to their fleets, such as reaching sustainability goals, lowering maintenance costs, or reducing fueling costs. Fleet electrification, however, takes a lot of thought, and details of the planning process are often overlooked when fleets look to transition. From planning and constructing the charging infrastructure to operating impacts and vehicle replacements, this article will share advice from experts on how to take your first steps towards fleet electrification. 

    For more tips on planning, check out Louisiana Clean Fuels’ online webinar First Steps for Fleets Interested in EVs (Fleet Electrification Pt. 2) featuring guest speakers Mary Till, Director of Business Development at Sawatch Labs, and Robert Mowat, Transportation Mobility Electrified Lead at HDR. Some of their advice will be shared throughout this article.

    The Basics

    With rising greenhouse gas emissions becoming a local, national, and global issue, electrification of fleets is one of the most direct methods that a fleet can adopt to help lower their company emissions, reach sustainability goals, and lower costs. Apart from these benefits, less maintenance and quiet operation can also improve driver quality of life. 

    However, adding one or two light duty vehicles to your fleet is a lot easier than adding a dozen medium or heavy-duty EVs or transitioning the entire fleet. According to Mowat, challenges may include operation feasibility, construction requirements, power demand, charging strategy, and capital costs. Fleets should consider these and other potential obstacles as they begin to research and plan for fleet electrification. 

    Planning Ahead

    As a Clean Cities Coalition, Louisiana Clean Fuels is here to help you get started as you look to tackle your own sustainability and clean transportation goals. Learning what questions to ask, how to engage with utility partners, and how telematics data can help your fleet are just the first steps in planning for fleet electrification. Our webinar series on fleet electrification is a great place to get even more information after reading this article. 

    There are various ways to begin electrifying your fleet, with various possible approaches to development, testing, and research. Mowat suggests taking a phased approach in which more advanced technologies and opportunities over time allow your fleet to gradually become more electric. Trying to jump right into electrification can lead to common industry problems such as lack of space for charging infrastructure, purchasing the wrong equipment, or vehicles being unable to meet route requirements. Thus, he recommends three guiding principles: ‘Idea to Implementation’, ‘First Things First’, and ‘Data-Driven Decisions’. 

    • Idea to Implementation: Emphasizes finding partnerships and experts to help guide your electrification project from start to finish. Lay out your scope and stay focused on the overall solution with each step you take. 
    • First Things First: Part of the planning process. Laying out a solid foundation and clear roadmap is vital to successful electrification projects. “The key for us is to do the first things first: really look at what’s going on and where you need to be,” Robert says. 
    • Data-Driven Decisions: Can help you understand your operational fleet data and make the most sustainable decisions for your company. One way to do this is using telematics data.



    Using Telematics to Plan

    An important planning tool for the project to be executed properly is telematics data. A fleet can use telematics data from their existing fleet to help them decide which vehicles and routes will be best for electrification. Some of the data available from telematics includes vehicle location, fuel consumption, and much more (see Table 1). “We can do sensitivity analysis for fleets,” says Till. “For example, if we’re talking about an eight-year life span on vehicles, there are many other variables that can change. Total cost of ownership can be impacted by vehicle purchase price and gas prices.” The chart below contains more detailed information on what data telematics and Sawatch Analytics can provide for your fleet.

    Table 1 includes examples of the type of vehicle information from telematics that can be used to help you plan your EV fleet project. Sawatch Labs takes telematics to the next level; providing a deeper analysis of your fleet.

    There are many other considerations when planning to add EVs to your fleet. Average charge time and power requirements of your vehicles must be considered along with the importance of identifying charging and infrastructure needs. Addressing these needs may include multiple things, including the consideration of the energy requirements for various types of vehicles within the fleet. However, analyses from telematics data provide a great starting point for companies looking to go electric or optimize current operations.

    Partnerships

    Types of partners to consider in your process should include third-party specialty groups, internal resources, technology suppliers, advocacy groups, peer groups, utility groups, government entities, and your local Clean Cities Coalition. “Again, these are pieces of the puzzle: getting those eight or nine essential partner groups,” Mowat explains. “An example of a partner group’s service is...where someone looks at your whole operation and does an analysis of what your fleet will need including power demand, utilities, facilities, and what can be done to improve your EVSE.”

    To get the most out of your partnerships, you’ll need to define clear goals, whether they are financial or sustainability goals. Each partner will be able to assist your process in different ways. For instance, external and internal funding can be looked at from governmental, municipal, and third-party sources. Peer organizations are a great place to start for lessons learned or personal recommendations. Louisiana Clean Fuels or your local Clean Cities coalition will be there every step of the way to assist in planning, finding funds, educating employees, and ensuring your transition will help you reach your company goals. 

    As you start thinking about your electrification goals, be sure to reach out and continue learning about the process. Adding EVs to your fleet can be a daunting task, but it can easily be tackled by addressing the challenges, planning ahead, and reaching out for information. As Till says, “There are people who have started to clear the forest and start[ed] looking for what needs to be done as we go forward. Start the conversation, engage partners, and start building your network.”

    Hear more from Mary Till and Robert Mowat about fleet electrification in our recorded webinar, First Steps for Fleets Interested in EVs. This webinar covers the 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.

    Learn more about EV implementation here: https://afdc.energy.gov/files/pdfs/pev_handbook.pdf


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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.

    Learn More


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    Louisiana Green Fleets Program to recognize fleets on emissions reduction efforts

    Louisiana’s two Clean Cities coalitions combine programs to create one statewide Green Fleets Certification.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

         

    February 1, 2021 - Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF) and Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership (SLCFP) are partnering on a single, statewide Green Fleets Certification Program, which will recognize Louisiana fleets on their environmental efforts toward reducing transportation emissions. Previously, each coalition had its own fleet certification program. The combined effort will simplify the certification process for fleets that operate in both regions of the state.

    The Louisiana Green Fleets Program is designed to assist fleets in deploying solutions that improve the economic and environmental performance of vehicle operations. This free program provides enrolled fleets with emissions analysis for their on-road and some off-road vehicles used throughout Louisiana. The analysis evaluates a fleet’s reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, pollutant emissions, and percentage of petroleum use along with their percentage of alternative fuel vehicles. Participating fleets are certified on a 5-star scale based on their efforts. Following certification, fleets also receive a report including custom solutions on how to further their environmental efforts

    Certified Green Fleets receive unique education opportunities, grant funding assistance, and vendors offering advanced fuel and vehicle technologies. Additionally, fleets also receive a custom public relations kit to help promote their fleet's environmental achievements.

    Enrolling is simple, free, and has no obligations. Any Louisiana fleet that wishes to apply must submit certain baseline data as well as data on specific efficiency and alternative fuel technologies deployed in their fleet operations. The Louisiana Green Fleets program utilizes its own variation of the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory’s Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) Tool.  The AFLEET-based model is used to subtract the “actual” emissions of the candidate fleet’s conventional- and alternative-fuel fleet from the “expected” emissions of the candidate’s fleet if it were only composed of conventional-fuel vehicles to calculate net emissions savings.

    The 2021 enrollment period for Louisiana Green Fleets is open now and will close on March 1, 2021. To enroll, please email [email protected] to get started. Visit louisianagreenfleets.weebly.com for more information.

    For more information:

    LCF: Victoria Herrmann, Communications Coordinator | [email protected] | 225-342-7972

    SLCFP: Stephanie Steele, Communications & Outreach | [email protected] | 504-483-8522

    ###

    About Clean Cities: As part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), Clean Cities coalitions foster the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels, energy efficient mobility systems, and other fuel-saving technologies and practices. Since beginning in 1993, Clean Cities coalitions have achieved a cumulative impact in energy use equal to nearly 8 billion gasoline gallon equivalents through the implementation of diverse transportation projects. More information is available at www.cleancities.energy.gov.

    About Louisiana Clean Fuels:   Louisiana Clean Fuels is a US Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, supported by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and member organizations. The mission of LCF is to advance the nation’s environmental, economic, and energy security by supporting local actions to diversify transportation fuel options. LCF provides technical support, education, and funding assistance to both public and private fleets who wish to implement clean transportation projects.The LCF territory covers all of Louisiana with the exception of the 8 parishes in the SLCFP territory. More information is available at www.louisianacleanfuels.org.

    About Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership: SLCFP provides education, technical assistance, funding information and other services to help vehicle fleet managers and personnel incorporate cleaner transportation options into their operations. SLCFP is supported by the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources’ Technology Assessment Division and is housed at the Regional Planning Commission serving Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa parishes.


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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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    FOTW# 1166: Model Year 2020 Light-Duty Vehicles Offered Consumers a Wide Range of Fuel Economy Choices

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

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes a minimum and maximum combined city/highway fuel economy for each vehicle size class. Their data shows that, in most cases, there is a wide range of fuel economies for consumers to consider when purchasing a new vehicle. For model year 2020, the midsize car class had the widest range in fuel economy, spanning from 12 to 141 MPG/MPGe*. The vehicle classes that have maximum fuel economy ratings topping one hundred MPG reflect the inclusion of all-electric models. These models have much higher efficiency than conventional vehicles. The median fuel economy of all vehicle classes falls into a much narrower band ranging from 19 to 28 MPG/MPGe*.

    * Plug-in electric vehicles are measured in miles per gallon equivalent or MPGe where 1 gallon of gasoline is equal to the energy in 33.7 kW-hrs of electricity.

    Note: Includes light-duty vehicles of all fuel types. For plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, a composite gasoline-electric MPGe was used.

    Source: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fuel Economy website. Data accessed October 30, 2020.

    Fact #1166 Dataset

    Read the Original Article


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    Governor's Climate Initiatives Task Force Meets | LCF Coordinator Named to Transportation Committee

    By Emily Devereaux, LCF Intern

    Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards established the Climate Initiatives Task Force in November 2020 with Executive Order 2020-18 to investigate and make recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Louisiana. The task force will integrate strategies and recommendations from a diverse group of experts to achieve this goal while simultaneously preserving Louisiana’s economic competitiveness and growth. The task force also looks forward to working with the government, colleges, universities, the private sector, and all Louisianians to promote an inclusive environment.

    The goal of the task force is to help Louisiana achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 after achieving set benchmarks in 2025 and 2030. The first at-large meeting outlined the climate crisis and its implications for the Gulf Coast Region, the structure and next steps of the task force, and the structured decision-making process to facilitate its goals. To start, the task force recognized the potential risks for urban infrastructure, health risks, and increased flooding in coastal and low-lying regions as a consequence of the climate crisis. Decisions will be supported by an analysis of various solutions, desired outcomes, and responses to legal mandates and the integration of science and policy. The task force will also be supported by a number of relevant committees, including the Transportation Committee.

    The Transportation Committee of the Climate Initiatives Task Force held their first meeting on December 1st to discuss the foundational steps of the committee, which will help to propel the work that has just begun. Louisiana Clean Fuels Executive Director Ann Vail is a member of this committee and is excited to help shape a greener future for Louisiana. The primary objectives of this committee will be to reduce emissions specifically in the transportation sector, maintain the viability of transportation providers, and increase access to reliable, efficient, and affordable transportation options. Additionally, the committee recognizes the necessity to move away from oil-based fuels and will consider how to prepare the EV grid for these industry shifts. The committee will also promote education about emissions and transportation efficacy as well as other strategies mentioned in the discussion of the fundamental objectives, which can be found in the recording of the meeting

    Public Comment:

    Please share your thoughts on how Louisiana can reach its goal of Net Zero by 2050. All public comment should be sent to: [email protected]  In the subject line of your email, please include reference to the Climate Initiatives Task Force and any specific agenda item # from the meeting you are commenting on. The body of your message should include your name and address before you comment. 


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    LCF's 2020 Annual Report | Responses due March 30, 2021

    WHY PARTICIPATE?

    By sharing your fleet's alternative fuel usage and fuel saving measures with us, we can in turn, share the aggregated emission reduction numbers with policy makers and elected officials - giving them a better understanding of the scope of alternative fuel use in our state as well as the resulting air quality benefits of different technologies, fuels, and policies.

    This data is more important than ever considering that the state has set a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goal of NetZero by 2050 and the Governor's Climate Initiatives Task Force has just begun work on a plan to achieve that goal. Getting an accurate baseline as well as an understanding of which technologies are most effective at reducing GHGs is critical. Plus, the only way to get recognition at our Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards is to participate in our Annual Report!

    In 2020, did you...

    • Purchase or operate Propane, CNG, LNG, Electric or PHEV vehicles?
    • Use Biodiesel, RNG or other renewable alternative fuel in your vehicles?
    • Start or continue an idle reduction program?
    • Add aerodynamics to your vehicles?
    • Shorten your routes to save fuel?
    • Replace an older vehicle with a smaller or more fuel efficient vehicle?
    • Build or operate an Electric Vehicle charging station or an alternative fuel fueling station (such as CNG, Propane, Bio Diesel or LNG).


    If you answered YES to any of these questions, then we want to hear from you!

    *All data submitted will be confidential and only reported on in aggregate with data from fleets across our territory.

    Four ways to participate:

    1. SURVEY:

    The survey asks guiding questions for information about the amount and type of alternative fuels you have used, how many and what type of alternative fuel vehicles you own, and any alternative fuels or emissions-reducing projects you were involved with throughout 2020.

    START ANNUAL FLEET SURVEY

    2. EMAIL OR OVER THE PHONE:

    If you have a small fleet or not much has changed since 2019, we can verify your information based on last year’s data over the phone or via email. Schedule a time for a call with Ann or Tyler.

    3. SPREADSHEET:  

    Prefer spreadsheets? Fill in your 2020 information on our annual report spreadsheet instead. Find a downloadable version of our spreadsheet here, then submit to Ann or Tyler via email.

    DOWNLOAD SPREADSHEET

    4. *NEW* Green Fleets Participation:

    If you would like to participate in the Louisiana Green Fleets Program, you can submit Green Fleets data instead of Annual Report data. Participation in the Green Fleets Program requires more data from you but also makes your fleet eligible for Green Fleets Certification, which you can read more about at the link below.

    LEARN ABOUT GREEN FLEETS

    Deadline to submit your data:  March 30, 2021


    Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards

    Want recognition for your work to reduce your fuel consumption and lower operating costs and emissions through alternative fuels? The only way to enter is by participating in our Annual Report! These Awards recognize the achievements of clean fuel stakeholders who have gone above and beyond in reaching their environmental and transportation goals. The 2021 Annual Clean Fuel Leader awards will be held in the fall of 2021 at a location and date TBD. To ensure that you don't miss any events or critical updates from LCF, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Read about our 2020 Clean Fuel Leader Award winners on the LCF blog.

    Want to learn more about the Report?

    View our informational webinar on the Annual Report where we go through the information we’re asking for, explain the different ways you can submit your fleet information, explain how we use the information, and give you an opportunity to ask questions.

    VIEW THE WEBINAR RECORDING


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    2021 Fuel Economy Guide Now Available

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have just released the 2021 Fuel Economy Guide. The Guide provides detailed fuel economy estimates for model year 2021 light-duty vehicles, along with estimated annual fuel costs and other information for prospective car buyers.

    2021 Fuel Economy Guide

    • Enhanced Electronic Access: The 2021 Fuel Economy Guide will be published in electronic format only. You can download the latest Fuel Economy Guide from the FuelEconomy.gov website at https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/guides.shtml and print copies from the electronic file as needed. The online Guide will be updated periodically to include newly released vehicle models and current fuel cost estimates.

    Fueleconomy.gov

    The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency’s FuelEconomy.gov website helps consumers choose the most fuel efficient vehicle that meets their needs. In addition to providing the Fuel Economy Guide, FuelEconomy.gov includes lists of the Top Ten 2021 Fuel Sippers and the 2021 Most Efficient Vehicles by EPA Size Class. The website features updated fuel economy data for new and used passenger vehicles dating back to 1984, allows side-by-side vehicle comparisons, and offers tips to help consumers save money and fuel. The website also includes NHTSA safety ratings, tax incentives, and a variety of tools to help consumers save money and make informed decisions about fuel economy.

    Check out the 2021 Fuel Economy Guide


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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

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