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    Entergy, AEP, Four Other Utilities Team Up to Create a Multi-State Fast Charging Network

    Two LCF Members Join the Electric Highway Coalition

    On March 2, 2021, six utilities announced their participation in the Electric Highway Coalition, a group consisting of American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority with the intent to create seamless electric vehicle charging "from the Atlantic Coast through the Midwest and South, and into the Gulf Coast and Central Plains regions."

    The plan involves these utilities working together to establish a DC Fast Charging network along major highways in their territories, which would allow EV drivers access to continuous fast charging throughout these states. With charging taking only 20-30 minutes, the hope is that this network will help to promote EV adoption for drivers concerned with vehicle range and travel possibilities.

    “At Entergy, we are taking an integrated approach toward a carbon-free future that includes working with industry peers and customers to electrify other sectors of the economy like transportation and the maritime industry,” said Leo Denault, chairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation. “Initiatives like this proposed regional EV charging corridor will help lower transportation emissions and provide community benefits for all our stakeholders.”

    “Throughout the ages, travelers have had to figure out how to get from point A to B. From feeding and watering horses, to filling gas tanks, and now recharging batteries, ensuring that there are convenient places to accomplish these tasks is critical,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “With this effort, we are working to help drivers see that EVs fit their lifestyle and their travel plans, wherever the road might take them.”

    Two participating Electric Highway Coalition utilities, Entergy and SWEPCO (a subsidiary of American Electric Power), are Louisiana Clean Fuels members with representatives on our Board of Directors. They are also supporting partners on our Drive Electric Louisiana project, which is dedicated to accelerating EV adoption and improving fueling infrastructure in Louisiana. Projects such as Drive Electric Louisiana - a participating state project in the Drive Electric USA initiative funded by the US Department of Energy - will be vital in working with the Electric Highway Coalition to accomplish their interstate charging network goals.

    "Entergy's partnership with Clean Cities Coalitions will be critical in this endeavor," said Scott Barrios. Barrios is a Senior Account Manager of Entergy eTech, the company's EV charging incentive program, in addition to being a member of the LCF Board of Directors.

    To learn more about this initiative and the utilities involved, please view the following press releases:

    READ ENTERGY'S PRESS RELEASE          READ AEP'S PRESS RELEASE


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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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    FOTW# 1167: Median Driving Range of All-Electric Vehicles Tops 250 Miles for Model Year 2020

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

    Since 2011, significant improvements in battery technologies and overall EV efficiency have led to an expanding number of EV models and increased driving ranges. The median EPA estimated range for all EV models offered in the 2020 model year exceeded 250 miles. The 2020 model year also marked the first year that an EV achieved an EPA estimated maximum range of more than 400 miles.

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

    Fact #1167 Dataset

    READ the origial article


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    How Might Electric Vehicles Affect Electrical Loads? Expanded Online Tool Provides Quick Answer

    By Juliane Ding, LCF Intern

    With the rising popularity of Electric Vehicles, the tools have advanced to handle the demand for accommodating the sheer number of EV’s. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a laboratory under the U.S Department of Energy with the mission to advance energy efficiency and sustainable transportation. Their research has helped the electric vehicle expansion to continue smoothly into the future as continuous growth has been pursued. 

    NREL states, “As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in popularity, utilities and community planners are increasingly focused on building resilient energy systems that can support the added electrical load from EV charging.” 

    As planners focus on multiple factors that impact a consumer’s charging experience, adapting is now easier with a new tool that has been developed.

    NREL researchers have expanded the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Projection (EVI-Pro) Lite tool to include more analytic capabilities.

    Previously, the tool developed by the NREL and California Energy Commission was limited to allowing users to estimate how many chargers and what kind of chargers a city, region, or state may need to support an influx of EVs. 

    “In an added online application, those same users can take it a step further to predict how that added EV charging will impact electricity demand, or load shapes, in their area at any given time” states NREL.

    Learn more about recent expansions to the EVI-Pro Lite tool in an NREL news story.


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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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    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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