Blog

    New Electric Vehicle Resources

    For those interested in electric vehicles and charging, there is no shortage of information and resources available. With the help of companies like Tesla and a push for better EV infrastructure, EVs are becoming more and more popular as consumers choose a greener method of transportation.

    Though it seems nearly impossible to keep up with all of the news and resources surrounding EVs, we wanted to highlight a few more recent resources that we’ve heard about in order to spread the word about their usefulness and help make learning about EVs seem like a more accomplishable task.

    THE SIERRA CLUB’S EV GUIDE

    The Sierra Club just recently released an Electric Vehicle Guide for consumers interested in learning more about plug-in EVs. The guide breaks down information about a variety of different PEVs on the market to help users figure out which PEV might work best for their situation. In fact, the guide even offers a short quiz for users to offer users a list of PEVs that best match their needs. Just enter some basic information about driving habits and car requirements, such as total miles driven in a typical day, access to charging resources, and budget, and you’ll be presented with a suggested list of vehicles to meet your needs.

    A snapshot of the short EV guide quiz along with a glance at some of the results

    The guide offers estimates of fuel savings and incentive information based on zip code along with general information about each vehicle including descriptions of “who will drive it,” “how fun it is to drive,” “how much gear can you cart around in it,” and “will it be around in 10 years.” For those interested in an electric vehicle but overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, this could be a great resource to help narrow your choices and figure out what kind of EV could work best for you.'

    ENTERGY’S POWER DRIVE INITIATIVE

    While the Sierra Club is helping individual consumers choose an EV, Entergy offers resources for both consumers and fleets looking into electrification. Through their Power Drive Initiative, Entergy “[provides] helpful resources and information on electric vehicle choices, economic considerations, and the many benefits of light duty electric transportation.”

    Image from Entergy's Power Drive website

     

    Their Power Drive website compiles useful resources and case studies from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) along with helpful information such as EV Basics, resources for choosing a vehicle, fleet electrification resources, and charging considerations. It’s an excellent and easy-to-follow compilation of information for anyone who is interested in learning more about EVs but isn’t sure where to start.

    EV Charging Stations in Google Maps

    Google Maps, which has been showing charging locations since October 2018, has now added functionality to show whether or not chargers are currently available to use. The app already show “the number of chargers at each location as well as their wattage, pricing, and reviews from other drivers” (The Verge), and now EV owners will be able to know ahead of time where they should head for a charge. Currently, charger availability information is available for chargers from EVgo, SemaConnect, and Chargemaster, with plans to add Chargepoint chargers in the near future. Other chargers are still shown on the map but without the added availability functionality.

    A quick search around Baton Rouge on my own app turned up several locations in downtown Baton Rouge and around LSU campus. Though none of the chargers (a mix of Chargepoint and Tesla chargers) have the new availability functionality yet, most chargers included photos, reviews, and general information about the chargers that could be valuable to EV owners looking for a place to charge.

    A few photos showing a quick Baton Rouge search for EV Charging Stations and that the results currently look like for a Chargepoint charger, which will soon be compatible with the availability feature.


    According to
    The Verge, there seems to be some doubt as to whether the chargers listed in Google Maps is a comprehensive list, but even if not, the ability to check the availability of nearby chargers before making a stop could be a game-changer for some EV owners, particularly in areas lacking the charging infrastructure needed to meet higher charging demand.


    Read More

    LCF Member Spotlight: Cummins Inc.

    Cummins turns 100 this year, so we celebrate their achievements over the last century!

    Cummins was first founded in February 1919 in Columbus, Indiana, and the company first began with only four employees. Today, the company has grown to more than 58,000 employees working across five different divisions, and Cummins is renewing its commitment to the message: “Challenge the impossible.”

    Cummins is organized into five “distinct but complementary business segments.” The Engine Segment specializes in designing and producing engines, particularly diesel and natural gas engines. The Power Systems Segment is “a global provider of high-speed high-horsepower engines and power generation equipment, including standby and prime power generator sets, alternators, switchgear and other components.” The Components Segment is further split into several businesses: Filtration, Turbo Technologies, Emission Solutions, and Electronics and Fuel Systems. The Distribution Segment deals with sales and distribution all over the world. The newest Cummins business segment, the Electrified Power Segment, is “positioned to provide fully electric and hybrid powertrain solutions along with technology leading components and subsystems to serve all our markets as they adopt electrification.” Within this segment, Cummins is working on the Cummins Battery Electric System and the Cummins Power Hybrid Plug-In systems for buses.

    Cummins’ mission of “making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world” is certainly shown through their efforts in the last hundred years. Not only is Cummins committed to creating a better world through cleaner technology such as their emissions software, electrification projects, and natural gas engines, they are also committed to improving their company for Cummins employees. Just this year, Cummins was given a perfect score “as part of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI).” In addition, Cummins was also recognized this year by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), “which awarded Cummins its We Award for Outstanding Professional Development.” The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) also presented Cummins with its Chairman’s Award at their 45th Annual Convention this year. To add to the long list of honors Cummins has recently received, this past March Cummins was “named to Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for a 12th consecutive year as well as to the FTSE4Good’s index, which measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong environmental, social and governance practices.”

    Here’s a quick look back at some important highlights in Cummins’ storied history:

    • 1999: Cummins Powers Asia’s First Alternative Fuel Fleet
      • “To help improve the city’s air quality, a fleet of 300 B5.9 natural-gas-powered Beijing Public Transit buses take to the streets of Beijing, China.
    • 2001: Cummins Emission Solutions Established
      • “Cummins Emission Solutions brings the design, development and manufacturing of exhaust aftertreatment systems in-house, demonstrating that the company could be green and profitable at the same time.”
    • 2005: Diesel-Electric Hybrid Heavy Truck
      • “The Oshkosh HEMITT A3 becomes the first production-ready diesel-electric hybrid heavy truck. The ProPulse drive system features a Cummins 9-liter ISL 400-horsepower engine that runs at constant revolutions per minute (rpm), and an electrical generator that drives four-wheel motors. The 30-ton tactical truck has a 65 mile per hour speed with 20 percent improved fuel efficiency and delivers 200 kilowatt (kW) power for external use.”
    • 2006: Advancing into Electrification
      • “With the introduction of more than 1,000 diesel-electric hybrid buses in North America, 2006 is a breakthrough year for Cummins. The company’s move into early electrification would impact both fuel economy and environmental progress.”
    • 2014: Cummins Unveils First Comprehensive Sustainability Plan
      • “Cummins releases its most extensive environmental sustainability plan to date, establishing public goals seeking to reduce water and energy consumption, and greenhouse gas and waste production.”
    • 2017: AEOS: The World’s First Electric Heavy-Duty Truck
      • “Surging ahead of Tesla, Cummins unveils AEOS, a fully electrified heavy-duty truck. The Class 7 demonstration tractor is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer and leaving the impossible in the past.”
    • 2018: Doubling Down on Electrified Power
      • “Launched in February, Cummins adds Electrified Power to its lineup of business segments. The move solidifies the company's commitment to electrification and its long-term possibilities. With acquisitions of Brammo, Johnson Matthey Battery Systems and Efficient Drivetrains, Inc., Cummins continues to turn challenges into opportunities.”
    • 2019: Cummins Celebrates 100 Years


    We at LCF would like to wish Cummins a happy centennial anniversary, and we look forward to seeing how they “challenge the impossible” for the next century!


    Read More

    Earth Day Celebrations 2019

    With April showers comes Earth Day, a time to celebrate our environment and re-examine our effect on the world around us. Though Earth Day itself fell on April 22nd, environmental celebrations span the entirety of April and showcase a commitment to a cleaner and healthier planet.

    This April, LCF was once again a part of LSU’s Louisiana Earth Day festivities on Sunday, April 28th. The event, held at the Parker Colosseum, featured over 70 exhibitors offering various activities and exhibits relating to studying or taking care of the environment. LCF hosted an EV Alley right outside of Parker Colosseum for visitors to get a firsthand look at some popular electric vehicles and learn more about EVs. EV Alley 2019 featured Tesla models S, 3, and X along with a Honda Clarity, a Chevy Volt, and a new Jaguar iPace loaned to us by LCF member the Paretti Family of Dealerships! Visitors were able to check out the vehicles’ features and chat with the owners to learn more about what owning an EV or hybrid is like.

    The event was a success, with many coming out to visit the booths inside Parker Colosseum and take a stroll down EV Alley. Many curious visitors had questions about EVs and the realities of owning one that LCF staff and the vehicle owners were able to answer. Some had never seen what’s under the hood of an EV or hybrid and were curious about how they worked compared to a traditional gasoline-running vehicle. LCF’s Executive Director, Ann Vail, even did an interview with WBRZ about EV Alley and the Earth Day festivities.

    While LCF has been celebrating Earth Day at LSU, our member organizations have been mounting their own Earth Day celebrations and promotions this month.

    SWEPCO hosted an Earth Day event at Eagle Watch Nature Trail in Gentry, Arkansas, focused on wildlife. The event included presentations on raptors, moths, butterflies, and other pollinators by various wildlife experts along with activities for groups focused on gardens that help promote butterflies and other pollinators.

    Republic Services pledged this year to make #EarthDayEveryDay by offering helpful Earth Day tips and encouraging consumers to think about their recycling choices:

    Step 1: Know what to throw. Keep it simple and focus on the basics – 1) cardboard and paper, 2) metal and aluminum cans and 3) plastic bottles and jugs. With bottles and jugs, leave the caps on or throw them away – they’re too small to recycle by themselves.

    Step 2: Empty. Clean. Dry.™ Keep all recyclables free of food and liquid to avoid contaminating the recyclables around them. Don’t allow more than one teaspoon of liquid to remain in a recyclable container.

    Step 3: Keep it loose. Never bag or bundle recyclables – items should be placed in the container individually. Plastic bags do not belong in household recycling, however many stores collect them for commercial processing. (Republic Services)

    To celebrate its efforts to reduce emissions, Chargepoint promoted the importance of EVs in reducing emissions by releasing an infographic detailing how drivers using the Chargepoint network of chargers reduced emissions in 2018:

    Earth Day is a great time of year to reflect on how we affect the environment throughout the year and focus on what we can do to be more environmentally conscious. Whether it’s learning about local wildlife, changing your recycling habits, or driving an EV to reduce emissions, there are many ways we can all be kinder to our world and take better care of the place we live.


    Read More

    Fiscal Year 2019 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research Funding Opportunity Announcement

    DE-FOA-0002014 FY19 VTO FOA

    Earlier this month, the US Department of Energy announced a funding opportunity of up to $59 million for "new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research." The opportunity is being funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the funding prioritizes research in the following areas:

    • Advanced batteries and electric drive systems
    • Energy efficient mobility systems (EEMS)
    • Materials for more efficient powertrains
    • Co-optimized advanced engine and fuel technologies
    • Alternative fuels and new mobility options

     

    FOA Issue Date:

    4/3/2019

    Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:

    5/1/2019 5:00 PM ET

    Anticipated Date of Concept Paper Notifications:

    5/20/2019

    Submission Deadline for Full Applications:

    6/19/2019 5:00 PM ET

    Anticipated Date for EERE Selection Notifications:

    August 2019

    Anticipated Timeframe for Award Negotiations

    September 2019

     

    The teaming arrangements specified in the FOA for the Technology Integration areas of interest highly encourage or require partnering with Clean Cities coalitions. Please see the Clean Cities Coalition Network for contact information for your local coalition.

    AOI 6 may be of particular interest to Clean Cities coalitions and their stakeholders: 

    1. AOI 6a: Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) and Infrastructure for Resiliency and Emergency Preparedness
    2. AOI 6b: New Mobility Services in Rural America
    3. AOI 6c: Alternative Fuel (e.g. natural gas) Proof-of-Concept in New Communities and Fleets
    4. AOI 6d: EV Data Collection
    5. AOI 6e: Open Topic

    Download the full FOA document for details on all of the areas of interest in this funding opportunity. For Louisiana, see the coalition contact information for Louisiana Clean Fuels and the Southwest Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership (New Orleans coalition) below.

    For more information, including application requirements and deadlines, please visit the EERE Exchange website or Grants.gov

     

     

    Louisiana Clean Fuels

    Coordinator: Ann Vail
    ann@louisianacleanfuels.org
    225-342-7972
    Contact Us

    Parish Territory: All of Louisiana except for those parishes covered SLCFP

    Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership

    Coordinator: Courtney Young
    504-483-8519
    slcfp@norpc.org

    Parish Territory: Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and Tangipahoa

     

     


    Read More

    Louisiana Clean Fuels 2019 Annual Meeting was a success!

    Last Thursday, LCF held our Annual Stakeholder Meeting at the BRCC Automotive Technology Center in Baton Rouge. With an attendance of around 50 people, the meeting was a great opportunity for LCF to update stakeholders on our plans and projects and discuss current developments of EV transportation in Louisiana.

    As attendees arrived, they were greeted by the sight of 4 beautiful vehicles parked outside of BRCC. On display were Teslas Model 3 and Model S EVs, the Jaguar I-Pace EV, and a Honda Clarity PHEV for guests to observe and explore. Vehicle owners were nearby to show off each vehicle’s features and answer questions.

    The meeting began with LCF Executive Director Ann Vail offering a status report on the latest trends and sales numbers for EVs as well as details on how Louisiana is working to prepare for an electrified future. She also offered a summary of LCF’s 2019 Strategic Plan, including DOE initiatives, projects and programs for the year, and information on joining an LCF committee. Vivian Aucoin of the LA Department of Environmental Quality also spoke at the Annual Meeting about the Volkswagon Funding proposal period which is currently open. Vivian offered important tips and information on the funding and how to apply.

    Following these informational talks was a member recognition luncheon sponsored by Solar Alternatives and Ferrell Gas where LCF recognized and thanked our new and renewing members for 2019.

    After the luncheon, Solar Alternatives owner Jeff Cantin gave a short and informative talk about the varying levels of EV chargers and their charging power. He explained the differences between level 1, level 2, and level 3 chargers and touched on where each charger type is generally installed.

    Among the meeting attendees was Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership (SLCFP) Executive Director Courtney Young who, along with LCF Executive Director Ann Vail, ended the meeting with the exciting announcement that LCF and SLCFP will be teaming up to host a statewide EV Roadshow this summer and a combined 2019 Clean Fuels Summit in New Orleans this October.

    LCF would like to thank everyone who attended our Annual Stakeholder meeting! To be notified about our events and other projects, sign up for the LCF Newsletter. You can learn more about our 2019 Clean Fuels Summit this fall by checking our event page.

    For more photos of the event, check out our Photo Gallery!

    Thank you to our event sponsors, Solar Alternatives and Ferrell Gas!

       

     


    Read More

    LCF Member Spotlight: SporTran's Electric and CNG Bus Fleet

    Fleet Name: SporTran

    Vehicles: 5 Proterra Electric Buses and 36 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Buses

    Domicile Site: Shreveport, Louisiana

    Fleet Purpose: Fixed route paratransit service

    Alternative Fuel or Technology: Electric and CNG

    When Started: SporTran has been operating a transit service since the 1870s and began switching to alternative fuel vehicles in 2010, replacing their last diesel bus in 2017 with the purchase of 5 Proterra buses.

    Leadership: SporTran’s President and CEO, Dinero Washington, has been an incredible leader with SporTran but also as President of Louisiana’s Public Transportation Association.

    Vision: SporTran’s mission is to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation for Shreveport and Bossier, Louisiana. An integral part of this mission is their switch to alternative fuels in their fleet, which has resulted in less vehicle downtime, fuel and maintenance cost saves, and cleaner air for the citizens that SporTran serves. SporTran was the first fleet in Louisiana to operate a 100% alternative fuel fleet, and the first transportation fleet in the state to operate electric buses. The purchase of their 5 Proterra buses is projected to save the fleet $2.2 million in fuel and maintenance costs over their 12-year lifetime, and SporTran expects to purchase more Proterra buses as they replace older vehicles. In 2017 alone, SporTran’s dedication to alternative fuel vehicles has offset the production of over 500,000 gasoline-gallon equivalents of petroleum and over 1,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Left to right: Dinero Washington, President and CEO of SporTran; Ann Vail, Executive Director of Louisiana Clean Fuels; Dale Hill, Founder of Proterra

    Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards talking at the 2017 ribbon cutting for SporTran’s five new Proterra buses.


    Read More

    Transportation Analysis Fact of the Week #1045

    77%-82% of Energy Put into an Electric Car is Used to Move the Car Down the Road

    Unlike conventionally fueled vehicles, electric vehicles experience a loss of energy during “refueling,” with an energy loss of about 16% from the wall power to the battery during charging. However, electric vehicles are otherwise highly efficient delivering 60%-65% of the energy from the wall power to the road even before energy is reclaimed through regenerative braking. When energy gains from regenerative braking are included, the amount of energy used for traveling down the road can rise to more than 80% in the EPA-combined city and highway driving cycle.

    Energy Requirements for Combined City/Highway Driving - Electric Vehicles

    Source: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fuel Economy Guide website.

    View the supporting data for this Fact of the Week.

    Read More

    Louisiana DC Fast Charging Corridor Master Plan

    Updated 12/27/2018 - With the exception of Tesla owners, electric car owners in Louisiana currently do not have an adequate charging infrastructure along our interstate corridors. While the daily commute for a typical EV owner in their hometowns may be workable, taking their EV on road trips can often be a hassle. Louisiana Clean Fuels is currently looking for additional partners to help complete a master plan to create a well-designed charging infrastructure along our interstate corridors. The plan, explained below, will provide future site hosts with a business case to install EVSE at select sites across our state. We will also work with our stakeholders to secure funding to help offset the cost of installation. Support this project with a donation today!

    NEWCrowd sourcing website launched to collect input from EV owners and potential site hosts [ https://louisianacleanfuels.mysocialpinpoint.com]

    Background:

    On November 30, 2017, Louisiana submitted its proposal to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for alternative fuel corridors. The state submitted proposals for three fuels along specific sections of our interstate system. On March 8, 2018, the state received notification of the approved signage-ready and signage-pending corridors. The fuels that received approval for corridors signage in Louisiana are CNG, Propane and LNG. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) and Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF) will now begin work with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD) to have the necessary signage produced so that the corridor is clearly marked.

    The Opportunity:

    The only fuel that did not qualify for signage was charging for electric vehicles. Under the FHWA guidelines, DC Fast Chargers must be spaced a maximum of 50 miles apart, each within 5 miles of the interstate in order for the corridor to be eligible for signage. To jump start the development of an electric charging corridor along our interstate system, LCF proposes creating a DC Fast Charging Master Plan for the state of Louisiana.

    The Plan:

    LCF has assembled a team of data experts, OEMs, EVSE experts, electric utilities and MPOs to begin work on a two-part plan. The first part of the Master Plan is to create the business case for potential DC Fast Charging sites that is backed up with comprehensive data which will aid in identifying the best locations for DC Fast Chargers along our interstates. LCF will collect highway data, economic data of the potential sites, and vehicle data from multiple sources along with existing infrastructure. The data will be used to conduct analyses and modeling that will reveal optimal DC Fast Charging sites in Louisiana.

    The second part of the Master Plan process is to conduct regional outreach meetings in the different planning commission / MPO territories across the state. Both LCF and LDEQ will host these round table meetings with area businesses, utilities, and elected officials in order to facilitate local acceptance and demand for EVSE charging infrastructure along their critical corridors.

    EVSE Site Ranking Criteria

    LCF will prioritize locations around the state for possible DC Fast Charging EVSE installations utilizing the Sawatch EVSE siting analytics and site ranking criteria such as, but not limited to:

    • Access to shopping and dining
    • Access to a recreational facility
    • Safety (well-lit, low-crime)
    • Electrical Capacity (408 volt, 3-phase power)
    • Within 5-miles of an Interstate
    • Preferred by utility service provider
    • Preferred by local government
    • Co-located with other Public EVSE
    • Co-located with Tesla Charging
    • Co-located with a hotel
    • Publicly accessible parking garages

    How can you help?

    Sponsors are being sought to fund the Louisiana Statewide DC Fast Charging Corridor Master Plan. All funds will go directly to paying for Phase 1 of the plan: acquisition of data sets and fees paid to LCF’s contractors for the modeling and analysis of potential sites along our interstate corridor. The completed plan will provide a business case for potential DC Fast Charging host sites. All sponsors will get access to the final plan for three months before the Master Plan is published. Additionally, entities from all sponsorship levels will be invited to participate in the Master Plan committee meetings, regional outreach meetings, and will receive recognition in all press releases and events related to promotion of and/or completion of the study.

    Thank you to our sponsors!

    Kilowatt Sponsors

     

    Sponsorships for the Master Plan are available in 4 levels:

    Terawatt: $50,000 +

    • Top-level logo positioning on cover page of the study
    • Top-level membership with LCF for one year ($5,000 value)
    • Speaking opportunity and top-level sponsorship at the 2018 Fall Clean Fuel Leader Awards or the January 2019 Annual Stakeholder Meeting

    Gigawatt: $25,000 +

    • Secondary-level logo positioning on cover page of the study
    • Platinum-level membership with LCF for one year ($2,500 value)
    • Free lunch sponsorship of LCF event of your choice ($300 value)

    Megawatt: $10,000 +

    • Tertiary-level logo positioning on cover page of the study
    • Gold-level membership with LCF for one year ($1,000 value)

    Kilowatt: $5,000 +

    • Company name listed as a sponsor in the study
    • Silver-level membership in LCF for one year ($500 value)
    • Free exhibit space at an LCF event of your choice ($150 value)

    Two ways to donate:

    1. PayPal

    2. Check
    Please make checks payable to Louisiana Clean Fuels and mail to PO Box 1771, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Please indicate sponsorship level on the check.

    More information is available upon request. Email: ann@louisianacleanfuels.org


    Read More