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

    SporTran’s mission is to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation for Shreveport and Bossier, Louisiana.

    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.

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    DOE Teams Up to Advance Natural Gas Vehicle Research

    Proposals have been submitted for funding to advance natural gas vehicle research!

    Natural Gas Powered Heavy Duty TruckLiterally and figuratively, vehicles are driving the U.S. economy. Vehicles transport 11 billion tons of freight annually, which is about $35 billion worth of goods each day,[1] and Americans drive more than 3 trillion vehicle-miles per year.[2]  As the transportation sector continues to grow, diversified affordable solutions will ensure resiliency and affordability, while meeting increasing energy demands. Natural gas is poised to play a key role as a versatile, low-emission fuel and is an increasingly attractive alternative to conventional diesel fuel.

    To help advance natural gas vehicle technologies, the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), California Energy Commission, and South Coast Air Quality Management District have partnered to launch a research effort to drive past technical barriers to the increased use of natural gas for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles.

    As part of this effort, NREL issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to award up to $11 million for projects that focus on: (1) reducing the cost natural gas vehicles, (2) increasing vehicle efficiency, and (3) advancing new innovative medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engine designs. This RFP builds on the lessons-learned from the partners’ broad experiences in natural gas vehicle technologies.

    Projects selected through this solicitation will complement Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) research started in FY 2017 to improve the performance, reliability, durability, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency of natural gas vehicles. VTO’s work and the RFP announced today build are informed through stakeholder outreach and workshops to identify key research needs. Cost-effectively achieving diesel-like efficiency in natural gas engines, while meeting emissions standards, will improve the viability of natural gas fueled medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

    For more information about the RFP, please visit.  https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DOE/NREL/NR/RHQ-8-82305/listing.html

     

    [1] Bureau of Transportation Statistics, DOT, Transportation Statistics Annual Report 2017, Table 3-1.  https://www.bts.gov/bts-publications/transportation-statistics-annual-reports/tsar-2017 )

    [2] Transportation Energy Data Book 36th Edition, ORNL, 2017. Table 3.7 Shares of Highway Vehicle-Miles Traveled by Vehicle Type, 1970-2015.

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