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Energy Department Announces Opening of Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Lab

Original article from the Department of Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In celebration of National Battery Day on February 18th, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Daniel Simmons announced the opening of a Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Laboratory. Aiming to reclaim and recycle critical materials (e.g., cobalt and lithium) from lithium-based battery technology, this recycling center focuses on cost-effective recycling processes to recover as much economic value as possible from spent lithium-ion batteries.

“Partnering with the private sector, National Laboratories, and universities, the Battery Recycling Prize and R&D Center will develop innovative technologies that recover and use recycled materials,” said Simmons. “These efforts will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, strengthening America’s economic growth and energy security.”

Also announced today is the opening of the Energy Department’s Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. Previously announced by Secretary Perry, the prize encourages American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling. It will award cash prizes totaling $5.5 million to contestants in three progressive phases designed to accelerate the development of solutions from concept to prototype. For additional information about the prize, visit AmericanMadeChallenges.org/BatteryRecycling.

The goal of the Recycling Center and Battery Recycling Prize is to develop technologies to profitably capture 90% of all lithium-based battery technologies in the United States and recover 90% of the key materials from the collected batteries. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5%.

Commercially released in 1991, lithium-ion batteries were initially used in individual portable devices. Lithium-ion batteries can now be found in laptops, mobile phones, electric vehicles, energy storage devices, and a variety of defense applications. This work supports the Department’s goal of providing consumers with a range of transportation and energy storage options that are affordable, reliable, and secure.

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Enroll in our Green Fleets Program by participating in our Annual Report!

Annual Reporting is well underway as we collect information from our alternative fuels stakeholders to compile data on how Louisiana fleets used alternative fuels and fuel-saving measures to reduce their emissions in 2018. Dozens of progressive Louisiana fleets participate in our Annual Report each year. In order to reduce the reporting burden on our stakeholders, we have added the option to sign up for Green fleets from the Annual Report data collection survey.

What is Green Fleet Certification?

Through Green Fleets, Louisiana Clean Fuels conducts emissions analysis and quantification of on-road vehicles for fleets throughout the state of Louisiana. Becoming a certified LCF Green Fleet includes such benefits as educational opportunities, branding and promotional tools for fleet achievement, informational resources on technology options and incentives, funding assistance with grant opportunities, and more. Fleets may also promote their Certified Green Fleets status, showing their commitment to reducing emissions.

How to Enroll

Enrolling in our Green Fleets program is simple, free, and obligation-free; fleets who enroll are not obligated to make any changes in how they run their fleets. Once enrolled, LCF will provide your fleet with a report that you can use as a benchmark for future fuel consumption and emission reduction programs. We will work with you to track your progress over time and provide guidance to help your fleet achieve emissions-reduction goals.

With just a few extra steps, fleets who participate in our Annual Report can enroll in Green Fleets. The Annual Report survey asks users to indicate whether or not they’d like the data they’ve provided in the survey to be used to enroll them in the Green Fleets program. Most of the information needed for Green Fleets enrollment is already being provided for the Annual Report, so we can use that information to start the enrollment for the Green Fleets program if a fleet is interested. Then we will contact that fleet for further informational requirements at a later date.

Please note that the Annual Report is entirely separate from Green Fleets enrollment. For those uninterested in the Green Fleets program, it’s still important to fill out the Annual Report survey so LCF and the Department of Energy can have an accurate picture of alternative fuel and vehicle usage in Louisiana.

Interested in learning more about LCF’s Green Fleets program? Visit our Green Fleets page for more information on eligibility, data requirements, and analysis and scoring methodology.

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Entergy’s eTech Program: Plug Into the Benefits

Did you know that Entergy has an incentive program that is designed to encourage its customers to electrify equipment that they own and operate? Entergy’s eTech program “promotes the adoption of electric-powered alternatives to many applications that traditionally require fossil fuels.” Part of this promotion involves offering some amazing financial incentives for those looking to take the next step in electrification.

For those unfamiliar, this short video explains some of the benefits of the eTech program:

Entergy customers who purchase select electric equipment may qualify for cash incentives when they purchase the following equipment:

Incentives for Plugin and Electric Vehicle Owners

Entergy is offering $250 per outlet for those who have a Level 2 EV Charger installed at their home or place of business for the purpose of charging electric or plugin vehicles. This is easy money to earn, especially for EV or hybrid owners who would benefit from having easy access to a Level 2 Charger at their homes or businesses that may already be considering having chargers installed for their employees or customers.

Incentives for Fleets

There are plenty of other projects that can qualify as well, including truck stop and fleet electrification. These electrified parking spaces allow truckers to stay comfortable in their vehicles with the engine turned off during mandatory rest periods, which reduces emissions and the loss of fuel (and therefore money) while the truckers take their rest. By installing electrified parking spaces, truck stops can help fleets save money, reduce harmful emissions, and earn incentives at the same time. Other options include: Truck refrigeration units, transit vehicles, and cranes.

Don’t See an Incentive Listed for Your Project?

Entergy may also be able to provide consultation and assistance with the purchase of Material Handling Equipment, Marine and Port Equipment, Locomotives, Mining Equipment, Auxiliary Power Units, battery-powered sprayers, ride-on sweepers and scrubbers, induction heating, and battery-electric switches, powder coating and industrial heat pumps.Though a project or technology may not be listed directly on the eTech website, many more electrification projects may apply and qualify for incentives as determined on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more, visit Entergy’s eTech website. If you’d like to contact Entergy to find out if you qualify for their program, call 1-833-44ETECH or send an email to etech@entergy.com.

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FOTW #1064: Median All-Electric Vehicle Range Grew from 73 Miles in Model Year 2011 to 125 Miles in Model Year 2018

In model year 2011, there were just three different models of all-electric vehicles (AEV) available and their ranges on a full charge (according to the Environmental Protection Agency) spanned from 63 to 94 miles. By model year 2018, the number of AEV models increased to 14 and the available ranges expanded as well, from a minimum of 58 miles for the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Coupe to a maximum of 335 miles for the Tesla Model S 100D. From 2011 to 2018, the median of the AEV ranges increased by 52 miles – from 73 to 125 miles.

Note: Median is based on the models listed in the supporting data spreadsheet; some of these AEV models are available with different battery capacities/body styles, which have shorter ranges.

Source: U. S. Department of Energy, FuelEconomy.Gov data, accessed December 4, 2018.

View the supporting data for this Fact of the Week!

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Annual Reporting for Alternative Fuels Begins

LCF seeks information from alternative fuels stakeholders for Clean Cities’ Annual Metrics Report.

Louisiana Clean Fuels is once again collecting information from alternative fuels stakeholders for our Annual Report. We are reaching out to fleets who use alternative fuels, operate an alternative fuels station, or who have worked toward the implementation of fuel-saving measures throughout the year. This Report will help us compile data on how our stakeholders used alternative fuels and reduced emissions in 2018.

This year, we have shortened and simplified the survey for stakeholders to fill out regarding their usage and implementation of alternative fuels in 2018. This survey asks companies for information about the amount and type of alternative fuels they have used, how many and what type of alternative fuel vehicles they own, and any alternative fuels or emissions-reducing projects they were involved with throughout 2018.

The data we collect is used as a benchmark to gain an accurate picture of alternative fuel and vehicle usage in Louisiana, which will help both LCF and the Department of Energy understand the alternative fuels market. This Annual Report helps to show our progress and the progress of stakeholders in Louisiana in shifting to domestic energy sources, eliminating harmful emissions, and improving fuel efficiency. All information provided in the survey will be anonymous and aggregated to show the overall usage of alternative fuels from all participants. Collected data for the Annual Report will also be used in considering recipients for the 2019 Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards.

To begin the survey, you can find the Annual Report survey here. If you have questions about the Annual Report or the survey, please contact Tyler Herrmann at tyler@louisianacleanfuels.org. All survey responses are due by February 28th, 2019.

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Clean Cities Coalitions Celebrates 25 Years

The national network of Clean Cities coalitions is celebrating 25 years of success in shaping the transportation system of the future. Nearly 100 coalitions nationwide forge local partnerships among public and private sector stakeholders to bolster our nation’s energy and economic security by championing affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy designated the first Clean Cities coalition in 1993, and Louisiana Clean Fuels has been a key contributor in Louisiana since its designation in 2000.

Through a combination of projects focused on increasing vehicle efficiency, shifting to domestic energy sources, and offering consumers additional transportation choices, Clean Cities coalitions have achieved a cumulativeimpact in energy use equal to nearly 8 million gasoline gallon equivalents and avoided more than 42 million tons of emissions. Louisiana Clean Fuels and its stakeholders have led the charge in Louisiana, resulting in an energy impact of 8 million gasoline gallon equivalents in 2017 alone.

In the past year, LCF has expanded our services to include electric vehicle suitability analysis and a Green Fleet Certification program. We have also embarked on a DC Fast Charging Master Plan for our interstate corridors. Additionally, as a result of recognition of our programs, such as supporting the state's Volkswagen Mitigation plan and our work to support the St. Landry Parish Solid Waste's RNG facility, LCF Coordinator Ann Vail was inducted into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame.

"Louisiana Clean Fuels have been a critical partner to PERC as they’re partnerships have allowed us to reach audiences that we would not be able to," Stuart Flatow, VP, Safety and Training for the Propane Education and Research Council said. "This includes training propane professionals and first responders on how to safely respond to propane incidents, as well as to provide autogas technician training to service technicians which helps to grow the propane autogas market.”

Check out the following infographic to see how Clean Cities coalitions all over the US have helped to ensure our nation’s energy and economic security.

[Click image to open enlarged version]

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Louisiana Clean Fuels Launches DC Fast Charger Crowdsourcing Website

Organization seeks input from potential site hosts and electric vehicle owners in the creation of a DC Fast Charger network along interstate corridors.

As the popularity of electric vehicles rises, so too does the need for fast, convenient charging locations along well-traveled interstates throughout the state. Louisiana Clean Fuels (LCF), along with a team of experts and collaborators, is working to create a Master Plan for a DC Fast Charger corridor that will meet Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines and create a wide range of benefits for local drivers and business owners.

With this end in mind, LCF recently launched a crowdsourcing website to gather input from electric vehicle owners and potential site hosts. This project allows these stakeholders the opportunity to be a part of the decision-making process on where to place DC Fast Chargers along Louisiana’s interstate corridors.

Currently, driving long-distance with an electric vehicle in Louisiana can be a challenge, and drivers can often be left searching for level 2 chargers that take a long time to use. The creation of this DC Fast Charging network will give electric vehicle owners of all makes more freedom to take their EVs on longer trips.

The DC Fast Charger crowdsourcing website offers electric vehicle owners most impacted by the project the chance to have their recharging needs considered in the planning of the charging network. Ideally, this will enable the project to move forward in such a way that will benefit the maximum number of electric vehicle owners. As LCF and its assembled data experts work to create the Master Plan, we wish to consider the most convenient and vital locations for hosting a DC Fast Charger, locations that will be most beneficial to the drivers that will use them.

LCF is asking electric vehicle owners to think about their commute along the interstate where they normally stop for rest breaks and drop a “pin” where they know their car could benefit from a charging station. If someone has already nominated a site that they agree with, then participants can "like" that item and leave a comment about that location.

Local business owners and government entities also have the opportunity to have their voices heard by nominating their location to be a potential site host for these proposed charging stations. Hosting a charging station can offer a wide range of benefits; not only would hosting a charging station support the environmentally-friendly use of alternative fuels, help to meet corporate emissions standards and goals, and increase property value, hosting will also serve to attract new customers who drive electric vehicles. These customers, drawn in by the charging stations, will visit more frequently and stay on property longer as their vehicles charge.

The data collected in the crowd sourcing website will be combined with highway data, economic data of potential sites, and vehicle data from multiple sources along with existing infrastructure that will reveal optimal charging sites along the corridor. When the plan is complete, we will work with our stakeholders to find funding to get chargers installed at the best sites.

With the input of local stakeholders in mind, LCF is working to create a DC Fast Charger network that will benefit Louisiana residents and businesses and advance the viability of electricity as an alternative fuel.

Visist the site at https://louisianacleanfuels.mysocialpinpoint.com/cleanfuels#/

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Clean Diesel National Grant | Open

2019 Request For Applications Open

EPA anticipates awarding approximately  $40 million in competitive grant funding for the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. The Program is soliciting applications nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas.

Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 11:59  p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.

 

Activity

Date
Request for Applications (RFA) OPENS

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Information Session Webinar

Call-in Number: 1-202-991-0477
Access Code: 414-9804#

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 3 p.m. ET
Information Session Webinar

Call-in Number: 1-202-991-0477
Access Code: 414-9804#

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 2 p.m. ET
(13 pp, 357 K, December 19, 2018, About PDF):
Deadline for Submittal of Questions

February 22, 2019 at 4 p.m. ET
Deadline for Applications

Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 11:59  p.m. (ET)

Notification of Selected Applicants

April 2019

Funding of Awards May-October, 2019

 

Eligible Applicants

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

  • Regional, state, local or tribal agencies/consortia or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality
  • Nonprofit organizations 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.

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

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).

Need assistance with your applications? We can help! Email Ann at ann@louisianacleanfuels.org 

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Clean Cities Seeks Video Testimonials for 25th Anniversary Celebration

The National Clean Cities program turned 25 this year, and the celebration will continue throughout 2019. Louisiana Clean Fuels is part of the nearly 100 local Clean Cities organizations across the
US. Clean Cities coalitions foster the economic, environmental, and energy security of the United States by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies.

As part of the festivities, the Department of Energy is collecting 30-second video testimonials from stakeholders across the country. We would love to collect testimonials from you, our stakeholders, to submit and to show locally.  

Videos should be around 30 seconds long and focus on a particularly successful project or accomplishment. If you’re interested in putting together a video, brush up on your skills with the following tips:

  • If you’re using a cell phone to shoot the video, remember to always hold it sideways
  • Use a tripod. Whether you’re using a professional camera or a phone, a tripod ensures a steady video. If you can’t get a tripod, stabilize the camera on a flat surface.
  • Use a microphone. If you can access one, even a simple microphone that runs off your phone can make a big difference in sound quality.
  • Consider the location. You want somewhere well lit, without too much background noise. Alternative fuel vehicles and fueling stations would make great backdrops.
  • Record for a few seconds before and after anything you say to ensure a clean shot.
  • Videos should be about Clean Cities as a whole - not Louisiana Clean Fuels in specific.
  • Please plan to have your video testimonial to us, by January 25.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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The U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks Launch EcoCAR Mobility Challenge

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2018 –The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors and MathWorks today announced the launch of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, the latest DOE-sponsored Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) revealing the 12 competing universities and the Chevrolet Blazer as the vehicle platform selected for the competition. 

The headline sponsors are the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, and MathWorks, and the challenge is managed by Argonne National Laboratory, making EcoCAR the ultimate training ground for future leaders in the automotive industry.  

“The future of transportation and mobility is evolving and bringing forth new technologies, challenges, and opportunities” said Acting Assistant Secretary, Cathy Tripodi. “The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge allows students to develop innovative technologies to keep America at the forefront of this changing landscape and provide consumers convenient, cost-effective options for personal mobility.”

EcoCAR is a collegiate automotive competition aimed at developing a highly skilled, domestic workforce by providing hands-on experience designing and building next-generation mobility solutions to meet our nation’s future energy and mobility challenges. Participating teams will apply advanced propulsion systems, electrification, SAE Level 2 automation, and vehicle connectivity to improve the energy efficiency of a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer - all while balancing factors such as emissions, safety, utility, and consumer acceptability.  SAE Level 2 automation refers to a vehicle that combines automated functions, like acceleration and steering, but the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times.

EcoCAR teams will use onboard sensors and wireless communication from the vehicles surrounding environment to improve overall operation efficiency in the connected urban environment of the future. 

General Motors will provide each team with a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, which they have four years to design, integrate and refine into a new, advanced technology, energy-efficient mobility solution for the carsharing market. Teams will follow a real-world vehicle development process to meet rigorous technical constraints throughout the four-year competition, which will conclude in the summer of 2022.

“We continue to support EcoCAR because students gain tremendous technical insights, leadership skills and hands-on experience while competing in AVTCs,” said Dan Nicholson, GM vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “The challenges and solutions these students will develop working with their Chevrolet Blazers align with GM’s path to zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

A foundational principle of EcoCAR is the use of Model-Based Design, a mathematical and visual design approach using MATLAB and Simulink that enables users to quickly and cost-effectively manage projects, collaborate on designs, and develop complex embedded systems.

“EcoCAR serves as an experimental laboratory, where students get to play and learn with real world tools and technologies that will help them secure jobs and build careers,” said Lauren Tabolinsky, academic program manager, MathWorks. “We are excited to once again partner with the DOE and GM in supporting this next generation of engineers as they adopt multi-disciplinary design and development approaches to experiment, fine-tune and succeed in this challenge.”

To be successful, universities will need to recruit a diverse team of students and faculty, spanning many engineering disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, computer and software engineering, as well as communications, marketing and project management. This multi-disciplinary emphasis imitates a real-world automotive industry environment and provides graduates the technical and leadership skills needed to enter the field fully prepared for careers that will help shape the energy and mobility industry for years to come.

The participating universities include:

  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
  • McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
  • Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS)
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)
  • University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
  • University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

“EcoCAR puts students in the driver’s seat of their education by providing hands-on, technical training mirroring the real-world product development process of a General Motors vehicle,” said Kristen Wahl, director of the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) program at Argonne National Laboratory. “In the face of increasing global competition, EcoCAR showcases North America’s best and brightest students in STEM and exemplifies American competitiveness in automotive engineering.”

EcoCAR builds on a proud 30-year history of DOE AVTCs that exemplify the power of public-private partnerships in providing invaluable hands-on skills to promising, young minds ready to enter the workforce. AVTCs influence and shape engineering curriculum at the university level to cultivate future transportation leaders and enhance the North American engineering workforce.

Other participating sponsors include: NXP Semiconductors, Inc.; National Science Foundation; Intel Corporation; American Axle Manufacturing; Robert Bosch, LLC; PACCAR, Inc.; dSPACE, Inc.; Siemens PLM Software; Denso International America; Horiba; Delphi Technologies; California Air Resources Board; Proterra, Inc; tesa Tape; Vector North America, Inc.; The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.

For more information about the student engineering program, the participating schools or the competition sponsors, please visit avtcseries.org.

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