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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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    Alternative Fuel Tax Incentives Update

    Key alternative fuel incentives retroactively extended in Final FY 2020 Spending Bill

    NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

    Alternative fuel excise credits extended

    The excise tax credit covers fuels including compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (both naturally occurring CNG and LNG, and that derived from biomass), propane autogas, and liquefied hydrogen when used as a motor fuel. A tax credit in the amount of $0.50 per gallon* is available for the following alternative fuels:

    • natural gas (CNG& LNG)
    • liquefied hydrogen,
    • propane,
    • and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass

    *For propane and natural gas sold after December 31, 2015, the tax credit is based on the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.75 pounds (lbs.) of propane and 5.66 lbs. of compressed natural gas. One DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of liquefied natural gas. Example: the propane tax credit ends up being about 37 cents a GGE.

    For an entity to be eligible to claim the credit they must be liable for reporting and paying the federal excise tax on the sale or use of the fuel in a motor vehicle. Tax exempt entities such as state and local governments that dispense qualified fuel from an on-site fueling station for use in vehicles qualify for the incentive. Eligible entities must be registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the entity's alternative fuel tax liability; any excess over this fuel tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

    For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

    Point of Contact
    Excise Tax Branch
    U.S. Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel
    Phone: (202) 317-6855
    http://www.irs.gov/

    Sourcehttps://afdc.energy.gov/laws/319


    infrastructure tax credits also extended

    Fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed through December 31, 2020, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Consumers who purchased qualified residential fueling equipment (such as EV Charging equipement) prior to December 31, 2020, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000. (Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/10513 )

    IRS Forms and Links

    How do you file for credits? The Alternative Fuels Data Center says the Treasury Department will provide more details on the process on March 11. Claims may be submitted after Treasury issues guidance. Claims will be paid within 60 days after receipt.

     

    Other retroactively extended tax credis in HR 1865:

    • the $1.00-per-gallon tax credit for biodiesel and biodiesel mixtures, and the small agri-biodiesel producer credit of 10 cents per gallon, retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and prospectively through 2022 (for more information: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/395 ) ;
    • the alternative fuel excise credit retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and through 2020;
    • the alternative fuel infrastructure credit retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and through 2020; and
    • the credit for qualified fuel cell vehicles retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and through 2020 (for more information: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/350 ).

    The bill also:

    • includes $40 million for the DOE Clean Cities program – a nearly $3 million increase over last year;
    • includes $87 million for the EPA Diesel Emission Reduction grants; and
    • requires the Federal Highway Administration to approve all clean vehicle projects submitted prior to April 17, 2018, using the previous criteria (final assembly in the United States) and it directs the agency to review and respond to Buy America waiver requests within 60 days of submission.

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