Blog Archives

David Schaller with North American Council for Freight Efficiency to speak at LCF Fall Stakeholder Meeting | Oct 25th

"I don't like to save money" said no one, ever.

The trucking industry runs on efficiency, whether it is the efficiency to extend the range of an alternative fueled vehicle or one of the many ways that diesel powered trucks can raise their MPG’s (aerodynamics, powertrains, idle reduction, tires, inflation systems…).  The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is focused on helping fleets and dealers create more efficient operations.  Dave Schaller will be speaking at our Fall Stakeholder Meeting regarding the reports, tools and benchmarking that NACFE makes available to the transportation industry.  In 2017 for example, NACFE conducted a “Run On Less” demonstration with 7 fleets that utilized only production options on tractors and trailers that averaged 10.1 MPG over the course of 17 days.  Recent NACFE reports cover areas such as electric vehicles, platooning and solar panels.  

Attend the Louisiana Clean Fuels Fall Stakeholder Meeting on October 25th in Baton Rouge and find out how NACFE can help you rapidly benchmark your fleet to cut your fuel expenses.

This event is free and open to the public. LMTA and LCF Members encouraged to attend. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged but not required.

 

Learn more about NACFE

www.NACFE.org

Helping fleets Run On Less

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EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Rebate Program is open for application!

2018 EPA School Bus Rebate Program

Over $9 million available

Application Submission Deadline Approaching

November 6, 2018

EPA to offer rebates in addition to grants to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. The rebate program has funded vehicle replacements or retrofits for over one thousand vehicles to date. Typically, the rebate application period opens in the fall and projects are completed in less than one year.

2018 DERA School Bus Rebate Program

School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

The 2018 School Bus Rebate Program will offer over $9 million to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new buses certified to EPA’s cleanest emission standards. EPA will award selected applicants $15,000-20,000 per bus for scrapping and replacing old buses. 

Important Dates

Activity Date
2018 DERA School Bus Rebate Program opens. EPA begins accepting applications with scans of titles and registrations submitted to CleanDieselRebate@epa.gov. Monday, October 1, 2018
Webinar for applicants:
LINK TO WEBINAR
Call-in Number: 1-202-991-0477
Access Code: 210 7951#
Thursday, October 11, 2018
2:00-3:00 p.m. ET 
Deadline for submitting application questions to CleanDiesel@epa.gov helpline Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Deadline for emailing applications with scans of bus titles and registrations to CleanDieselRebate@epa.gov
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

4 p.m. ET

Official selection letters emailed to selectees  and wait-list posted online January 2019 (estimated)
Deadline for submitting copies of purchase orders for replacement buses April 2019 (estimated)
Deadline for submitting documentation of delivery of replacement buses and scrappage of old buses. EPA will send rebate payment within one month of receipt of complete materials.  September 2019

Rebate Application Form and Supporting Documents

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document will be updated weekly during the application period. Questions and answers submitted through October 30, including those from the webinar, will be added to this document.

Eligible Entities

  • Regional, state, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction over transportation and air quality, including school districts and municipalities
  • Private entities that operate school buses under a contract with an entity listed above
  • Fleets with up to 100 school buses may submit one application listing up to 10 buses for scrappage and replacement
  • Fleets with more than 100 school buses may submit up to two rebate applications, each listing up to 10 different buses for scrappage and replacement

Selection Process

  • Applicants will be selected in a lottery, with at least one selectee from each state/territory represented in the applicant pool.

Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced

  • Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to school or homes
  • Driven 10k or more miles over the last 12 months or in use 3+ days/week during the school year
  • Owned by applicant without any active liens
  • Class 3-8 diesel-powered buses [greater than 10,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)]
  • Buses powered by 2006 or older model year engines must be replaced with buses powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine
  • Engine and chassis must be scrapped before receiving rebate payment

Eligible Replacement Buses

  • Powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine. Eligible replacement buses may operate on diesel, gasoline, battery, or alternative fuels.
  • Operate in a similar manner and over similar routes as the bus being replaced
  • Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own 
  • Rebate reimbursement is $15,000 for replacement buses between 10,001-19,500 lbs. GVWR and $20,000 for replacement buses with GVWR of 19,501 lbs. or higher

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DOE Teams Up 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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FOTW #1046: The Average Household Vehicle Was Driven 10,200 Miles in 2017

The average of all household vehicles driven in 2017 was 10,200 miles. Newer vehicles are typically driven more miles than older vehicles. Vehicles with ages of one to five years all average over 12,000 miles per year. The vehicles that are over nine years old average 7,800 miles per year.

Average annual miles per vehicle by vehicle age in 2017

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, National Household Travel Survey website, accessed June 6, 2018.

Fact #1046 Dataset

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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.

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EERE Fact of the Week #1044

Transportation Analysis Fact of the Week #1044

August 27, 2018

12-30% of Energy Put into a Conventional Car is Used to Move the Car Down the Road

Not all of the fuel that is put into a car's fuel tank is used to move the car down the road. In fact, only 12-30% of the energy put into a conventional car is use d for that purpose. The rest of the energy is lost to engine inefficiencies or used to power accessories. The amount of energy loss varies depending on the type of driving – city, highway, or combined city and highway. The engine losses, such as exhaust heat and pumping, are higher for city driving than for highway driving. There are no idle losses in highway driving, but losses due to wind resistance and rolling resistance are higher for highway driving than city driving. All in all, there is great potential to improve vehicle fuel efficiencies with advanced technologies, such as hybridization, that address these losses.

Energy Requirements for Combined City/Highway Driving

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

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Louisiana DC Fast Charging Corridor Master Plan

Purpope: 

To create a statewide master plan for a DC Fast Charging network along our interstate corridors that also meets the standards for the FHWA Alternative Fuel Corridors signage.

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

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EERE #1041: Households Take Fewer Vehicle Trips in 2017

Transportation Analysis Fact of the Week #1041

August 6, 2018

Households Take Fewer Vehicle Trips in 2017

The average number of vehicle trips made by a household in a year’s time was 1,865 in 2017, which translates to an average of 5 household trips per day (one-way).  That is 10% lower than the previous survey year, 2009, and 20% lower than the 1995 survey.  In 2017 there were fewer trips per household for work, shopping, other family/personal errands, and social & recreational purposes.  The rise in internet shopping, telecommuting, and social networking via the internet may be a factor in the decline, as total trips per household has been declining since 1995.

Number of Vehicle Trips per Household by Trip Purpose, 1969-2017

Note: A vehicle trip is defined as one start and end movement from location to location in a single privately-operated vehicle regardless of the number of persons in the vehicle.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, National Household Travel Surveywebsite, accessed June 6, 2018.

View the supporting data for this Fact of the Week

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Alternative Fueling Station Locator Overhaul Boasts Improved User Interface

A screenshot showing the updated Station Locator tool interface, featuring a map of the U.S. with multiple colored circles representing various types of alternative fueling station locations.

It’s official—The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Station Locator has undergone a major makeover. Constant improvement is at the site’s core, which is why the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Office is always striving to make the AFDC’s tools easier to use and the data more accessible. The updated Station Locator offers new features and an improved user interface built on the same reliable, comprehensive, and fuel-neutral data that our partners have come to trust.

Some of the notable new features include a sleek look and feel, simplifying the user experience, as well as a bigger map populated with consistent circle icons for each station location and updated colors representing each fuel type. Users will also notice a larger and more detailed view of specific station information.

On the Station Locator home page, there are now two tabs at the top of the map: Find Public Stations and Analyze and Download Data.

The Find Public Stations tab allows users to search for public stations at a specific location, with the option to search for all fuels or just one. The total number of stations that fit the search criteria can be found in the upper right.

The search defaults to public stations and the following fuel-specific criteria:

  • Level 2 and DC fast charging electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)
  • Propane stations with vehicle-specific fueling services (i.e., “primary” stations)
  • Hydrogen stations with full public access (i.e., “retail” stations)

The Map a Route feature, also available on the Find Public Station tab, shows specified fuel types available along a route between two locations. It also displays search results on the right, sorted by distance from the search location.

The Analyze and Download Data tab allows users to refine their search using filters, broken out into three categories: Location, Fuel, and Station.

To search by Location, users can enter a state or a specific address and limit results within a certain mile radius. To search by Fuel, users can filter by a single fuel or multiple fuel types, and conduct fuel-specific searches, including the following:

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG): fill type, vehicle accessibility, and fill pressure
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): vehicle accessibility
  • EVSE: charging levels, connector types, and networks
  • Ethanol (E85): stations that also offer mid-level ethanol blends
  • Propane: stations with limited vehicle-specific fueling capabilities (i.e., “secondary” stations)
  • Hydrogen: stations with limited public access (i.e., “nonretail” stations)

The Station options allow users to filter for public and/or private stations, planned stations, and by owner type and payment methods. All results display on the right, including counts, filters, and options to download the results or see the results on a map.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) collects and confirms alternative fueling station data through a number of industry sources. To submit a new station for inclusion in the Station Locator, visit the online webform. For multiple station additions or updates, email technicalresponse@icf.com.

The new Station Locator still includes an embed functionality so users can include the tool within their own websites. If you already have the Station Locator embedded on your website, replacing the code with the new version of the embed code is recommended.

Continue to monitor the U.S. Station Locator for new features, including an alternative fuel corridor planning tool.

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Funding & Training Opportunities

This blog post summarizes a wide variety of current funding and training opportunities that may relate to your local efforts to improve air quality. Please take a look and take advantage of the opportunities that can help you with your work!

Environmental Protection Agency

Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants

EPA anticipates offering the next RFP solicitation in March 2018. Information will be provided here: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants

Volkswagen Mitigation Trust

The U.S. government and VW resolved allegations that VW violated the Clean Air Act by selling approximately 590,000 vehicles equipped with defeat devices.  As part of this settlement, VW is required to provide approximately $2.7 billion for the 2.0 liter violating vehicles and $225 million for the 3.0 liter violating vehicles into an Environmental Mitigation Trust to fully remediate the amount of excess NOx from the illegal vehicles.

  •        Eligible Mitigation Actions focus on reducing NOx from older, dirtier diesel engines, vehicles, equipment, and vessels. Appendix D-2 to the consent decree details the Eligible Mitigation Actions which include projects to repower or replace:
    • Class 8 local freight and port drayage trucks
    • Class 4-8 school bus, shuttle bus, or transit bus
    • Freight switchers
    • Ferries/tugs
    • Class 4-7 local freight trucks
    • Airport ground support equipment
    • Forklifts and port cargo handling equipment, or
    • Install light duty ZEV supply equipment, or
    • Install shore-side system for ocean going vessel shore power

See https://www.epa.gov/vw or https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/volkswagen-clean-air-act-civil-settlement#violations for more information about the violations and settlement.

Information on the Louisiana VW Settlement here. 

Environmental Education Local Grants Program

This grants program supports locally-focused projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques that will serve to increase environmental and conservation literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment. In addition to other environmental topics (including air quality), the 2018 program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with agricultural best practices, conservation of natural resources, food waste management, and natural disaster preparedness (such as green infrastructure).

Funding Amount: Up to $3 Milllion
Application Deadline:March 15, 2018

More information for Louisiana opportunities can be found here

Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Louisiana Conservation Innovation Grants

This program will stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production; certain projects that may be funded by the program have the potential to improve air quality/reduce emissions. The program generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research. Applications are accepted from state or local governments, tribes, governmental organizations and individuals. 

Funding Amount: $150,000 (Up to $75,000 in Individual Awards)
Application Deadline: April 8, 2018

More information here

Patagonia

Environmental Grants

This grant opportunity is available to small activist organizations working to protect the environment. Projects must be action-oriented, build public involvement and support, be strategic, focus on root causes, accomplish specific goals and objectives. One proposal per group will be accepted each fiscal year (May 1-April 30).

Funding Amount: $5,000 to $20,000
Application Deadline: April 30, 2018

More information here

Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership

Clean Fuel Transition Fund for Public Fleets (includes idling reduction)

Funding is available for 80% of the cost to convert an existing vehicle to an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) including natural gas, propane, electric, or hybrid electric; 80% of the incremental cost difference when purchasing a new AFV; and 80% of the cost of idle reduction technologies to add to existing or new AFVs.  Public fleets in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and St. Charles Parishes are eligible.

Funding Amount: $909,200
Application Deadline: Ongoing

More information here. 

Louisiana Liquefied Petroleum Gas Commision

Commercial Propane Mower & Automobile Incentives

Propane mower incentives are available to private or public commercial mowing fleets in Louisiana. New dedicated liquified petroleum gas (LPG) mowers and conversions of existing mowers are eligible for $1,500 per vehicle (new), up to $800 per conversion, and up to 4 awards and $5,000 per year per entity.

Funding Amount: $800 to $5,000
Application Deadline: Ongoing

More information here. 

 

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