Blog Archives

    Energy Department Request for Information in Support of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Research and Development

    Originally posted by the US Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is announcing a request for information (RFI) from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to medium- and heavy-duty freight trucking. Affordable freight movement is essential for the nation’s economy. Trucks carry over 70% of the nation’s freight on a tonnage basis and 73% of freight on a value basis.[1] There are new opportunities in all commercial vehicle classes to increase efficiency and to introduce alternative fuel sources such as electricity, natural gas, biofuels, and hydrogen.

    The RFI is being issued by EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO). Through this RFI, DOE is soliciting input in five categories:  

    1. Freight Operational Efficiency and Systems
    2. Internal Combustion Engine, Powertrain, Fuels and Emssions Control
    3. Batteries, Electrification, and Charging of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks
    4. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Trucks
    5. Other Important Considerations

    DOE is planning a public workshop in the December 2020 timeframe to share the key findings of the request for information with outside stakeholders. The request for information and workshop discussions will help identify gaps and barriers to commercializing new technologies, and help inform DOE’s R&D and competitive funding strategy into the next ten years.

    This is solely a request for information and not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). EERE is not accepting applications. Responses to this RFI must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. (EDT) on November 9, 2020. Learn more about RFI response guidelines.

    [1]U.S. Department of Transportation, 2015. 2012 Commodity Flow Survey, table 1b, https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/econ/ec12tcf-us.pdf.


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    Masks On, EVs Out: Louisiana Clean Fuels Hosts Safe and Fun Celebration for National Drive Electric Week 2020!

    COVID-19 couldn’t put a damper on our EV enthusiasm! Despite continued pandemic concerns, this year’s National Drive Electric Week event on October 3rd at Tanger Outlet Mall in Gonzales had an excellent turn-out with masks, social distancing, and a noticeable lack of vehicle emissions. It was our first in-person event since the Clean Fuels Golf Classic in March -- which took place just as pandemic closures hit Louisiana -- and the Louisiana Clean Fuels staff stepped up to the plate with enthusiasm. With beautiful weather and lots of friendly (masked) faces, the event was a great success. 

    There were over a dozen vehicles lined up in an EV Alley in front of Tanger, including all four Tesla models, both the Chevy Bolt and Volt, a Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, and a Jaguar IPACE, and the owners of these vehicles reported over 326,000 collective electric miles driven. We were happy to see our friends from the Tesla Louisiana Owners and Dreamers Facebook Group turn out in droves once again to support our EV outreach efforts for NDEW! These fabulous Tesla owners love driving electric and are always happy to show off their EVs and discuss all the fun benefits of owning a Tesla.

    One of the highlights of the event was seeing several Tesla Model Ys - Tesla’s newest EV - on display, including one set up in camping mode; attendees were able to see the Model Y with the tent hitched up to the back of the vehicle, showing off the shady sitting area for any enthusiastic campers or tailgaters. After seeing the display, Tyler, LCF’s Co-Coordinator whose love for Tesla is well-known, said wistfully, “Okay, now I definitely want a Model Y.” There was also a splendid Jaguar IPACE on display courtesy of the Paretti Family of Dealerships, a big supporter of LCF and our EV outreach efforts. A big thanks to all of the EV owners who brought out their vehicles and their enthusiasm for conversation!

    We had a great time speaking with attendees about electric vehicles, with many attendees asking questions about NDEW, the benefits of EVs, and Louisiana Clean Fuels. Many expressed appreciation for the vehicles on display and spent time mingling with the volunteer EV owners. One attendee approached LCF staff to compliment a talkative EV owner, saying, “He knows everything about all the Tesla models! He had a ton of great information for us!”

    Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s NDEW event was packed full of EV newbies and enthusiasts alike. After a mostly event-less, quarantined summer down here in Louisiana and across the world, it almost seemed as if everyone was particularly happy to get out and participate in a safe social event to celebrate sustainability and cleaner driving.

    We at LCF had a fantastic time spreading the word about electric vehicles during #NDEW2020, and we can’t wait to make next year’s National Drive Electric Week even better! Thanks so much to everyone who helped to put on the event or who came out to show their support!

    Check out our photo gallery to see some pictures from our 2020 NDEW event:

    NDEW 2020 PHOTO Gallery


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    Assistant Secretary Simmons to Host Facebook Live Broadcast on National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day

    Originally posted by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy | October 5, 2020

    On October 8, 2020, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE's) Assistant Secretary, Daniel R Simmons, will host a Facebook Live broadcast at 2 p.m. ET. October 8, chosen to represent the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008), is National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, an opportunity to celebrate all the progress that has been made in the field. As part of that celebration, Assistant Secretary Simmons' broadcast will discuss contributions by EERE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office and the [email protected] initiative, and will include a special announcement. Be sure to tune in via EERE's Facebook page.


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    2020 DERA School Bus Rebates Program Applications Being Accepted

    Deadline to Apply - October 30, 2020 (4 p.m. ET)

    The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2010 (PDF) allows 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 2,000 vehicles. Typically, the rebate application period opens in the fall and projects are completed in less than one year.

    EPA is excited to announce a funding opportunity for school bus fleets that serve public schools. EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality is accepting applications nationwide for rebates to assist in replacing older, dirtier diesel school buses with new school buses certified to EPA's cleanest emission standards. EPA anticipates awarding over $10 million in this funding opportunity. Selected applicants that scrap and replace their old diesel buses will receive a rebate of $20,000-$65,000 per bus depending on the fuel type of the replacement bus.

    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.

    Important Dates

    Activity Date
    2020 DERA School Bus Rebates program opens. EPA begins accepting applications with scans of titles and registrations submitted to [email protected] Thursday, October 1, 2020
    Webinar for applicants:
    Click here to join webinar
    Call-in Number: 1-202-991-0477
    Access Code: 562 579 487#
    Wednesday, October 7, 2020
    3 p.m. ET
    Deadline for emailing applications with scans of bus titles and registrations to [email protected]
    Friday, October 30, 2020
    4 p.m. ET
    Official selection letters emailed to selectees and list of applicants that were not selected posted online January - February 2021 (Estimated)
    Deadline for submitting copies of purchase orders for replacement buses April 2021 (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 2021 (Estimated)


    Rebate Application Form and Supporting Documents

    The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document will be updated weekly during the application period. Questions submitted to [email protected] through October 22, including those from the webinar, will be added to this document.

    Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced

    • Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to or from schools
    • Driven 10,000 or more miles over either the last 12 months or calendar year in 2019, or have been in use 3+ days/week between 9/1/2019 and 2/29/2020
    • Owned by applicant without any active liens
    • Class 3-8 diesel-powered buses [greater than 10,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)]
    • Buses must be powered by 2006 or older model year engines
    • Engine and chassis must be scrapped before receiving rebate payment

    Eligible Replacement Buses

    • May not be ordered prior to receiving signed EPA selection letter
    • Powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine.
    • 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 based on the fuel type of the replacement bus:
      • $20,000 for diesel and gasoline
      • $25,000 for propane
      • $30,000 for CNG/LNG
      • $65,000 for battery or hydrogen electric
      • Maximum rebate funding amount per application is $300,000

    If you have questions, please contact [email protected].

    VISIT THE SCHOOL BUS REBATES: DIESEL EMISSIONS REDUCTION ACT (DERA) WEB PAGE


    Webinar

    2020 School Bus Rebates Program

    Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

    Go to the following link a few minutes before the webinar starts: 2020 School Bus Rebates Webinar.

    Call-in Number: 1-202-991-0477
    Access Code: 562 579 487#

    Webinar Highlights:

    • Program Overview
    • Eligibility (applicants & vehicles)
    • Process and Timeline
    • Additional Tips
    • Question & Answer Period

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    LCF Publishes 2019 Annual Report Data Showing Hopeful Future for Louisiana’s Air Quality

    Historically, a number of parishes in Louisiana have struggled to remain in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) set by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act. When parishes are out of compliance, referred to as being in non-attainment status, their ozone levels may threaten the health of those in the area, particularly children, the elderly, or those with respiratory conditions. Ozone, a respiratory irritant, is created through reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are primarily produced by road transportation. Since 2000, Louisiana Clean Fuels has worked to transition Louisiana’s transportation sector to cleaner, alternative fuel technologies that produce less NOx and lower transportation emissions that threaten the health of Louisianians and keep the state in non-attainment status. The report below details the progress of this transition to alternative fuel technologies.

    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 and the progress we are making towards our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. This Annual Report allows us to track the growth of the different alternative fuel market sectors and identify which projects are most effective at reducing emissions. We also use the data we collect for the Annual Report in the consideration of recipients for the 2020 Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards.

    After months of collecting and analyzing the data, the Annual Report is complete, and our findings are ready to be shared.

    In 2019, LCF stakeholders reduced usage of a total of 9,422,169 gallons of gasoline-equivalent (GGEs). Primarily, this was achieved through the usage of alternative fuel vehicles (66%) rather than vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel. Other methods of reduction worth mentioning are fuel economy improvements (16%) in vehicles and idle reduction measures (14%), both of which focus on decreasing fuel consumption in vehicles. Not only do our stakeholders use vehicle improvements to reduce fossil fuel consumption, but a large number of them are also diversifying their fuel options and switching to other fuels besides gasoline and diesel to power their fleets.

    • Members of LCF’s Green Fleets Certification Program used over three million gallons of alternative fuel, accounting for 34% of our stakeholders’ GGE Reductions. 
    • From 2017 to 2019, East Baton Rouge School district increased their number of propane-fueled buses from 10 to 60 with a corresponding propane fuel use increase of over 1400%. Lafourche school district also increased its usage of propane-fueled school buses, using 25% more propane in 2019 than in 2017.
    • Despite only comprising 2% of our alternative fuel usage, electric vehicles accounted for 6% of our Greenhouse Gas reductions. The majority of this usage is from SporTran’s and CATS’ electric transit buses, but we’re seeing increasing benefits from the growing number of individually owned electric vehicles on the road with public charger usage increasing by 73% in our region.



    In addition to reducing petroleum usage, LCF stakeholders also reduced 45,673 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2019. Idle reduction (37%) and improvements in fuel economy (42%) were responsible for the majority of the reduction of GHG emissions. As these measures reduce overall fuel consumption for any vehicle, AFV or not, these kinds of measures have the largest impact on keeping emissions down during the transition to cleaner alternative fuels that reduce emissions even further. As investment in alternative fuel fleets continues to rise, replacing older diesel and gasoline vehicles, GHG emissions reduced by AFVs will increasingly account for a larger share of emissions reductions in Louisiana.

    This third chart shows a breakdown in the GGEs reduced and the GHG emissions reduced by fuel type. In 2019, LCF stakeholders reduced 6,413,389 GGE and 8,374 tons of GHG emissions specifically through alternative fuel usage. Louisiana is known for having a very strong natural gas industry, and this data illustrates that compressed natural gas (CNG) is indeed an incredibly popular alternative fuel for our stakeholders. CNG accounts for 70% of the GGEs reduced but only 47% of the GHG emissions reduced in 2019. Also of note in GGE reduction is propane, which accounted for 19% of the 6.4 million total for 2019. Biodiesel (25%) and renewable natural gas (RNG) (12%) played a notable role in our stakeholders’ reduction of GHG emissions in 2019, despite accounting for only 1.6% and 3.7% respectively of the petroleum reductions by our stakeholders, showing the dramatic effectiveness of biodiesel and RNG at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Compared to 2018, total levels of GHG and GGE reduced remain relatively the same. The amount of CNG reported used by stakeholders in 2019 dropped by 15% from the previous year, which accounts for a drop in GHG and GGE reduced. In addition to a nearly twenty-fold increase in biodiesel usage from 2018, GGE reduced from Propane and RNG usage increased by 50% and 30%, respectively, offsetting most of the drop in GGE reduced from CNG. While decreases in CNG usage are noteworthy, the respective increases in Propane and RNG, in particular, are representative of an increasingly diverse alternative fuel usage among LCF stakeholders.


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    FOTW #1151: Lithium-Ion Battery Capacity for New All-Electric Vehicles Sold in the United States Reached a Record High in 2019

    Originally posted by the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy | Original Article

    With a 1% increase in sales and increasing battery pack size, all-electric vehicles (EVs) captured a record amount of total plug-in vehicle battery capacity sold in 2019, 17.4 gigawatt-hours. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) accounted for a smaller portion of total plug-in vehicle battery capacity due to their lower sales volumes and because they require smaller battery packs than EVs, since they have gasoline-powered engines to extend total vehicle range. PHEV sales decreased 32% from 2018 to 2019, about the same as the decrease in PHEV battery capacity. Calendar year 2018 was the first full year of Tesla Model 3 sales, which accounted for the large increase in total battery capacity between 2017 and 2018.

    Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Assessment of Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicles in the United States, 2010 – 2019, June 2020.

    Fact #1151 Dataset

    Read the original article


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    Webinar Wednesday Series: EV Work Trucks & Fleet Electrification Basics


    Our next Wednesday Webinar Series is a 2-part series that focuses on Electric Work Trucks and helping fleets start to plan for adding these low maintenance & quiet vehicles to their fleets. On September 30th we will host "EV Market Watch - Work Trucks", then on October 7th, we will host "First Steps for Fleets Interested in EVs". Registration is free for both webinars.

    Part 1: EV Market Watch - Work Trucks

    Wednesday, September 30th | 2 PM CDT

    Join us for Part 1 in the series: "EV Market Watch - Work Trucks!" Discover all of the options available on the market today and what vehicles are coming soon. The webinar will feature Michael Coates, the editor of the Clean Fleets Report who will facilitate a moderated discussion with Keith Brandis with the Volvo Lights project and Alexander Voets with Daimler Trucks North America to discuss existing news about their EV vehicle line ups and pilot programs.


    PART 2: First Steps for Fleets Interested in EVs

    Wednesday, October 7th | 2 PM CDT

    Register to learn about the differences between EVs and gaseous fueled vehicles, benefits of EVs, and total cost of ownership. This webinar will cover things to consider when making the decision to try EVs, fleet analysis and EV Suitability of your fleet, utilizing data and telematics to inform your EV procurement decisions, along with understanding the new networks and types of partnerships you will need.

    Audience: Companies/fleets that are taking the first step to look at if EVs are right for them

    Covering:

    • Understanding differences between EVs and gaseous fueled vehicles, benefits of EVs; total cost of ownership. 
    • Things to consider when making the decision to try EVs - duty cycle, routes, engaging your utility. 
    • Fleet Analysis and EV Suitability of your fleet / utilizing data and telematics to inform your EV procurement decisions. 
    • Understanding the new networks and types of partnerships you will need 




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    Clean, Green and Quiet: Baton Rouge's Newest Transit Buses are Electric!

    By LCF Intern, Olivia Montgomery & Executive Director, Ann Vail

    Have you seen the smart looking green and yellow CATS buses driving around Baton Rouge? These “green” new buses are so quiet that many Baton Rouge residents may not have noticed them yet. In 2019, Capital Area Transit System (CATS), the transit authority in Baton Rouge, added three new electric buses to its fleet, with hopes to continue the transition to electric in years to come. CATS currently has three 35-foot electric BYD buses in operation and three more were ordered in December. The agency will be ordering an additional  three electric BYD buses by October 2020.  

    While it is not uncommon to see electric buses in the fleets of larger cities, they are more of a rarity in mid-sized Southern cities like Baton Rouge. So what prompted CATS to make this addition to their fleet? In 2014, CATS commissioned a study by the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute in order to review alternative fuel options for its fleet. At the time, CATS knew that some of its fleet would reach its useful age and need to be replaced. This set the stage to commission a study to assist with determining whether alternatively fueled buses could reduce costs and promote environmental sustainability. 

    At the time the study was commissioned, CATS buses burned through about 2,000 gallons of fuel per day. The CATS fleet currently has 57 conventional diesel buses, 3 trolleys, and 16 cutaway vans. A variety of alternative fuel options are available for public transit fleets, including compressed natural gas, liquified petroleum gas, biodiesel, and electric or hybrid-electric, but the UNO study specifically recommended the switch to electric. After weighing specifics like feasibility and climate conditions specific to Baton Rouge, CATS decided to follow UNO’s recommendation to go electric. 

    Procuring buses with new technologies is not always easy. CATS was charged with quickly finding funding sources and a manufacturer that could meet deadlines on deliverables. Around this time, Louisiana Clean Fuels hosted an electric bus demonstration at the transit shelter in town square and invited local decision makers, CATS staff, and board members along for the ride. On this ride, LCF and their stakeholders were able to inform CATS of an upcoming FTA grant opportunity and offered to provide assistance with their grant application. The demo was a success and solidified local leadership’s support for CATS’s decision to procure electric buses. 

    CATS applied for the competitive grant funding – with assistance from Capital Region Planning Commission, Louisiana Department of Transportation – from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low to No- Emissions Program and received $2.5 million in 2019, in combination with other Federal funds, to purchase their first three buses.

    In April 2020, CATS announced it received an additional $3.8 million FTA grant to procure additional buses. CATS also received some local matching funds for the project. The FTA Low to No Emissions program is the same grant that in 2016 awarded $3.9 million to Sportran in Shreveport LA to purchase its first five electric buses, three depot chargers and an on-route fast charger. The Shreveport transit agency also received $1.5 million in August of 2018 for additional electric buses. 

    If one could offer advice to another fleet looking to procure electric buses, CATS Communications Director, Amie McNaylor, says she suggests engaging the experts. McNaylor credits the help of industry experts in navigating the process of procuring buses with unfamiliar technology. McNaylor described that, during the ordering process, electric bus batteries improved from first generation to second generation batteries with longer ranges, and having an expert around smoothed out these bumps in the process. Louisiana Clean Fuels connected CATS staff with industry experts and experienced EV transit bus fleet managers who acted as a liaison of sorts between CATS and the manufacturer, asking the right questions and finding the right specifications for CATS’ unique needs. 

    After hammering out the details, CATS ultimately purchased three 35-foot electric buses manufactured in California by BYD. These buses can reach 62 miles per hour speeds and seat 32 passengers, with additional capacity for standing passengers. BYD estimates its buses cost about $1 less per mile to operate when compared to diesel buses. CATS will also save on maintenance costs as electric vehicles do not require oil changes. 

    Aside from cost savings and emissions reduction, McNaylor says the public has responded favorably to the new electric buses. Some riders have tweeted that the buses are much quieter, and people tend to be drawn to the electric buses at press events. CATS operators seem to enjoy driving the new buses as well. 

    So what’s next for CATS? CATS is continuing to work on expanding the electric vehicles in the agency’s fleet. Additional electric buses will be purchased that will serve as the flagship of the Plank/Nicholson Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor, a collaboration with the City-Parish and Build Baton Rouge  These buses will make possible the 15-20 frequency of the morning and afternoon peak hours on the BRT corridor; there will be 30 minute frequency during the basetime of the route. However, CATS does plan to continue to procure more electric buses in the future, and it is expected that the CATS Board of Commissioners will approve the purchase of the final three buses on the agency’s contract with BYD, bringing an eventual total of nine electric buses in the fleet. In the meantime, the three recently-ordered buses are in the manufacturing process and will be incorporated into the fleet soon, and CATS also hopes to install more electric bus charging stations at its maintenance facility. 


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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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    New Webinar Wednesday Series: Transportation Electrification for Utilities 

    Louisiana Clean Fuels Webinar Series Offers Deep-Dive into Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning

    This three-part webinar series was created to provide the latest information on recent developments and obstacles on defining required resources for informed planners of heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Parts 1 and 2 will provide a more technical deep-dive into EV infrastructure planning for heavy-duty and MW applications. Preparing Utilities for EVs will be a good primer for utilities and businesses that are just getting started with their EV planning.

    Who should attend?

    • Large and Small Utilities
    • Regulators
    • Heavy-duty fleets
    • Truck stops 
    • Elected officials


    PART 1: Multi-Port, 1+MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EVs

    Wednesday, September 16th | 11:00 AM CDT

    EV experts from Oncor Electric Delivery LLC and Argonne National Laboratory will share insights on recent developments and obstacles on defining required resources for informed planners of medium-duty and heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  In-depth technical issues will be covered, with emphasis on minimizing charging location footprint of equipment for charging systems from 100kW to 1MW and above installations.  Consequences of managed vs unmanaged charging networks will be addressed that directly impact capital equipment and operating costs.

    Speakers:

    • Ted Bohn, Principle Engineer: Smart Metering/Electric Vehicle-Smart Charging Standards @Argonne National Laboratory
    • David Treichler, Director Strategy and Technology Oncor Electric Delivery LLC

     


    PART 2: Multi-Port, 1+MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EVs

    Wednesday, September 23rd | 11:00 AM CDT

    In this second part of our Multi-Port, 1+MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty EVs series, Trucking and EV experts from NACFE, HDR, Inc, and Argonne National Laboratory will review the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative objectives and status.  MD/HD electric vehicle charging usage modeling activities will be covered along with possible scenarios for upgrading existing truck stops to accommodate widespread EV trucking adoption.  Adjacent technology and deployment effects of zero-emission truck requirements such as the CARB Advanced Clean Trucks Rule and CA transport refrigeration unit (TRU) zero-emission programs (shore power) can lead to leveraged investments for EV charging and shore power for overnight parking.  The session will also look ahead to near future charging technology developments headed to pilot deployment in the coming year.

    Speakers:
    • Ted Bohn, Principle Engineer: Smart Metering/Electric Vehicle-Smart Charging Standards @Argonne National Laboratory
    • Fernando Garcia, Vice President @HDR Inc.
    • Dave Schaller, Industry Engagement Director @NACFE

     


    Preparing Utilities for EVs

    New Date: Wednesday, September 30th | 10 AM CDT

    In this final installment of our webinar series on electrification, EV experts from Entergy and AEP will share their best practices, lessons learned, and forecast in order to help utilities that are just getting started with developing their own proactive programs for EVs and infrastructure. (This webinar was previously scheduled for September 9th and was post poned due to Hurricane Laura to allow participating utilities time to respond to the disaster)

    Speakers: 

    • Edward O'Brien, Senior Economist, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
    • Scott Barrios, Senior Account Manager @Entergy eTech Program
    • Jeffrey W. Lehman, PE, Electric Transportation Program Manager @AEP

     


    Clean Cities Partners

                


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