Blog Archives

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

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

    Fleet Name: SporTran

    Vehicles: 5 Proterra Electric Buses and 36 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Buses

    Domicile Site: Shreveport, Louisiana

    Fleet Purpose: Fixed route paratransit service

    Alternative Fuel or Technology: Electric and CNG

    When Started: SporTran has been operating a transit service since the 1870s and began switching to alternative fuel vehicles in 2010, replacing their last diesel bus in 2017 with the purchase of 5 Proterra buses.

    Leadership: SporTran’s President and CEO, Dinero Washington, has been an incredible leader with SporTran but also as President of Louisiana’s Public Transportation Association.

    Vision: SporTran’s mission is to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation for Shreveport and Bossier, Louisiana. An integral part of this mission is their switch to alternative fuels in their fleet, which has resulted in less vehicle downtime, fuel and maintenance cost saves, and cleaner air for the citizens that SporTran serves. SporTran was the first fleet in Louisiana to operate a 100% alternative fuel fleet, and the first transportation fleet in the state to operate electric buses. The purchase of their 5 Proterra buses is projected to save the fleet $2.2 million in fuel and maintenance costs over their 12-year lifetime, and SporTran expects to purchase more Proterra buses as they replace older vehicles. In 2017 alone, SporTran’s dedication to alternative fuel vehicles has offset the production of over 500,000 gasoline-gallon equivalents of petroleum and over 1,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Left to right: Dinero Washington, President and CEO of SporTran; Ann Vail, Executive Director of Louisiana Clean Fuels; Dale Hill, Founder of Proterra

    Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards talking at the 2017 ribbon cutting for SporTran’s five new Proterra buses.

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    VW Settlement projects application is open!

    The 2019 period for applications for VW Mitigation Trust Settlement projects is open! Apply now!

    The 2019 period for applications for VW Mitigation Trust Settlement projects is open! Apply now! 

    Deadline to apply: April 12, 2019

    Tips for Applying 

    1. Decide what you want to apply for (vehicle replacement and/or electric vehicle charging stations). 
    2. Fill out the form
    3. Attach a brief description of your project(s)
      1. Vehicles:
        1. List the type of vehicle(s) you want to purchase and the cost per/vehicle
        2. Provide a list of one diesel vehicle to destroy for every newer, cleaner vehicle you wish to purchase (this is a vehicle replacement program, not fleet expansion)
        3. Include type of fueling system the vehicle will have (CNG, Propane, EV, etc - This determines the match you will get) and number of vehicles you wish to purchase
        4. Include a brief statement explaining why your project should be considered
      2. EVSE:
        1. List type (Level II or DC Fast Charge) and number outlets/chargers you wish to install
        2. Include location of the chargers (specific address and/or business)
        3. Provide a cost estimate for your project. If you woud like assistance with your estimate, please email Ann Vail with Louisiana Clean Fuels at ann@louisianacleanfuels.org
        4. Include a brief statement explaining why your project should be considered
        5. Be sure to include information about whether or not the chargers you wish to install will be networked (i.e.: Will it have the ability to produce reporting on kWh useage. etc.).
        6. Also include the amount of funding you would need to proceed with the project (% of match to be provided has not been determined yet)
    4. If needed, call or email Louisiana Clean Fuels for assistance with your application.
    5. To view the plan and for more information, visit the LDEQ's Volkswagen page. For more information or to comment on the state's plan, please email vwsettlement@la.gov

    Background

    In 2017, Volkswagen AG (VW) agreed to plead guilty to charges that it installed software in its model year 2009-2015 2.0-liter diesel cars and 3.0-liter diesel cars that circumvented EPA emissions standards using a “defeat device.” These vehicles emit up to 40 times more pollution than emissions standards allow in the form of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a pollutant that harms public health and contributes to ozone or smog formation.

    As part of a settlement, states are eligible to receive funds to pay all or part of the cost of projects to reduce emissions from diesel vehicles and to install electric vehicle charging stations.

    Louisiana's Mitigation Plan

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) was designated the lead agency (beneficiary) by the Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Three Louisiana state agencies were designated to receive equal shares of the fund: LDEQ, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD). These agencies were tasked to allocate the VW Mitigation Trust funds. The agencies, with public input, are proposing to pool their funds to target replacement of eligible diesel school buses. The bus replacement program will offer partial funding primarily to school districts to replace their buses with electric, alternative fuel, or high-efficiency diesel vehicles. LDOTD is proposing to use its share of the funds to replace eligible diesel vehicles and heavy equipment with new, less polluting engines.

    The plan gives first consideration "to replacement or repowering of school buses owned or used by Louisiana school districts with newer, cleaner vehicles, and/or new cleaner burning engines." These funds will not be used for fleet expansion. The goal is to get older, polluting vehicles off the road and to replace them with new, cleaner options. The amount of funding that the state is proposing for school bus replacements are as follows:

    1. 25% matching funds will be given for the replacement or repowering of eligible buses with newer cleaner-burning diesel.
    2. 50% matching funds will be given for the replacement of eligible buses with eligible alternate fuels powered buses, including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), propane, etc.


    The plan states specifically:

    The Louisiana DOTD owns and operates more than 5,500 pieces of equipment with an estimated replacement cost of more than $200 million. Approximately 60% of the equipment is currently beyond its estimated ideal replacement cycle established by the DOTD. The DOTD’ s main goal is to reduce overall emissions by replacing some of its fleet with new diesel technology equipment with the use of the available funds, resulting in improved operational efficiency of its fleet with increased reliability and reduced downtime of equipment.

    By concentrating first on school buses, Louisiana will provide significant emission reduction both for NOx and Toxic Air Pollutants (TAPs). Since these emissions occur at or near ground level, there is relatively little dispersion with maximum impact on the passengers and school children. Addressing school buses first provides the greatest improvement in local air quality for one of the most sensitive populations.

    Funding for EVSE

    The plan also includes language which allows the state to utilize "up to 15% of its allocation of Mitigation Trust funds on the costs necessary for, and directly connected to, the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of new, light duty, zero emission vehicle supply equipment for projects..." Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is the only type of fueling infrastructure allowed under the VW Settlement.

    Assistance for School Districts

    School Districts wishing to take advantage of this funding should bookmark the state's VW webpage and watch for any requests for proposal (RFP) by the state. Louisiana Clean Fuels is working closely with the LDEQ on outreach for the state's bus replacement program. If your school district would like to learn more about the different fueling options available under the plan or would like assistance with their proposals to the state, please email Ann Vail at Louisiana Clean Fuels ann@louisianacleanfuels.org.

    To view the plan and for more information, visit the LDEQ's Volkswagen page. For more information or to comment on the state's plan, please email vwsettlement@la.gov.

    Helpful Links

    Appendix D-2 which lists eligible mitigation actions and expenditures under the program (which kind of vehicles can be replaced).

    Settlement timeline graphic

    Details of Louisiana’s Mitigation Plan

    Source: LDEQ

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    2019 DERA Clean Diesel National Grants Request for Applications

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the deadline for submitting applications for the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA).

    Deadline Extended to March 26, 2019 (11:59 p.m. ET)

    Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than Wednesday, March 26, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the deadline for submitting applications for the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA). There are approximately $40 million in grant funds available to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, EPA is anticipating making between 20 and 80 awards to eligible applicants.

    Eligible Entities

    Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality.

    For more information about this grant and how to apply, please see the EPA Clean Diesel page.

    Source: US EPA

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

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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

    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 electrification.

    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, the full-charge range of all-electric vehicles (AEV) spanned from 63 to 94 miles. By model year 2018, the available ranges expanded, from a minimum of 58 miles to a maximum of 335 miles, giving a median increase of 52 miles.

    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

    Louisiana Clean Fuels is once again collecting information from alternative fuels stakeholders for our Annual Report.

    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. Through a combination of projects focused on increasing vehicle efficiency, shifting to domestic energy sources...

    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.

    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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