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11.22.17

department of environmental quality ncGovernor Cooper has officially appointed the Department of Environmental Quality (DAQ/DEQ) as the lead agency for NC in managing the $92 million the state will receive. This money comes from settlement of a lawsuit against the German automaker producing certain diesel vehicles with devices that meant emissions did not meet EPA standards. The announcement made included the invitation for public input regarding what the state should include in its mitigation plan. Public input is available  until December 31st. A website was also launched in coordination with the appointment and can be found here: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-and-air-quality/volkswagen-settlement

If you would like more information about this settlement and how to be involved in this conversation in our region, please contact Jason Wager at jwager [at] centralina [dot] org or 704-348-2707.

08.01.17

Come join the City of Charlotte in partnership with Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition in celebrating and learning more about electric vehicles and sustainable transportation! See why alternative transportation choices are dominating the discussion on September 15th from 11am to 2pm.  This interactive showcase event is open to the public and will be held at GovPorch in front of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center. The address is 600 E. 4th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. There will be multiple electric vehicles on display, information and resources from community partners, food, and entertainment! We welcome all volunteers, electric vehicles, and the public to come explore! We hope to make it our biggest Drive Electric event yet! Registration is here and the formal event announcement is here.

NDEW 2016  NDEW 2015
NDEW 2015  NDEW 2016

 

 

07.12.17

Where can I find statistics and information about car sharing networks in the United States, specifically those that have deployed plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)?

Carsharing networks are gaining popularity in the United States, and many carsharing programs are exploring innovative ways to incorporate PEVs into the mix. Please see below for information about carsharing networks and their benefits, including case studies of organizations working to implement or expand their carshare operations.

Background Information

For background information about Clean Cities’ involvement in carsharing networks, which are typically included under the umbrella term of “smart mobility,” we recommend you refer to the following Clean Cities Now newsletter from Winter 2017: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/uploads/publication/ccn_20_2.pdf. In particular, see the excerpts below:

Defining Smart Mobility

So what is “smart mobility”? The transportation industry uses the term to describe a systems-based approach to address the transportation challenges of today. These challenges arise from the rapid growth of urban populations, combined with the demand for individual mobility solutions, often without the use of a personal vehicle. A 2015 report (https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/industry/public-sector/smart-mobility-trends.html) released by professional services firm Deloitte summarized smart mobility as the demand for “faster, greener, and cheaper transportation options.” Established smart mobility solutions, such as rideshare and bicycle commuting, have been supplemented in recent years by on-demand ride services (e.g., Lyft and Uber), expanded multi-modal transit (i.e., a combination of driving, public transit, biking, or walking), and the promise of more advanced connected and automated vehicles (CAVs)[…]

Capitalizing on Clean Cities’ Strengths

Clean Cities is no stranger to the transportation system efficiency strategies that have preceded more recent smart mobility solutions. In fact, many Clean Cities coalitions are already actively involved in projects that use data and technology to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT). These include ridesharing, mass transit, active transit, multi-modal transport, teleworking, and fleet solutions—such as route optimization, driver behavior changes, and rightsizing. In 2015 alone, Clean Cities saved 26 million gasoline gallon equivalents through VMT reduction programs. In addition, these initiatives are often tied into alternative fuel initiatives. For instance, San Diego Regional Clean Cities and Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation have teamed up with local PEVcarsharing companies and other partners on efforts to install and utilize electric vehicle charging equipment.

Moving forward, Clean Cities will play a critical role in data measurement and collection, technical assistance, policy advancement, local outreach, and engaging fleets and consumers in advancing smart mobility efforts. For example, existing efforts to install telematics on fleet vehicles can be combined with CAV technology data collection to further the associated commercialization work. Many coalitions are also seeing the benefit of integrating PEV technologies with local smart mobility pilot programs and initiatives. As a result, coalitions around the country are developing stronger relationships with their state transportation agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, carsharing and ridesharing companies, and other new partners. “Across the country, we have already seen Clean Cities coalitions tap into their networks and capabilities to offer smart mobility solutions,” said Dennis A. Smith, national Clean Cities director. “Combined with the work that Clean Cities has done over the last 20+ years, the growth of smart cities efforts will transform the transportation market in the near future.”

As the above publication mentions, one of the biggest benefits from carsharing networks is reduced VMT, and thus reduced petroleum use—especially in the case of deploying PEVs in the carsharing fleet.

The University of California – Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center has studied the benefits and growth of car sharing in North America (http://tsrc.berkeley.edu/carsharing). Please note that we cannot verify the accuracy of this resource. We have provided a summary of carsharing benefits and membership below:

“Carsharing allows people to rent cars on a short-term (hourly or daily), as-needed basis, paying only for the time they use the car and the mileage they drive. The operators of the carsharing program provide vehicle maintenance, repair, and insurance.[…]

Shared-use vehicles allow individuals to gain the benefits of using a private car without the costs and responsibilities of owning a car.  Members of a shared-use vehicle or carsharing program pick-up and return vehicles at shared use lots that are scattered throughout a particular region or concentrated at a transit station, activity or employment center.  Typically, a member makes a reservation in advance, lets him or herself into the vehicle with a personal card or key, and drives away.  When the person is done using the car, she returns the car to its home parking space, locks it, and leaves it for the next carsharer. […]

The benefits of carsharing can include:

· More careful consideration of the necessity, duration, and distance of automobile trips, resulting in decreased vehicle use and ownership.

· Greater consideration given to alternative modes, resulting in increased transit ridership, biking, and walking.

· Cost savings to individuals and employers.

· Energy savings and air quality benefits.

· Reduced parking demand at participating transit stations, member employer sites, and residential locations. 

Due to its many potential benefits, carsharing is gaining in popularity, as demonstrated by increasing North American membership.

· As of January 2014, 24 U.S. carsharing programs claimed 1,228,573 members sharing 17,179 vehicles.”

As you can see, there are a number of benefits from implementing car sharing programs, and there is a relatively large following for the service as well. This resource also includes a list of U.S. carsharing operations, including links to find more information.

You may also be interested in the Victoria Transport Policy Institute publication, Evaluating Carsharing Benefits (http://www.vtpi.org/carshare.pdf), which breaks down the various considerations involved with carsharing networks, including expenses and vehicle use as compared to other modes of transportation. Note that we cannot verify the information in this resource. This analysis concluded the following:

“Carsharing gives consumers a practical alternative to owning a personal vehicle that is driven less than about 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometres) per year. Carsharing has lower fixed costs and higher variable costs than private vehicle ownership. This price structure makes occasional use of a vehicle affordable, even to low-income households. It also gives drivers an incentive to minimize their vehicle use and rely on other travel options as much as possible. Carsharing typically reduces average vehicle use by 40-60% among drivers who rely on it, making it an important transportation demand management strategy.”

More specific information about the benefits of carsharing, as well as methods to maximize the benefits from carsharing services, is available on pages 5 through 7.

Emissions Impacts and PEV Deployment

Regarding the emissions benefits of carsharing programs, Zero- and Low-Emission Vehicles in U.S. Carsharing Fleets: Impacts of Exposure on Member Perceptions (http://tsrc.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/ZEV%20Whitepaper_FINAL_0.pdf), evaluates how implementing zero- and low-emission vehicles, including PEVs, into carsharing fleets can increase interest in these vehicle types among consumers. This publication also discusses the emissions impacts of deploying these vehicles in carsharing fleets:

“Martin and Shaheen (2011) found that the observed (due to sold vehicles) and full impact (due to sold and postponed vehicle purchases) on GHG emissions by roundtrip carsharing users was a reduction of 0.58 t to 0.84 t GHG/year per household, respectively (or a 34% to 41% decline in GHG emission reductions). They further observed a decline in VMT of 27% (observed) to 43% (full impact) overall across all households.[…]

At present, BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Toyota are among the leading major automakers deploying EVs in carsharing fleets. Other carsharing systems have incorporated plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and EVs from several manufacturers, including Toyota and Nissan, into their fleets of regular internal combustion engine vehicles. This incorporation of PHVs/EVs into shared vehicle fleets exposes this technology to a large array of potential customers that would otherwise have far less or no exposure. […]

Exposure to PHVs or EVs through carsharing has influenced customer EV perceptions to be more positive and has commensurately increased the propensity for an individual to buy an EV[..].”

Additionally, researchers from the University of Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin conducted a lifecycle analysis (http://www.caee.utexas.edu/prof/kockelman/public_html/TRB15carsharingLCA.pdf) of the emissions from implementing a carsharing program with conventional gasoline vehicles. You may find the conclusions of the study below:

“Results 31 suggest that current carsharing members reduce their average individual transportation energy use and GHG emissions by approximately 51% upon joining a carsharing organization. Collectively, these individual-level effects translate to roughly 5% savings in all household transport-related energy use and GHG emissions in the U.S. These energy and emissions savings can be primarily attributed to mode shifts and avoided travel, followed by savings in parking infrastructure demands and fuel consumption. When indirect rebound effects are accounted for (assuming travel-cost savings is then spent on other goods and services), these savings fall to as little as 3% across all U.S. households.”

You may find a table displaying the impacts of carsharing networks on travel behavior on page 7. Note that this study evaluates conventional gasoline vehicles and not alternative fuel vehicles. However, the study included the following note regarding the additional benefits from PEV carsharing fleets:

"Finally, it should be noted that this study compares a shared fleet of conventional (internal combustion engine) sedans to the average U.S. passenger vehicle’s use. With smaller, hybrid and electric vehicles growing in popularity, carsharing’s energy and GHG emissions savings will probably grow.”

Navigant Research also released a report (https://www.navigantresearch.com/research/carsharing-programs) highlighting the growth of carsharing programs, including the role that PEVs will play. Note that this report requires purchase—however, you may view sample content for free by creating an account. In particular, the publication summary states that “[a]lthough the carshare service model has been well established over the past 15 years, there have been some significant innovations in the market recently. The success of one-way carsharing services is prompting more companies to consider offering this service model. Such services can increase utilization since members can use one-way carsharing for shorter, spur of the moment trips. Automakers have entered this market with good results, building substantial membership levels in only a few years. Meanwhile, the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in carsharing services is expected to increase as automakers promote this technology. According to Navigant Research, global carsharing services revenue is expected to grow from $1.1 billion in 2015 to $6.5 billion in 2024.” You may also find a list of “Key Industry Players,” including carshare companies, on the summary page referenced above.

Case Studies

For a Clean Cities spin on carsharing programs, please refer to the following case studies, sourced from the Winter 2017 Clean Cities Now, as well as the Alternative Fuels Data Center Case Studies database (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/case).

Clean Fuels Ohio

Clean Fuels Ohio Columbus, Ohio, is leading the charge on smart mobility to address transportation challenges. As the winner of DOT’s Smart City Challenge funding, Columbus is receiving up to $40 million from DOT and a $10 million investment from Vulcan Inc., as well as the $90 million that the city raised from private partners. In their proposal to DOT, Columbus set a vision for how technology can contribute to a more connected community. Sam Spofforth, Clean Fuels Ohio executive director, was pivotal in developing the Vulcan Inc. portion of the Smart City Challenge application. He leveraged the natural strengths of Clean Cities to bring together a diverse coalition of non-traditional stakeholders—from regional planning commissions to transportation network companies—to propose a plan that focused on fleet electrification, electrification of carsharing and other innovative mobility services, consumer PEV adoption, public electric vehicle charging, and grid decarbonization. Clean Fuels Ohio will also assist with project implementation.

To other coalitions interested in becoming involved with smart mobility solutions, Spofforth says, “Grab a seat at the table where the conversations are taking place. Use the strengths and resources that Clean Cities coalitions have to offer to make connections, develop projects, identify funding sources, and include a diversity of stakeholders. Stay focused on how all of this relates to the core mission of Clean Cities and define smart mobility broadly.”

Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities

By thinking out of the box, Portland, Oregon, is creating a culture of “complete communities” that support all forms of mobility. “The Smart City Challenge encouraged our coalition and stakeholders to be creative and experiment with the newest technologies, such as CAVs, multimodal systems, electric assist bicycles, and carshare programs,” said Brian Trice, coordinator for Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities (CWCC).

Like Clean Fuels Ohio, CWCC assisted the City of Portland—a Smart City Challenge finalist—with the Vulcan Inc. proposal. Trice participated in planning meetings and provided fleet information and infrastructure analyses. Many CWCC stakeholders were also involved in proposal development, offering programs to expand workplace charging infrastructure and accelerate PEV adoption, particularly in low-income communities. Although Portland was not awarded funds, Trice says that local Smart City Challenge partners are moving forward with a smart mobility project and believes that efforts to create diverse solutions to improve transportation efficiency will continue.

Kansas City Regional Clean Cities

Kelly Gilbert, Kansas City Regional Clean Cities program director, believes that interoperability among the first- and last-mile is a key notion of smart mobility. “We are developing a simple way for people in our region to subscribe to and use a transit, bikesharing, or carsharing program through a single payment option,” Gilbert said.

Western Washington Clean Cities (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/case/1843)

This case study details the estimated petroleum and emissions reductions that Seattle-based King County Metro Rideshare expects to experience with their EV fleet and electric vehicle supply equipment installations. During the course of their seven-year life in the commuter van program, the EVs will collectively reduce petroleum use by an estimated 218,000 gallons over prior modes of transportation. Fleet greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be reduced by 24 metric tons per month in 2014 compared with emissions prior to the EV program.

San Diego Regional Clean Cities Coalition (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/case/543)

Learn how Car2Go launched an all-electric carsharing fleet in San Diego. The first year of the program resulted in over 5,000 electrified trips each week.

 

06.22.17

Question of the Month: What's new for Clean Cities mobile tools and resources?

Answer:

Two new mobile tools have recently become available:

  • Station Locator app for Android: Android users can now access the Station Locator app through the Google Play store. As with the original iPhone app version, users can access the Station Locator from their mobile device and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Results display either on a map or in a list with station addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation. Also available for iPhone from the iTunes store.
  • Trip Calculator mobile page: FuelEconomy.gov recently launched a mobile web page version of their popular Trip Calculator tool. This page allows users to easily calculate fuel economy for a trip while on the go.

Other Mobile Resources

  • AFDC Station Locator mobile page: If you’d rather not use an app, the Station Locator mobile page provides an easy way to view alternative fueling station information on your smartphone screen, regardless of the type of mobile device used. Users can access the Station Locator by navigating to this link in an internet browser.
  • Find-a-Car app (Android and iPhone): The Find-a-Car app allows users to view the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings, fuel cost estimates, and safety ratings for new and used cars and trucks. The app also allows users to input driving habits to personalize results, and to scan QR codes on window stickers while car shopping to assist in comparing vehicles. The app is available to download on the Google Play store and download on the iTunes store.
  • Find and Compare Cars mobile page: The Find and Compare Cars mobile page allows users to search for vehicles by year, make, and model. Searches can also filter by vehicle class and combined miles per gallon (MPG).
  • EPA Fuel Economy Label mobile page: The EPA Fuel Economy Label mobile page explains what each piece of information detailed on fuel economy labels for gasoline, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles means.
  • Calculate My MPG mobile page: On this page, users receive assistance calculating and tracking fuel economy and comparing it with the EPA ratings. To get started, users must first create an account by accessing the tool online. Look for an update to the mobile page later this year.
  • Gas Mileage Tips mobile page: This page provides drivers with quick tips to obtaining better gas mileage and shows how much money per gallon they can save as a result.

 

You can rate and provide feedback on the Google Play and iTunes stores for the Station Locator and Find-a-Car apps. You may also contact the TRS at any time with feedback about these mobile resources, as well as suggestions for new tools.

 

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

technicalresponse [at] icf [dot] com

800-254-6735

03.17.17

On March 15, 2017, Wilmington Trust was officially appointed by the court as the Trustee of the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust. 

• The unopposed motion from February 23, 2017

• The order of appointment from March 15, 2017

Once the court establishes the Trust Effective Date, states will have 60 days to submit their Certification for Beneficiary Status.

 

10.11.16

The federal Clean Air Act requires the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate areas as attainment or non-attainment to help implement air quality standards.  In a letter from NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) secretary, Donald van der Vaart, dated September 30, 2016, the State of North Carolina recommended that the entire state be considered in attainment for ozone based on DEQ analysis of the most recent air quality data for the state relative to the October 2015 8-hour standard for ozone.  

Read the full article about this positive news and what impacts, funding and otherwise, are anticipated for our region.

10.11.16

The 2016 Plug-in NC Summit will be held Tuesday, November 15th from 9:00 am - 11:30 am.  
This event will take place at the Park Alumni Center in Raleigh, NC.  This event is free, however, registration is required.  

Click here for more information and to register.

10.10.16

In light of the impact Hurricane Matthew has had on our state this past week, we wanted to share some information resources and a recent article we posted related to resilience.  

With many working to recover from this latest natural disaster, some information resources to support post-Hurricane Matthew efforts and long term planning include the following:

As we recover from Hurricane Matthew, our attention is inevitably drawn to ways we might prepare for and reduce the impacts of future natural disasters.  In a recent report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy defined resilience as a community’s reduction of and better preparation for risk.  The components of risk – and thus resilience – can be divided into hazards, vulnerability, and capacity to cope.  With North Carolina being no stranger to hazards such as hurricanes and ice storms, community resilience infrastructure should be made a priority for the safety of our communities for both man-made and natural disasters.

It is important to include alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in community resilience planning efforts since they promote fuel diversification, allowing critical public services to continue, reducing recovery time, and strengthening resiliency to disasters and other emergency events. 

The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) tracks funding opportunities to help municipalities, regions, and states incorporate alternative fuels in their emergency management planning. In addition, Clean Cities coalitions and coordinators are a valuable resource to emergency management and fleet decision makers by providing information on alternative fuels and connecting them with stakeholders who have experience using alternative fuels.

According to the National Association of State Energy Officials, petroleum products provide 92% of the total energy needed to  supply the transportation sector in the United States. This dependence on petroleum makes communities vulnerable to disasters and emergencies that interrupt petroleum fuel supplies. The CCFC has been assisting the greater Charlotte region for over a decade in the deployment of alternative fuel technologies.  Here  are several ways that alternative fuels/AFVs impact or help community resilience:

  • Encourage fuel diversification;
  • Improve response time and recovery and restoration capabilities;
  • Meet essential public services during times of disaster (e.g., utility restoration, debris removal, evacuation, emergency response, food delivery);
  • Mitigate demand spikes for petroleum fuels;
  • Allow uninterrupted fuel supply (e.g., natural gas is distributed via underground pipeline, so delivery is not disrupted);
  • Advanced vehicle technologies, such as electric vehicle-to-grid can become a power provider
  • Reduce downtime and suppress negative economic impact; and bImprove public confidence in government capability to provide services in times of disaster

As efforts are taken to improve your organization's and community's resilience, don't hesitate to contact the CCFC to discuss project ideas, funding opportunities, and ways to get involved in the Clean Cities network.  This article was originally posted in the Centralina Council of Governments July 2016 e-newsletter.  

10.07.16

Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition is proud to expand its long standing partnership with NC State’s Clean Energy Technology Center through the new Fuel What Matters Campaign. Fuel What Matters is about education and awareness. It’s also about choices. Daily choices. Just about every decision we make during the day has an impact on our environment. This web-based platform is expected to grow our collective ability to share the actions CCFC’s Stakeholders are taking every day to support and improve our communities and environment, while similarly learning new ideas from others.

Get started on making an impact today, no matter how large or small!  Click here to view the Fuel What Matters web site: https://www.fuelwhatmatters.org/

 

10.04.16

 

The NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will provide approximately $231,500 for funding grant projects that reduce diesel emissions through the 2016 Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG). 

Applications must be received by e-mail, fax or postmarked by Friday, October 28, 2016 to be considered. Please refer to the information below on the five acceptable project types: 

Project Type

Grant Amount Paid

Replacement of diesel vehicle chassis and engine 25%
Idle reduction technology on unregulated or Tier 0 locomotives 40%
Repower of old chassis with new cleaner diesel engine 40%
Clean alternative fuel conversions, where the old chassis is retained but the engine is replaced or converted to an alternative fuel 40%
Retrofits (exhaust type, e.g. diesel particulate filter)  100%

Click here for more information and links to the on-road and non-road applications.

Centralina Council of Governments
9815 David Taylor Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262

Part of the U.S.
DOE Clean Cities
National Network