Meet Our Intern!
Kiyara Hill is our newest intern here at Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition. Kiyara is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, currently working towards getting her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Kiyara’s passion involves working towards making electric and hybrid vehicles more affordable and accessible, rather than the traditional internal combustion engine. Her dream job involves working as a Design Engineer for Tesla. A little later down the road, Kiyara hopes to own her very own automobile manufacturing company that specializes in making efficient and affordable electric vehicles. In Kiyara’s spare time she is usually playing guitar, watching or playing sports, or learning how to code! She is extremely excited to join us at Centralina Council of Governments and looks forward to helping us promote ways to improve quality of life for our community!
Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines Funding Still Available
Mecklenburg County Air Quality is still offering their Grant to Replace Aging Diesel Engines again! The goal of GRADE is to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution from diesel vehicles operating within the Charlotte region. Both non-road diesel and heavy-duty diesel on road vehicles are eligible to apply to have aging diesel engines replaced. GRADE is a reimbursement grant, meaning award recipients will be reimbursed for approved expenses after the project has been completed. There is $694,000 available with rebates of up to 25% of the cost of new vehicles or equipment.
Applications are due by 5pm on November 2, 2018.
For vehicle qualifications & application, please visit: www.GRADEplus.net
NC Submits VW Settlement Phase 1 Plan
NC has submitted its plan for the state's share of VW Settlement money. The Volkswagen Mitigation Plan details how the state will invest the first 33% of the funds in Phase 1 on projects to significantly reduce NOx emissions and improve air quality.
The Phase 1 plan includes:
- 40% (approx. $12.2 million) to be spent on school bus replacements
- 20% (approx. $6 million) designated for transit bus replacements
- 10% for heavy-duty on-road equipment replacement projects
- 10% for heavy-duty off-road equipment replacement projects
Phase 1 funding will focus on public sector needs. Eligible projects can be submitted by local, state and tribal government organizations, public or private nonprofit organizations, and public/private partnerships where the lead applicant represents a public sector or a public or private non-profit.
Based on feedback from the public, North Carolina will also allocate the maximum allowance of 15% of the funds toward zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure projects. Public and private sector projects will be eligible for the approximately $4.6 million available in Phase 1.
Once the plan is accepted by the trustee of the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund, the Division of Air Quality will put out a request for proposals. At that point, eligible organizations can submit their projects with selections scheduled for Spring/Summer of 2019. Beginning in Fall of 2019, DAQ will provide opportunities for public involvement on the draft plan for Phase 2.
For a copy of the plan, and more information about the Volkswagen Settlement, visit https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-and-air-quality/volkswagen-settlement. You can also contact Carina Soriano at csoriano [at] centralina [dot] org with questions.
2018 Request for Proposals for the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program is now open!
The EPA is anticipating about $40 million in grant funding to be made available for projects that achieve signficant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and exposure, particularly from fleetts operating in areas designated by the EPA as poor air quality areas.
Proposals must be submitted electronically to the EPA through https://www.grants.gov/ by June 12th at 11:59pm to be considered.
Request for Proposals (RFP) opens: Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Information Session (Webinar #1): Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Information Session (Webinar #2): Thursday, May 3, 2018
Deadline for Proposals: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Notification of Selected Applicants: July 2018
Funding of Awards: September-November, 2018
For more information about Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Information Sessions, please join the webinars below:
Webinar 1- Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 2-3:30pm (ET): https://epawebconferencing.acms.com/dera18a/
Conference Number: 1 (202) 991-0477
Participant code: 4149804#
Webinar 2- Thursday, May 3, 2018, 3-4:30pm (ET): https://epawebconferencing.acms.com/dera18b/
Conference Number: 1 (202) 991-0477
Participant code: 4149804#
Additional information can be found on the EPA's Clean Diesel Page.
NC Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has just announced that they are to begin holding a series of information session on the proposed plan for NC's portion of the VW Settlement funds. In anticipation, they have released the Draft State Mitigation Plan that outlines a proposal to invest the first phase of the state's $92 million into projects aimed at reducing pollution impacts from diesel emissions. Comments from the public are welcome on this plan through May 3, 2018. The DEQ used public feedback to develop this plan and it will be further refined based on public comment. The final plan will be submitted to the trustee this summer, with a request for proposals to follow in the fall.
The Centralina region's meeting will be held Tuesday, March 27 from 3-5pm at the Kannapolis Train Station, in the Multipurpose Room, 201 S. Main St., Kannapolis. Members of the public and entities interested in receiving funds for eligible projects are encouraged to attend.
In addition there will be four other meetings in the state that can be found below.
7-9 p.m. Monday, March 26: Land-of-Sky Regional Council, 339 New Leicester Highway., Suite 140, Asheville
5-7 p.m. Monday, April 16: Lenoir Community College, Bullock Building, Room 150, Kinston
1-3 p.m. Tuesday, April 17: Triangle J Council of Governments, 4307 Emperor Blvd., Suite 110, Durham
9-11 a.m. Friday, April 20: Cape Fear Community College, Union Station, Room 512, 502 N. Front St., Wilmington
For more information about the Volkswagen Settlement, visit https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-and-air-quality/volkswagen-settlement or contact Jason Wager or Carina Soriano at jwager [at] centralina [dot] org, 704-348-2707 or csoriano@centralina, 704-688-7035.
Governor 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 money is earmarked to remove the polluting vehicles sold by VW from the road and contribute to air quality improvement programs. The announcement made included the invitation for public input regarding what the state should include in its mitigation plan.Your comments will help shape how these funds are spent in North Carolina. Public input is available until December 31st at https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-and-air-quality/volkswagen-settlement/volkswagen. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Question of the Month: What's new for Clean Cities mobile tools and resources?
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