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News (Archive)

06.13.16

Left to right: Jeff Miller, Town of Matthews Commissioner, Michael Johnson, Centralina COG Chair and City of Statesville Mayor Pro-Tem, Chris Facente, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition Vice-Chairman and Automotive Supervisor at UNC Charlotte, and Jason Wager, Coordinator Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition and Planning Program Supervisor, Centralina Council of Governments

The 2016 Clean Cities Region of Excellence Award is presented to the Town of Matthews for demonstrating leadership and excellence in clean transportation and fuel activities. Matthews has recognized the environmental, economic, and national security benefits of reducing consumption of fossil fuels and has implemented programs and initiatives to lower their use of traditional transportation fuels.  The Town of Matthews installation of Electric Vehicle Fast Charging equipment in its downtown, available to the public and growing number of electric vehicle owners on the road, exemplifies Clean Cities’ mission and goals.

The Town of Matthews celebrated the installation and opening of a region-first Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) for Plug-in Electric Vehicles in its downtown.  The Town decided early on that the installation of this charging equipment for environmentally minded consumers could both attract visitors to its downtown and establish the community as progressive.  Ultimately, PEV owners are now able to fully charge a typical vehicle in about 30 minutes at a cost of about $6; ideally, spending that time in exploring the shops of Downtown Matthews.  Since installation, over 65 charge events have taken place and with well over 300,000 plug-in vehicles sold nationally, the usage of this charger is only expected to accelerate as the market rapidly grows.  In addition to providing local match including leasing out the physical location for the DCFC equipment, the Town was able to partner with several other organizations to make this DCFC possible including:

  • NC DOT and NC Clean Energy Technology Center – source of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant funds
  • Brightfield Transportation Solutions - received and implemented the project award
  • Nissan - provided the actual DCFC unit as grant match ( a $33,000 value)
  • BMW - funded additional cord and receptacle equipment
  • Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition and the NC PEV Task Force - outreach and partnership/funding development

Given that each year in the US we burn roughly 121 billion gallons of oil in our passenger cars and trucks, the Town of Matthews is doing its part by supporting a switch to plug-in electric vehicles.  There efforts help to improve America’s energy independence and mitigate the health effects of dangerous air pollution.

A congratulations and a thank you goes out to the Town of Matthews, for taking big steps forward in reducing petroleum dependence in unique ways that reduce costs and improve quality of life for their community.

 

06.09.16

 

APPLY NOW for GRADE for FREIGHT

Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines (GRADE) 

$500,000 Available Until July 31, 2016


 $500,000 in funding is available from ​​GRADE for Freight! Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) will award sub-grants of up to 50% of the cost to replace older diesel-powered freight vehicles and equipment with newer cleaner-operating equipment. 

Eligible diesel vehicles and equipment operate at goods movement facilities such as rail terminals, airports, and distribution centers.  Equipment must operate at least 75% of time in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union (NC), and York (SC) counties. MCAQ will be hosting opportunities to learn more and access help with informational sessions at their Charlotte location. To find more information on the grant application click here.

INFORMATION SESSION: June 14, 2:00-2:30 PM

DROP-IN APPLICATION SESSION: July 12, 2:00-3:00 PM and July 20, 9:00-10:00 AM

 In 2007, Mecklenburg County Air Quality initiated an air pollution control program called Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines or GRADE.  GRADE is designed to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx), an ozone forming air pollutant, by providing businesses and organizations funding incentives to replace or repower heavy-duty non-road equipment with newer, cleaner, less polluting engines.

Since 2007, GRADE has funded a total of 282 projects and awarded $5.09 million. These projects have reduced 489 tons of ozone-forming NOx in the Charlotte region. The grant application can be found here

Blurry Cars

01.27.16

The Southeast Alternative Fuel Demonstration Initiative (SADI) grant is a US Department of Energy project focused on the increased adoption of alternative fuels in the Southeast region of the United States. Project partners for this grant include Alliance Autogas, Enterprise, ICOM, Palmetto Gas, Penske and others.

Clean Cities Coalitions throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee will work with technology partners to provide opportunities for fleets to demonstrate a wide range of alternative fuel vehicles. More information can be found on the SADI website. If you're interested in testing out any of the following alternative fuel vehicles, please contact Jessica Hill at jhill [at] centralina [dot] org or 704.348.2731

Vehicles available for demos

12.07.15

Eastern Carolina Council is working on a Plug-In Electric vehicle corridor plan. The aim is to help counties and municipalities along US-70 create a range anxiety-free route for folks traveling east. This will be done through enabling language in local codes, marketing of the corridor, and potentail charging site locations.

11.24.15

U.S. Gain, the compressed natural gas (CNG) division of U.S. Venture, has opened its third of five CNG stations the company is building in partnership with North American carrier C.A.T. The new GAIN Clean Fuel station, located at 4250 Trailer Dr. in Charlotte, N.C., will support C.A.T.'s growing fleet of CNG trucks and will also be open to the public.

"We're proud to be leading the industry in creating sustainable transport," says C.A.T. President Daniel Goyette. "We've made an investment in our future with the conversion of our fleet to CNG. It's been a very positive move by helping us become more environmentally friendy and creating fuel price stability. We couldn't be happier with our partnership to make this facility a reality."

C.A.T., which operates over 300 tractors, announced a deal last year to lease 100 cNG trucks from Ryder System Inc.

The first GAIN Clean Fuel station under partnership with C.A.T. opened in Mississauga, Ontario, and the second in Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec. The other two locations include Laredo, Texas, and Scranton, Pennsylvania. These stations are finishing up on construction and are expected to open soon.

"We're thrilled to have another C.A.T. station open for business," says GAIN Clean Fuel General Manager Bill Renz. "This is a heavily traveled trucking corridor, and we look forward to serving not only C.A.T., but other carriers seeking to take advantage of the benefits."

Photo and story credit: NGT News

10.01.15

Earlier this month, alternative fuel enthusiasts all over the country celebrated National Drive Electric Week (NDEW). Started in 2011, NDEW , in partnership with Nissan, aims to increase awareness of the availability and benefits of electric vehicles (EVs). This year, the week-long celebration boasted 196 events across 41 states, Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, with over 130,000 attendees!

The Greater Charlotte Region had much to celebrate in 2015 with the grand opening of four Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging locations. The new DC Fast chargers, located in Matthews, Dallas, Salisbury, and Wadesboro, were installed by Brightfield Transportation Solutions and are capable of delivering an 80% charge in as little as 20-30 minutes! These chargers not only allow EV owners in our region a greater availability of chargers, but also bring travelers from other areas to our towns where they can stimulate the local economy, by grabbing a cup of coffee or a bite to eat while waiting for their vehicle to charge.

The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) organized and hosted, in partnership with the Towns of Matthews, Dallas, and Wadesboro, as well as the City of Salisbury, four grand opening ceremonies for these chargers. These events were well-attended and featured numerous speakers including Senator Tom McInnis and Representative Bill Brawley from the North Carolina State Legislature. Additionally, Envision Charlotte and the City of Charlotte held a public education and exhibition event at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center where numerous EVs from Nissan, Tesla, Smart, BMW, and VIA Motors were available for participants to view and learn about.

 

CCFC would like to thank the numerous participants, attendees, and partners that made these events possible. 2015 was a great year for strengthening the EV infrastructure in the Greater Charlotte Region and we look forward to celebrating the next year’s accomplishments at the 2016 National Drive Electric Week September 10-18!

06.16.15

Agility Fuel Systems, in it's partnership with Freightliner Trucks, recently announced the opening of a new manufacturing plant in Salisbuy, NC, which is in close proximity to the Freightliner manufacturing facilities in Cleveland, NC, and Mt. Holly, NC, where the Freightliner Cascadia 113, M2 112, and 114SD natural gas trucks are produced. The new Agility plant is expected to commence production later this year.

Click here to read the full article.

05.21.15

In 2007, Mecklenburg County Air Quality initiated an air pollution control program called Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines or GRADE.  GRADE is designed to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx), an ozone forming air pollutant, by providing businesses and organizations funding incentives to replace or repower heavy-duty non-road equipment with newer, cleaner, less polluting engines.  Since 2007, GRADE has funded 283 projects and awarded $5.13 million.  These projects have reduced 432 tons of ozone-forming NOx in the Charlotte region.

$500,000 is now available in reimbursements! This round of funding is specifically for publicaly and privately owned facilities that accept solid waste like:

  • municipal solid waste
  • construction and demolition debris
  • land clearing and inert debris
  • yard waste

Due Date: June 30, 2015

Eligible Projects: Equipment replacement or Equipment repower

Evaluation Based on:

  • Amount of nitrogen oxido pollution reduced
  • Cost per pound of nitrogen oxide pollution reduced
  • Amount of time spent in eligible region

Funds Reimbursement: 

  • Equipment Replacement- Up to 25% of cost
  • Equipment Repower- Up to 40% of cost

For more information, click HERE.

Please be in touch with CCFC staff:

  • Jason Wager 704.348.2707 jwager [at] centralina [dot] org;
  • Jessica Hill 704.3474710 jhill [at] centralina [dot] org;
  • Erika Ruane 704.688.6508 eruane [at] centralina [dot] org

if you have ideas related to this opportunity for projects in the Greater Charlotte Region.

 

05.13.15

The 2015 Clean Cities Region of Excellence Award is presented to the City of Concord for demonstrating leadership and excellence in clean transportation and fuel activities. Concord has recognized the environmental, economic, and national security benefits of reducing consumption of fossil fuels and has implemented programs and initiatives to lower their use of traditional transportation fuels. Through the Clean Fuels Advanced Technology (CFAT) grant, the City of Concord installed six publicly accessible Electric Vehicle charging stations throughout the City and two Ford Focus all-electric vehicles to replace older gasoline powered cars for City employee use. They also purchased a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) called the Firefly for their downtown parking enforcement officer to use. 

Concord’s desire to decrease their dependence on petroleum goes beyond alternative fuels. They have decreased their fuel usage for the past five consecutive years, even though they have increased miles-traveled due to growth. This is due to right-sizing their fleet, keeping the vehicles young and fuel efficient, and other out-of-the-box techniques. One such technique is using smaller scout vehicles to locate yard waste and bulky pick-up materials at the curb and track the locations using a GPS. This allows the larger, less fuel-efficient trucks to go directly to these pick-up locations without wasting fuel traveling around the entire city. Concord has also implemented a customer service center in the Police Department to take routine police reports over the phone, negating the need to dispatch an officer to take them. 

A congratulations and a thank you goes out to long time active Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition stakeholder, the City of Concord, for taking big steps forward in reducing petroleum dependence in unique ways that reduce costs and improve quality of life for their community.

A separate committee reviewed and selected the winner of the 2015 Clean Cities Region of Excellence Award. This committee included: Marcie Smith, CCFC Stakeholder (Gaston County Public Works), Megan Green, CCFC Stakeholder (Mecklenburg County Air Quality), and Dave Navey, CCFC Chair (Duke Energy). The Clean Fuels Coalition appreciates the work of this committee and thanks them for their time and participation in the awards program.

The CCFC would also like to recognize the runners-up, ReVenture Park and the Town of Matthews for the great work they're doing to reduce pertoleum dependence in the region!

04.17.15

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), North Carolina has one of the strongest electricity markets in the country for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

Read the full article here!

"Geography of Existing and Potential Alternative Fuel Markets in the United States" report here!

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

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