Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition was proud to represent our region at the annual Clean Cities training workshop held November 6-8th in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This annual training is an opportunity for coordinators and staff of Clean Cities coalitions across the country to get together in order to learn from each other, trade best practices and collaboratively work together on problems facing multiple coalitions.
While there, Centralina was honored to be presented with the "Autonomous Vehicle Pioneers" award for our workshops and task force regarding Autonomous and Connected Vehicles as well as seeing Jason Wager, our very own coordinator, inducted into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame! We are so pleased to be award recipients but realize it is all thanks to our stakeholders who are able to help us make a difference in reducing petroleum usage!
Bonus points if you can spot Jason and Carina in the group photo!
What: CFAT Project: Funding Informational Webinar
When: Friday, November 16th, 2018
Time: 11 AM to 12 PM
This CFAT project is funded by the N.C. Department of Transportation and administered by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) and is focused on reducing transportation related emissions. The informational webinar hosted by NCCETC for round 1 applications will take place on Friday, November, 16th from 11 AM to 12PM. This webinar will present examples of eligible projects as well as answer any questions attendees might have about the application process for the Round 1 application process for CFAT. This webinar will ensure applicants understand the application process before the deadline on December 17th, 2018. To register for the webinar visit this.
For more information about the CFAT project, including the RFP, CFAT FAQs and application clickor contact Carina Soriano at .
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) announced results of the CFAT or Clean Fuel Advanced Technology Project. The 2017-2018 year saw a $5.6 million initiative with the last round showing 10 projects awarded over $1.1 million in air quality improvement grants to both public and private entities. Previous awardees included UNC Charlotte, the Town of Apex, City of Charlotte and Thyssenkrupp, NC Department of Transportation Rail Division, Davidson County, Orange County, and the Town of Matthews.
The CFAT project operates exclusively in counties that do not meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards or are in maintenance mode and the improvements have already taken effect. In total, the equipment purchased with CFAT money displaces roughly 62,949 gallons of diesel/gas a year, reducing 54,042 kg of daily emissions. In the past, with the help of entities like Triangle J, Centralina, Upper Coastal Plain and (many other Councils of Governments), NCCETC has helped spread information on alternative fuel vehicles and fuel conservation technologies and policies, as well as provide continuous support and funding for clean energy infrastructure and equipment year after year.
As for funding for next year, the first round of 2019 funding Request for Proposals (RFP) period has opened and awards will be announced by February 2019. In 2019, up to $2,350,000 in federal funding is being awarded. The 2019 funds will be awarded continuously, through three rounds of reviews and allocations, until all funds are allocated. The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is December 17, 2018.
The application can be found here and the 2019 CFAT FAQ can be found here. For more information on CFAT visit their website or contact Carina Soriano at csoriano [at] centralina [dot] org or 704-688-7035. For the full NCCETC press release visit this page.
Propane is becoming quite a popular alternative fuel for school buses and other medium- to heavy-duty vehicles around the US. Organizations in the transportation industry are looking to save money as diesel prices continue to rise. To show how switching to propane fueled buses affected school districts, Roush Clean Tech recently conducted four case studies. One obvious similarity between all these case studies was apparent: switching to propane fueled school buses saved school districts considerable money.
The results (and savings) were truly noteworthy. In one case study, data showed that although propane buses are initially more expensive, the cost can be made up by the benefits of switching to propane within a few years. These benefits include diesel reduction grants and cheaper fuel prices (propane costs on average about 40-50% less than diesel, with less fluctuation in price over time). Maintenance is also a lot cheaper for propane buses as well. With public opinion becoming less tolerant to pollution, emission standards are gradually increasing despite federal regulations for gas powered vehicles. As standards rise, diesel buses are requiring more expensive equipment just to keep up.
According to these case studies, savings from switching from diesel to propane fluctuated between 40-60%. Not only were these savings from the lower cost of propane, but the lower cost in maintenance made a big difference as well. If you or fleet might be interested in switching from diesel to propane powered vehicles, check out the case studies to see all of the cost reductions from switching from propane fueled school buses here: Leander ISD, TCO Case Study, and Transportation Department Maintenance Costs. If you’re concerned about the cost of switching, VW Settlement money may be able to help. Contact Carina Soriano at 704-688-7035 or csoriano [at] centralina [dot] org for more information.
More case studies from Roush Clean Tech can be found and downloaded here: https://www.roushcleantech.com/downloads/.
2018 DERA School Bus Rebate Funding Now Available
DERA or The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding has now become available for 2018. This year, over $9 million will be available to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new buses certified to EPA's cleanest emission standards. EPA will award selected applicants $15-20K per bus for scrapping and replacing old buses. If interested, more information and a timeline of requirements is available here: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates and you can also contact Carina Soriano at csoriano [at] centralina [dot] org with questions.
The 2018 National Drive Electric Week event was a great success. A special thanks to the City of Charlotte for partnering with the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition as co-hosts this year. While Hurricane Florence approached, the weather held out to accommodate our audience of about 125. Everyone from members of the public strolling by to City of Charlotte department heads were able to come out and engage electric vehicle owners and transportation options table vendors. A special thanks to ChargePoint, who sponsored the first 55 free popsicles from King of Pops to attendees. The audience had electric vehicles to view, popsicles to munch on, a great band from the city as well as supported vendors from all aspects of sustainability and green transportation options. We had great diversity in the vehicle showings: the new 2018 Nissan LEAF, Fiat 500e, Chevy Volt, Teslas S and X, Chevy Spark EV, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, an electric utility car from Carolina Golf Cars, the Toyota Prius Prime and others.
A big thanks to the greater Charlotte community for coming out to recognize that electric vehicles (and hybrids!) are an efficient form of transportation that can benefit not just owners, but communities as well through mobility management, a reduction in the use of petroleum and a cleaner environment!
Photo by: Kiyara Hill, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition
(L to R) Electric utility vehicle from Carolina Golf Cars, courtesy of Barrett Kittrell; 2017 Tesla Model S owned by Banks Baker; and a new Chevy Volt owned by the City of Charlotte.
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.
Calling All Stakeholders!
Centralina COG is now accepting nominations for the Region of Excellence Awards, including for the Clean Cities category! These awards will be presented at the Region of Excellence Award Luncheon on Friday, November 30th from 11am-2pm at the Speedway Club at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Monday, October 1st.
The recipient of the Clean Cities award will be a stakeholder organization that best demonstrates leadership and excellence in clean transportation and alternative fuel activities. The awardee 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. These activities include but are not limited to: purchasing alternative fuel and/or fuel-efficient vehicles, using alternative fuels in their fleet, implementing idle reduction policies, improving fleet fuel economy, partnering with fuel providers to expand alternative fuel availability, or generally supporting and participating in current Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition/Clean Cities programs and priorities.
If you are unsure whether or not your project falls within the program areas of the CCFC, please consult the map below.
So let us know who you think deserves the award! More information and the nomination form are here: http://www.centralina.org/submit-your-region-of-excellence-award-nominations-2/