On April 27, 2017 the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the opportunity to apply for up to $55 million in competitive grant funds through FTA’s Low or No Emission (Low-No) Bus Program. The Low-No program supports projects sponsored by local transit agencies to bring advanced, American-made bus technologies such as battery electric power, natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells into service nationwide.
“FTA is proud to support investment in the next generation of transit buses, which will help riders across the country get to work, school, and other important destinations more comfortably and efficiently,” said FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes. “The Low-No program exemplifies FTA’s commitment to spurring innovation in public transportation.”
FTA will award the grants to eligible transit agencies, state transportation departments, and Native American tribes on a competitive basis. Projects will be evaluated by criteria defined in federal law and in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, including the applicant’s demonstration of need; the project’s anticipated reductions in energy consumption compared to standard buses; and local strategy and capacity for implementing the project.
The application deadline is June 26, 2017. Project selections will be announced within 75 days of the closing of the application period, and no later than September 30, 2017.
National Clean Diesel RFP
Frequently Asked Questions
EPA will respond to questions from individual applicants regarding threshold eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification about any of the language or provisions in the announcement through a “Frequently Asked Questions” document. Applicants may email written questions to: cleandiesel [at] epa [dot] gov. Please type “RFP Question” in the subject line of your email.
All questions submitted via email by 4:00 p.m. ET each Friday during the RFP open period will be answered and posted in the FAQ document the following week. The deadline for submitting questions via email is Friday, June 9, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. ET. The estimated final posting of the FAQ document will be Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
RFP Information Sessions
EPA will host two Information Sessions regarding this Request for Proposals via teleconference/webinar, based on the schedule below. EPA will attempt to answer any questions in these public forums. Registration is not required, just click on link below to join the webinar.
2017 Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Overview
Webinar #1 - May 2, 2017 [Link to join webinar]
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Webinar #2 - May 9, 2017 [Link to join webinar]
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Call In Number: 866-299-3188
Conference Code: 3439147#
Instructions: Use *6 to mute, #6 to unmute
Download: RFI: Proposed National Procurement for Private Sector Fleets
The purpose of this Request for Information (“RFI”) is to facilitate a process to gauge interest from trade associations or other agencies that have a national membership base or the capacity to reach a national target audience to create a cooperative procurement program that includes alternative fuel vehicles (AFV). The target audience is private sector fleets, or the commercial market. The Fleets for the Future (F4F) project currently includes a national-scale public sector procurement initiative for AFVs along with fleet services, parts and equipment. The National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) and the F4F team have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces in promoting AFVs through NJPA’s national vehicle program already in place. NJPA has nine national vendors under contract that offer a selection of fleet services, parts, equipment, school buses, and vehicles and chassis, with AFV upfit options for purchase and possible leasing arrangements. It would be ideal to set up a program similar, if smaller in scale, to the NJPA program to respond to the needs of the private sector fleet market.
Requests for clarification or questions must be submitted in writing to National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), Attention Sarah Reed (sarah [at] narc [dot] org) no later than May 15, 2017 by 4 p.m. EDT. Responses will be addressed by addendum and posted on NARC’s F4F webpage.
Submission Due Date
Submit your response electronically to sarah [at] narc [dot] org by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Friday, June 2, 2017 (the “Response Due Date”). NARC requests the document(s) be in PDF format. It is the responsibility of the respondent submitting a proposal by email to ensure that the proposal has been received by the appropriate NARC staff, and not blocked by a spam filter or rejected because of large attachments. To confirm receipt, you may contact Sarah Reed.
Administered by the National Association of Regional Councils, Fleets for the Future (F4F) is a national partnership of regional councils, Clean Cities coalitions, and industry experts tasked with coordinating five regional and one national procurement initiative designed to consolidate bulk orders of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Through these procurement initiatives, F4F will reduce procurement and incremental costs, and disseminate best practices on application, usage, and procurement strategies for the selected vehicles and related infrastructure.
Clean Cities Program
Since 1993, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program has supported community-led efforts to help fleets and consumers find alternative fuel or fuel-efficient solutions that meet their needs. Clean Cities’ nearly 100 local coalitions across the country work to reduce petroleum consumption, limit pollution, and save money.
National Association of Regional Councils
The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) serves as the national voice for regionalism by advocating for regional cooperation as the most effective way to address a variety of community planning and development opportunities and issues. NARC’s member organizations are comprised of multiple local governments that work together to serve American communities – large and small, urban and rural. Visit www.NARC.org for more information.
The Spring 2017 edition of Fuels Fix is here!
Inside the Spring 2017 edition of Fuels Fix:
- Multi-state EV Project Launches in the Midwest (an eight-coalition partnership)
- COVER STORY: Come Hell or High Water - One Fleet's AFV Determination
- The "You have a Choice" Ethanol Blends Campaign Starts in Mid-Atlantic
- Great Smoky Mountains Advance their Climate Friendly Parks Program with Propane
- Plus much more...
What factors do employers need to consider when establishing a workplace charging program?
While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for workplace charging, there are a number of resources available to help employers design, implement, and manage the right program for their organization.
Employers considering whether workplace charging is right for their organization will want to start by assessing employee demand with an employee survey (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/sample-employee-survey-workplace-charging-planning). Once this assessment is complete, employers may set goals for meeting workplace charging demand, either by planning to meet the entire need (i.e., all drivers that have expressed or will express interest in PEV charging) or by dedicating a percentage of parking spaces to PEV charging. For example, Google has a goal to dedicate 5% of all parking spaces to workplace charging.
Procure and Install
Employers should determine what types of charging stations to purchase. There are a few decisions to make, including the following:
- Charging Level: There are benefits and drawbacks to both Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations in the workplace. Employers must evaluate which option is best for their facilities. For more information about the differences between charging levels and their merits for workplace charging, see the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Workplace Charging Station Basics page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-station-basics).
- Networking: Charging station networks provide maintenance, customer service, and energy monitoring capabilities, and collect payment on behalf of the station owner. However, networks require a fee, and employers will need to consider whether the convenience of charging networks outweighs the financial cost. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Level 2 page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/level-2-charging-workplace).
Employers should also be sure to get quotes from a number of charging station providers. For more guidance, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Sample Request for Proposal document (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/request-proposal-guidance). Employers will work with their electrical contractor to determine charging station placement; station installation can be an expensive process, but employers can minimize costs by siting stations in locations that require minimal trenching, boring, and electrical panel upgrades. For more information about siting and installation, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Equipment and Installation Costs page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-equipment-and-installation-costs).
A well-managed, well-planned workplace charging program can ensure station access to all employees, promote strong communication between employers and station users, and encourage responsible station use.
- Registration and Liability: Many employers require employees to register their PEV, which allows the employer to identify the number of vehicles using their charging stations. For example, employers can give registered vehicles a mirror hangtag or window sticker that identifies the vehicle as having permission to use the charging stations. A registration form may also include language that requires vehicle owners to agree not to hold the employer responsible for any damage to the vehicle that occurs while it is parked at the charging station. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Registration and Liability page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-registration-liability).
- Station Sharing: It is important to emphasize that workplace charging is a privilege, not a right. Employees may be obligated to share stations with their colleagues and comply with established charging time limits. While an employer can set up systems for sharing stations, such as reserving the station (similar to how an employee would reserve a conference room) or establishing a set schedule for use, most employers allow users to resolve station-sharing conflicts themselves. However, it is important to establish consequences for violating station policies, such as using a station for less than four hours. By framing workplace charging as a privilege, an employer reserves the right to restrict access for employees that routinely violate company policy. For more information about how to establish workplace charging policies and encourage station sharing, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Station Sharing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-sharing).
- Pricing: While most employers offer workplace charging for free, charging for station use can be a good way to manage demand. Employers may charge for electricity (e.g., per kilowatt hour) or for time (e.g., per hour), depending on preference and applicable regulations. Employers can motivate employees to move their vehicles and share the stations by charging a nominal fee (or no fee) for the first set number of hours (e.g., four hours) and then raise the fee for subsequent time that the vehicle is parked in the space. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Pricing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-pricing).
For more resources about workplace charging, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging website (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging), explore the Clean Cities’ Workplace Charging Toolkit (https://cleancities.energy.gov/technical-assistance/workplace-charging/), or contact the TRS at technicalresponse [at] icf [dot] com.
The Spring 2017 Plug-in NC newsletter is here! Plug-in NC has been working since 2011 to establish North Carolina as a leader in electrified transportation. Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition staff and stakeholders participate actively in this state-wide program that promotes electric vehicles through education and outreach, consulting and resource development, striving to provide a collaborative opportunity to work together to ensure a seamless integration of plug-in electric vehicles into our local communities. Click here to read more.
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.
The Greater Charlotte Regional Freight Mobility Plan is here!
The plan is designed to identify methods of freight efficiency, which in effect will increase fuel efficiency. Over 77% of the region's freight tonnage is moved by truck. When we improve freight mobility and safety, it can reduce congestion and mitigate environmental impacts.
The project team will present the Freight Mobility Plan at the region’s transportation planning organization policy and program boards in the first quarter and then broader regional meetings with local government and economic development representatives in the spring. Please stay tuned for what’s next by checking the CCOG Freight webpage for details on upcoming meetings and events.
Click here to read the Freight Mobility Plan, located on the CCOG website.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, feel free to contact jhill [at] centralina [dot] org (Jessica Hill).
What are state and local governments doing to incentivize alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)?
There are many notable incentive activities at the state and local levels. Many states offer incentives for alternative fuels that advance specific environmental and energy security goals, while cities provide even more localized support.
States are targeting vehicles, infrastructure, and other means to encourage AFV adoption. Below are various types of incentives, as well as hyperlinked examples of each:
- AFV Purchase Incentives: States offer grants, rebates, and tax credits for the purchase of AFVs. While some states may focus vehicle incentives on a particular fuel type, such as electric vehicles, others are more general in their support. States provide AFV purchase incentives to consumers, commercial fleets, and public fleets, such as schools and government agencies. Different incentive mechanisms tend to be more appropriate for different categories of vehicle purchasers; for example, grants are often limited to certain types of entities. Public fleets may not be liable for taxes, so they usually benefit more from grants than from tax credits. Private fleets can benefit from grants, rebates, and tax credits.
- Fueling Infrastructure Purchase and Installation Incentives: Similar to AFV incentives, states provide grants, rebates, and tax credits for alternative fueling infrastructure. States usually create incentives for the physical fueling infrastructure, but many programs also support installation costs. Some states also offer a tax credit or tax reduction for the production or purchase of alternative fuel itself. Fueling infrastructure incentives may stipulate that the fueling or charging station must be available to the public, which helps to increase the availability of alternative fuels to a broader range of entities.
- Other Incentives: In addition to financial support for the purchase of AFVs, states may give special benefits to AFV drivers. For example, some states allow high-occupancy vehicle lane access to AFVs, while others provide reduced registration fees, weight restriction exemptions, and emissions inspections exemptions.
Municipalities are also playing a role in supporting AFV deployment. Cities and counties incentivize AFVs in a number of ways, including by offering free or discounted parking, expediting permitting processes, and providing vehicle and infrastructure grants. For example, New Haven, CT, provides free parking on city streets for AFVs, while Los Angeles, CA, offers instant, online residential electric vehicle supply equipment permitting approval. The Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) Local Laws and Incentives page provides more information on these and a greater array of other local options; while the page regarding local laws and incentives is not meant to be comprehensive, it provides users an idea of the different municipal programs and policies that exist (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/local_examples). If you are aware of an innovative way that municipalities are supporting alternative fuels and vehicle acquisition, please contact the Clean Cities Technical Response Service at technicalresponse [at] icf [dot] com to share the details.
For more information about state and local alternative fuel incentives, see the AFDC Laws and Incentives page (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws).
Energy Independence Summit 2017 Representatives from the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition joined clean transportation leaders from across the nation in Washington, DC to educate federal policy makers about the need to expand America’s use of alternative fuels, including biofuels, electricity, natural gas, and propane autogas. CCFC Chairman, Chris Facente, and Coordinator, Jason Wager, participated in Energy Independence Summit 2017, the nation’s premier clean transportation policy event, on February 12-15.