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Posted by Nicole Deck

Duke Energy Electrifies Fleet with Viatec SmartPTO

A Viatec SmartPTO unit. Photo from www.viatec.us.

Duke Energy recently introduced Viatec SmartPTO electric power takeoff units for its bucket truck fleet. The new units allow crews to turn off the diesel engine and rely on electricity when operating the lift – saving on fuel and maintenance costs, extending the life of the trucks, and reducing emissions. The SmartPTO units were funded by NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s (NCCETC) Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project.

“A major objective of CFAT is to promote and accelerate the adoption of new clean transportation technologies,” said Rick Sapienza, Director of the Clean Transportation Program at NCCETC. “The Viatec SmartPTO is a perfect example of the CFAT mechanism working to its intent.”

The battery outlasts the normal bucket truck shift and charges overnight on a basic 110-volt receptacle, according to Duke Energy. When needed, crews are able to revert to operating the lift from the diesel engine in emergency situations, such as storms, that require 24-hour use. The engine being off also allows crew members to more easily communicate from the bucket to the ground.

“I’m especially pleased for the operators of these trucks and the line-workers who ride in the bucket, because air-quality on the job site is so dramatically improved when these trucks can stop idling,” said John Bonitz, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC.

Duke Energy plans to soon expand SmartPTOs to 24 bucket trucks and is considering making them standard on all new bucket trucks.

“A company of the stature and magnitude of Duke Energy embracing this technology will aid in pushing others in the industry to consider and adopt the SmartPTO technology,” Sapienza said. “SmartPTO is robust from a system standpoint, which means reliability and durability. Also, if there is a system breakdown or failure, the system is a parallel design and the truck can revert to its normal mode of operation. Regardless, the truck can remain in service and complete its job.”

NCCETC estimates that bucket trucks burn nearly a gallon of diesel fuels per hour of idling. Based on an industry study conducted by Quanta Services (Green Truck Show March 2018), an electric PTO system is estimated to save about 1800 gallons of fuel annually, in standard operations. In addition, eliminating the idling on the truck engine also reduces carbon emissions to the tune of almost 38,000 pounds of CO2.  The noiseless operation of systems creates safer operating conditions for the crew and the reduced wear-and-tear on the truck engine extends the truck life.

“The units involve much less integration with the chassis or the aerial equipment relative to their competitors,” said Mike Allison, Duke Energy’s Director of Fleet Design and Technical services. ”There is no loss of performance vs. running off of the diesel engine and chassis PTO. Fuel reductions have been as expected and the units are extremely quiet.”

The CFAT program, which NCCETC has administered since 2006, aims to reduce transportation-related air pollution emissions by funding public and private organizations projects in 24 eligible North Carolina counties. CFAT is supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds provided by the NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT). In 2019, up to $2,350,000 in federal funding is being awarded. The next Request for Proposals for CFAT will be targeted for January 8, 2020, and applications will be due March 17.

In 2018, Town of Apex installed three SmartPTO units after being awarded the CFAT grant. Take a look at many more CFAT funded projects here.

“We are appreciative of the work that has been done by [NCCETC] in making the funds available to jump start our movement to the Viatec system,” Allison said.

“The financial assistance makes the difference between an organization doing a project or not,” Sapienza said. “Quite often once an organization gains experience and realizes the results and impact of the various technologies, they continue expanding their use without funding, because it makes sense due to efficiency, financial and ecological reasons – a win all around.”

Stay updated and learn more about the CFAT grant here.

Sustainable Fleet Webinars: Build Your Own Charging Station & A.I. for Fleets

Join us on Wednesday, December 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. EST (11 a.m. to noon PST) for a free Sustainable Fleet Webinar!

Hear how a leading fleet manager has built solar canopies for EV charging. The concept recently received an $800,000 grant to scale the project. Learn how you can build your own solar charging station, saving at least $40,000 in the process.

In addition, join the discussion to learn about advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) for fleet operations. Fleet operations are undergoing change and AI is a powerful tool playing a part in the evolution. Our featured AI expert has been involved with the first drone package delivery deployment.

Also, hear from another leading fleet manager from the city designated “America’s Smart City” which has turned a $50 million grant into a $500 million public private partnership effort. He will discuss a simple and powerful tool that has saved his operation $1 million dollars in 5 years. This idea can be implemented in your operation tomorrow.

Space is limited! Please register at your earliest convenience to reserve a spot. Register here.

Posted by Nicole Deck

Clean Transportation Demonstration Days

The NC Clean Energy Technology CenterCentralina Clean Fuels Coalition and Triangle J Council of Governments had two Clean Transportation Demonstration Days – one on Oct. 8 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, and the second on Oct. 9 at the NC Highway Patrol Training Academy in Garner, NC.

Clean Transportation Demonstration Days support North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80 and give government entities across North Carolina information and experience with clean transportation technologies.

Executive Order 80 calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. The order “affirms North Carolina’s commitment to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels, calls for a 40% reduction in energy consumption in state-owned buildings, and calls for an increase in registered, zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) to at least 80,000 – all by year 2025.”

Vendors included Durham County Police, Tesla, Viatec, Alliance AutoGas, Thomas Built, Clipper Creek, Nissan, Ford, Chevrolet, Zero Motorcycles, Blue Arrow Telematics, eBike Central, Altech JEMs, Campbell-Parnell, Polaris GEM, Jaguar and more – displaying electric and propane vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including police cars, a school bus, bucket truck, motorcycles and more – plus idling reduction and telematics equipment.

Participants at the events, who were government and utility entities, listened to classroom instruction including alternative fuel options, telematics, other new technologies, and safety. After the instruction, guests moved to the closed-course race tracks to check out the different technologies and vehicles and test drive.


Student Art Contest Winners Share Their Story

In the third year of North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC)’s “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest, students in North Carolina from kindergarten through college submitted their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state. Students were asked to create art focused on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles and help keep the air clean. NCCETC congratulated four artists located in Raleigh, Charlotte, Waxhaw and Jacksonville, N.C., and the artwork is now live on 22 billboards across North Carolina.

Heather Brutz, Finance and Operations Manager of the Clean Transportation Program at NCCETC, and leader of the project, said her goals were to educate the public about steps we can take to improve air quality, as well as engage young people’s creative talents to help get the word out.

“Clean air is vital for health,” Brutz said. “This is true for people of all ages, but there is research that shows that exposure to air pollution for kids increases their chances of getting asthma, which affects their health for the rest of their lives.”

Brutz said she came up with the Student Art Contest when recalling her previous job as a middle school teacher.

“I used to try and encourage my students to express themselves, and express concepts that they were learning about in other classes in art,” Brutz said. “When considering ways to educate people about air quality and ways to engage young people, I thought about the idea of featuring student artwork. From there, I thought through the idea more and came up with the idea of a social media art contest. I had seen other social media image contests that friends had taken part in before, and that was also an influence.”

The Center was successful in receiving a lot of great submissions, Brutz said, making it hard to choose four winners.

“Everyone who submitted did a great job and should feel very proud of their artwork,” Brutz said.

We talked to winners of the contest about what their artwork means and what clean air means to them:

Elizabeth Leonard – Elementary School Winner | Grace Classical School, Jacksonville, N.C.

Q: Why did you want to enter the contest?

A: I thought it would be a fun experience and good to get myself out there.

Q: What does your artwork mean/what were you trying to express?

A: It means that we have one earth and we have to protect it – it’s important because we don’t want to ruin the one earth we have.

Q: What does “keep our air clean” mean to you? Why do you think keeping our air clean is important?

A: Keeping our air clean is important because pollution is bad for the earth.

Q: Are you doing things yourself – like riding your bike, carpooling, etc?

A: We used to live in Paris where we took metro and school buses, but here it’s harder because my school doesn’t have school buses and we live farther from other people. But we try our best and our dad does carpool. I also only go to school two times a week. (this is how her school days are set up)

Q: What was your reaction when you won the contest?

A: I was very surprised and happy about it. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to put myself out there. I want to be an artist.

Q: What do you hope will come out of your artwork being up on a billboard for people to see?

A: I hope that people will see that we have a beautiful state with beautiful flowers and trees that give us closer bond to nature, so we have to take care of it.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add.

A: I have asthma and I need clean air even more.

 

Adriana Ryder – Middle School Winner | Arbor Academy, Waxhaw, N.C.

Q: Why did you want to enter the contest?

A: To motivate people to ride their bikes more and take care of our earth.

Q: What does your artwork mean/what were you trying to express?

A: I was trying to express that we only have one planet, and I think that is very important to take care of it now before it is too late. By just making small choices, we will be helping our environment stay healthy.

Q: What does “keep our air clean” mean to you? Why do you think keeping our air clean is important?

A: To me it means reducing pollution. I think the easiest way to do this is to drive less. Car-based pollution is one of the most common ways we are poisoning our air. Instead of driving, we could walk or bike. Not only will it be keeping our air clean, but it is good exercise!

Q: Are you doing things yourself – like riding your bike, carpooling, etc?

A: We live in a growing town and we often walk to the bakery or coffee shops. Sometimes we will bike to Redbox to rent a movie, and my sister walks to school on cool mornings.

Q: What was your reaction when you won the contest?

A: I was thrilled when I found out that my art had won the contest!

Q: What do you hope will come out of your artwork being up on a billboard for people to see?

A: I am very hopeful that my art will make an impact on the people who see it.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add.

A: Thank you! This opportunity was very enjoyable and I am thankful for winning.

 

Catalina Scott – High School Winner | Northwest School of the Arts, Charlotte, NC

Q: Why did you want to enter the contest?

I wanted to enter because I’m extremely passionate about the earth and how we can use cleaner and more renewable sources within our community; I also felt as though my art could make an impact within this topic.

Q: What does your artwork mean/what were you trying to express?

The idea I was trying to express within my artwork was somebody being able to enjoy riding their bike within nature, and the community they live in. I feel as though more simple, “outdoorsy” type activities aren’t as appreciated, even though the can benefit us and get us to connect with the outside world.

Q: What does “keep our air clean” mean to you? Why do you think keeping our air clean is important?

What the phrase “keep our air clean” says to me is that we currently, only have one planet to live on. We need to keep our air clean so not only do we survive, but generations after see the example we set, and see just how important it is that we take care of the earth and air around us.

Q: Are you doing things yourself – like riding your bike, carpooling, etc?

As for me, I do still continue to ride my bike, and I also try to find time to just take a walk outside, maybe sit down in a park or a bench somewhere and sketch- and also trying to stick to things such as disposable cups and packages and reusable bags.

Q: What was your reaction when you won the contest?

I was honestly shocked that I won the contest! I’m confident in my artwork, but I was scared that my artwork and my message wouldn’t get chosen amongst the others. I’m really grateful for this opportunity, and for the fact that people will be able to view my artwork from a giant billboard.

Q: What do you hope will come out of your artwork being up on a billboard for people to see?

What I hope will come out is that people will get inspired by my artwork, and question if they can do anything to help within their community, even if it’s just riding a bike or planting a tree or not using a plastic bag.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add.

I would like to say, that when it comes to clean air and renewable resources, every little thing counts. You don’t have to do a grand gesture to feel like your caring for the environment. Whether you’re a company, a group or organization, or even a single person, no gesture is too big or too small in regards to how we treat the earth.

 

Megan McLaughlin – College Winner | Wake Tech Community College, Raleigh, N.C.

Q: Why did you want to enter the contest?

A: I wanted to enter the contest because I have always loved to do art but I want to further my work to more public pieces that illustrate current issues and important topics like clean air and a healthy environment – and basically spread awareness in a creative way.

Q: What does your artwork mean/what were you trying to express?

A: This piece specifically is expressing a way that everyone can contribute to clean air and less pollution while also having fun with it.

Q: What does “keep our air clean” mean to you? Why do you think keeping our air clean is important?

A: “Keep our air clean” to me means doing what we can to help lower pollution levels and in return improving our health in the present and the future. And overall being mindful about what we do to the environment.

Q: Are you doing things yourself – like riding your bike, carpooling, etc?

A: Currently I am not riding my bike places, but I plan to in the future. I do carpool as much as possible where it’s convenient and try to find the most efficient ways to travel.

Q: What was your reaction when you won the contest?

A: I was really happy and excited that I won the contest. It is very fulfilling to win, also knowing that I’m able to express a positive message through art.

Q: What do you hope will come out of your artwork being up on a billboard for people to see?

A: With my artwork being up on the billboard, I am hoping people will see it and start doing just small things like biking, walking, or carpooling, or taking public transit. These lifestyle changes will hopefully improve health and the air quality.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add.

A: I love finding opportunities like this where I don’t necessarily want anything from it but to do what I enjoy doing, which is creating. Spreading positivity and inspiring change to a healthier earth. 🙂

Posted by Nicole Deck

National Drive Electric Week 2019 Photos

Last week, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center celebrated National Drive Electric Week 2019 with six events in Raleigh at NC State University, Winston-Salem at Wake Forest University, and Pittsboro, NC! Check out the photos from the events below.

NC State Football Tailgate & Expo (Photos by Nicole Deck)

 

Centennial Campus Expo + Ride & Drive (Photos by Nicole Deck)

 

Driver Meet-Up + Ride & Drive (Photos by Nicole Deck)

Winston-Salem events at Wake Forest University (Photos by Matt Abele)

Downtown Pittsboro Expo (Photos by John Bonitz)

Clean Transportation Demonstration Days Oct. 8 & 9

Join the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition and Triangle J Council of Governments for two Clean Transportation Demonstration Days this October 8 & 9!

Register for the Oct. 8 Concord event here, and register for the Oct. 9 Raleigh event here.

Ron Luttrell of Zero Motorcycles talks to a guest test driving a Zero Motorcycle at First Responder Clean Transportation Demonstration Day.
Photo by Mark Lienhard, EVOLVE GT LLC.

Executive Order 80 calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. The order “affirms North Carolina’s commitment to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels, calls for a 40% reduction in energy consumption in state-owned buildings, and calls for an increase in registered, zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) to at least 80,000 – all by year 2025.”

Clean Transportation Demonstration Days support Executive Order 80 and give government entities across North Carolina information and experience with clean transportation technologies. The day will consist of classroom instruction with real-world case study results, hands-on product static review, networking, and a closed-course ride and drive for those who wish to participate.

Classroom instruction will include alternative fuel options, telematics and other new technologies, safety and more. There will be a diverse display of vehicles including a Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica, police vehicle and fire truck, Zero Motorcycle and more. Lunch will be provided.

*Note: The event is only open to government entities and utilities.

For any questions, contact Rick Sapienza at resapien@ncsu.edu or 919-515-2788 (office)/ 919-332-4510 (cell).

Register for the Oct. 8 Concord event here, and register for the Oct. 9 Raleigh event here.

Six National Drive Electric Week Events This September

 

Join the NC Clean Energy Technology Center for National Drive Electric Week 2019! We will have six events located in Winston-Salem, Pittsboro and Raleigh, NC, including vehicle expos/tailgates, ride and drives, and driver meet-ups. Visit www.DriveElectricWeek.org to find an event near you!

Electric Vehicle Car Show & Tailgate, 4-6 p.m. Friday, September 13 in Winston-Salem, BB&T Field: Join us to kick off National Drive Electric Week at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem with a tailgate and plug-in electric vehicle car show at the Wake Forest Vs. UNC Chapel Hill football game!  Kick-off is at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 13. The vehicles will be located in front of the Bridger Field House.

(For game day on Friday, due to the congestion and traffic, if you do not have tickets for the game or parking arrangements, it is not advised that you come visit the plug-in electric vehicle show. )

Register here.

Driver Meet-Up, Car Show + Ride & Drive, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. September 14 in Winston-Salem, BB&T Field:  On Saturday, September 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., bring your plug-in vehicle to a driver meet-up, car show and ride and drive, which is open to the public. The vehicles will be located in the Gold Parking Lot across from Bridger Field House.

Register here.

Electric Vehicle Car Show + Ride & Drive on Thursday, September 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Join us for a car show and ride & drive at Venture Plaza on NC State University’s Centennial campus. For this lunchtime event, there will be food trucks, static EVs and PHEVs to look at as well as test-drive. If you are an owner, there will be room for up to 10 static vehicles for the static car show. Owners are also welcome to participate in the ride & drive portion of the event.

For those who just want to visit and are not part of the Centennial Campus community, pay public parking is available in front of the Hunt Library. This is the same venue as the spring 2019 Earth Day event and will be a similar setup. Come on out have lunch and learn about driving on electricity!

Register here.

Driver Meet-Up & Car Show on Friday, September 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Join us for a plug-in electric vehicle driver meet-up, car show, and ride & drive outside the Close-King Indoor practice facility at the corner of Westchase Boulevard and Peter Karmanos Jr. Drive, next to Carter Finley Stadium.  Bring your plug-in vehicle. Open to the public.

Register here.

Electric Vehicle Show & Tailgate on Saturday, September 21, time TBD: Join us for a tailgate and plug-in electric vehicle car show outside the Close-King Indoor practice facility at the corner of Westchase Boulevard and Peter Karmanos Jr. Drive, next to Carter-Finley Stadium. Come learn about electric, plug-in hybrid electric and hybrid electric vehicles, as well as register for a chance to win NC State University Football prizes!

(For game day on Saturday, due to congestion and traffic, if you do not have tickets for the game or parking arrangements, it is not advised that you come visit the plug-in electric vehicle show.)

Electric Vehicle Car Show at Pepperfest, Downtown Pittsboro, 3-6 p.m. Sunday, September 22: Join us at the 2019 Pepper Festival in Downtown Pittsboro to check out a display of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, and talk to us to learn more about them.

Learn more and find an event near you at www.DriveElectricWeek.org!

Posted by Nicole Deck

2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference Expo A Success

The 2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo showcased the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas and propane arenas – including everything from a 2-seater 6-foot tall electric GEM to a 15-ton Ford F-750 Danville Public Works propane truck with an attached Petersen Lightning Loader.

More than 50 speakers in a variety of backgrounds presented their ideas and practices last week in Durham, NC – highlighting the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities – including fleet managers, technicians, company presidents and CEOs, university professors, researchers, analysts, nonprofit managers and more. 

Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Program Manager at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, said the event met the main objective well – which was to guide and exchange ideas.

“The conference was strong on all levels – speakers, attendees, and technologies presented,” Sapienza said. 

“It was great to see professionals from different industries and backgrounds coming together to discuss strategies for improving the sustainability of transportation in our state,” said Heather Brutz, Clean Transportation Finance and Operations Manager.

Conference tracks included Trends in Advanced Fuels and Fueling, Integrated Fleet Technology Solutions, and Fleet Efficiency & Sustainability. Within those, the sessions were Electric Vehicles; Propane; Natural Gas; Biofuel Solutions; Telematics; Recruiting, Retention and Career Development; Infrastructure and Intelligent Solutions; Heavy Duty Vehicle Efficiency; Electrification and the Grid; Rural and Small Town Fleet Operations; Fleet Efficiency and Idle Reduction; and Procurement Solutions.

The expo hall was full of more than 40 diverse exhibitors and over a dozen vehicles inside and outside the convention center, including an ECO Vehicle systems propane bus, GoSolar Tesla, EV ARC (a solar-powered vehicle charging by Envision Solar), a plug-in hybrid Durham Police car, Altec JEMS electric bucket truck, a SMARTPTO Viatec bucket truck, Ingevity adsorbed natural gas truck, Dannar Mobile Power Station (MPS) electric work vehicle, Thomas Built Buses Jouley Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus, Zero Motorcycles and more.

“This year, the excitement and open two-way conversation stood out. People were engaged,” Sapienza said. 

Fleet managers are looking for ways to improve the performance, efficiency and sustainability of their fleets, and more technology and equipment is coming out to aid in that endeavor, said Allison Carr, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC.

“There is a genuine interest in development and integration of sustainable strategies into fleets,” Sapienza said. “The appetite is there, and there is creativity on the part of the technology providers, as well as the end-users.”

New this year, the pre-conference day included a workshop: Fleet Efficiency & Sustainability in a Campus Setting, where experienced fleet managers discussed the metrics needed to make smart decisions for alternative fuels and technologies in various campus settings. Speakers included William Evans, Princeton University; Chris Facente, UNC Charlotte; Kathy Wellik, Iowa State University; Charles Bey, UNC Asheville; Ronald Gitelman, Yale University; Michael Duffy, University of Virginia (Both Yale University and the University of Virginia are NAFA Sustainable Fleet Accredited, and Iowa State University is in process for accreditation). 

To close-out pre-conference day, the Mobile CARE and NC Smart Fleet Awards were awarded

The Fleets & Advanced Mobility Solutions plenary panel with Greg Treinen of Daimler/Freightliner; Bill Combs of Penske; Stuart Weidie of Alliance AutoGas/Blossman Gas; Michael McDonald of UPS; and moderator Mark Smith of the U.S. Department of Energy – Vehicle Technologies Office; covered what each speaker is doing in their fleet to continue to improve on efficiency, performance and sustainability.

McDonald with UPS said that as a fleet manager, he looks at vehicles and uses what works best in every application – whether is electric, propane, natural gas or biofuel. 

“Every technology that’s been mentioned or not been mentioned has a drawback. There’s no one fuel that solves the problem,” McDonald said. “Ask questions, get as much as you can from the questions you ask, and formulate your own opinion.”

The Planning for an Advanced Transportation Future plenary panel with Geoff Morrison of Cadmus; Diane Turchetta of Federal Highway Administration; Phil Bisesi of ElectriCities; Jibonananda Sanyal of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Chris Werner of North Carolina Department of Transportation; and moderator Cassie Powers of National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO); covered what each speaker is doing to get ready for the inevitable changes and new advanced technologies coming to the world of transportation. Overall, they agreed that integration, communication, collaboration and partnership were the keywords to make it happen.

Keynote speakers included David Dunn, Fleet and Facilities Management Division Manager of the City of Orlando; and Mark Smith, Technology Integration Program Manager at US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office.

Smith talked about the state of transportation and where it’s heading; integrating more technology within light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, alternative fuel infrastructure and energy efficient mobility systems and technologies; and the importance of Clean Cities coalitions. Smith said the Department of Energy ‘envisions more choices and more efficient and affordable technology, when and wherever it’s needed.’

Dunn pointed to the ways the City of Orlando continues to work to make its fleet more sustainable. He said that change doesn’t have to happen overnight – successful results can be slow and steady.

“Sustainability is not a destination; it is a never-ending journey,” Dunn said.

Presenter PowerPoint presentations will soon be available at www.SustainableFleetExpo.com. Stay tuned for next year’s conference dates!