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Posted by Growth Energy

Americans Have Driven More Than 1 Billion Miles on E15

American consumers have helped E15 – a fuel containing 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline – reach a significant milestone. According to Growth Energy’s ongoing analysis of fuel sales and consumption data reported by major gasoline retailers, drivers across the United States have logged more than 1 billion miles on E15 – attesting to the fuel’s performance, safety, and value.

“American drivers are taking advantage of the proven performance, environmental benefits, and savings E15 provides,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

Growth Energy is proud to celebrate this milestone and highlight the value E15 delivers in terms of better performance, reduction of toxic emissions, and savings at the pump. Today, E15 is sold at more than 800 retail outlets across 29 states, and its availability continues to grow each day because 21st century drivers are demanding 21st century fuels. You can find places to purchase ethanol at www.GetEthanol.com.

The EPA approves E15 for use in any vehicle manufactured since 2001, which equates to 9 out of 10 cars on the road today. Automakers also approve E15 for use in nearly three-quarters of new cars.

There’s More Than One Way to Commute

Mary Sell, Best Workplaces for Commuters Coordinator with the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG), has polled Triangle J residents about their daily commute. While most use their personal vehicles to get to-and-from work, others opted for walking, riding their bike, or public transit. “As job growth surges, so does the traffic and stress associated with a long, congestion filled commute,” says Sell. “Many [triangle] area commuters are looking for alternatives.”

The Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) Program is a resource, offered by TJCOG, that workplaces can depend on for best practices, education opportunities, and national workplace recognition.

The following is a post by Mary Sell:

Best Workplaces for Commuters recognizes the essential nature of good transportation resources in our growing region and the comprehensive strategic planning, education and outreach programming needed to support it. This approach has helped to create a holistic strategy to mitigate the impact of increasingly congested roadways and provide alternatives for commuters that decide a bike or bus may be more their style. BWC provides recognition to workplaces that have taken great steps to encourage modal shifts, serves as a regional resource, and ultimately works to expand upon individual actions to create a triangle-wide impact.

Currently, the Triangle Best Workplaces for Commuters program has over 30 participating organizations, with over 100,000 employees combined. As the program grows, so do the opportunities to strategically advance alternative transportation modes in our region. Take BWC members Citrix or Red Hat for example; each has onsite bike sharing and secure parking for those that commute in via 2-wheels. Or member American Tobacco Campus and their forward thinking decision to provide transit amenities to tenants to decrease the need for costly parking deck installations. Each BWC employer has unique transportation benefits that helped qualify them for national designation and continues to add to the regional conversation about how to attract and retain the best possible talent. Our role here at the COG is to recognize this activity and act as a facilitator and convener to help spread these good ideas as quickly as we can to provide the most impact that we can. Through working groups, regional events, and networking opportunities, BWC provides an embedded network of employers that value what their employees value – a better commute and a better way of life.

We all have ideas that we can learn from each other. Why not approach these challenges with collaborative partnerships to help our entire region? After all, one less car on the road benefits not only the alternative commuter enjoying their newly minted bike ride to work, but also the driver that has one less car beside them as they set in for their daily trek into the office. As the Triangle J region grows, so too does our need for innovative solutions. Best Workplaces for Commuters is just one of the many regional tools helping us to advance alternative transportation modes and decrease the dependence regionally on a car-centric way of life.

Learn more about our Best Workplaces for Commuter program here: http://www.trianglebwc.org/

PARTICLE FALLS

PARTICLE FALLS is a free, public art display designed by artist and scientist Andrea Polli. Enjoy this exhibit any night from March 24th to April 23rd in downtown Raleigh.

See air particulate pollution come to light before your eyes as real-time air quality readings are translated into an animated, colorful projection of light resembling a flowing waterfall. Watch the colors change as pollution rises and falls throughout the evening. The display begins each night at dusk on a 5-story building across the street from the Raleigh Times Bar (located at 14 E Hargett St).

Co-sponsored by Clean Air Carolina, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Novozymes, Empire Properties, Growth Energy, and Foursaken Media, this five-week event hopes to educate the public about the presence and impact of particle pollution in North Carolina and the alternative clean transportation options consumers can choose to help keep North Carolina’s air cleaner and healthier for us all.

Learn more at www.particlefallsRAL.org

Historic Friendship & Innovation Fuels A Greener Future

With Black History Month soon ending, we wanted to take a moment to remember one historical figure we all learned about in grade school whose impact extended far beyond just peanuts.

Beyond his fame for peanut applications, George Washington Carver’s research and influence extended across the entire industry of agricultural chemistry. His career aim was to give farmers in the South alternatives to cotton and create new markets to break into, and ultimately became an early proponent of environmentalism.

Carver’s commitment to a cleaner, greener planet is paying dividends today, and while many are familiar with much of Carver’s legacy, you may be surprised to learn that he also dabbled in automotive fuels. Carver is widely credited with discovering a method for turning soybeans into oil, which today is a common feedstock for making biodiesel.

His acclaim as an agricultural chemist eventually caught the attention of Henry Ford, another historic innovator, who was turning to agriculture to learn more about biofuels, which, like Carver, he considered the “fuel of the future.”

While Ford was designing early concepts of the Model T car, he sought out Carver’s expertise in agricultural chemistry to help make his biofuel vision a reality. The two developed a friendship and working relationship that would last the rest of their lives, with Ford saying Carver was “the greatest of all my inspiring friends.”

Ford would eventually design a car that could run on ethanol, a renewable biofuel made from plants, and in 1942 after years of correspondence, showcased a vehicle built with a plastic body made from Carver’s soybeans. The hard work, foresight, and resourcefulness he shared with Carver continues to benefit us all today.

All these years later, we’re continuing to build off of Ford and Carver’s automotive and agricultural legacies in the field of biofuels. In fact, ethanol is in 97% of all gasoline sold in the United States. The same fuel that Carver and Ford envisioned is now helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 43% and significantly cutting our reliance on foreign oil.

More and more, drivers are gaining access to fuels with higher blends of ethanol such as E15, which has 5% more of the biofuel than regular gasoline.

By adding more ethanol to our fuel, we’re able to take advantage of all the biofuel has to offer. That translates to lower greenhouse gas emissions and less wear and tear on our engines. It also is higher octane, which means more horsepower at a favorable price point.

All told, E15 is a 21st century fuel that is fit for use in all cars made 2001 and newer. Drivers across America have traveled over 500 million miles on this high-performance fuel.

Carver and Ford would be excited to learn that Americans are using more biofuels than ever before. Their vision of a world powered by ethanol is becoming reality.

To find an E15 retailer near you, visit GetEthanol.com.

2017 Community Asthma Walk

May is Asthma Awareness Month. Join the Mecklenburg County Asthma Coalition (MCAC) in their efforts to raise awareness and support for those affected by asthma by signing up for the 2017 Community Asthma Walk on May 6th.

The walk will begin and end at the Hauser Alumni Pavilion at UNC – Charlotte. Pre-registration is available until May 1. On-site registration will be from 8:00am to 9:00am and the Asthma Walk will start at 10:00am with snacks, fellowship, and tabletops to follow. There will be free parking at the Student Union Deck.

To sponsor or donate to this event contact Kelly Reeves.

For an interactive map including directions to UNC – Charlotte, click here.

Posted by U.S. DOT - Federal Highway Administration

Electric Corridor

Key steps toward accelerating the utilization of electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure needed to support them have been taken in the form of a national network of alternative fuel and electric charging corridors enabling coast to coast zero emission mobility on our nation’s highways.

Forty-eight of the 55 routes (spanning 35 states) that have been designated to accommodate one or more alternative fuel vehicles (including: electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas) will support electric vehicles specifically. In North Carolina, I-40 and I-85 will have corridors providing access to public Level 2 or DC Fast Charge stations from Raleigh to Hickory, Black Mountain to Asheville, and Raleigh to Gastonia. These charge stations will be five miles from the highway, with 50 miles between stations.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that road signs along the corridors will reduce range anxiety by pointing out where drivers can stop to charge their electric vehicles.

To learn more about the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) announcement under the U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration, click here.

Posted by Growth Energy

500M miles on E15

The national yearly average price of gasoline will rise from $2.13 (in 2016) to $2.49 (almost 17%) in 2017, according to GasBuddy Organization Inc. Americans are estimated to shell out $52 billion more to fill up this year due to an 18% jump in oil prices as a result of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other nations reaching an agreement to reduce their output.

This implementation could leave numerous Americans wanting an alternative to the impending steep price tag of gasoline. “E15, which contains 15 percent ethanol, is an even better choice for their wallets, their engines, and the environment,” said Emily Skor, Growth Energy CEO. “That’s why more than 400 stations across 28 states are selling E15, and demand continues to grow.”

Growth Energy, leaders in the national effort to increase awareness of ethanol, has announced that drivers across the U.S. have more than 500 million miles driven on E15, making it the most tested fuel on the road. This number is based on sales and consumption data reported over the past 12 months by major gasoline retailers. E15’s fuel performance, safety, and value have been tested by the U.S. Department of Energy proving that vehicles can run without a problem for up to 120,000 miles. Automakers even approve of its use in nearly three-quarters of new cars.

According to Skor, “ethanol is already in 97% of the gasoline sold in the United States” and works for any vehicle manufactured since 2001. A complete list of flex fuel vehicles is available here.

Posted by Cobb County, Georgia

21st Century Fleet

In today’s age of technology, connectivity and smart-everything, fleets from across the country are looking to use the latest tools and trends to keep their vehicles on the road longer and with lower maintenance costs. Telematics, computers, and analytics have recently helped Cobb County, Georgia, stay on top of their more than 2,300 assets.

“We try to manage our fleet based on a lot of data which we examine constantly, and then integrate it with other resources and come up with a solution. The details involved require some extra time and effort, but in the end, we believe that we do a very good job for the taxpayers,” according to Al Curtis, the Cobb County, Georgia fleet manager.

The county keeps track of vehicle downtime, turnaround time, cost per mile, and other analytics to help make data driven decisions about vehicle replacement. These measures have helped the county identify the worst performing vehicles and reduce inefficient spending.

Aside from improving efficiency, these measures have also helped Cobb County identify the best scenarios for incorporating alternative fuels into their fleet. With this knowledge, Cobb County can determine the best alternative fuels for each duty cycle. This has led to the introduction of hybrid, propane, and electric vehicles into the fleet.

“Our alternative-fuel vehicles have traveled over 150,000 petroleum-free miles with no major problems. We have saved over $246,000 from the reduction in fuel usage, lower maintenance costs, and leasing the vehicles instead of purchasing them.” – Al Curtis.

This blog post includes excerpts from WorkTruck Online. You can view the entire story here.

Posted by Plug-in NC

In the Market for an EV?

Are you in the market for a new electric vehicle? Well, now is the perfect time to consider making that purchase.

Nissan just announced special pricing available to Plug-in NC Stakeholders on their 100% electric Nissan LEAF.  Under this new incentive, Nissan is offering a rebate of $10,000 per vehicle. Combine this rebate with the $7,500 federal tax credit and you’ve got yourself a great deal!  These incentives take a total of $17,500 off of the MSRP of a Nissan LEAF. Find out more about the offer here.

We’re excited that Nissan and Plug-in NC have worked together to help bring more electric vehicles to the roads in North Carolina. Stay tuned for more exciting incentives and opportunities like this in the future!

About Plug-in NC: Plug-in NC has been working since 2011 to establish North Carolina as a leader in electrified transportation. A state-wide program, Plug-in NC promotes electric vehicles through education and outreach, consulting and resource development. Plug-in NC also strives to provide a collaborative opportunity for stakeholders to work together to ensure seamless integration of plug-in electric vehicles into North Carolina’s local communities.

Featured Photo courtesy of Karlis Dambrans.

Fuel Up on E15

Our partners at Growth Energy recently put together a fantastic website to help consumers find the closest fueling stations that provide both E15 and E85 blends of Ethanol across the state of North Carolina and the entire country. We’re incredibly excited about this resource, as it helps consumers diversify their fuel choices and helps them select cleaner burning options. So why should you be interested in filling up with E15/E85?

Three simple reasons: it’s good for the environment, our engines, and our wallets.

  1. Environment – Compared to regular gasoline, E15 is carbon reductive. Each year, ethanol production and use decreases greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to removing 20 million cars from the road!
  2. Engine – E15 is a high-performance fuel, with a naturally high octane. It burns cleaner and cooler than regular gasoline.
  3. Wallet – E15 gives consumers a more affordable option when fueling up. Today, our country consumes more than 19 million barrels of oil each day – one-fourth of which has to be imported from hostile foreign nations. That costs a lot – and prices fluctuate constantly based on turmoil in the Middle East.

To find out where you can fuel up with E15 or E85, visit www.GetEthanol.com.