Category Archives: Featured

NCCETC’s Clean Transportation Program Advances Technologies and Public Education

The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC)’s Clean Transportation program propels the development, awareness and use of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies. Our clean transportation program’s outreach and education initiatives include workshops, meetings, conferences and communication campaigns highlighting the benefits of using clean transportation technologies- from alternative fuel to sustainable fleet management.

Currently, the clean transportation team is hosting weekly webinars through the Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series, a collaborative partnership with NAFA Fleet Management Association and The 100 Best Fleets, to share the best practices and information on the latest fleet technologies. 

Heather Brutz staff profileThe clean transportation team also provides technical assistance in the form of training and fleet assessments. Heather Brutz, Finance and Operations Manager for the clean transportation program, was on a team that conducted a quantitative analysis evaluating the potential impacts of alternative fuel vehicles on transportation revenue in North Carolina. “My analysis showed that the current electric vehicle fee covers the lost revenue from the gas tax that electric vehicles do not pay because they do not use gasoline,” Brutz said.

John Bonitz staff profileNCCETC’s staff helps to diversify fuel supplies, reduce emissions and support cleaner air and greater energy security. John Bonitz, a specialist on the clean transportation team, assists in administering federal funding through the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project which focuses on reducing transportation-related emissions. The CFAT project is funded with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds provided by the NC Department of Transportation. Bonitz supports the CFAT project by alerting fleets when applications open, processing these applications and collecting quarterly reports. 

Bonitz is also a part of the first electric cooperative demonstration of a new electric-vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charger created by Fermata Energy. This electric vehicle (EV) charger does more than power an EV – it’s bi-directional, which means it can pull the power from the vehicle’s batteries back into the electric grid. Last year, Fermata Energy asked Roanoke Electric Cooperative in Ahoskie, North Carolina to help demonstrate this V2G charger using the co-op’s two leased Nissan Leaf EVs. “Working with Roanoke Electric Cooperative to document their demonstration of dollar values from a bi-directional charger has been, by far, the most rewarding project yet,” Bonitz said. 

Rick Sapienza staff profileNew transportation technologies are always on the horizon and U.S. fleets are currently in a frenzy to electrify, according to Richard Sapienza, Director of the Clean Transportation program. So, the clean transportation team recently hired two new clean transportation specialists.  “I welcome the expertise and assistance of our two new hires, Lisa Poger and Alrik Lunsford,” Sapienza said. “Both have significant and relevant industry experience and can hit the ground running.”

Sapienza has more than 35 years of industry experience under his sleeve and strives to support public and private fleets as well as the public consumer, giving them the knowledge to make informed decisions. For 2021, Sapienza is looking forward to doing more public education through webinars, conferences and demonstration events. Sapienza explained, “The reach and impact that these events have across the industry makes me proud to be involved in this important effort.”

GET TO KNOW THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF THE TEAM

Lisa Poger, Senior Clean Transportation Specialist

Lisa Poger is an environmental scientist and has worked for regulated electric utility industries for 15 years. She has assisted in several programs centered around electric vehicles and their implementation through outreach and education efforts to advance transportation adoption across the state.

What kind of expertise are you bringing to/focusing on at the Center?

I bring a utility perspective to NCCETC for transportation electrification.

What experience in the clean energy industry have you previously had?

I have over a decade of experience in the utility and electric generation industry with a focus on renewables and demand response, identifying and creating new opportunities for cleaner energy solutions. Prior to joining NCCETC, I managed electric transportation projects and led the statewide electric vehicle collaborative, Plug-in NC, at Advanced Energy North Carolina. Plug-in NC brought together industry stakeholders to identify and address barriers affecting electric transportation market transformation.

Alrik Lunsford, Clean Transportation Specialist

Alrik Lunsford is native to Durham, NC and received his bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and Design from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He’s also an alum of North Carolina Central University, where he received a post graduate degree in Public Administration. 

What kind of expertise are you bringing to/focusing on at the Center?

I am an experienced grant writer with an array of education and marketing strategies to foster both learning and partnerships. My expertise lies in design and product branding, attention to detail and the ability to foster relationships with other organizations. 

What experience in the clean energy industry have you previously had?

Previously, I oversaw Clean Fuel Advanced Technologies grant activities while serving as an Education and Outreach partner to NCCETC. During this time I increased stakeholder awareness of clean energy practices through publications, facilitating training, workshops and grant writing.

I also co-facilitated Rural Planning Organization transportation meetings that determined transportation project funding for local counties. The information gleaned from these presentations helped guide local elected officials and technical staff on both high and low priority issues governed by the NC Department of Transportation statutes and policies.

2021 “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest Winners Share Their Story

In the fourth year of the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC)’s “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest, students in North Carolina from kindergarten through high school 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 three artists located in Black Mountain, Hampstead and Cary, N.C.

Heather Brutz, Finance & Operations Manager of the Clean Transportation Program at NCCETC, and leader of the art contest, said her goals were to educate the public about what steps we can take to improve air quality, as well as engage young people’s creative talents to help get the word out. Brutz said she originally came up with the Student Art Contest while recalling a previous job as a middle school teacher and hoped that the contest would engage young people’s creativity to help spread the message about ways we can reduce air pollution from vehicles. 

“When I was a teacher, I would often try to engage students in a variety of different ways to teach a lesson. I applied that same thinking when I came up with the idea of the art contest. I wanted to engage a different audience than we sometimes engage in our other educational activities and I wanted to engage them in a different sort of activity than what we were already doing,” Brutz explained. “Artwork is so powerful and I wanted to work together with young artists to spread the message about ways we can keep our air clean.”

This year’s artwork was judged by a panel of four judges: Carla Davis, communications coordinator for NC State University’s Sustainability Office; Erin Champion, academic coordinator for the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State University; Traci Rider, assistant professor of architecture in the College of Design at NC State University; and Vincent Fazzio from Lamar Advertising. All of the winners selected by the judges were also voted in the top three artwork in their categories on NCCETC’s Facebook page.

The Center received a great number of submissions from students across the state. Brutz said, “I am very pleased at the number of submissions we received this year. We received 70 art submissions from all across North Carolina. It was a very competitive contest, and while we were only able to choose three winners to have their artwork displayed on billboards, every single young artist who submitted should feel proud of their artwork.”

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

Ella Millwood – Elementary School Winner | Black Mountain Elementary School, Black Mountain, NC

Why did you want to enter the contest?

I wanted to enter because I wanted everyone to see what the world could become. 

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

That people should help keep our air clean.

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

I think it is important because if the air is really polluted, we wouldn’t be able to breathe and there would be very little life on earth.

Are you doing things in your own life – like riding your bike, carpooling, etc?

We walk and carpool whenever possible. 

What was your reaction when you found out you won the contest?

I was surprised! I didn’t think I would actually win.

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

People to stop polluting our air and realize what the world could be.

Anything else you’d like to share.

I think that’s all!

Vivienne Butanis – Middle School Winner | Surf City Middle School, Hampstead, NC

Why did you want to enter the contest?

I wanted to enter the Student Art Contest because I wanted to express my disdain for the way we are treating our environment. It was an art class assignment to connect our art class to science. It was a way for me to see how I could interpret the current conditions of our environment into an art piece. 

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

My artwork is trying to express how badly we are currently treating the environment. My artwork depicts our earth from two points of view: the first point of view shows where the air is polluted, and another point of view of how our environment might look if taken better care of.

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

Keeping our air clean is important to me because at the rate we are burning fossil fuels and destroying the ozone layer, the earth won’t be inhabitable much longer which is a big part of why taking care of the environment is vital. We are not protecting the environment for just ourselves but for generations to come.

Are you doing things in your own life – like riding your bike, carpooling, etc?

I like to ride my bike and skateboard so I can get to places without having to increase my carbon footprint. It’s easier to get around in a coastal community only using a skateboard and a bike.

What was your reaction when you found out you won the contest?

I was very surprised and happy because I saw this contest as a good opportunity to put myself out there. My teacher says that art is not meant to be hidden in a drawer. We should put our work out there to cause a change. Sometimes that change is as simple as a thought.

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

I hope that people can see the current state of our environment and strive to make it better. Hopefully it will spark a change in everyone. We can not do everything but we can all do something.

Anything else you’d like to share.

Thank you for the opportunity of this contest that allows us to connect and reach people outside of our communities. 

Ashleigh Smith – High School Winner | Cary Academy, Cary, NC

Why did you want to enter the contest?

I entered the contest because I thought that it provided a unique opportunity to spread an important message, and as an artist I really love to use my artwork to help out in my community if I can. It was also just really fun to make!

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

There is a really nice greenway near my house and my family and I love to use it to get some exercise or a breath of fresh air by walking, running, skateboarding, or riding our bikes. I was inspired by that greenway and my brother’s love for mountain biking to create a piece that incorporated both and displayed a love for the beauty of nature and the outdoors, which will hopefully help convince people to help keep their air clean.

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

The state of our environment is more important to how we live our lives than I think a lot of people realize. If we care for our environment, it will care for us too and that can be as simple as carpooling with a friend or riding your bike to the store instead of driving. 

Are you doing things in your own life – like riding your bike, carpooling, etc?

Yes! I take regular walks with my mom around our neighborhood, and I always try to organize a carpool when going someplace with friends because it’s both environmentally-friendly and fun.

What was your reaction when you found out you won the contest?

I was so surprised, I couldn’t believe it! Everyone who submitted artwork is really talented and I’m glad that my work could be among theirs as well. 

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

I hope that it will inspire people to see the beauty and opportunities that nature holds, and further strive to understand how and why we need to take care of the air. 

Anything else you’d like to share.

Special thanks to my brother for modeling for me, as he is actually the person on the bike silhouetted in my art piece. He let me take pictures of him riding and then I used them to create my work.

Electric Vehicles Are Paving the Way for Emission-Free Transportation

Electric vehicles are gaining popularity as the cost of batteries continues to decrease, and many are beginning to gravitate towards them to not only help save the environment but also to help them save money. Electric vehicles (EVs) are transforming the automotive industry worldwide, with global sales increasing by 43 percent in 2020.

Dave Erb

Today, EVs offer many more advantages than just helping drivers decrease their carbon emissions. ”There are numerous purely automotive reasons to electrify, including noise, vibration and harshness, driver feel, packaging flexibility and acceleration performance,” Dave Erb, a retired automotive engineer who has been driving an EV since 2016, noted.

A study by the University of California Berkeley (UCB) found that electric heavy-duty trucks are already cheaper to own and operate than an internal combustion engine (ICE) truck, and light-duty EVs will hold a total cost of ownership advantage within the next five years.

UCB is not the only observer predicting lower prices, Bloomberg New Energy Finance published their prediction last year that EVs will reach up-front price parity, without subsidies, directly competing with prices for internal combustion vehicles by the mid-2020s.

EVs require less expensive and less frequent maintenance and offer high quality performance, known for operating smoothly and quietly while also providing more torque and agility while driving. “By most measures, EVs are just better vehicles, so the decision to drive them kind of makes itself,” Erb said.

Chris Maxwell

Although some believe recharging EVs is more troublesome than refueling at a gas station, many EV drivers actually find it to be more convenient. Chris Maxwell purchased his first EV in 2016 and drives up to 30,000 miles every year. “The great thing about an EV is you can unplug a soda machine at any old gas station to charge – electricity is everywhere,” Maxwell explained. He doesn’t worry about the range, because he can easily find electricity to recharge.

Range can also be a concern for drivers to switch to electric vehicles, but average electric vehicle range continues to increase while the price of all models continues to decrease. The UCB study states, “In the near future, when the average EV range increases, nearly 98 percent of all daily trips can be taken on a single charge.” By 2025, a number of EV models will be able to provide a range of 350 miles on a single charge, the same average range of light-duty ICE vehicles.

Drivers who purchase an EV are also eligible for tax credits and incentives for making the green choice. Many electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles purchased new are eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. In North Carolina and many other states, qualified EVs may use HOV or carpool lanes, regardless of the number of occupants, allowing them to bypass high congestion traffic areas.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), maintained by NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC)’s Energy Policy & Markets team, reported that 50 states plus the District of Columbia took a total of 598 policy and deployment actions related to EVs and charging infrastructure in 2020. Their 50 States of Electric Vehicles 2020 Annual Review identified the top ten EV trends which included state policymakers adopting bold EV targets, encouraging charging infrastructure development at multi-family buildings and states & utilities offering additional incentives for low-income customers.

NCCETC Clean Transportation Specialist John Bonitz noted, “With EV’s already lower operational costs, and price-parity predicted with gas vehicles in the next couple years, electrification is an increasingly compelling consideration for many fleet owners.”

The future of EVs is bright as more and more automakers continue electrifying their vehicles. Electric pick-up trucks are on the horizon, too, with Tesla, Ford, Rivian, General Motors, GMC-Hummer, Lordstown Motors and more expected to release models in the next few years.

Roanoke Electric Leading the Way in Savings with Proven EV Technology

This article is based on reporting from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, by Cathy Cash.

Early results from the first electric cooperative demonstration of a new electric-vehicle-to-grid charger show promise that such systems can help reduce peak demand and save members money.

Roanoke Electric Cooperative in Ahoskie, North Carolina, is demonstrating a special electric vehicle (EV) charger that can do double duty: It can both energize an EV and use the car’s batteries to feed power back to the electric grid.  This bidirectional, or V2G, capability could help utilities avoid peak power costs by tapping into the lower-priced energy stored by an EV during nighttime or off-peak hours.  “The overall goal is to stabilize our rates, become more efficient as a utility and prove new ways to save our members money,” said Curtis Wynn, president and CEO of Roanoke Electric, which serves about 14,000 members.

The Fermata FE-15 bidirectional charger at Roanoke Electric’s headquarters, with two Nissan LEAFs. Left to right, Wallace Ridgeway (Fermata Energy), Anita Knight (Roanoke Manager of Engineering), Ricky Robinson (Roanoke Warehouse Coordinator), and Dr Holmes Hummel (CleanEnergyWorks).

“The overall goal is to stabilize our rates, become more efficient as a utility and prove new ways to save our members money,” said Curtis Wynn, president and CEO of Roanoke Electric, which serves about 14,000 members.

This new charger is the first of its kind in the US to receive the certification of UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories), which reassures end users that the device has undergone rigorous safety testing and engineering.  The maker of the new charger, Fermata Energy, asked Roanoke Electric last year to help test its FE-15 charger using the co-op’s two leased Nissan LEAF EVs. The device can draw up to 111.6 kilowatt-hours in V2G capacity from the vehicles’ 62-kWh lithium ion batteries.

Already, the system shaved 11 kW off its January peak, saving $105, said Anita Knight, Roanoke Electric’s manager of engineering.

“It’s a very small percentage based on average demand on a monthly basis, but it is proving the concept,” Knight said.

Wynn said the co-op will use the test results to inform an upcoming commercial EV rate design study that will enhance its current pilot residential EV rate. The ultimate goal is to determine how to pass on savings and create EV incentives for members.

The Fermata FE-15 bidirectional charger at Roanoke Electric’s headquarters. Left to right, Dr Holmes Hummel (CleanEnergyWorks), Wallace Ridgeway (Fermata Energy), George Stamper (Roanoke VP of Engineering), Ricky Robinson (Roanoke Warehouse Coordinator), Anita Knight (Roanoke Manager of Engineering), and John Bonitz (NCCETC).

NCCETC is supporting this demonstration with analysis, technical assistance, and facilitation. Richard Sapienza, Director of NCCETC’s Clean Transportation Program, said, “This V2G demonstration project is helping prove the benefits and economics of the technology, which is an important component of technology application and commercialization.  There have been many cool and interesting technologies that did not achieve commercial success because they did not solve a problem, meet a need and/or make economic sense.  We have a technology that works. This project is identifying the use cases where it can be applied in a beneficial manner.”

  NCCETC clean transportation specialist John Bonitz added, “the really exciting thing about Roanoke Electric’s leadership is seeing their confidence in a future where electric school buses and cars will help support the grid and shave peaks, etc., all of it helping the whole cooperative save money.”  

Watch this blog for further updates as this demonstration progresses and accumulates more data on V2G value streams.

Green Garage Winners’ Best Practices for Environmentally-Friendly Fleet Maintenance & Operation

Last year, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC), No Spill Systems, RinseKit and the United Soybean Board sponsored The 100 Best Fleets launch of their new Green Garage Contest. The contest was created to bring together the most progressive and environmentally-committed fleets to share the best practices for eco-friendly vehicle fleet maintenance garages. 

At the end of the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference, the NCCETC hosted a webinar where the winners of the 2020 Green Garage Contest were announced and shared the innovative and simple ways they “green the maintenance garage” through operations improvements and cost savings. The webinar was originally held December 9, 2020 and full videos and transcripts are available for all of the conference’s sessions online

Tom C. Johnson, author of the Green Fleet Awards, the Green Garage Contest and The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas, is the Director of the Green Garage Contest. The winners of the contest are the “best of the best stewards of the environment” Johnson said. 

AND THE WINNER IS… 

The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma was recognized as the Green Garage’s 2020 number one fleet for integrating recycling into their Learning With a Wrench (LWW) internship program. LWW allows students in Union Public Schools to work with City of Tulsa employees who maintain the City’s fleets of trucks, cars, backhoes and other large equipment to gain hands-on vehicle maintenance experience. 

“Oklahoma had an excellent discussion of parts cleaning processes, products used, auditing by the stay and their fluid containment practices,” noted Courtney Boznic, chief judge of the Green Garage Contest.

Through the recycling training, both students and technicians learned to be more aware of the materials used and which ones could be reused or recycled. The first exercise students were given was to create a device to collect oil from quart bottles so that the bottles can be recycled and the oil can be reused to heat the shop during cooler temperatures. 

The Mechanical Shop Supervisor and Instructor of LWW, Gary Burr, has mentored over 100 high school students with the City, two of which were hired as technicians. “The oil collection devices built by the students were dispersed through the shop to help each one of the technicians remember to recycle,” Burr explained.

Burr also worked with technicians and students to find the best location for recycling bins in the shop. The technicians were encouraged to be much more mindful of the waste oil, plastic, paper and cardboard they handled to ensure it was not just thrown away. “Shop-wide participation in recycling improved,” he noted. 

SECOND PLACE

The University of California Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) was recognized as the number one Green University Fleet in North America for its research on electric buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Jack Brouwer, a professor at Irvine and the Director of NFCRC 

Jack Brouwer is a professor at the University of California Irvine and the Director of NFCRC. In a study that compared a 2015 electric hydrogen fuel cell bus with 2018 electric battery buses, the fuel cell bus not only had shorter fueling times, but a longer mile range and higher passenger capacity. While electric battery buses can be more efficient for shorter-range use, fuel cell buses are still a comparable alternative to diesel. 

Hydrogen is also essential for the electric grid’s transition away from non-renewable energy sources. Due to vulnerabilities in solar and wind power, Brouwer explains, only hydrogen is capable of the magnitude of energy storage required for transitioning the grid to 100 percent renewable energy sources. Not only do batteries lack the storage capacity required for seasonal changes, but the lithium and cobalt required to manufacture them are some of the most expensive and trickiest elements to extract.

“There’s just not enough lithium cobalt around to make batteries of the magnitude that we need for accomplishing this energy storage,” Brouwer said. “Hydrogen, on the other hand, can be made from water and renewable electricity.”

Through research, beta-testing, market dynamics and education, the NFCRC is bridging fuel cell technology development and its successful introduction into the marketplace to accelerate its deployment. 

THE 2020 GREEN GARAGE’S TOP 10 FLEETS:

  1. City of Tulsa, Oklahoma
  2. University of California, Irvine
  3. University of California, Davis
  4. Westerville Schools in Ohio
  5. City of Vancouver, Washington
  6. City of Roanoke, Virginia
  7. City of Albany Georgia
  8. Laketran Ohio
  9. West Valley Construction in California
  10. Essential Utilities Company in Pennsylvania

To learn more about best practices from the top performing fleets, the entire December 9 webinar is available to watch online. This free session features operations and facility strategies and techniques from these top performing fleets, providing need-to-know information and comprehensive commitment to green vehicle maintenance.

Posted by Nicole Deck & John Bonitz

CFAT Project Deployed $2.8 Million in Funding for 22 Projects in 2019

On January 8, the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) announced the 2020 availability of grant funds through the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project. This current round will offer $1.4 million in support of clean transportation and alternative fuels projects. Learn more here.

In 2019, the CFAT project deployed $2.8 million in federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT). Those funds stimulated 22 projects by a variety of public and private entities, all focused on reducing transportation-related air pollution emissions.

The 2019 projects included:

• Three propane conversations projects

• 11 electric vehicle charging station projects

• Six electric vehicles projects (five motorcycles, one PHEV)

• Two diesel locomotive upfit projects to reduce emissions

• One hybrid electric upfit project

• Three idle reduction projects (two ePTOs and one ZeroRPM).

In total, the awarded equipment is expected to displace 1.2 million gallons of diesel and gasoline per year and reduce air pollution emissions by 1,200 kilograms per day.

The electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure projects help  North Carolina reach the goals set by Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80 (EO80). With regard to transportation, EO80 urges the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies, calling for a goal of 80,000 zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”, including electric vehicles) by year 2025.  The 11 electric vehicle charging station projects will make available 53 new Level 2 EV charging plugs (28 of which are replacements of defunct equipment), 16 solar-powered EV charging plugs and four new DC Fast Charge plugs (at two stations).

Learn more about each CFAT project below:

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (AB Tech)

This 2015 photo shows AB Tech’s EV charging ports, all of which are being replaced or upgraded this year. Source: https://www.abtech.edu/news/a-b-tech-opens-electric-vehicle-charging-station

 

Project: Two Level 2 chargers and one DC Fast charger on a community college campus near Asheville

In 2015, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech) installed three EV charging ports in partnership with Nissan, Land of Sky Clean Fuels Coalition, Duke Energy and EATON. One of the Level 2 chargers and the DC Fast are inoperable, and the remaining Level 2 station is frequently down. With funds from this project, A-B Tech will work with one of three state-approved contractors to upgrade and replace two BTC Power Dual Port 30A-2p L2 Pedestal mounted EV Charging Stations and one BTCPower single port 50kW DC Fast Charger.

 

Accesso 

 

Project: Three solar-powered L2 chargers with two plugs each

Accesso owns and manages 10 commercial properties and managers of the Meridian Business Park Owners Association. Accesso will purchase three dual-port solar EV Chargers and expand local awareness on the availability and benefits of alternative fuel technologies and the benefits of reducing regulated emissions. The company’s plan is to place the three solar EV Chargers as equidistant as possible on the campus for the convenience of the tenants, residents and hotel guests.

 

Blackwell Street Management Company

Source: https://americantobaccocampus.com/about/47

 

Project: Two L2 EV chargers serving three spaces in a parking deck

Blackwell Street Management Company will replace, own and operate two inoperable Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on Julian Carr Street in Durham, NC. These are Level 2 stations that will serve every passenger vehicle available on the market. The stations will be located in a public access area close to amenities such as shopping, work, and other attractions. The stations are available to drivers via the most downloaded EV app in the country, and communicates status, availability, and any charges associated with use of the station to drivers. Additionally, the stations have the ability to collect and store utility-grade data for reporting purposes.

 

City of Charlotte Engineering Department

Example of an EV ARC. Source: http://cleantechsandiego.org/envision-solar-receives-order-silicon-valley-search-engine-20-ev-arc-solar-powered-electric-vehicle-charging-stations/

 

Project: Four solar-powered L2 EV chargers with two plugs each

City of Charlotte Engineering’s four EV Arc units are able to be deployed anywhere and will be moved to locations that need them most. They will be housed at the Fire Station Headquarters at 500 Dalton Ave Charlotte, NC. This is partly toward fulfillment of City of Charlotte’s Climate Action Plan, and not only does it shift away from fossil fuels, it also increases community resilience, due to the fact that these units can operate off-grid even during natural disasters that disrupt grid electricity.

 

City of Charlotte Water Department

Project: Twenty-five bi-fuel upfits to allow gasoline trucks to run on propane

Charlotte Water will install AutoGas propane conversion kits in 25 gasoline-powered Ford F-150s to lower emissions and its overall carbon footprint. Most of the units are driven by the Customer Service division and log numerous miles throughout the Charlotte metro area. This project will cost $145,000, which includes a 24 percent cost-share of $34,800. The shift from gasoline to propane will result in approximately 10 percent lower CO2 emissions.

 

City of Durham

Project: One electric PTO for a bucket lift truck

City of Durham will upfit one existing high-use bucket truck vehicle presently in operation with a product called SmartPTO manufactured by Viatec. This technology aids in the reduction of truck idle time, significantly reducing vehicle emissions.

 

City of Greensboro

Example of an EV ARC L2 solar-powered charging station. Source: https://www.envisionsolar.com/

 

Project: Two solar-powered L2 EV chargers with two plugs each

The City of Greensboro will be purchasing two Electric Vehicle Autonomous Renewable Chargers (EV ARC), to be deployed in parking lots located around the City’s governmental center for use by the public. These chargers are transportable and completely solar powered.

 

Cone Health

Project: Four L2 EVSE with 2 plugs each

Cone Health will install four CT4000 level 2 electric vehicle-charging stations from Chargepoint that may be utilized for public charging of environmentally friendly electric vehicles. The scope of the project will include purchasing and installing Level 2 charging stations at the Wesley Long campus of Cone Health, located at 2400 W. Friendly Avenue Greensboro, NC. The charging stations will be installed on the lower level of the existing parking garage located on the southwest portion of the campus.

 

Durham County

Project: Nine L2 EVSE with two plugs each

Durham County will purchase nine Level 2 dual-port EVSEs to replace nine single-port stranded EVSEs at four public locations. Stations will be free and open to the public 24/7. This will double the charging potential of these locations, as well as get them back in service. Learn more here.

 

Greenwood RRST Propane Autogas

Source: http://www.greenwoodrrst.com/autogas.html

 

Project: Twenty-five bi-fuel upfits to allow gasoline trucks to run on propane

Greenwood RRST will acquire the Prins autogas systems from Alliance Autogas. Greenwood RRST will oversee the installation of each system to each of the 25 SE&M fleet vehicles, and perform the system installations on SE&M vehicles. Greenwood RRST will provide onsite fueling at the SE&M headquarters (6441 NC-97 Elm City, NC).

 

MEDIC Mecklenburg EMS

Source: https://www.medic911.com/about-medic

 

Project: Twenty-two idle reduction devices to be installed on ambulances –  two will also be equipped with solar panels on top of the vehicles

Mecklenburg EMS Agency (MEDIC) was granted $400,000 from the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) program to upfit 22 existing Dodge 5500 Ambulances with Idle Reduction Technology manufactured by Zero RPM, Cullman Alabama, and demonstrate on two ambulances the use of Go Power solar panels provided by Zero RPM.

 

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Rail Division

Source: https://www.ncdot.gov/Pages/default.aspx

 

Project: Two BATS emissions reduction systems for diesel-electric locomotive engine

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will install two BATS emissions reduction systems for two more diesel-electric locomotives.

 

NC Propane Gas Association (NCPGA)

Project: Six propane bi-fuel systems

ICOM Alternative Fuel Systems installed propane bi-fuel on six vehicles that will be deployed with propane distributors. The six vehicles in four different air quality maintenance counties will be new vehicles expanding their current LPG fleets. One of the vehicles is a Bobtail used to deliver propane to customers in their assigned air quality maintenance county. The other five are service vehicles that will be used to install tanks and perform service work in their assigned air quality maintenance counties. ICOM is estimating that propane companies will use propane as the primary fuel 95 percent of the time for their 21 bi-fuel service trucks and 100 percent of the time for the dedicated Bobtail going to Quality Propane.

 

Orange County, NC

Project: Electric vehicle lease, one new solar-powered EV charger (two plugs), and replacement of twelve non-functioning EVSE

Orange County will complete a three-part project including; 1.) Upgrading a vehicle lease to a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) which will be available for use by all Orange County staff through the CarShare program managed by Orange County Asset Management Services, and; 2.) Renewing much of Orange County’s public charging network by replacing 12 failing, increasingly incompatible, and irreparable EATON charging stations with 12 updated single-plug EV charging stations, and; 3.) Acquiring a standalone solar-powered EV charging station that will fully charge three PHEV minivans operated by Orange County Public Transportation to serve as ADA-accessible On-Demand Transit vehicles for urban and rural residents. These vehicles will be stationed in a sunny parking lot that is far from an existing grid connection. These projects all support Orange County’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy-based operations by 2050.

 

Person County

Part of the Person County Museum of History

 

Project: One EVSE, two plugs

Person County Government will install a Level 2, single port Electric Vehicle Charging Station on the Person County Museum of History’s grounds, which is owned by the County. The Museum is located in Uptown Roxboro and will be the first public EV charging station in Person County.

 

Pine Shore Energy

Project: One DC Fast charger

Pine Shore Energy will be installing one DC Fast Charger at 131 Fayetteville St., Winston-Salem, NC. This location is two miles from I-40, one mile from Winston Salem State University, and less than three miles from the heart of Downtown.

 

 

 

Town of Pineville Police

Source: https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/fleet/police/

 

Project: Two electric motorcycles

The Pineville Police Department will purchase and deploy two Zero Electric Motorcycles for patrols, events and normal police operations.

 

Town of Cary

Project: One electric PTO for a bucket lift truck; and one 2-plug L2 EVSE for Town Hall

The Town of Cary will complete two projects: 1) Viatec SmartPTO auxiliary power for a bucket truck, allowing the truck to halt its diesel engine while the arm is operating on job sites; and 2) One ChargePoint electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) dual-port unit at Town Hall. The SmartPTO auxiliary power will operate at job sites within Cary, NC, and the EVSE will be installed at the Cary Town Hall. Cary’s Strategic Energy Action Plan (2012 and 2015) states that the Town will reduce fuel use and diversify fuel types. The Viatec SmartPTO project allows Cary to test auxiliary power for use on a bucket truck. The EVSE will allow the Town of Cary to not only consider adding more electric vehicles to its fleet, but will also provide citizens and visitors electric vehicle charging infrastructure to alleviate range anxiety. This will likely lead to additional replacements of internal combustion engine vehicles in the area.

 

City of Greensboro Police Department

Two different models of Zero motorcycles. The units being deployed in law enforcement are up-fitted with police lights, radios, sirens, and other gear needed for the job.

 

Project: Two electric motorcycles

The Greensboro Police Department, in conjunction with the City of Greensboro, will incorporate two additional Zero Motorcycles into its fleet to patrol and respond to calls for service – in the Downtown Center City district, the Greenway, and other areas as needed – to decrease gasoline use, curb emissions, and to promote green technology programs of the City. The two electric motorcycles will be used in place of two 2014 Ford Crown Victoria sedans.

 

UNC Charlotte

Neighborhood electric vehicles in UNC Charlotte’s fleet

 

Project: One electric hybrid upfit to a gasoline vehicle

The University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) in Mecklenburg County will conduct one hybrid electric conversion on a light duty truck, to reduce emissions per mile. This work will allow the campus to build on its successful fleet hybrid electrification that began as part of the State Petroleum Displacement program, which includes a fleet of over 100 GEM electric vehicles and awards for maximizing the use of E-85 in flex-fuel vehicles. The up-fit will convert one new F-250 truck to an XL Hybrid setup. XL Hybrids adds an electric motor, an advanced lithium ion battery pack, and sophisticated control software to the vehicle – without making significant modifications to the original internal combustion engine or transmission. The parallel hybrid system saves fuel by using a regenerative braking system to charge the battery. The battery then releases the energy to the electric motor, helping propel the vehicle when drivers accelerate. The proprietary controls make the electric motor assist smooth and seamless to the driver and passengers.

CFAT summaries

A tax incentive is now available for alternative fuel that is sold for use or used as a fuel to operate a motor vehicle, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A tax credit in the amount of $0.50 per gallon is available for the following alternative fuels: natural gas, liquefied hydrogen, propane, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass. Click here for more information.

Take advantage of CFAT funding!

NCCETC will conduct a CFAT 2020 Round 1 Informational Webinar from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, January 13, 2020. The free webinar will present an overview of eligible projects and have Q&A to assist with application submission. Learn more and register for the webinar here.

For more information about the CFAT program, click here

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. 🙂

Electric Vehicles With UNC Charlotte

Considering alternative fuels for your fleet? Learn more about electric vehicles!

We visited the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last year to talk to Chris Facente, Automotive and Motor Fleet Supervisor, about the university’s fleet of electric vehicles. Check out our video on it here.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has 115 electric vehicles on its campus, including Polaris GEMs and Nissan Leafs. Facente said they’d like their fleet to be 25 percent electric in about two years.

Electric vehicles are cheaper to run because they don’t require gas and require less maintenance – and they produce no harmful emissions.

Chris Facente
Rick Sapienza, NCCETC Clean Transportation Program Manager

Learn more about electric vehicles and if this option could be right for your fleet at www.cleantransportation.org.

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