Category Archives: Featured

2022 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project Grant Funds Available Now

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Shannon Helm, 919-423-8340, shannon_helm@ncsu.edu

Project Contact: Heather Brutz, hmbrutz@ncsu.edu OR Rick Sapienza, 919-515-2788, resapienza@ncsu.edu

2022 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project Grant Funds Available Now

Over $1,500,000 to be awarded for transportation-related emission reductions

Raleigh, N.C. (May 12, 2022) – The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at North Carolina State University announces the following request for proposals (RFP) through the 2022 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. The 2022 initiative will offer $1.5 million, focused on reducing transportation-related emissions, and supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT). The primary purpose of the CFAT project is to reduce transportation-related emissions in 24 eligible North Carolina counties. 

Project proposals will be limited, none higher than $300,000 and none lower than $5,000. Applications will be due Friday, July 1, 2022. This will likely be the only solicitation for 2022. Learn more here

Projects located in the following counties are eligible for CFAT funding: Cabarrus, Catawba, *Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Granville, Guilford, *Haywood, *Iredell, Johnston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Nash, Orange, Person, Rowan, *Swain, Union, Wake, (*Represents partial counties). 

Projects for electric vehicle charging stations (EVSE) will be accepted within all 100 counties.

*Available funds: $1,500,000

Maximum per project award: $300,000

Minimum per project award: $5,000

Application deadline: July 1, 2022

Project period: December 5, 2022 – September 30, 2024

Click here for the 2022 CFAT Request for Proposals

Click here for the CFAT RFP FAQs

Click here for the 2022 CFAT Budget Worksheet

Click here for the 2022 CFAT RFP Application

Click here to download a guidance document with resources for how to get ready for transportation electrification and where to find detailed guides for different aspects of building EV charging infrastructure.

Click here and here to learn about previous successful CFAT projects

NOTE: Applications should be emailed to CFAT_grants@ncsu.edu.

NCCETC will host a CFAT 2022 Informational Webinar from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, 2022. 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.

View examples of prior successful CFAT project proposals in 2018 and 2019.

ABOUT THE N.C. CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, sustainable energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech

Vote Now: 2022 “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest Polls Open

The polls are open for the “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest – vote now for your favorites!

Vote for your favorite art in each age category (kindergarten through high school). Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles and help keep our air clean. Examples: walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using electric vehicles or biofuels, and more.

Winners in each category will be featured on billboards across the state!

The contest poll closes at 11:59 p.m. this Sunday, May 22.

Winners will be announced soon. Stay tuned on nccleantech.ncsu.edu and FuelWhatMatters.org. For more information or any questions, email Amira Ferjani at aferjan@ncsu.edu.

Vote Now

The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: Federal Infrastructure Funding and Managed Charging Programs in Focus During Q1 2022

Raleigh, NC – (May 4, 2022) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q1 2022 edition of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

The report finds that all 50 states and the District of Columbia took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during Q1 2022 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to rebate programs, grant programs, rate design for vehicle charging, and state procurement of electric vehicles.

A total of 627 electric vehicle actions were taken during Q1 2022, with the most active states being Massachusetts, Illinois, California, New York, Minnesota, and Hawaii. Activity in these states was largely driven by numerous bills related to electric vehicles. So far in 2022, 21 states have enacted legislation related to transportation electrification.

Q1 2022 State and Utility Action on Electric Vehicles

The report discusses three trends in electric vehicle actions taken in Q1 2022: (1) states planning for federal electric vehicle infrastructure funding, (2) utilities developing active managed charging pilot programs, and (3) state lawmakers addressing charging infrastructure siting issues.

“With the passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last year, many states are taking steps to plan for the use of electric vehicle infrastructure funding that will be flowing down to the states,” said Autumn Proudlove, Senior Policy Program Director at NCCETC.

The report notes five of the top policy developments of the quarter:

  • Washington lawmakers approving a light-duty vehicle electrification target;
  • Utilities filing new managed charging pilots in North Carolina and Wisconsin;
  • Missouri regulators approving new utility transportation electrification programs;
  • The Governor of North Carolina increasing the state’s zero-emission vehicle adoption target; and
  • Georgia legislators adopting a resolution to study transportation electrification.

“Utilities and regulators are examining plans to meet the needs of expanding EV charging networks and broader EV deployment. This quarter, we saw proposals for managed charging programs and targeted EV charging tariff designs,” says Vincent Potter, Policy Analyst at NCCETC.

Potter added, “The managed charging programs would give utilities information about the vehicle’s charging status and allow them to interrupt and resume charging according to larger grid demands. Tariffs that offer discounted electricity during low-use times have had some broad success and some utilities are moving to offer EV charging-specific time-of-use rates. The goal of both of these tools is to charge EVs when strain on the grid is lowest.”

View the 50 States of Electric Vehicles Q1 2022 Quarterly Report Executive Summary

View and Purchase the 50 States of Electric Vehicles 2022 Q1 Update FULL Report

View other 50 States Reports – Solar, Grid Modernization and Electric Vehicles

ABOUT THE N.C. CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER

The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, sustainable energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the  Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Helm, NCCETC, 919-423-8340

Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging

Electrification of transportation is exciting and challenging. Market forces are already pushing us in the direction of electric vehicles (EV), but our electric “refueling” infrastructure is lagging. Public and private investments are being made and more are coming in the form of grants, incentives, and substantial federal investments. In North Carolina alone, VW Settlement funds will bring ~$10 million this year.  And the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) National EV infrastructure program (NEVI) will invest more than $109 million each year over the next five years in North Carolina.  

Now, our challenge here in North Carolina is to prepare for this influx of funding, to ensure we are ready for it, and that we use it effectively and efficiently. This guidance document helps the reader understand how to get ready and where to find detailed guides for different aspects of building the new EV charging infrastructure.  

There are many many “guides” already published, so we sorted through them to find the best and give pointers to them all. Now, you can easily find the best resources for you in our guide to the guides: Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging. We encourage local government planners, managers, fleet officers, and finance & purchasing administrators to be aware of this “guide to the guides.”

Let’s get ready!

What You’ll Find in The Guide

Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging covers:

  • Charging for homeowners
  • Charging for renters (apartment, townhome and condo dwellers)
  • Charging at work
  • The state of EV charger deployment in North Carolina
  • Locally-sourced North Carolina EV charging guides
  • Links to several valuable guides from organizations like:

    • The U.S. Department of Transportation
    • The Cadmus Group (in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation)
    • Advanced Energy
    • Plug-In NC 
    • The City of Raleigh
    • Sourcewell
    • NC Department of Administration
    • North Carolina Sheriff’s Association 

>> Click here to view the full guidance document.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Adding Four All-Electric School Buses thanks to US EPA DERA Grant Funds

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) are leading the way with cleaner student transportation in North Carolina.  Following their groundbreaking award of VW Settlement funds for a new electric school bus last year, this year EBCI received notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of an award for 4 additional electric school buses.  EBCI will be replacing 5 diesel school buses with 4 new electric buses in collaboration with the Cherokee Boys Club (CBC) and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC).  This latest award marks The Eastern Band as the first tribe east of the Mississippi to be awarded grant funding through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program administered by the EPA.

To assist EBCI in writing their grant, NCCETC staff provided emissions quantifications to examine the potential reduction in air pollution from the retirement of older polluting buses, and the deployment of new zero-emission electric school buses.  NCCETC also assisted EBCI in teaming with Duke Energy, a crucial funding partner who is supporting this project in partial fulfillment of their Electric Transportation Pilot.  Long-term, NCCETC will be providing ongoing technical support to EBCI and CBC’s transportation division, which operates the bus system for Cherokee Central Schools on the Qualla Boundary.

“We’re really excited to be able to support EBCI and CBC staff through the entire process of retiring the old diesel buses and getting the new electric buses onto the road,” said John Bonitz, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC. “The EPA has a very detailed process for scrapping old buses that has to be completed within 90 days of receipt of the new buses – afterall, we all want to remove these polluting vehicles from the road permanently.”

NCCETC will guide EBCI and the CBC transportation division through the disabling and scrapping process and will assist in properly documenting the operation.  Additionally, NCCETC will draft quarterly reports for the entire project period, quantifying the emissions reductions for the electric school buses and analyzing the total project cost effectiveness as well as gallons of diesel fuel saved.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have a long tradition of stewardship and the EBCI Natural Resources Department (ECBI NRD) is committed to protecting and preserving natural resources for generations to come. For example, for nearly a decade, the CBC has been making biodiesel from waste fryer oil and using that fuel to displace petroleum diesel.  Since 2012 CBC’s school buses run on a B20 blend (20 percent biodiesel, 80 percent diesel) with their own locally made biodiesel.  Also, the EBCI Air Quality Program (AQP) helps monitor air conditions in order to maintain clean and healthy air quality for EBCI lands and the surrounding area.  The Cherokee Boys Club works with the EBCI AQP to achieve ambient air pollution reduction and environmental protection.  As a rural community, mobile emissions from vehicles and buses are a major focus point for EBCI to help reduce the harmful impacts of diesel emissions.  The primary contributor of NOx on EBCI lands are mobile sources (93 percent), according to EBCI NRD.

Another benefit from the replacement of old buses is the reduction of fine particulates from diesel exhaust that scatters sunlight and creates the haze that obscures mountain vistas on EBCI lands. “This improvement in visibility will help our tourism industry and increase our visitor experience,” explains EBCI NRD.

EBCI added its first electric bus to its fleet in 2021 after being awarded grant funds from the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Diesel Bus and Vehicle Programs, which was a part of Phase 1 of the Volkswagen Mitigation Plan. EBCI was the first organization in North Carolina to receive an electric school bus from the state’s VW Mitigation Plan along with charging infrastructure to power the vehicle.

“Diesel school buses drive through every neighborhood, every week, to transport Cherokee Central School students,” Bonitz said.  The four all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley buses funded by the grant have zero tailpipe emissions, and emissions reduced through the retirement of diesel buses in the EBCI communities will especially improve local air quality on neighborhood streets, heavily trafficked roads, and on school campuses.

On top of the harmful effects to public health caused by diesel exhaust, emissions from diesel engines also contribute to ground-level ozone, which damages crops, trees and other vegetation.  DERA supports environmental justice by prioritizing emissions reductions in areas receiving disproportionate impacts from diesel fleets to provide an environment where all people enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards.

The DERA Program was originally created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which gave the EPA new grant and loan authority for promoting diesel emissions reductions.  DERA was reauthorized in 2020 and includes up to $100 million annually in award grants and rebates to achieve diesel emissions reductions through 2024.  According to the EPA, there are nearly ten million old diesel engines currently still in use in the United States that commit large amounts of carbon emissions, which contribute to serious public health problems, including asthma, lung disease and various other cardiac and respiratory diseases.

Electric buses have already shown lower operational costs throughout the country due to reduced fuel expenses, eliminated fluid changes, and fewer mechanical parts.  School children, however, can benefit from the reduced noise and vibrations electric school buses cause, making the ride more pleasant for the whole community.

EV Drivers Share Their Experience Driving Electric

This September 25th through October 3rd, 2021, the United States will celebrate National Drive Electric Week, sponsored by Plug in America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association. The celebration, which started in 2011, helps spread awareness about the benefits of driving electric, including decreased emissions, fuel savings and enhanced performance of electric vehicles (EVs). This year, National Drive Electric Week consists of hundreds of free events across the United States, both in-person and online.

The Clean Transportation program at NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) has participated in the campaign for many years now and, in 2020, sponsored five virtual webinars on electric vehicles topics including best practices and lessons learned of charging infrastructure deployment, idle reduction and EV options for fleets.

NCCETC is kicking off National Drive Electric Week at NC State in Raleigh, NC with a tailgate and plug-in electric vehicle car show on September 25, 2021. The following Monday, September 27 NCCETC is hosting another EV owner meet-up and test drive at Venture Plaza on NC State’s Centennial Campus. 

Those interested in going electric can also explore a variety of EVs and their drivers’ experiences driving electric through our Electric Driver Profile series. NCCETC sat down with seven EV drivers to hear about the benefits of going electric.

Lisa Etnyre Boneham

Helen DiPietro

Take a video tour of Helen DiPietro’s 2019 Nissan LEAF EV:

Dave Erb

Take a video tour of Dave Erb’s 2015 Chevy Spark EV:

Arthur Gause

 

Wendy Gilliatt

Take a video tour and ride-a-long in Wendy Gilliatt’s 2017 Chevy Bolt EV:

Chris Maxwell

Donnie Parks

Dianna Tarallo

Jarred White

Links and event dates are provided below to learn more and register for upcoming National Drive Electric week events and webinars.

To get where you want to go