Category Archives: Featured

New Round of Grant Funds Available Through CFAT Project

For Immediate Release

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

Project Contact: Rick Sapienza, 919-515-2788, resapienza@ncsu.edu

New Round of Grant Funds Available Through Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project

Over $1,400,000 to be awarded for transportation-related emission reductions

Raleigh, N.C. (January 8, 2020) – The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at North Carolina State University announces the following request for proposals (RFP) through the 2020 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. The 2020 initiative will offer $1.4 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 $400,000 and none lower than $5,000. Applications will be due Friday, March 13, 2020. This will likely be the only solicitation for 2020. 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: $1,400,000

Maximum per project award: $400,000

Minimum per project award: $5,000

Application deadline: March 13, 2020

Project period: September 14, 2020 – September 30, 2021

Click here for the 2020 CFAT Request for Proposals

Click here for the CFAT RFP FAQs

Click here for the 2020 CFAT RFP Application

NOTE: Applications should be emailed to Rick Sapienza, resapienza@ncsu.edu.

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.

NCCETC will host 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.

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

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 

Source: https://apnews.com/ACCESSWIRE/ab6b1c9e9ad6f256ec914a0a1aa75620 / Accesswire / Envision Solar International, Inc., (NASDAQ: EVSI, EVSIW) (“Envision Solar,” or the “Company”), the leading producer of unique and sustainable infrastructure products for electric vehicle charging.

 

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.

 

 

 

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

Cary Town Hall

 

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.

 

Town of Mint Hill

Project: One electric motorcycle

The Mint Hill Police Department plans to begin a community outreach program that will allow Mint Hill to work toward its mission of reducing crime while providing an exceptional level of service to its citizens. The use of an electric motorcycle provides the Police Department the ability to reach citizens in an efficient, environmentally conscious way, responding to and patrolling areas that conventional vehicles cannot access. An electric motorcycle will allow Mint Hill to promote zero-emission safety and protection to pedestrians, cyclists and others within the town and surrounding areas.

 

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.

Posted by Nicole Deck

2019 Recap

2019 was a busy year for the Clean Transportation Team at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center! Take a look at what we did below.

January 2019

CFAT Project Grant Funding RFP

The second round of 2019 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project funding Request for Proposals (RFP) period opened in January 2019.

Read more

March 2019

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Information & Input Sessions

In March, members of the public attended four Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Information & Input Sessions hosted by the NCCETC and the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) at four locations in North Carolina, to gain information and provide feedback on Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80 and NCDOT’s ZEV plan.

Read more

April 2019

Earth Day Electric Car Show at NC State

Attendees viewed several electric cars and electric motorcycles on display, including Teslas and Zero Motorcycles; enjoyed a line-up of food trucks; and got a chance to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles around the block, including a Prius, Chrysler Pacifica, BMW, and Nissan Leaf, at NCCETC’s Electric Car Show – a part of NC State University’s Earth Day celebrations on Centennial Campus.

June 2019

“Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest

In the third year of 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.

Read more

July 2019

Electric/Hybrid Vehicles at the Durham Bulls Game

The Clean Transportation team teamed up with Plug-in NC to display several electric and hybrid vehicles before the Durham Bulls baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park! Guests had a chance to check out the vehicles themselves and talk to the team to learn more.

Read more

August 2019

Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo 2019

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 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. The expo hall was also full of more than 40 diverse exhibitors and over a dozen vehicles inside and outside the convention center.

Read more

2019 Mobile CARE and NC Smart Fleet Awards

The 13th annual North Carolina Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy (CARE) awards and the NC Smart Fleet awards were announced as part of the 2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo.

Read more

September 2019

2019 National Drive Electric Week in North Carolina

The NCCETC celebrated National Drive Electric Week 2019 with six events in Raleigh at NC State University, Winston-Salem at Wake Forest University, and Pittsboro, NC.

See more photos

October 2019

Clean Transportation Demonstration Days

NCCETC, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition and Triangle J Council of Governments held two Clean Transportation Demonstration Days – at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, and the second at the NC Highway Patrol Training Academy in Garner, NC. Participants at the events, who were government and utility entities, listened to classroom instruction including alternative fuel options, telematics, other new technologies, and safety; then took test drives at closed-course race tracks. Clean Transportation Demonstration Days support North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80.

Read more

Potential Impacts of Alternative Fuel Vehicles on Transportation Revenue in North Carolina report

Earlier this year, the North Carolina legislature considered enacting higher fees for electric vehicle drivers in the state. NCCETC was asked by the UNC Collaboratory to conduct a quantitative analysis and prepare a report on the Potential Impacts of Alternative Fuel Vehicles on Transportation Revenue in North Carolina. The resulting study conducted by Heather Brutz and Allison Carr, both a part of the Clean Transportation team at NCCETC, found that the state is not currently losing money on electric vehicles (EVs).

Read more

And more

Videos Feature Alternative Fuels for Fleets: Natural Gas, Propane and Electric

Learn more about natural gas, propane and electric vehicles from three different entities who use them in their fleet.

Waste Management and Natural Gas

The Produce Box and Propane

University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Electric Vehicles

2019’s 50 States of Electric Vehicles Reports

A quarterly look at state legislative and regulatory discussions and actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Q4 2019 Update & Annual Review to come.

Watch 2019 Webinars

Did you miss a webinar this year? View below!

We will see you in 2020!

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Workshop

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Workshop for Local Governments and Citizens

By the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ (KTRCOG) Planning Department

Venue

The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments’ (KTRCOG) Planning Department facilitated an Alternative Fuel Vehicles workshop on Thursday, December 5, 2019. The three and one-half hour workshop occurred at Council of Governments headquarter located at 1724 Graham Avenue, Henderson, NC.  The goal of KTRCG is to promote regionalism that provides opportunities for local governments to enhance and improve the quality of life for citizens through the effective delivery of services and programs.

Workshop Purpose

The workshop educated local governments and the public about clean energy alternative fuel solutions and technologies that help reduce transportation-related emissions and air pollutants. Participants received information that allowed them to make informed decisions about implementing alternative fuel use into their department fleet of vehicles and daily lives.

Speaker Lineup

The workshop featured four dynamic presentations from NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) Program Director Rick Sapienza, Alliance AutoGas Municipal and Law Enforcement Specialist Mike Phillips, Blue Arrow Telematics Major Account Consultant Melvin McNeill, and Tesla Advisors Gabriella Kuznik and Kristin Landrum.  The workshop culminated with a video from U.S. House of Representatives Congressmen G.K. Butterfield, D-NC 1st District.  

NC Clean Energy Technology Center

Rick Sapienza gave attendees an overview of the services that NCCETC provides.  Sapienza’s presentation discussed ways that attendees could procure funding opportunities for clean transportation vehicles and infrastructure. Sapienza also stated the importance of capitalizing on alternative fuel and advanced transportation technology incentives to cut costs and reduce emissions.

Alliance AutoGas

Mike Phillips discussed the seven components of a successful Autogas Program.  Phillips emphasized using a top-down buy-in approach to implement a turnkey operation in local government department fleets that cut fuel and maintenance costs, while reducing emissions. 

Blue Arrow Telematics

Melvin McNeill discussed vehicle safety and data solutions for law enforcement offered through using telematics.  Participants gleaned a better understanding of the role telematics plays in driver safety implementation and best practices. The examples McNeill provided as to why government entities should integrate telematics, technology and data solutions into their fleets resonated with workshop attendees.

Tesla

Gabriella Kuznik and Kristin Landrum of Tesla discussed their new product line and electric vehicle technologies coming down the pipeline. From their presentation, attendees realized the role that electric vehicles play in the reduction of emissions.  Also, they did an analysis breakdown, putting into perspective the affordability of a Tesla for the average consumer.

The CCC Approach (Combating Climate Change)

Congressman Butterfield stated the importance of using biofuels to produce crops in rural communities to combat climate change.  The House of Representatives has a goal of attaining zero net emissions, leaving the country carbon-free by 2050. This objective parallels Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 80 initiative to reduce global warming.

Conclusion

Overall, the Alternative Vehicles Workshop was a success.  Evaluation results suggest that participants gained a better understanding of how the transportation sector is the primary direct path to address climate change. Using alternative fuels ensures the reduction of negative emissions.

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)

To get where you want to go