The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) works with government, non-profit organizations and businesses to help diversify fuel supplies and support cleaner, more vibrant local and state economies. The Clean Transportation program at NCCETC propels the development, awareness and use of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies.
One alternative fuel, propane, is a popular choice across the United States for a variety of fleet vehicle applications including school buses, shuttle buses, vans, taxis and law enforcement vehicles. According to a report by the Gas Technology Institute prepared for the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), there are over 147,000 vehicles on the road in the U.S. fueled by propane.
“NCCETC’s Clean Transportation team is ready to support fleets interested in exploring the financial and environmental benefits of different fuel choices, including propane,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation program at NCCETC. “Diversifying our nation’s fuel supply with domestic fuels like propane – strengthens U.S. energy security while also reducing harmful emissions.”
Introduction to Propane for Transportation
Propane, also known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), is a simple hydrocarbon byproduct of natural gas processing or crude oil refining. Currently the third most common engine fuel source in the world, propane is a clean-burning alternative fuel that has been used for decades to power light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) reports that propane has a high octane rating and excellent properties for spark-ignited internal combustion engines. It is stored as a liquid in a pressurized tank onboard the vehicle to maximize energy storage. As the pressure is released, the liquid propane vaporizes and turns into gas that is used in a combustion engine.
The commercial grade of propane sold for use in motor vehicles in North America is also called HD-5 or Autogas and is a mixture of propane with smaller amounts of other gases. The U.S. Energy Information Association reported that, as of 2020, more than 93% of the U.S. propane supply was produced in North America. More information about propane can be found on the AFDC website here.
The Benefits of Choosing Propane
Fleets stand to gain numerous benefits from adopting propane vehicles, including potential emissions reductions without compromising on performance. Propane-powered vehicles offer comparable horsepower, torque, and payload capacity to conventionally fueled vehicles.
As Brutz noted, diversifying the U.S. fuel supply helps reduce overall dependence on imported petroleum. The continued use of alternative fuels and other clean transportation technologies to reduce petroleum consumption increases national energy security while decreasing transportation energy costs for businesses and consumers.
Propane is produced domestically and has high energy density with relatively low cost compared to gasoline and diesel. As one of the most accessible alternative fuels to the general public, propane is a popular choice for high-mileage vehicles.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and select dealerships offer a number of medium- and heavy-duty propane vehicle models. In addition to OEM models, fleets and consumers have the ability to convert existing gasoline vehicles using qualified system retrofitters for propane operation.
In vehicle applications, propane-fueled vehicles have lower carbon dioxide (NOx) emissions in comparison to equivalent gasoline or diesel vehicles. When replacing conventional fuels such as gasoline, propane vehicles also reduce full-fuel-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and source energy consumption.
Renewable propane, which is chemically identical to conventional propane, is produced from biomass-based feedstocks, including used cooking oil, animal fats or 20% dimethyl ether. With all the same great features as conventional propane – reliability, portability, power and reduced carbon emissions – renewable propane has a low (CI) value, depending on its feedstock.
Renewable propane is made from a variety of different feedstocks and sustainable materials. The image below, originally from PERC, shows how renewable propane is made.
The CI value of a fuel is able to measure the environmental impact of its consumption. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) set annual CI standards in 2009 through the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Conventional propane already has a relatively low CI of 79 when compared to diesel, but renewable propane’s CI can be as low as 20.5 depending on the variations in feedstock type which the fuel is produced from. This makes renewable propane one of the cleanest alternative fuels on the market with a carbon intensity value five times lower than diesel.
Last month, the City of Raleigh announced it will be moving a portion of its fleet to run on renewable propane. Rick Longobart, Fleet Operations Manager for the City of Raleigh, shared, “I’m proud to say today that 85% of our fleet runs off of some type of alternative energy.” The City of Raleigh is the first city in the state of North Carolina to use renewable propane to fuel its fleet.
Longobart noted that Raleigh’s renewable propane will primarily be produced from plant based vegetable oil which possesses an ultra-low CI as determined by CARB, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the city’s fleet vehicles. “As we move towards a more sustainable climate and trying to reach our climate action goals of 80% renewable energy or zero emissions by 2050, this is one effort that is going to get us there,” Longobart added.
PERC’s President and CEO Tucker Perkins spoke at the ribbon cutting for a new renewable propane fueling station for the City of Raleigh on September 28, 2023. Perkins identified propane as a pathway with tremendous promise to change the economics of the community and lives of the citizens living in it.
“As we think about renewable propane, if I had one message to give to you, it’s that, yes it is real,” Perkins said. “The carbon savings are real, the particulate matter is zero, the NOx emissions are virtually zero, and this is a fuel of the future.”
To learn more about renewable propane and its potential for sustainable transportation, visit PERC’s webpage on the topic.
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2023. The NCCETC has dedicated more than three decades to advancing a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies.
Founded in December 1987 as the North Carolina Solar Center, NCCETC was first established through a partnership among the state government of North Carolina, NC State University, and the solar industry with sponsorship from the Energy Division of the NC Department of Commerce (now known as the State Energy Office). The North Carolina Solar Center was created to meet the need for a central clearinghouse that could assist the state’s citizens, businesses, and institutions in using solar energy.
Over the years, NCCETC’s focus expanded into a broader array of renewable energy resources, alternative transportation technologies, clean power technologies and industrial energy efficiency. In 2003, environmental leaders from across North Carolina gathered to dedicate an Alternative Fuels Vehicle (AFV) Demonstration Facility while celebrating the 15th anniversary of NCCETC. The AFV Facility served as a research and education facility for a variety of alternative fuels, adding clean transportation to NCCETC’s outreach, education and research activities.
Clean transportation is one of the primary programmatic areas of focus for NCCETC today. Working with government, non-profit organizations and businesses, NCCETC is helping diversify fuel supplies and support clean, more vibrant local and state economies with the ultimate goal of cleaner air and greater energy diversity.
Anne Tazewell joined NCCETC in July 2004 and shortly thereafter established the Clean Transportation program before successfully obtaining funding for the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. Tazewell remained at NCCETC for 17 years before she retired in 2021. “I quickly fell in love with the idea of public service and working with others to serve the greater good,” said Tazewell.
To move forward this mission, Tazewell secured regional Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funding to open the state’s first publicly accessible biodiesel service station in Garner, NC. In 2006 and 2009, NCCETC was awarded a total of $2.6 million in CMAQ funding from the NC Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration to reduce transportation related emissions in North Carolina counties that do not meet national air quality standards.
The NC Division of Air Quality and State Energy Office also contributed $200,000 each to support the CFAT project. The three million dollar project encompasses three broad areas: education and outreach, recognition of exemplary activities, and direct project funding. From 2006 through 2019, NCCETC has provided $11.9 million in federal funds to help private and public fleets in North Carolina purchase clean transportation technologies to improve the state’s air quality.
In 2020, Tazewell efforts were recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the NC Sustainable Energy Association for being a tireless champion of clean air and clean energy. Tazewell explained she first entered into clean energy to express her passion for reducing oil dependence. Before joining NCCETC, she worked at the Triangle J Council of Governments where she saw the power of public and private partnerships for advancing affordable domestic transportation fuels, energy efficient mobility systems, and other fuel-saving technologies.
One key project completed during Tazewell’s tenure was the tracking and compliance on behalf of the state of the Petroleum Displacement Plan (PDP) Provision, mandated by the NC General Assembly. Implementation of the PDP requirement in fiscal year 2010-2011 has resulted in a 16% reduction in petroleum use by state fleet vehicles as compared to the baseline of fuel use established in fiscal year 2004-2005, through the use of alternative fuels, efficient vehicles and other policies and practices that conserve fuel.
Providing Technical Assistance & Fleet Education
NCCETC engages with government entities and employees through a variety of ways including holding Clean Transportation Demonstration Days where attendees come from across North Carolina to gain education and experience with clean transportation technologies. The Clean Transportation team hosted two Clean Transportation Demonstration Days this year in April – one in Garner and one in Jacksonville, North Carolina – where hundreds of attendees were able to hear about real-world case study results, experience hands-on static review of technologies, network and participate in a closed-course ride and drive.
Clean Transportation Demonstration Days start with classroom instruction before the ride and drive begins. This year, speakers from Alliance Autogas, Potter EV, Cenntro, Cary Cartco, Pioneer eMobility and Electrify EVSE presented on topics such as telematics, safety, idle reduction technologies, vehicle electrification, and other strategies that improve fleet sustainability. Following classroom instruction, attendees explored a diverse display of vehicles and alternative fuel technologies such as electric and alt-fuel vehicles, buses, police vehicles, utility vehicles, charging equipment and more.
Currently, the clean transportation team is hosting 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.
In 2014, the Center held the Southeast Alternative Fuels Conference. In 2017 the conference was renamed the Sustainable Fleet Technology (SFT) Conference & Expo was held to expand education, training, and networking on advanced clean transportation technologies. The event has been hosted every year since (even going virtual for two years during the pandemic).
Registration for the 2023 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo is open now! Join us on August 14-16, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Come and learn from your peers and experts. Or, join us and share your expertise – opportunities to sponsor, exhibit, and display vehicles are still available.
The 2023 SFT Conference will feature keynote presentations, 50+ panelists, breakout sessions in 3 conference tracks, indoor vehicle/equipment display and plenty of networking opportunities to engage with more than 350 other registered attendees. Attendees will be able to attend 4 breakout sessions where they can choose the session that best fits their needs or interests across 3 conference tracks:
A. Funding & Planning
Federal Funding Sources
Data for Sustainability and Success
Training for Success
B. Vehicle Technologies
New Horizons: AI and Autonomous Vehicles
Sustainable Trucking Solutions
Advancements in Engines, Powertrains, and Batteries
C. Fueling & Charging Infrastructure
Longer-Term Planning for Infrastructure Deployment
GRANT FUNDING TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY & ACCELERATE FLEET SUSTAINABILITY
The Transportation sector represents the largest contributor to North Carolina’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions according to a statewide inventory of GHG emissions produced by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ). The Transportation sector represents about 36% of all GHG emissions with onroad light-duty gasoline vehicles representing 72% of Transportation sector GHG emissions in 2018, while on road medium/heavy-duty diesel vehicles are the next largest contributor at 16%.
Emissions from the Transportation sector decreased by an estimated 3% from 2005 to 2018 in North Carolina according to the DAQ. The fact that on road vehicle GHG emissions decreased while vehicle-miles traveled increased over this period demonstrates the effectiveness of vehicle fuel efficiency improvements. The Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) supported a diverse set of projects that included truck stop electrification and supporting the use of electric motorcycles for a municipal police patrol as well as propane powered delivery vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations.
Other types of projects funded by CFAT has included infrastructure projects such as fueling stations and electric vehicle charging stations, purchasing alternative fuel and electric vehicles, diesel and propane retrofits, idle reduction systems, and more. See link HERE for a list of projects supported by the CFAT project.
“The CFAT project aims to promote and accelerate the adoption of new clean transportation technologies,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation program at NCCETC.
Propelling Public Education on Clean Transportation Technologies
The initial CFAT project started by Tazewell also included education and outreach activities that included billboards, workshops and conferences that continue today with Ride & Drive and Vehicle Displays for a variety of audiences to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn more about clean transportation technologies including electric vehicles (EVs) and other alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), along with dealers and local EV drivers onsite to answer questions about the driving experience behind the wheel of an EV.
The Student Art Contest is another annual event hosted by the NCCETC. Students from kindergarten, middle and high schools across North Carolina are invited to submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state. Earlier this month, NCCETC announced the 2023 “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest winners.
Heather Brutz created the Student Art Contest while drawing on her previous experience as a middle school teacher. “The art contest is an engaging way to get young people involved in spreading awareness about the ways we can reduce air pollution from vehicles,” Brutz said. 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 Kernersville, Hampstead, and Cary, NC.
As the market share of EVs continues to grow, there is a nationwide call to establish robust charging infrastructure and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to fuel transportation electrification in the U.S. To assist planners and developers in selecting the perfect site to fit their charging needs, NCCETC recently developed a customizable tool for prioritizing the placement of EV chargers. The EVSE Suitability GIS product is not only able to consider several variables relevant to determining charging infrastructure siting benefits, but also has a custom weighting function so developers can tailor the weight of each variable being considered to their unique situation.
NCCETC’s Alexander Yoshizumi coordinated with Roanoke Electric Cooperative while creating the EVSE Suitability GIS tool, identifying factors to include in the suitability tool in addition to the approximate weight that each factor should be given. The GIS product was created using data for the five counties covered by Roanoke Electric Cooperative: Bertie, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, and Northampton.
Last year, NCCETC staff provided assistance to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) as they applied for grant funding to support cleaner student transportation in North Carolina. Following their groundbreaking award of VW Settlement funds for a new electric school bus in 2021, the EBCI received notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an award for four additional electric school buses in 2022. EBCI will be replacing five diesel school buses with four new electric buses in collaboration with the Cherokee Boys Club (CBC) and the NCCETC. This award marked 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.
The staff at NCCETC provides technical assistance to fleets interested in building toward a sustainable fleet. The Clean Transportation team has previously assisted municipalities such as the Town of Apex and Morrisville to assess their fleet utilization and ultimately transition to zero-emission vehicles and electrify their fleet.
This article is part of a series highlighting the work done by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center throughout its history in celebration of its 35th Anniversary. View the previous article to learn how the Training program at NCCETC provides educational opportunities for individuals to get the training and credentials they need to launch their clean energy careers and supports professionals seeking to integrate clean energy into their day-to-day work.
In April, hundreds of attendees joined the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University to celebrate Earth Month at vehicle displays and Ride & Drive events hosted throughout North Carolina.
The Clean Transportation program at NCCETC propels the development, awareness and use of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies. Ride & Drive and vehicle display events are one of the biggest opportunities to promote driver awareness and advance adoption of clean transportation technologies. These events allow drivers to experience driving electric and alternative fuel vehicles, find educational resources, and assimilate a wide variety of information about the vehicles’ operability, handling, availability, costs, environmental benefits, fun factor and more.
Explore the lineup of electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid EVs, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), and other clean transportation technologies featured at events hosted by NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program in April through our photo gallery below.
Clean Transportation Demonstration Days Give Government Entities Information & Experience
On April 11 and 12, NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program hosted two Demonstration Days ‒ one in Garner, North Carolina and another in Jacksonville ‒ to give government entities across North Carolina and the Southeast the opportunity to access information and experience with clean transportation technologies.
REAL-WORLD CASE STUDY RESULTS & SUCCESS STORIES
At each demonstration day, attendees heard real-world case study results and success stories during the classroom instruction portion. Key speakers and presentations included NCCETC’s Executive Director Steve Kalland, Heather Hildebrandt of the NC Department of Transportation, Annie Lee from the Triangle J Council of Governments’ Clean Cities Coalition, Sam Spofforth of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and representatives from companies leading the way in alternative fuel options, technologies, and more.
Pictured: Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation program at NCCETC, introducing keynote speakers and welcoming attendees to the Clean Transportation Demonstration Days on April 11 and 12, 2023.
“Demonstration days give government employees hands-on experience with alternative fuel vehicles and valuable networking opportunities they can’t find anywhere else,” said Brutz. “This helps them feel empowered to share the benefits of clean transportation with others in their work.”
Heather Hildebrandt of the NC Department of Transportation oversees the Statewide Initiatives Group. Hildebrandt is pictured discussing current clean transportation-related executive orders on April 11 to event attendees. Executive orders 80, 24, and 271 have set statewide targets such as reducing economy-wide emissions, increasing the total number of registered zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), and developing a NC Advanced Clean Trucks rule.
Representatives from Alliance Autogas, Potter EV, Cenntro, Cary Cartco, Pioneer eMobility and Electrify EVSE presented on technologies and strategies like telematics, safety, idle reduction technologies, vehicle electrification, and other opportunities for improving fleet sustainability. Pictured, Pioneer eMobility’s Director of Sales and Strategic Partnerships Scott Bradley discusses how the company has developed mobile off-grid charging solutions for EVs.
Following classroom instruction, attendees were invited to view and test drive a diverse display of vehicles and alternative fuel technologies such as light-duty vehicles, buses, police vehicles, utility vehicles, charging equipment and more. Certain EVs and AFVs were also available for attendees to take for a test drive so they could experience the power of clean transportation themselves.
Ride & Drive Events for the General Public
NC State University and its local community were invited to test drive EVs at NCCETC’s Earth Day EV Ride & Drive at The Corner on NC State University’s Centennial Campus on April 21, 2023. Students as well as the surrounding community were invited to explore alternative fuel vehicles and grab lunch from a food truck across the street. Some of the vehicles featured at the event included a Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Tesla Model S, Ford F-150 Lightning, Ioniq Electric, Kia EV6, Kia Niro Electric, Nissan Leaf, Polestar 2, and a Toyota RAV4 Prime.
Look out for more Ride & Drive events you can attend this fall! Stay tuned and keep up with clean transportation news by signing up for the newsletter.
As electric vehicles (EVs) build market share across the United States, it will be increasingly important to balance the rising demand for charging services at times when the grid has excess capacity, reducing the total costs for grid services instead of increasing them. Bidirectional charging through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has the capability to deploy demand-response actions to ease concerns, however, and add resilience benefits while decarbonizing emergency generation.
Findings from a two-year demonstration of a V2G technology in North Carolina show the positive economic potential for using bidirectional charging technologies to feed energy stored in electric vehicle batteries back to charging sites, especially when the grid is experiencing high demand. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) along with Advanced Energy, Enpira, Clean Energy Works, and the Environmental Defense Fund observed this powerful demonstration of a bidirectional charger and software platform from Fermata Energy.
Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s (REC) headquarters in the rural town of Ahoskie, North Carolina, served as the test site for Fermata Energy’s FE-15 bidirectional charger along with the cooperative’s two Nissan LEAF Plus cars. The Nissan LEAF has led the way in the fully electric passenger vehicle market that is capable of vehicle-to-grid technologies in the United States. The market has since grown with the vehicle-to-building capable F-150 Lightning, the Hyundai IONIQ, and the Kia EV6 expanding the development of V2X technologies.
NCCETC Clean Transportation Specialist, John Bonitz said, “We’re honored to be involved in pilot programs like this demonstration at Roanoke Electric Cooperative that can help make fleet electrification more economically viable by proving the value of integrating V2B and V2G technology to shave peaks, improve grid optimization and increase resilience — all while helping the cooperative and its members save money.”
Quantifying the potential value streams from bidirectional charging allows utilities to begin considering incentive payments and other EV program options for customers and members. By demonstrating significant positive value, this study encourages utilities in similar market conditions to help customers overcome the financial barriers to purchasing an EV, particularly in low- and moderate-income areas where these costs may restrict EV adoption. Roanoke is also considering a demand response program to incentivize EV growth and use the storage capacity to reduce peak demand and other charges while at the same time helping to make the transition to EVs more affordable for customers.
A bidirectional EV can receive energy (charge) from electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) such as the FE-15 and provide energy to an external load (discharge) when it is paired with a similarly capable EVSE. “Bidirectional chargers, simply put, can unlock new value streams by enabling energy to go into the car’s batteries or, when needed, can discharge energy back into the grid, a building, a house, or any electrical load,” explained John Bonitz. EV owners can use bidirectional charging to save money with their local electric utility, thus reducing the total cost of ownership of the vehicle.
With only vehicle-to-building use cases, REC demonstrated monthly gross savings that exceed the monthly lease cost for its EVs. Use of the bidirectional EVs as mobile battery storage reduced behind-the-meter electricity costs through three use cases: peak load reduction and load following, backup generator support while the building was islanded from the grid, and coincident peak demand reduction.
Peak load reduction shrinks the cooperative’s building’s monthly demand from the electrical grid, which can generally decrease the facility’s electric bill; load following adjusts the power output from an EV’s batteries as the building’s load increases and decreases; and coincident peak demand is when the cooperative’s peak coincides with the overall grid-system’s peak, thus helping both the electric cooperative, the local region and its customers by minimizing pollution generating sources while reducing electric service costs for all member-owners.
Smart charging and discharging solutions with V2X can be programmed to meet the fleet operator’s needs. V2G systems can schedule responses to system-wide peak demand events in advance, so a fleet manager can choose to reserve the vehicle for the grid (or building) at that time while leaving the vehicle plugged in. After the bidirectional event, the V2G system allows scheduled recharging to be programmed to meet fleet needs while providing transparency on the monetary value the vehicle can provide at different times for grid operations. Alternatively, the fleet manager or vehicle operator can choose a program to prioritize the readiness of the vehicle for transportation first, and grid-support services second.
Fermata Energy’s FE-15 can provide 15 kilowatts (kW) of power to the car and back to the site served by the grid. REC schedules dispatch of the onboard battery in response to predicted peaks, which usually last two to three hours. Using only one of REC’s Nissan LEAFs, the bidirectional charging system has been able to reduce the cooperative’s load and lower system-wide peak demand charges in 11 out of 22 months – every time the peak window was successfully predicted and communicated by the energy suppliers.
In addition to system-wide peak demand response, bidirectional charging can be used for demand charge management for building peak load reduction and load following. Despite having relatively modest demand charges of $9.50/kW, Fermata Energy’s software and charger strategically dispatched the Nissan LEAF battery to reduce REC’s headquarters’ building demand charges, resulting in savings in 16 out of 24 months.
“The combined value streams produced gross savings for REC of more than $3,200 per year, per charger – that’s greater than the lease cost of the EV,” Bonitz said. “The value of this single unit hints at the broader potential for much greater savings when multiplied by many units, serving multiple EVs or even integrated across an entire fleet of EVs.” He further clarified these savings would be in addition to the lower operating costs and fuel savings that have long been demonstrated by electric fleet vehicles.
Both public and private fleets in the United States are looking into viable strategies to transition away from internal-combustion engine vehicles and replace them with EVs. V2G technology can ensure that EVs are charged and ready for driving, secure on-time departure, and reduce total costs of ownership by generating additional revenue for owners.
Vehicle-to-building (V2B) technology could also keep the power on for critical services, such as hospitals and shelters, during extreme weather conditions and other emergency outages, reducing or even eliminating the cumulative number of hours these essential systems have to use backup diesel generators.
On a residential scale, EV owners could use vehicle-to-home (V2H) technology to power their homes during lengthy blackouts. With a bidirectional charging system, homeowners could pull power from their vehicle’s batteries to keep fridges, lights, and heating and cooling systems on in their homes.
Bonitz said, “We’re honored to be involved in pilot programs like this demonstration at Roanoke Electric Cooperative that can help make fleet electrification more economically viable by proving the value of integrating V2G technology to shave peaks, improve grid optimization and increase resilience – all while helping the cooperative and its members save money.”
Quantifying the potential value streams from bidirectional charging allows utilities to begin considering incentive payments and other EV program options for customers and members. By demonstrating significant positive value, this study encourages utilities in similar market conditions to help customers overcome the financial barriers to purchasing an EV, particularly in low- and moderate-income areas where higher EV costs slow their adoption. As the pilot program continues at Roanoke Electric, management is considering a demand response program to expand numbers of EVs by using these bidirectional value streams to help make the transition to EVs more affordable for their member-owners.
NCCETC and Advanced Energy are now sharing these lessons learned with interested parties across NC and beyond. Other cooperative utilities are intrigued to learn of ways that these EV charging infrastructure investments can help pay for themselves while reducing overall costs for their member-owners.
North Carolina students from kindergarten through high school are invited to submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state!
This Earth Day, you can show how you help keep the air clean!
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) is excited to announce the 6th Annual “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest this March, where students residing in North Carolina from kindergarten through high school can submit their artwork focused on the theme of actions that individual families can take to reduce the amount of air pollution from vehicles.
Winners will have their artwork featured on billboards across the state to help spread the word about ways that we all can help keep the air clean!
Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles. Examples include walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using biofuels, electric vehicles, and more. You can learn about the alternatives at cleantransportation.org or fuelwhatmatters.org. Please make artwork family-friendly, non-partisan and non-copyrighted.
Artwork in a more horizontal rectangular shape (about the shape of a billboard) is recommended.
● 400h x 840w pixels at 72 ppi
● 400h x 1400w pixels at 72 ppi
● Save as JPG, PNG or BMP at maximum quality in RGB mode
Note: Text may be added on final billboards with the “Keep Our Air Clean” tagline.
The winner will be chosen based on:
• Relevance and appropriateness of the message, judged by NCCETC and our panel of judges
• Visual design, judged by NCCETC and our panel of judges
• Public votes on our Facebook account
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Heather Brutz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT: Join the NC Clean Energy Technology Center for a Clean Transportation Demonstration Day this April! Clean Transportation Demonstration Days support Executive Order 80, 246, & 271 and give government entities across North Carolina information and experience with clean transportation technologies. The day will consist of classroom instruction with real-world case study results, hands-on static review, networking, and a closed-course ride and drive for those who wish to participate. View the event flyer here.
WHEN & WHERE: This year, two demonstration days will be hosted, free of charge.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at NC Highway Patrol Training & Driving Facility 308 E Tryon Rd | Garner, NC 27529
Morning Shift 10 a.m.-1 p.m. OR Afternoon Shift 1-4p.m.
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at Coastal Plains Raceway Park | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. | 4744 Richlands Hwy | Jacksonville, NC 28540
Morning Shift 10 a.m.-1 p.m. OR Afternoon Shift 1-4p.m.
WHO: Key speakers and presentations include
Heather Brutz, Director, Clean Transportation Program, NC Clean Energy Technology Center
Triangle Clean Cities
Sam Spofforth, Clean Cities Project Leader, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Presentations will feature topics such as vehicle electrification, idle reduction technologies and other strategies that improve fleet sustainability.
*Note: Registration is only open to government entities and utilities.
WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND?
Executive Order 80 calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. Executive Order 246 updates North Carolina’s economy-wide carbon reduction emissions goals to align with climate science, reduce pollution, create good jobs and protect communities. EO 246 strengthens North Carolina’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the statewide goal to a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, no later than 2050.
Classroom instruction will include alternative fuel options, telematics and other new technologies, safety, and more. There will be a diverse display of vehicles such as electric and alt-fuel vehicles, buses, police vehicles, and more. View the graphic below for a preview of the lineup.
To help minimize wait times during ride & drives, we are offering two shifts to allow more people to participate in the Demonstration Days. You may choose to attend in the morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Each shift will begin with 1 hour of classroom instruction and then transition into the hands-on technology static review and ride & drive.
Last year, the Clean Transportation program welcomed more than 190 attendees at a Clean Transportation Demonstration Day in late March 2022 at the NC Highway Patrol & Driving Facility. The event featured a wide range of trucks, cars and other clean transportation technologies on display. Attendees were able to test drive some of the vehicles themselves by taking a lap around the track.
“Demonstration days are always a lot of fun,” stated Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation Program at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC). “They are a great opportunity for government employees to gain hands-on experience and learn more about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles.”
One of the most popular vehicles at the 2022 event was a large, all-electric Mack truck designed to collect trash and manufactured right here in North Carolina. Electric vehicles (EV) such as the Mack truck not only significantly reduce a fleet’s carbon footprint with reduced emissions, but also enables quiet operation with a near-silent powertrain.
Other alternative-fuel vehicles on display included the Cary Police Department’s Tesla Model 3, Zero Motorcycles, Thomas Built Buses Jouley Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus, the City of Durham’s bucket truck with a plug-in electric power take-off (PTO) solution by Viatec and Battery Idle Reduction Firetruck, a Jeep Wrangler Hybrid, Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid EV, a ZeroRPM Idle Reduction Ambulance, Ingevity Adsorbed Natural Gas Vehicle, a Volvo XC40 and C40 EV, Lightning Motors Paratransit Shuttle, ebikes, XL Fleet’s XLHybrid truck, GFL Environmental Inc.’s compressed natural gas (CNG) Refuse Hauler & Service Truck, and more.
The Matthews Police Department showed off several EV motorcycles. In an interview with WRAL News, Captain Stason Terrell said, “It’s an opportunity for us not only to be more in the community, be more visible, but also have that conversation about the environmental side of things and how it’s a cleaner fuel vehicle.”
In addition to the vehicles on display, clean transportation technologies such as a 100% electric street vacuum cleaner from Glutton® Collect® and Progress Solar’s Mobile Solar Light Tower solution displayed the versatility of clean energy applications for all.
PARTNER WITH THE NC CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
Register to exhibit at a 2023 Clean Transportation Demonstration Day and get the opportunity to show off your vehicle/equipment to hundreds of North Carolina state and local government personnel and NC Utilities involved in vehicle procurement. Maximize exposure by exhibiting at both events on April 11 & 12.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available! Sponsorship includes the opportunity to display vehicle/equipment as a static display and/or as part of the Ride & Drive. Additionally, you have the opportunity to present product information and testimonials/case studies to attendees during the classroom/conference portion of the event (5-10 minute presentation). Then spend the rest of the day at displays and on the track! Learn more about 2023 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference sponsor and exhibitor opportunities here.
2022 was another busy year at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) as our staff worked with partners in government, industry, academia and other community members to promote and advance the development and use of clean energy in ways that stimulate a sustainable economy while reducing dependence on foreign sources of energy, and mitigating the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use.
Read our synopsis of program and project highlights from NCCETC’s 2022 to catch up.
In January 2022, six students completed a 40-hour Fundamentals of Solar Photovoltaic Design and Installation (FSPV) training course customized by the NCCETC for the Centre for Homeownership and Economic Development. The in-person course covered the fundamentals of the design and installation of a solar photovoltaic system and included a hands-on day where participants installed a grid-tied photovoltaic system. NCCETC also hosted a custom Solar & Clean Energy Fundamentals Workshop for the South Carolina Energy Office Online Program in May 2022. The course was based on the Center’s Certificate for Renewable Energy Management program and, in total, 62 attendees completed the custom course. Learn more about customized training offered by the NCCETC here.
NCCETC staff are working with the NC Department of Commerce and other organizations to find ways to advance offshore wind energy projects in the state, with a focus on economic development and job creation. NCCETC is currently serving as a member for the new North Carolina Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies, or NC TOWERS, which was established by Executive Order 218 to affirm North Carolina’s commitment to offshore wind power as the state transitions to a clean energy economy. The Taskforce will provide expert advice to Governor Cooper and state policymakers for developing the state’s offshore wind supply chain, workforce, and infrastructure. NC TOWERS met for its inaugural session on February 3, 2022.
The second ESS webinar brought together NCCETC staff and stakeholders to highlight innovations in managed charging and recent electric vehicle policy trends in the United States in a session titled 50 States of Electric Vehicles and Innovations in Managed Charging. NCCETC’s Senior Clean Transportation Specialist Lisa Poger moderated the panel discussion with Brian Lips of NCCETC, Elaine Jordan of Duke Energy and Jacqueline Piero of The Mobility House.
On April 26 and 27 of last year, over 700 clean energy professionals joined the NCCETC for the 2022 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, which returned in-person in Raleigh, NC for the first time since 2019. Attendees were able to be a part of the clean energy discussion over two days of live sessions where they listened to and connected with industry leaders while sharing their own ideas about North Carolina energy’s present and future.
During the second day of the conference, attendees came together to recognize new and existing SolSmart Communities across North and South Carolina who have worked to make it faster, easier and more affordable to go solar in their jurisdictions. The NCCETC served as SolSmart advisors to provide technical assistance to communities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida to help them receive a national SolSmart designation of Gold, Silver or Bronze based on actions across permitting and inspection, planning and zoning, government operations, community management and market development. There are now 19 communities across South Carolina and North Carolina that have achieved SolSmart designation.
At the end of August, the NCCETC welcomed more than 350 registered attendees in Durham, NC for the 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo. The conference showcased the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas and propane arenas – including everything from Progress Solar’s latest mobile solar electric vehicle (EV) charging model to the diverse display of alternative fuel vehicles and other clean transportation technologies.
Near the end of 2022, the NCCETC announced that it was selected to receive a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to enable communities to use solar and solar-plus-storage to enhance resilience and prevent disruptions in power caused by extreme weather and other events. This project, titled Resilient Renewable Energy to Diminish Disaster Impacts on Communities (Resilient REDDI Communities), will develop a novel set of resiliency metrics and create a playbook to guide emergency managers and their communities to assess and implement enhanced energy resilience strategies to mitigate the effects of energy loss during a disaster.
To conclude the year, we took a look back on 35 highlights from over the years to kick-off the celebration of NCCETC’s 35th anniversary. For the last 35 years, the Center has worked closely with partners in government, industry, academia, and the non-profit community while evolving to include a greater geographic scope and array of clean energy technologies. As a result of this evolution, the Center has grown into a state agency respected for its assistance to the burgeoning “clean tech” sector in North Carolina, as well as one of the premier clean energy centers of knowledge in the United States.
Thank you for helping us make 2022 a great year!
For a look at our most recent fiscal year accomplishments, review our 2021-2022 Annual Report, which covers NCCETC’s major projects from the last fiscal year along with operating budget statistics and highlights.
To keep in touch monthly with the latest news from the Center and our programs, consider signing up for our newsletters! Sign up online.
This end of year review summarizes a few of the project and program highlights that made 2022 a successful year at NCCETC! We are looking forward to continuing even more important and exciting work in 2023.
The burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market is leading the way towards an emissions-free future, but the growing electrical demand on the nationa’s grid needed to fuel EVs risks further complicating utilities’ careful balancing act to integrate an expanding supply of variable renewables.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University recently hosted a webinar session to highlight innovations in managed charging and recent EV policy trends in the United States. With legislation and technology advancements accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States, utilities and fleet technology companies are learning how to respond to the increasing charging demand on the nation’s electrical grid.
The webinar titled 50 States of Electric Vehicles and Innovations in Managed Charging was part of the NCCETC’s Energy & Sustainability Services Webinar Series. NCCETC’s Senior Clean Transportation Specialist Lisa Poger moderated the panel discussion with Brian Lips of NCCETC, Elaine Jordan of Duke Energy and Jacqueline Piero of The Mobility House.
POLICY PAVING THE WAY FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES
The session began with an overview of EV policies in the 50 States from Lips featuring information from the Q1 2022 and Q2 2022 editions of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles. “In the first half of the year, every single state took some sort of policy action related to EVs,” Lips said. “It’s a very popular topic among policymakers.”
“In both quarters, we saw the most activity in the financial incentives category,” said Lips. Financial incentives include bills related to tax credits or other incentive programs.
For the first half of 2022, the DSIRE Insight team has observed six trends in EV-related policy actions taken: (1) states encouraging zero-emissions school bus deployment, (2) utilities proposing charging-as-a-service programs, (3) states and utilities continue examining demand charge alternatives for commercial charging, (4) states planning for federal EV infrastructure funding, (5) state lawmakers addressing charging infrastructure siting issues, and (6) utilities developing active managed charging pilot programs.
With no other market interventions, EV owners who commute to work could be inclined to charge their vehicles when they return in the late afternoon and exacerbate these growing demand curves. However, with proper incentives or more direct utility involvement to shift the EV demand curve, EV charging could provide a myriad of benefits to consumers and the electric system as a whole.
While the EV industry and its effects on the grid are still very new and vary from state to state, utilities have started exploring different approaches to influence customer charging behavior, commonly referred to as managed charging. DSIRE Insight’s blog Recent Developments in Managed Charging explains the distinction between active and passive managed charging: Passive managed charging uses price signals like time-varying rates or peak time rebates to encourage customer behavior, while active managed charging gives utilities direct control over the load similar to a demand response program
A growing number of utilities are filing applications to offer charging-as-a-service programs or developing managed charging pilot programs to minimize grid impacts and provide system-wide benefits. “Entergy requested approval for new offerings like this in Arkansas and Mississippi,” Lips said. “While DTE Electric in Michigan proposed residential and commercial charging-as-a-service programs this year and Indiana regulators approved another program proposed by Duke Energy.”
Elaine Jordan, Senior Rates and Regulatory Analyst, provided a brief overview of the two managed charging pilot programs under development by Duke Energy in their North Carolina jurisdiction.
“We’re really excited because we’ve had the opportunity to partner with BMW, Ford and General Motors,” Jordan said. One of the pilot programs will test the new Open Vehicle Grid Integration Platform, a telematics based platform that enables Duke Energy to receive charging data from customers with exact kilowatts consumed for each charging session.
The second pilot program is a Demand Response Pilot utilizing vehicle-to-grid technology which allows Duke Energy to discharge EV batteries to support the grid. Duke Energy’s proposal for this pilot is still under consideration by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
SMART CHARGING FOR SMART SAVINGS
Organizations like The Mobility House are working with fleets and customers to create smart charging solutions and strategies that not only lower costs and deliver savings, but also use EV batteries as a beneficial part of the power grid. Jacqueline Piero is the Head of Policy and Regulation in the United States for The Mobility House.
“If you have demand charges, we’ll also make sure that we’re minimizing the impact charging EVs will actually have on that demand- which can be the biggest part of an electric bill,” said Piero. “The last thing we want to do is have electric vehicles be more expensive than having diesel or gas vehicles.”
While utilities are beginning to adapt to manage EV charging, private companies such as The Mobility House are able to offer charging solutions to enable fleets to electrify at the least cost possible in the current environment. With The Mobility House’s load control technology, King County Metro in Washington state has been able to put more EVs and charging stations behind the meter than the grid connection should be able to allow.
“We have 4.63 megawatts of transit bus charging happening behind a 2.5 megawatt connection, and we’re doing that by having on-site control,” Piero said. In total, King County Metro saved around $1 million by using the existing grid connection and saves an additional $100,000 a year in operating expenses.
Piero hopes flexible approaches like the King County pilot program can be a model to further propel the transition to electric buses throughout the country. With collaboration from utilities, automotive manufacturers and third parties like The Mobility House, customers can feel more at ease with making the switch to an EV and the grid will stay up and running when they do.
ABOUT THE DATABASE OF STATE INCENTIVES FOR RENEWABLES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the NC Clean Energy Technology center at NC State University. If you’re interested in learning more about incentives and policies for renewable energy and energy efficiency in your state, visit DSIREusa.org.
ABOUT NCCETC’S ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY SERVICES:
The NCCETC is now offering Energy & Sustainability Services (ESS) to all types of private and public organizations. Our staff are subject experts in clean energy, transportation, policy and workforce development and they bring this entire portfolio of knowledge toward a holistic approach to client work. They also provide unbiased, data-driven, and technical fee-for-service energy solutions based upon the client’s specific needs.
Over 80 speakers from a variety of backgrounds presented their ideas and best practices during the conference – highlighting the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and clean transportation opportunities – including fleet managers, technicians, company presidents and CEOs, university professors, researchers, analysts, nonprofit managers, motivational speakers and more. “It was inspiring to see professionals from different industries and backgrounds coming together to exchange ideas for improving the sustainability of transportation in our state and beyond,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the NCCETC Clean Transportation Program.
The sixth annual Sustainable Fleet Technology (SFT) Conference was able to return in-person in 2022 for the first time since 2019, bringing together fleet professionals and decision-makers to share and discuss evolving clean transportation strategies and technologies. Brutz marked SFT 2022 as a success in meeting this objective. “We’re fostering a community where members support each other during this transition to integrate sustainable operations and technologies into their fleets,” said Brutz.
During expo hall hours, attendees were able to network with more than 60 exhibitors while exploring over a dozen vehicles inside and outside of the convention center, with displays including a Chevy Bolt, Ford E-Transit, the City of Charlotte’s Ford F-150 Lightning and Ford Mustang Mach-E, the City of Durham’s bucket truck with a plug-in electric power take-off (PTO) solution by Viatec, Lightning eMotors, Thomas Built Buses Jouley Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus, Zero Motorcycles, an Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast Charger from Siemens, Progress Solar’s Mobile Solar Light Tower solution, XL Flee’s Hybrid Electric Upfit, Cenntro’s all-electric Logistar 400 and off-road utility task vehicle ORV, a long-range electric low-speed vehicle from Carolina Industrial Equipment, and more.
“This year the expo hall was full of a lot of electrifying conversations,” said John Bonitz, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC. “There’s a lot of opportunities coming from recent federal and state actions encouraging creativity from both the manufacturers and the end-users.”
During the pre-conference day, NAFA Fleet Management Association hosted a Sustainable Fleet Management Program Boot Camp before announcing the 2022 winners of the 100 Best Fleets and Green Fleet Awards. Triangle Clean Cities also hosted the Triangle Electric Vehicle Summit, and Cenntro vehicles were available for the ride & drive outside of the convention center.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS & BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Keynote speakers John Konkel, Director of GM Fleet in the Southeast Region, and Robert Gordon, Fleet Management Deputy Director in Dekalb County kicked off day one of SFT 2022.
SFT Conference tracks included Vehicle Applications, Fueling Infrastructure, and Planning & Technology. Attendees were able to choose from 12 breakout sessions across the tracks:
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Emissions Reductions & Case Studies
Best Practices for Managing Fleet Charging Equipment
Telematics: Realtime Information for Optimizing Fleet Performance & Safety
Hydrogen as a Transportation Solution
Charging Equipment Service & Maintenance for Reliability
Considerations & Opportunities for Rural Communities
Alternative Fuel Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Case Studies
Alternative Fuel Resilience Considerations
Funding & Financing Your Sustainable Fleet
Considerations in EVSE Networking, Communications & Specifications
Idle Reduction an Easy Win
The plenary panel Industry Roundtable: Getting the Win in Sustainable Fleet was moderated by John Davis, Emmy® Award-winning producer, host and creator of MotorWeek. The panel featured Ted Koupparis of General Motors Fleet, Patrick Campbell of Cummins, Dawn Fenton of Volvo Group North America, Stuart Weidie of Alliance AutoGas, and Patrick Scully of Ballard Fuel Systems.
Stuart Weidie spoke of the long future of the internal combustion engine and the viable role for propane and other alternative fuels, a view shared by others on the panel. They examined the current state of sustainable transportation and identified opportunities for overcoming barriers to meeting goals for today and the future.
Dawn Fenton outlined two of the barriers many heavy-duty fleets face when building toward a sustainable fleet: the lack of established infrastructure for refueling alternative fuel vehicles and the need for incentives on local and nationwide scales.
Fenton said recent federal programs like those outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act have the potential to help public fleets overcome these obstacles. The Act includes expansions and extensions of utility-scale tax credits and rebates to incentivize the purchase of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks as well as its associated refueling infrastructure.
“Many utilities have also established make-ready programs to help lower the cost of infrastructure for heavy-duty fleet vehicles and equipment,” Fenton added.
Day two began with plenary panel Leadership Triple Play featuring Motivational Speaker & Scottsdale-based Leadership Development Coach Ramsey Bergeron of Bergeron Wellbeing, Lonnie Mayne of Red Shoes Living, Inc. and City of Orlando’s Facilities Management Division Manager David Dunn. The panel highlighted principles for fleet managers to employ to help their organizations successfully embrace change and improve results.
Later that day, Robbie Astrop, Sr. Business Development Manager at ABM moderated the plenary panel Industry Roundtable: Delivering Electrons for Transportation Electrification. Speakers on the panel were Todd Ritter, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of EvStructure; James Tillman, Sr. Vice President Business Development, Brytemove Energy; Sean Ackley, EV & Mobility Segment Lead of Hitachi Energy; and Anne Blair, Electrification Coalition’s Director of Policy.
Sean Ackley, an engineering graduate of NC State University, has had a career focus on electrical infrastructure technologies and execution projects. As Hitachi America’s resident expert on EV technologies, Ackley leverages his background in cloud managed services, product development, testing interoperability, and construction project management in facilitating critical thinking around the transition of large fleets to electric powertrain.
Ackley knows the transition to alternative fuel of large fleets is no small feat and he expressed that during the panel. “It’s a whole ecosystem,” said Ackley. “We’re changing the world.”
Ackley stressed the importance of future-proofing technology to support the expansion of infrastructure and equipment as it evolves. “Start early, think ahead, and get creative,” Ackley advised when asked about specific strategies for load management and deployment.
Overall, the panelists agreed that transitioning fleets to electric vehicles is a multi-aspect process that involves planning, coordination, maintenance, strategies for managing electrical load, and more. The roundtable discussion focused on charging options, use cases, policies and strategies to meet today’s needs, as well as what is needed to further transportation electrification.
Industry Roundtable: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Electric Vehicle Portfolio Planning was the conference’s final plenary panel and joined together several major OEMs to share their plans and investments related to bringing a light-duty EV line-up to market from what is available to what is coming.
”A lot of OEMs have been announcing major developments in regards to electric vehicle offerings within their portfolio,” said Brutz, who moderated the panel’s speakers: Bryan Chapman, Southeast Government Sales Account Manager, Stellantis NA; Ted Koupparis, Sales Enablement Manager, General Motors Fleet; James Morgan, Government Sales Manager, Ford Motor Company; Mark Namuth, Manager, Fleet Commercial Sales, Nissan; and Scott Bargatze, Southeast Commercial Sales Manager, Nissan.
The NCCETC hosts the annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference as part of its mission to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies.
National Drive Electric Week starts this month, September 23 through October 2, 2022! National Drive Electric Week, or NDEW, is an annual event in the United States celebrating all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The national campaign is presented by Plug in America, Sierra Club and Electric Auto Association and consists of hundreds of free events across the nation.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center(NCCETC) is kicking off this year’s National Drive Electric Week at the Wake Forest versus Clemson University football game Saturday, September 24. Before the game begins, fans are invited to join the NCCETC for a tailgate and plug-in electric vehicle (EV) car show at Truist Field on Wake Forest University’s campus. The following Thursday, September 29, NCCETC is hosting another EV car show and demonstration with test drives at Venture Plaza on NC State’s Centennial Campus.
National Drive Electric Week began in 2011 to provide free, helpful and in-depth information for those beginning their electric vehicle journey. Today, more than two million EVs have been sold in the United States, and 90 percent of EV drivers report they will purchase another EV for their next vehicle, according to a recent survey conducted by Plug In America.
NDEW events help spread awareness about the benefits of driving electric, including decreased emissions, fuel savings and enhanced performance of electric vehicles. Thousands of North Carolinians attend National Drive Electric week events each year, and there are currently ten individual events currently scheduled for this year across the state.
“Every year during National Drive Electric Week events, we give people the opportunity to get their hands on an EV and ask EV owners all of their questions,” explained Heather Brutz, Clean Transportation Program Director for NCCETC. “When they leave, they are confident in making their next vehicle purchase electric and even come back to showcase their new EVs to get others to make the switch at future events!”
Learn more about upcoming events and register to attend by visiting the links listed below.
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 previously sat down with seven EV drivers to hear about the benefits of going electric.
Our newest EV Driver Profile features Kelly Witter, a recent EV owner who shared, “EVs are quiet, have fewer moving parts and reduce air pollution and fossil fuel use. Plus, charging at public stations is more enjoyable than gas stations and I can be productive while I charge.”