Tag Archives: clean fuel advanced technology

A-B Tech’s EV Charging Hub: Surging Usage Signals a Shift in Asheville’s Eco-Transport Trends

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech) has successfully transformed its electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities, turning a once underutilized resource into a bustling hub for clean transportation. Thanks to a CFAT grant, A-B Tech’s upgraded charging stations, including the rapid DC Fast Charger, have seen a significant surge in usage, reflecting the community’s growing commitment to sustainable practices and the college’s role in fostering this shift. This initiative was made possible through a grant awarded by the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project, administered by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC), showcasing A-B Tech’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

The CFAT project channels federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding annually from the NC Department of Transportation (DOT). NCCETC has been at the forefront of managing CFAT funding since 2006, distributing $11.9 million in federal funds to facilitate the adoption of clean transportation technologies across North Carolina. This effort aims to enhance air quality and reduce emissions associated with transportation throughout the state.

In 2019, A-B Tech sought CFAT funding to address the need for replacement of three EV charging ports originally installed in 2015 through a collaborative partnership with Nissan, Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition, Duke Energy, and EATON. While these initial chargers served the EV charging needs of the Western NC community for several years, they became inoperable and were no longer serviceable by the manufacturing company.

With the CFAT grant, A-B Tech successfully upgraded and replaced the nonfunctional chargers. The new infrastructure includes two BTCPower Dual Port Level 2 chargers and one Direct Current (DC) Fast Charger. The DC Fast Charger is particularly noteworthy as it allows drivers to rapidly charge their vehicles in minutes, a crucial feature that supports the growing adoption of EVs.

Furthermore, A-B Tech’s commitment to sustainability extends to the general public, as the charging stations are open for use and incur minimal costs. Initially popular due to their accessibility from downtown Asheville, the Biltmore estate, and Mission Hospital, A-B Tech’s charging stations faced a decline in usage in 2017, 2018, and 2019 due to the unreliability of the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE).

The replacement of all three chargers not only addressed this issue but also served to expand access and usage of the college’s EVSE. The charging stations were integrated into an NC Community Colleges EVSE continuous monitoring system which will record operation and usage data for all networked stations. This development enabled A-B Tech to establish a new technology tracking system and pricing structure, marking a significant step forward in the College’s broader plans to reduce emissions campus-wide.

“The fast charger at AB tech isn’t just a power source; it’s a catalyst for the future of electric vehicle evolution. It’s the spark that ignites convenience, accessibility, and paves the way for exponential EV growth,” said Ian Baillie, a Regional Planner for the Land of Sky Regional Council. 

Baillie added, “Our region is increasing it’s EV adoption at a faster pace than fast charging infrastructure is being implemented.” EV registration in Buncombe County has more than doubled from August 2021 to August 2023, according to Baillie.

“AB-Tech has a convenient location for residents and visitors that helps close gaps across the region,” Baillie stated. Following the installation of the charging stations in 2021, a successful public awareness and education campaign helped drive an increase in the utilization of the chargers. Over 400 charging sessions of both the DC Fast Charger and Level 2 chargers were recorded over the year.

The utilization of these charging stations has continuously increased, with more than 760 charging sessions recorded in 2023. The fourth quarter of 2023 saw a notable jump in demand, with a 47% increase in Kilowatt Hours (kWh) and a 22% increase in sessions.

When asked to comment on this significant growth, Dirk Wilmoth (A-B Tech’s Vice President for Business and Finance) said, “I think awareness of our location is increasing, along with the demand from more e-vehicles on the road locally.”

A-B Tech’s strategic collaboration with the CFAT project has not only revitalized its EV charging infrastructure but has also positioned the College as a leader in sustainable transportation solutions. With reliable and advanced charging options, A-B Tech is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping a cleaner and more sustainable future for the Asheville community and beyond.

Stay updated and learn more about CFAT funding and selected projects here

Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project Accelerates Fleet Electrification with Plug-and-Play Electric Power Take-Off by Viatec

In June 2022, the industry’s first and only production all-electric bucket truck was unveiled at the 68th Electric Utilities Fleet Managers’ Conference. The electric bucket truck’s debut was realized two years earlier than the most optimistic industry projections thanks to a unique collaboration between ViatecTerex and Navistar/International Trucks.

Viatec shared that a project of this magnitude required a seamless collaboration between the three critical components of the all-electric bucket truck – an electric chassis, an aerial upfit and the electric power take-off system to power a full day of work. The Terex Optima 55 foot aerial device is powered by a plug-in electric power take-off (PTO) solution by Viatec and mounted on an International® Electric MV™ series chassis from Navistar’s International Trucks.

Viatec’s flagship electric PTO (ePTO) product, SmartPTO, is part of their series of zero-emissions worksite solutions for hydraulic powered applications. The SmartPTO’s 2018 pilot program first brought the electric PTO system to North Carolina municipalities after being awarded grant funding from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s (NCCETC) Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (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. “With CFAT funds, SmartPTO deployed 24 SmartPTO units in NC municipalities with significant air pollution, including Apex, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Cary.” Learn more about 2018 air quality improvement grant projects here.

Anjali Deodhar, VP of Sales at Viatec, discussed how the universal plug-and-play solution is helping the entire industry, regardless of which vehicle manufacturer they use, to adopt SmartPTO. “We believe that, for the foreseeable future, utility fleets will be an optimal combination of internal combustion chassis as well as full electric vehicle chassis,” Ms. Deodhar explained, “And the good news is- SmartPTO works as the go-to ePTO solution on both!”

Whether it’s installed on an all-electric chassis or a legacy bucket truck, SmartPTO has the benefits of enhanced safety, reduced maintenance, lower cost of ownership, and social responsibility for electric utility providers. This ePTO is built around an EPA Certified production hardened electric power train and is “Buy America” compliant. The unit is fit for utilities, tree service, sign and light companies and other aerial device applications.

On an electric vehicle (EV) chassis, exhausting a vehicle’s mileage range for the sake of powering worksite equipment is not ideal. Viatec’s SmartPTO can provide all of the power needed for worksite operation so the chassis battery power is reserved for travel and its maximum range is protected. EV’s cut down on fuel usage and reduce both environmental emissions and noise pollution.

When retrofitted on a diesel bucket truck, the electric PTO allows bucket truck crews to turn off their engine and perform work in a safe, clean and quiet environment, benefiting the owners, operators and the communities in which they work. “Hybrid trucks use their engines about 60 percent less than conventional trucks,” said Ms. Deodhar. “Truck engine maintenance and downtime can be reduced by half annually while extending the life of the vehicle by over 20 percent.”

Viatec was able to demonstrate the benefits of SmartPTO to Duke Energy in 2019 thanks to funding from the CFAT project. “By partnering with Duke’s fleet services team and with the support of their senior leadership, we were able to develop, test and deploy systems ready for real-world use,” Ms. Deodhar stated. During Viatec’s collaboration with Duke, they were able to gather feedback, rapidly implement improvements and ultimately produced a superior, production ready ePTO that Duke determined to adopt across their fleet of roughly 600 units over a 5-year period.

Investing in any sort of new technology is financially risky for fleets, Ms. Deodhar noted. “CFAT funding greatly reduced the financial risk of both Duke Energy and many NC municipalities, like the Town of Apex, that would have had to shoulder for the initial pilots of these sustainable new products,” she said. The first 24 units deployed through CFAT were funded 80 percent through grant funds and, according to Ms. Deodhar, all of these units are still being used in the field today.

Ms. Deodhar contributed the success of Viatec’s SmartPTO to the active support of their partners Duke Energy, Terex utilities, International Trucks/Navistar, Ultimaster, the South Carolina Research Authority, NCCETC and Zero Motorcycles along with other key individuals who mentored and guided Viatec on this journey. “Collaborations like these are important because every company has a unique strength and our impact is that much greater when we team up to build a more sustainable future together,” Ms. Deodhar said.

Mark Ferri, Viatec’s President and CEO, is grateful for the support CFAT funding provided in the early stages of developing SmartPTO. “The NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s support made this possible- from presenting at the Clean Cities Coalition meeting where they introduced the CFAT program, assisting with the application process, confirming our Buy America status and managing the funds during the life of the project,” Mr. Ferri stated. “The support, communication, coordination and follow up helped to guarantee our success.”

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 2022, $1.5 million in federal funding is being awarded. The 2022 CFAT Request for Proposals was released in May 2022 and applications are due Monday, August 1, 2022.

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

For Immediate Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Available funds: $1,500,000

Maximum per project award: $300,000

Minimum per project award: $5,000

Application deadline: July 1, 2022

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

Click here for the 2022 CFAT Request for Proposals

Click here for the CFAT RFP FAQs

Click here for the 2022 CFAT Budget Worksheet

Click here for the 2022 CFAT RFP Application

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

Click here and here to learn about previous successful CFAT projects

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

NCCETC will host a CFAT 2022 Informational Webinar from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, 2022. The free webinar will present an overview of eligible projects and have Q&A to assist with application submission. Learn more and register for the webinar here.

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

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

To get where you want to go