Save the date for the 3rd annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference, August 7 & 8, 2019 in Durham, NC! The conference provides an opportunity for fleets and transportation professionals to experience the latest vehicle technology, tools, and resources designed to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. The event will include keynote presentations, 50+ panelists, breakout sessions, indoor vehicle/equipment display, and plenty of networking opportunities. Pre-conference events will take place August 6, which will include the Green Fleet Awards Forum along with the NC Smart Fleet and Mobile Care Awards!
Who should attend? Public & Private Fleet Managers
State Government Leaders
Municipal Government Officials
Clean Cities Coalitions & Stakeholders
Alternative Fuel Trade Organizations
Academic Leaders & Researchers
Attendees can learn & share about: Alternative Fuels (including biofuels, CNG, electric, propane, renewable diesel)
Advanced Vehicle Technologies
Motor Fleet Management
Vehicle Sharing Technologies
Vehicle Right Sizing
Autonomous Vehicles & Future Technologies
Stay tuned for more updates! For more information, visit the website, and contact Allison Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-515-9781 for any questions.
New Electric Car Charger Is More Efficient, 10 Times Smaller Than Current Tech
Earlier this month, it was announced that North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers have built an electric vehicle fast charger that is at least 10 times smaller than existing systems and wastes 60 percent less power during the charging process, without sacrificing charging time, according to NCSU.
This new technology is called a medium voltage fast charger (MVFC).
“This new approach offers four times more power from the same system footprint, reducing the system installation costs at the same time,” said Srdjan Srdic, a research professor at NC State who also worked on developing the technology (in a press release.)
Last weekend, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s Clean Transporation team kicked off National Drive Electric Week with an Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demonstration & Tailgate for the Wake Forest University vs. Towson State University football home opener game!
The kickoff events started on Friday, September 7 with the driver meet-up and car show. Several plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids were on display for guests to check out, and members of the Clean Transporation team, Heather Brutz, Rick Sapienza, Allison Carr and John Bonitz, answered visitor’s questions about alternative fuels.
Saturday, September 8 was game day in Winston-Salem, where a long line-up of plug-in vehicles and a biofuel vehicle were displayed, including brands and names such as BMW, Mitsubishi, Volt and Bolt, and Tesla.
Clean Transportation Director Rick Sapienza accepted the game ball from Wake Forest’s mascot the Demon Deacon and spoke in a live radio interview to discuss alternative fuels, the Center and what it does (listen here).
The next and final Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demonstration & Tailgate will be September 28 and 29 at the NC State University vs. Virginia Cavaliers football game! Come check out a line-up of some of the latest plug-in electric vehicles and other alternative fuel vehicles.
While experts at the Sustainable Fleet Management & Technologies Training came from a wide variety of backgrounds in fleet management, they shared a similar sentiment.
“The world’s changing; the climate’s changing. We’re finding out it’s a dirty fuel we’re relying on,” said Michael Taylor, of Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). “Alternative fuels are here to stay.”
The June 20 training covered an assortment of topics involving all things fleets — including sustainability metrics, vehicle selection standards, life-cycle cost analysis, change management, electric/hybrid vehicles and charging, idle reduction technologies, CNG, LPG and biofuels.
Rick Sapienza, of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC), estimated there was about 200 years of experience in the room.
Presenters included Emily Barrett, Town of Cary NC Sustainability; Al Curtis, Cobb County GA Fleet Management; Chris Facente, University of NC Charlotte; Joe O’Neill, CNG Guy Consulting; Brandon Pasinski, Town of Cary NC Fleet Management; George Survant, National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA); and Michael Taylor, PERC; as well as Rick Sapienza, John Bonitz and Heather Brutz of the NCCETC.
Whether a fleet uses electric, CNG, LPG, biofuels or a combination of those applications, some work better than others — it all depends on the individual fleets’ needs.
“It isn’t one size fits all,” Sapienza said.
Survant, who discussed fleet sustainability metrics, said he encourages fleets to stay focused by regularly trying to come up with creative, innovative solutions.
“The array of solutions is unprecedented for us,” Survant said. “I think if we as fleet leaders don’t keep our antennae up to that right solution match to the problems we have to deal with, we miss a good opportunity.”
Barrett and Pasinski, who shared the Town of Cary’s sustainable fleet journey, advised utilizing the right vehicle for the job, using what you already have, and buying only what you need. The two also suggested driving correctly, limiting waste, spending time on maintenance, and planning your routes.
“The key is getting to know your resources,” Barrett said. “It’s a process. It takes time and culture.”
Curtis discussed change management, explaining that giving your team what they need to kick-start and accelerate change is of utmost importance. You can inspire and empower your team by offering ideas and using storytelling, and offering insights and practical methods, Curtis said.
Cobb County started with CNG stations, then purchased Flex Fuel cars, propane vehicles, hybrid cars, and now has 29 Nissan Leafs, 4 Zero Cycles and 45 charging stations with 1 DC fast charger, Curtis said.
“You must not just change, you must transform,” Curtis said.
Poger talked about electric vehicles and their wide-range of benefits. Among them are fuel cost savings, lower maintenance, noise reduction and employee safety, exhaust/emissions reduction and more.
Taylor showed how propane is widely used, increasing in its use both in the US and abroad, and how it can be utilized more in the future. Propane is also non-toxic, he said — if it’s spilled it would dissipate, and it can’t be blown up like gas can.
Joe O’Neill discussed the value of NVGs (Natural Gas Vehicles) — informing that natural gas supply is estimated to be large enough to meet the US energy needs for the next 100 years. NVG is also a cleaner burning fuel, he said, with greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 20 to 30 percent when compared to diesel and gasoline. NVGs are also at a lower cost per energy unit compared to diesel or gasoline.
Brutz talked about creating a sustainable fleet plan, vehicles selection standards, and life-cycle cost analysis — which looks at all the costs associated with owning or leasing a vehicle to determine what the total cost of owning the vehicle is over its lifetime.
Sustainable fleet goals should include emissions (environmental), energy (economic), and efficiency, Brutz said. The key components of a sustainable fleet plan are to commit to a process, set reduction targets, measure actions, and review and revise.
When it comes to managing a sustainable fleet and making any kind of change — even with the right knowledge, ideas and equipment — standstills and setbacks are not uncommon.
“It’s not always a magic bullet,” Facente said. “You do have challenges when going uphill.”
But the presenters agreed the future looks bright.
“These technologies work, they’re just different,” Sapienza said. “Embrace technology and embrace change.”