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 email@example.com or 919-515-9781 for any questions.
The evening before the 2018 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo, the Clean Transportation team at NC Clean Energy Technology Center displayed several plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles outside of the Durham Bulls baseball game on Aug. 21.
Learn more about electric vehicles by checking out our Electric Vehicles FAQ flyer here.
Attendees of the pre-conference events came to watch the game, enjoy networking and eat a barbeque dinner.
Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Director, accepted the game ball on the field and spoke with game announcers in a live radio interview (listen to below)!
The Mobile CARE awards recognize transportation emission reduction efforts that are advancing alternative fuel and transportation technology activities in North Carolina. For Mobile CARE, candidates were sought in three main categories: Individual, Policy/Organization, and Fuel/Technology Providers.
This award goes to an individual in North Carolina who-in both their professional and personal life- has worked to advance the adoption of sustainable transportation technologies and practices.
Jason Wager has been the coordinator of the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) for 18 years. He provides leadership in the alternative fuels industry not only in the Charlotte region, but throughout the state and country. In North Carolina, Wager has been a long time education and outreach provider for the Clean Fuels Advanced Technology Program, a steering committee member for Plug-in NC and a member of NCSEA’s Electric Vehicle Working Group. He has organized countless educational activities related to clean transportation technologies in the Charlotte region. Nationally, Wager has served as a mentor to other Clean Cities coordinators and is a member of the Clean Cities Coordinator Council; these activities enable him to educate and assist new Clean Cities Coordinators.
This award goes to a public or private organization that has created a policy that deserves to be held up as an example of a Best Practice that should be more widely adopted.
The Town of Cary first adopted a Strategic Energy Action Plan in 2012 and modified it in 2015. As one of the three focus areas for reducing energy use was fleet. The overall plan calls for reducing energy use by 13% by 2020. As part of their Strategic Energy Action Plan the town has created a Fleet Efficiency Standard Procedure, which puts in place standard procedures around purchasing more efficient vehicles, utilization of vehicles, driver training on how to drive more efficiently, route selection to reduce vehicle miles traveled, and mandated annual reporting. The Town of Cary has seen a 11% improvement in MPG across their fleet and a 17% reduction in vehicle miles traveled since implementing the standard procedures.
Fuel or Technology Provider
This award goes to a fuel or technology provider in the state of North Carolina that has worked to advance the adoption or availability of clean transportation technologies in the state.
With a headquarters in Franklinton, TN, Novozymes is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of enzymes that help break down organic matter into biofuels. Novozymes has committed to following the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Globally, Novozymes has committed to reducing their carbon footprint by 100 million tons by 2020; as of 2016 they were 69% of the way toward their target. Here in North Carolina, Novozymes has been consistently committed to supporting educational efforts that promote clean transportation technologies. They have helped support the Particle Falls exhibit, the alternative fuel tailgates, and have a long-standing relationship with NASCAR regarding education on ethanol.
N.C. Smart Fleet
N.C. Smart Fleet focuses on fleet commitment and accomplishments in reducing petroleum use, thus reducing CO2 emissions and other harmful emissions. North Carolina based fleets (both public and private sector) are recognized by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center as supporters, leaders or champions based on their sustainability practices.
The following organizations were recognized at the NC Smart Fleet awards event:
NC Smart Fleet Champions have achieved the highest level of recognition that we offer. Through demonstrated emissions reductions, improvements in fuel economy, use of alternative fuel vehicles, and use of best practices, these fleets serve as examples for the rest of us.
BuildSense: BuildSense is a design-build general contractor with an emphasis on green-building in commercial and residential. Even among Champions, BuildSense stands out from the crowd with nearly 90% of their fleet being alt fueled, consuming almost 70% alternative fuel, including CNG, B100 biodiesel, and electricity. In 2018, they reduced their fuel use over 2017 consumption, and they burned only B100 in their biodiesel vehicles.
City of Charlotte: The City of Charlotte continues remarkable progress in interdepartmental collaboration and management of fleet data, which gives them extra leverage to reduce air pollution and improve fuel economy across City functions. For the second year, their application includes Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department; City Fire Department; Solid Waste Services; Water; Department of Transportation; Engineering and Property Management; Housing and Neighborhood Services. Nearly 22% of their total fleet is alt-fueled, including 30% of their light-duty fleet.
City of Durham: In 2017 City of Durham engaged an array of efforts and policies to cut pollution and plan for fuel efficiency: They used GIS and telemetry data to scrutinize efficiencies, routes, and idling in Solid Waste. The City replaced a number of police cruisers with fuel efficiency as a criterion. The City made substantial facility improvements and started a new stringent right typing / rightsizing replacement program.
EPES Transport System, Inc.: This freight hauler continues to run both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks; and they continue to improve fuel economy through techniques such as monitoring tire pressure, mandating speed limits, purchasing trucks that are more aerodynamic, and using telematics. EPES continues testing several brands of trailer tails, and an electric APU device to further reduce fleet idling.
Town of Cary: Despite continued growth of population and demands for public services, Town of Cary continues to lead in purchasing high MPG vehicles, robust use of smart-fleet technologies, and exemplary policies to push their Championship status. In 2018 they significantly increased their alt-fueled share of total fleet to almost 5 and a half percent. The Town’s formal rules and guidance on clean transportation includes fuel efficiency, purchasing, right-sizing, and route-planning policies.
UNC Charlotte: UNC Charlotte’s steady Championship for clean transportation policies and practices shows in their 2018 application. After last year’s surge in use of electric vehicles from 48 new charging stations, light rail entering campus, and a new bike-share system, this year UNC-C tracked reductions in both vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and fuel consumption.
NCDOT Rail Division: NCDOT Rail Division is a new member of NC Smart Fleet for 2018. They run 8 locomotives for passenger service between Raleigh and Charlotte, and they have a strong history of innovation in pollution reduction. Despite new routes and increased vehicle miles traveled due to growth of demand for their services, the Rail Division continues to lead in deploying emissions reduction technologies.
Orange County: Orange County has been diligently working to improve fuel economy and reduce transportation pollution for years. This year’s Championship application highlighted the more than 11% of their fleet being alt-fueled, including 23 hybrids and 15 bi-fuel propane vehicles. The County reports 100% of its diesel vehicles being equipped with particulate filters or other emission reduction equipment. The County also have an Annual Sustainability Report on fleet MPGs, their GHG emissions inventory is being updated to include fleet activities, and they are directly coordinating with departments to implement telematics systems and a CarShare program.
NC Smart Fleet Leaders have demonstrated a commitment to improving the sustainability of their fleet and have implemented some clean transportation technologies and best practices in their fleets.
City of Winston-Salem: City of Winston-Salem is a new addition to the NC Smart Fleet program, and they join by reporting almost 2% of their fleet is alt-fueled, including 1.8% of whole fleet, 2.6% of light-duty fleet, using electric, hybrid, & CNG technologies. W-S reports an impressive 1% reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) from 2017 to 2018. This is a 141,000-mile reduction.
Charlotte-Mecklenberg School District Building Services Department: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools showed continued leadership in clean transportation in a number of ways. They significantly added to their alt-fueled fleet, increasing their percentage from less than 1% to more than 3.5% of fleet, using both dedicated and bi-fuel Propane, and gas-electric hybrids. They continue to use technologies such as anti-idling, GPS, route planning, and driver prompts to remember MPGs and Eco Driving techniques.
Durham City Transit Company: Durham City Transit Company is a new addition to the NC Smart Fleet program, shining with more than 40% of their fleet being alt-fueled – 25 hybrid buses out of total fleet of 61.
Gaston County: Gaston County is also a new addition to the NC Smart Fleet program, joining with more than 13% of their total fleet being alt-fueled. Almost 32% of their medium duty fleet runs on propane with the option to run gasoline.
GoTriangle: GoTriangle is another new addition to the NC Smart Fleet program for 2018. This regional transit agency serves more than 1.7 million people per year and has noteworthy policies in regards to clean transportation. GoTriangle reports 100% of their fleet using particulate filters.
The Mobile CARE and NC Smart Fleet awards are given by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center with support by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
Industry experts discuss the present and future of alternative fuel vehicles
Fleet industry professionals, alternative vehicle experts, and sustainability advocates from around the country gathered recently for the 2018 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo in Durham, NC.
More than 50 speakers presented their practices and ideas at the two-day conference, including fleet managers, technicians, company presidents and CEOs, university professors, researchers, analysts, nonprofit managers and more. With all of the varying backgrounds in transportation, there seemed to be a definitive consensus on alternative fuels – whether electric, propane, biofuel or natural gas – the industry is moving forward, and the future looks bright.
“The electrification movement and the movement to diversify our source of fuels – it’s happening. There’s no point of return now,” said Tony Posawatz, industry leader and keynote speaker on day one of the conference. “The costs are coming down; the ecosystem is being built. But it will take some time.”
Keynote speaker Posawatz; who is recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles as Vehicle Line Executive/Director for the Chevrolet Volt (and founding member), Avalanche, and Cadillac Escalade; kicked off the conference on Wednesday morning.
Posowatz noted the alternative fuel market has steadily risen each year, and more and more choices have become available to consumers.
“It’s important for the industry to grow and for customers to be satisfied,” Posawatz said.
“The Triangle Research area is an important area for taking transportation where it needs to go,” Posowatz said. “It’s an area for emerging technology, automobile, mobility as well as energy and environment altogether.”
Posawatz noted that while the industry is obviously improving, it’s still impossible to predict.
“The future of mobility is before us,” Posawatz said. “It will surprise us all, even myself. Anyone who tells you they know what it will look like… they’re wrong.”
The three conference tracks included Connected Fleets, Alternative Fuel Solutions, Deployment and Lessons Learned, while 12 breakout sessions covered Predictive Analytics; Electric Vehicles; Solutions for Port & Freight; Smart Mobility; Propane; Local, State, Federal Policies & Resources; Managing for Fleet Efficiency; Biofuels; Sustainable Garage & Facility Operations; Smart Cities & Smart Grid; Natural Gas; and Idle Reduction.
The first plenary panel, Future of Sustainability, featured Stuart Weidie, CEO of Alliance AutoGas; Loreana Marciante, Low Carbon Mobility Strategy Manager at Paul Allen Philanthropies; Scott Phillippi, Automotive Maintenance and Engineering Manager at UPS; and Scott Curran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Phillipi compared the current state of the industry as a ‘big sandbox with a lot of different technologies.’
“We’re in a time in technology where perfect is a moving target,” said Phillippi. “As technology evolves, we may find that different things come to the forefront.”
While the plenary panel all came from different backgrounds, they agreed each alternative fuel and technology has its place and application.
“We’re seeing change happen more rapidly,” said Rick Sapienza of NCCETC. “There’s not one set solution. Use all the tools available to you.”
At the VW Settlement Plenary Panel, Michael Buff of Electrify America; Michael Abraczinskas of NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDEQ); Alexa Voytek of Office of Energy Programs at Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEQ); and Debra Swartz, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; discussed settlement funds coming from Volkswagen.
Over 40 exhibitors showcased their products, services, and vehicles in the Expo Hall. Plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chevy, and Chrysler were on display, as well as other vehicles fueled by natural gas and propane, including a heavy-duty Freightliner CNG trash roll-off hoist truck.
“The conference was a great success,” said Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Director at NCCETC. ” It brought together transportation professionals to exchange ideas on clean transportation technologies with a good mix of what is working today, and strategic thought-provoking discussion to consider and prepare for what might be coming tomorrow.”
“As we deploy new technologies and new companies come on board, the one thing that is certain is there are going to be bumps along the way,” Phillippi said. “This is not going to be easy, but it will be worth the effort.”
WHAT: The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo, organized by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and the N.C. Department of Transportation, offers this event for fleet managers and transportation-related decision-makers at organizations of all sizes. The conference will showcase the latest on technologies in the biofuels, natural gas and propane arenas. There will also be a strong focus on data-driven decisions and technologies.
WHEN: August 22: 8:30am – 6:00pm; Reception 6:00pm-7:30pm
August 23: 9:00am – 4:00pm; (2:30pm-4:00pm NC Smart Fleet Awards/Keynote)
WHERE: Durham Convention Center
301 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701
WHO: Keynote speakers include:
• Scott Curran, PhD, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• Robert Gordon, DeKalb County, Georgia Government Fleet Management Department
• Tony Posawatz, automotive innovation leader
• Chris Werner, Director of Technical Services, NC Department of Transportation
Plenary panel speakers
Future of Sustainable Transportation
• LoreanaMarciante, Smart City Challenge Initiative
• Scott Phillippi, UPS Corporate Automotive Engineering
• Stuart Weidie, Alliance AutoGas
• Scott Curran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
• Michael Abraczinskas, NC Division of Air Quality
• Michael Buff, Electrify America
• Alexa Voytek, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs
• Debbie Swartz, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
• Joe Annotti, Glandstein, Neandross & Associates (moderator)
Over 50 speakers will present their expertise in Breakout Sessions with three tracks including Data & Solutions; Alternative Fuels & Advanced Technologies; Policy & Technology. View Agenda
Over 40 exhibitors will showcase products, services, and vehicles in the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference Expo Hall. Vehicles on display will include plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chevy, and Chrysler. Other vehicles fueled by natural gas and propane will be displayed, including a heavy-duty Freightliner CNG trash roll-off hoist truck. View Exhibitor List
This week, Fuel What Matters features 100 Best Fleets of the Americas winner City of Durham.
City of Durham’s fleet, which consists of about 1,520 vehicles and equipment, is a typical municipal fleet with cars and trucks (both light/heavy duty), refuse collection vehicles, police and fire vehicles, and construction equipment, according to Fleet Management Director Joseph Clark.
Durham has received the 100 Best Fleets Award every year since 2010, has been named as a Top 50 Fleet by the Leading Fleets Award Program from 2014 to 2018, and has multiple times been recognized for the Green Fleet Awards.
“We are proud to be afforded the opportunity to both participate and be recognized,” Clark said of the 100 Best Fleets award. “Our highest ranking has been 7th, but we are optimistic for the future.”
Clark said he thinks the City of Durham fleet’s careful cost analyzation to determine what works well for the organization and its stakeholders is what the fleet does best.
Durham uses a Fleet Information Management System that captures accurate relative data; and dealer and OEM level software and technician training. The fleet also benchmarks other leading agencies in their successes and failures to minimize missteps and maximize returns; and uses optimized tuning equipment, advanced telematics and idle reduction technology to increase fleet efficiency.
“Our recognition is tied to our dedication to managing the fleet utilizing some of the best and latest tools available,” Clark said.
Durham also has plan in place with a goal of reducing annual maintenance cost and average cost per mile, increasing average fuel economy, and reducing fossil fuel consumption, Clark said.
Through the years, underutilized vehicles have been removed, allowing the fleet to decrease in size. Clark said this has been done by outsourcing police upfit builds, remarketing used vehicles within the City, and adopting a sustainability plan that includes fuel reduction goals, right-sizing and right-typing vehicles, utilizing smaller engines in police vehicles, eliminating 4-wheel drive when not needed, and more.
To keep improving on the City of Durham’s fleet, Clark said they hope to further invest in hybrid vehicles, along with continued investment in anti-idle technology.
In addition to reducing fossil fuel use and right-sizing vehicles, Durham’s fleet also implements programs for its staff.
The fleet holds monthly staff meetings where discussion is focused on topics that encompass the whole organization, Clark said. The City has a program called Idea Starter that encourages new ideas and has a pool of funds to contribute to selected ideas.
“Recognition is a key component that encourages ideas to be brought forward,” Clark said. “We push a continuous learning philosophy.”
Throughout the years, the fleet has also faced challenges. There was a period of time when economic factors forced underfunding of fleet replacement — a deficit that created a backlog of vehicles, Clark said. The fleet continues to try to remedy the backlog while investing new ideas when opportunities exist.
When it comes to advice, Clark suggests “buy-in from the top.”
“Buy-in from the top is paramount — if upper management does not support the idea, it will be difficult to be successful,” Clark said.