The Clean Transportation Program at NCCETC hosts Ride & Drive and Vehicle Displays for a variety of audiences, providing an opportunity for attendees to learn more about clean transportation technologies including all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Dealers and local EV owners will be present to answer questions about their experience driving behind the wheel of an EV. These events support the program’s mission to propel the development, awareness and use of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies.
National Drive Electric Week is an annual event held every October to celebrate 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 United States.
NC State University is hosting its fourth annual Energy Week September 25-29, 2023. Energy Week is a week of events to increase visibility of the university’s energy use, research and opportunity to share a clean energy future.
Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation Program, emphasizes, “Hosting in-person events provides a great opportunity for those interested in switching to an EV to ask questions and get hands-on experience with an electric vehicle. We want to give people information about these vehicles so that they are well-informed in the choices they make.”
Types of Electric Vehicles & Charging Options
On the automotive market today, consumers can choose from three different types of EVs: all-electric, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).
All-electric vehicles are also known as “battery electric vehicles” since they use rechargeable batteries to power the electric motor. While electricity production may contribute to air pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency categorizes all-electric vehicles as zero-emission vehicles because they produce no direct exhaust or tailpipe emissions.
PHEVs use both batteries and traditional fuel sources such as gasoline or diesel which fuels an internal combustion engine. PHEVs and HEVs are similar in that they have both an electric motor and a gas-powered engine. HEVs, however, use an electric motor to supplement gas-powered engines while PHEVs tend to have a larger battery-pack and electric motor.
Those who drive EVs have several options when it comes to choosing the electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) to recharge their batteries. EVSE charging is classified by the power output of the charger, which affects the rate at which the batteries are charged.
Level 1 charging equipment is able to provide power through a common residential 120-volt (120 V) AC outlet. This type of charging equipment is most commonly used while charging at home or when there is only a 120 V outlet available for use. Although it is the slowest charging option available, if drivers are able to recharge strategically, Level 1 charging may be able to fit their needs.
Level 2 charging speeds up charging time by providing power through 240 V (in residential applications) or 208 V (commonly used in commercial applications) electrical service. Level 2 equipment is widely used for residential, workplace, and public charging stations. Where a Level 1 charger typically supplies about 4 miles of driving range per hour of charge, a Level 2 charger supplies approximately 25 miles of range per one hour of charging.
Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging equipment enables drivers to rapidly charge their vehicles. These DC Fast Charging stations are located along heavy-traffic corridors since they allow for charging to be achieved in minutes instead of in hours. In just 30 minutes of fast charging, 100 to 200 miles of range can be supplied to the vehicle.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), a resource from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, provides extensive information about electricity basics, benefits and considerations of using electricity to power vehicles, information on charging stations, vehicles, and more. AFDC also hosts an Alternative Fueling Station Locator which is accessible on their website here.
The Economic & Environmental Benefits of Driving Electric
Fuel What Matters, an initiative of NCCETC and sponsored by the NC Department of Transportation, is an excellent starting point for learning about the benefits of electric and hybrid vehicles. Find out more about the basics here.
Consumers who purchase an EV could benefit from tax credits and incentives for making the green choice. Certain all-electric and PHEVs are eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500 when purchased new. Drivers also get to coast by traffic in North Carolina and many other states where qualified EVs are permitted to use HOV or carpool lanes, regardless of the number of occupants. This often allows EV drivers to bypass high congestion traffic areas and reduce their commute time.
As automotive manufacturers continue to expand the amount of EV models available on the market, the type of EV owner is also expanding. If you’re interested in hearing directly from EV drivers themselves, check out this blog post.
Jarred White’s EV of choice is a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi hybrid. White shared, “One of the most significant advantages of driving a plug-in hybrid are the fuel savings on the ‘first and last mile’; short trips to the store where it’s nice to know that I’m only using electric.”
There are many benefits to driving electric, including high-quality performance and the notable quietness of an electric engine, but White also shared this quietness could be a con of owning an EV. “Because the engine is so quiet, I’ve accidentally left my car on overnight multiple times!” White explained. Explore the entire Electric Driver Profile series with profiles on seven different EV drivers here.
If you’re ready to explore your options for purchasing an EV, you can check out Plug-In America’s 2023 Electric Vehicle Guide which includes EV’s currently available in the United States.
Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation program at NCCETC, is seeing a frenzy to electrify in both the commercial and public sectors of the transportation industry. “We are seeing light-duty electric vehicle ownership skyrocket and medium duty and heavy duty vehicles are following close behind,” Brutz said.
With a burgeoning EV market, transportation electrification has gained significant momentum and is leading the way towards an emissions-free future. North Carolina, along with the rest of the United States, is poised to make substantial advancements in the development and adoption of clean transportation technologies in order to affirm the state’s commitment to reducing statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and drive the adoption of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) released a statewide GHG inventory in 2018 which found that North Carolina’s transportation sector contributed almost 36% of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions. NCDOT states reducing GHG emissions in the transportation sector is a critical component of the state’s strategy, and the department has been working with stakeholders to develop plans and strategies to reduce transportation emissions.
On Oct. 29, 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law Executive Order No. 80 (EO 80), “North Carolina’s Commitment to Address Climate Change and Transition to a Clean Energy Economy.” EO 80 calls to reduce greenhouse gas emission to 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
In January 2022, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order 246 (EO 246), “North Carolina’s Transformation to a Clean, Equitable Economy.” EO 246 builds upon EO 80 and calls for a 50 percent reduction in economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It also sets a transportation-specific goal to increase the total number of registered zero-emission vehicles to at least 1,250,000 by 2030 and increase the sale of zero-emission vehicles so that 50 percent of all in-state vehicle sales are zero-emission by 2030.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 is the most significant action Congress has taken on clean energy and climate change in the nation’s history. The bill includes $370 billion in investments committed to building a new clean energy economy through a combination of grants, loans, rebates, incentives and other investments.
The IRA makes several changes to the tax credit provided for qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles, including adding fuel cell vehicles to the tax credit. The IRA also added a new credit for previously owned clean vehicles.
Legal and regulatory barriers can affect the pace of EV technology adoption and deployment, but clear policy goals can both provide market certainty and help accelerate deployment. Incentive programs are driving demand higher across the nation, resulting in an increase in EV adoption as electric and hybrid vehicles move past early adoption and into mainstream use.
Drivers who purchase EVs are eligible for tax credits and incentives for making the green choice. Some all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles purchased new are eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. In North Carolina and many other states, qualified EVs may use HOV or carpool lanes, regardless of the number of occupants, allowing them to bypass high congestion traffic areas.
Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to learn more about federal, state and utility policies and incentives to assist with upfront costs of electric vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment. Maintained and operated by the NCCETC, DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on clean energy related policies and incentives in the United States with summaries of more than 2,600 incentives and policies.
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.
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.
The report finds that, for the second year in a row, all 50 states and DC and Puerto Rico took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during 2022 (see figure below). The greatest number of actions related to rebate and grant programs, rate design, charging station deployment, and targets for state procurement of electric or zero-emission vehicles.
2022 State and Utility Action on Electric Vehicles
The report highlights ten of the top electric vehicle trends of 2022:
States planning for the distribution of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program funding;
Focusing on incentives over utility infrastructure deployment;
Pursuing electric vehicle charging solutions at multi-unit dwellings;
Utilities designing managed charging programs;
Establishing statewide targets for zero-emission vehicle sales or adoption;
Utilities exploring vehicle-to-grid capabilities through pilots;
Policymakers addressing siting issues and HOA restrictions;
Dedicating funding to transportation electrification for low-income customers; and
Advancing deployment of electric school and transit buses.
“States filed plans with the federal government for their use of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, or NEVI, funding in September. The NEVI program was created by the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021,” noted Rebekah de la Mora, Policy Analyst at NCCETC. “Funds will first go towards building out designated interstate alternative fuel corridors. The timeline between each state varies; some won’t have definitive plans for a few more years, while others are preparing to release RFPs in the near future.”
A total of 790 electric vehicle actions were taken during 2022. The report notes the top ten states taking the greatest number or most impactful actions in 2022 were California, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Arizona, and Colorado.
“Building off the NEVI plans they filed this year, states policymakers ratcheted up their EV policy activity in 2022,” observed Brian Lips, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “In addition to very EV-specific activities, like new managed charging programs and incentives for charging equipment, a number of states also took steps to harmonize their EV planning activities with other utility planning activities.”
In Q4 2022, 38 states plus DC and Puerto Rico took some type of action on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. A total of 361 actions were tracked in Q4.
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 Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech
Media Contact: Shannon Helm, NCCETC, email@example.com
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.”
Electrification of transportation is exciting and challenging. Market forces are already pushing us in the direction of electric vehicles (EV), but our electric “refueling” infrastructure is lagging. Public and private investments are being made and more are coming in the form of grants, incentives, and substantial federal investments. In North Carolina alone, VW Settlement funds will bring ~$10 million this year. And the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) National EV infrastructure program (NEVI) will invest more than $109 million each year over the next five years in North Carolina.
Now, our challenge here in North Carolina is to prepare for this influx of funding, to ensure we are ready for it, and that we use it effectively and efficiently. This guidance document helps the reader understand how to get ready and where to find detailed guides for different aspects of building the new EV charging infrastructure.
There are many many “guides” already published, so we sorted through them to find the best and give pointers to them all. Now, you can easily find the best resources for you in our guide to the guides: Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging. We encourage local government planners, managers, fleet officers, and finance & purchasing administrators to be aware of this “guide to the guides.”
Let’s get ready!
What You’ll Find in The Guide
Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging covers:
Charging for homeowners
Charging for renters (apartment, townhome and condo dwellers)
Charging at work
The state of EV charger deployment in North Carolina
Locally-sourced North Carolina EV charging guides
Links to several valuable guides from organizations like:
The U.S. Department of Transportation
The Cadmus Group (in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation)
National Drive Electric Week is an annual event held each October to celebrate 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 United States.
This year, National Drive Electric Week events will be held from September 25 through October 3, 2021, both in-person and online. Thousands of North Carolinians attend National Drive Electric week events each year, and there are ten individual events currently scheduled for this year across the state.
National Drive Electric Week began in 2011 to provide free, helpful and in-depth information for those beginning their electric vehicle (EV) journey. Today, more than two million EVs have been sold in the United States, and 96 percent of EV drivers report they will purchase another EV for their next vehicle, according to a recent survey conducted by Plug In America.
As with any new technology, people often have questions before they make the switch to driving electric, and National Drive Electric Week gives people the chance to interact with electric vehicles and ask EV drivers any questions they may have.
“After participating in National Drive Electric Week for several years now, I’ve seen the impact of giving people the opportunity to ask questions and get their hands on an electric vehicle,” said Richard Sapienza, Director of NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program, “When they leave, they’re confident in making the switch to going electric and several have purchased an electric vehicle following one of these events.”
NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program is also currently hosting free webinars showcasing the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technologies and operations, including electric, as part of the 2021 Sustainable Fleet technology Virtual Conference. The conference began September 9 with “Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning Best Practices and Considerations for Today & the Future” (which is available to watch in full online) and includes two more upcoming webinars focused on EVs.
Links and event dates are provided below to learn more and register for upcoming National Drive Electric week events and webinars.
Can’t make it? Watch a Video Tour from an EV Driver Online Through Our EV Driver Profile Series
Those interested in going electric can also explore a variety of EVs and their drivers’ experiences driving electric in our Electric Driver profile series. Jarred White’s EV of choice is a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi hybrid, and he said, “One of the most significant advantages of driving a plug-in hybrid are the fuel savings on the ‘first and last mile’; short trips to the store where it’s nice to know that I’m only using electric.”
There are many benefits to driving electric, including high-quality performance and the notable quietness of an electric engine — something White has also expressed can be a con of owning an EV. “Because the engine is so quiet, I’ve accidentally left my car on overnight multiple times!” White explained.
Dave Erb has been involved in projects focused on and promoting EVs for two decades. Erb worked as an automotive engineer and spent the majority of his career in academia as faculty for UNCA Mechatronics Engineering. He also served on the Asheville Transit Committee until he reached term limit.
After purchasing his first electric vehicle in 2016, Dave and his wife were hooked and traded their last gas car in for another all-electric vehicle in 2019. The couple resides in Asheville, NC with their 2015 Chevy Spark EV and a 2019 Tesla Model 3. “We haven’t bought gas in over a year and a half,” Erb said.
If you can’t make it to an in-person event, the NCCETC has you covered! Watch the video below for a tour of Erb’s 2015 Chevy Spark EV and hear why it’s his EV of choice.