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.
Pollution from gasoline-powered vehicles is a major cause of health problems such as asthma. Everyone can benefit from clean air and, no matter who you are, there are actions you can take to reduce the amount of pollution caused by cars. You can help make a difference today by adopting clean transportation technologies and behaviors.
There are a wide variety of clean transportation technologies and behaviors available for nearly every application and lifestyle. If you have questions about which clean transportation option is best for you, Fuel What Matters is here to help you figure out the option best suited for your needs and interests.
Light-duty vehicles account for about 91% of all gasoline consumption in the United States, according to the EIA. Most gasoline is used in cars, sport utility vehicles, recreational vehicles and boats, light trucks, and motorcycles. Luckily, you can help reduce fuel consumption by changing your driving behaviors and improving your driving efficiency.
If you are in the driver’s seat, you can learn how to adapt your driving behaviors to have a positive impact on fuel economy and adopt techniques that will save you fuel and money.
Rideshare programs help connect people traveling to the same or similar destinations so that they can travel together whereas carsharing is a form of shared vehicle ownership which provides members with vehicles for personal use without the costs and commitment of individual car ownership.
Some local and regional governments provide incentives to encourage ridesharing, such as access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, discounted fees on roads or lanes, special parking privileges for vehicles with multiple passengers, or tax breaks for companies with a high level of pooling among employees.
To learn more about employee rideshares, ridematching systems, ridesharing resources, and carsharing programs, visit the AFDC website.
Explore Alternative Transportation Options
Alternative transportation options are a great way to save fuel, improve environmental health and even improve your personal health. Some of these options even require little to no upfront costs. According to the American Public Transportation Association, a household can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.
Clean transportation options such as biking, riding transit and walking can help to improve the air quality in areas of high congestion. WalkBikeNC.com provides resources on biking in North Carolina, including an interactive map to explore regional bike routes as well as nearby destinations.
Use Alternative Fuel
Alternative fuels are cleaner than regular gasoline or diesel. As AFDC explains, more than a dozen alternative fuels are in production or under development for use in alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles. Using alternative fuels including electricity and advanced vehicles instead of conventional fuels and vehicles helps the United States conserve fuel and lower vehicle emissions.
All-electric vehicles use a battery pack to store the electrical energy that powers the motor. According to the AFDC, although 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.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) use batteries to power an electric motor, as well as another fuel, such as gasoline or diesel, to power an internal combustion engine or other propulsion source. PHEVs can charge their batteries through charging equipment and regenerative braking. PHEV fuel consumption is dependent on the distance driven between battery charges so it is best to consistently charge the vehicle to maximize the electric benefits.
Today’s hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are powered by an internal combustion engine in combination with one or more electric motors that use energy stored in batteries. HEVs combine the benefits of high fuel economy and low tailpipe emissions with the power and range of conventional vehicles.
The electric vehicle (EV) market is rapidly growing as transportation electrification paves the way towards an emissions-free future. 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.
Renewable energy can also help diversify the nation’s reliance on petroleum products. Coming from sources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited, renewable resources are virtually inexhaustible in duration. Renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are often domestically produced, making them more accessible and reducing transportation costs for businesses and consumers.
We can all take steps to reduce pollution from cars and trucks. All of the options mentioned above may not work for you all the time, but reducing your dependence on gasoline will ultimately help avoid more pollution from vehicles. Get the basics and find resources for you, your family or work to learn how clean transportation can get you where you want to go.
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.
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University welcomed hundreds of attendees celebrating Earth Month for two Clean Transportation Demonstration Days as well as several vehicle displays and Ride & Drive events hosted throughout April.
The Clean Transportation program at NCCETC hosts 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.
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.
Attendees were able to hear real-world case study results and learn about the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization during the classroom instruction portion of the event. 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.
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. The Southeast Propane Alliance and Propane Education and Research Council were also sponsors of the event. An overview of the presentation slides are available to download on NCCETC’s website.
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. View the graphic below for a preview of the display lineup.
“Demonstration days are a great opportunity for government employees to gain hands-on experience with alternative fuel vehicles and network with others to learn more about the benefits of clean transportation,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the Clean Transportation program at NCCETC. Attendees were even able to test drive some of the vehicles themselves or ride-along as they took a lap around the track.
The local community in Raleigh, NC was also able to test drive electric vehicles 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.
The following day, on Earth Day, NCCETC joined the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, the regional EV Association Chapter, TEVA of NC, and the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition for an electric vehicle showcase booth at the 18th Annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair. Attendees were able to see, feel and sit in EVs from the region while getting answers to questions from EV owners themselves.
NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program propels the development, awareness and use of alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies. Our clean transportation program’s outreach and education initiatives include workshops, meetings, conferences and communication campaigns highlighting the benefits of using clean transportation technologies- from alternative fuel to sustainable fleet management.
NCCETC recently published two new resources to support individuals and organizations planning a ride and drive and vehicle display event:
This guidebook provides answers to frequently asked questions about hosting Ride & Drive and Vehicle Display events to target specialized audiences.
NCCETC hosts several Ride & Drive events throughout the year for a variety of audiences. For general audiences, NCCETC hosts Ride & Drive events at public events such as NC State University football games where fans are invited to explore a lineup of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles before kickoff during the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demonstration & Tailgate event.
Specialized events are held for handpicked audiences. The audience can represent special interest groups such as fleet managers, law enforcement, first responders or emergency management, policy makers, and state and local government personnel. NCCETC’s Clean Transportation Demonstration Days for government entities are one example of these specialized events.
Ride and drive and vehicle display events are one of the biggest opportunities to promote driver awareness and advance the adoption of clean transportation technologies. These events enable interested drivers to experience driving EVs and AFVs, find educational resources, and assimilate a wide variety of information about the vehicles’ operability, handling, availability, costs, environmental benefits, fun factor and more. We hope these event guidebooks will empower others to start hosting ride and drive events in their own communities!
Global momentum towards zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) adoption has continued to accelerate over the last year. For 2022, annual passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales were on track for around 10.6 million units, up from 3.1 million in 2020 and 6.6 million in 2021, according to a November 2022 report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Moreover, some assert that a tipping point has already been reached, with 5 percent of new U.S. car sales being EVs.
With the market share of EVs continuing to grow, there is a nationwide call to establish robust charging infrastructure and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) needed to fuel the electrification of transportation in the United States. Utilities and fleet technology companies are still in the early stages of deployment, and charger site selection is a multi-criteria process with varying considerations for each site.
To help planners and developers select the perfect site to fit their needs, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University 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. The GIS product was created using data for the five counties covered by Roanoke Electric Cooperative: Bertie, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, and Northampton.
NCCETC’s Alexander Yoshizumi coordinated with Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC) 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. Last month, Yoshizumi presented the results and deliverables of the project to REC staff and lent his expertise to ensure a seamless transfer of the EVSE Suitability GIS tool.
“Tools like these are going to be invaluable for selecting charging sites that are sustainable and accessible while helping meet community needs and statewide sustainability goals,” said Yoshizumi. North Carolina’s Executive Order 246 established goals to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent no later than 2030 and increase the number of registered ZEVs to at least 1.25 million by 2030.
The EVSE Suitability GIS tool enables utilities and other EVSE developers to efficiently and accurately determine site suitability with the flexibility to explore alternative weighting schemes. For the scope of NCCETC’s project, the suitability tool was applied over a 5-county region that REC serves, and several variables of interest to include were determined according to REC.
Yoshizumi explained how this tool differs from others in that it pairs customizable variable weighting with a fine scale unit of analysis, providing a much more granular understanding of where suitability is highest. For example, the Regional EV Charging Infrastructure Location Identification Toolkit uses the census tract as its unit of analysis. “Not only can census tracts vary substantially in size, but many are also of a coarse resolution,” stated Yoshizumi. The median census tract area in North Carolina is approximately 369 acres, whereas the EVSE Suitability GIS product’s unit of analysis is just 40 acres.
“Prioritizing charging sites is a complex process and, for each site, there are a variety of factors to consider and weigh for an accurate depiction of the site’s value,” noted Yoshizumi. The variables of interest were grouped into five categories: infrastructure, population and vehicle density, hazards, equity and other points of interest.
Infrastructure variables of interest included data on existing EVSE, roads and highways, proximity to interchanges, and electric grid accessibility and interconnection capabilities. The geographic distribution of EVs is not uniform, so population and vehicle density can be valuable for identifying opportunities to construct new EV charging infrastructure.
“For REC’s territory in particular, in eastern North Carolina, flooding is a key concern that could limit site access or damage installed equipment, so the tool can take this hazard into consideration, too,” Yoshizumi said.
Points-of-interest in the EVSE Suitability GIS product can indicate businesses or amenities that could be valuable to the public like nearby parks or restaurants that can occupy a driver’s time while they wait to charge. Another consideration is that certain types of points-of-interest are more likely to coincide with facilities, safety and visibility such as access to public restrooms or parking areas monitored by surveillance cameras.
As EVSE developers map out charging infrastructure and EVSE locations, they will need to maximize site selection to support an equitable and swift transition to zero-emission vehicles. “By incorporating all of these datasets into one adaptable tool, users can explore multiple scenarios with different priority weights with ease,” stated Yoshizumi.
The staff behind NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program are committed to helping diversify fuel supplies and support cleaner, more vibrant local and state economies. The end result – cleaner air and greater energy security for all.
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
Originally established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the NEVI program provides nearly $5 billion from July 2022-June 2027 to help states create a network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations along designated alternative fuel corridors. North Carolina expects to receive up to $109 million to build out electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure along its approved corridors.
The Federal Highway Administration’s Alternative Fuel Corridors program recognizes highway segments that have infrastructure (or plans for infrastructure) that support alternative fuel options, including electricity, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and hydrogen. See the accompanying map for North Carolina’s current alternative fuel corridors.
In September of 2022, the Federal Highway Administration approved North Carolina’s NEVI Program plan, along with those from all other states and territories. Now that the plans are approved, states are moving forward with implementation as described in the “NEVI NEVI Land” blog on DSIREinsight.
WHAT IS NORTH CAROLINA’S PLAN?
The NCDOT developed the statewide Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment Plan using guidance provided by the NEVI program, and will support the development of the state’s public electric vehicle charging network. In short, NC’s NEVI plan is in two phases, the first being completion of the priority corridors having DCFast chargers every 50 miles, the second phase being an intentional effort to include local communities to plan where their DCFast chargers should be located.
Now, NCDOT is taking industry stakeholder input to assist in the development of the NEVI program. Feedback from the roundtables held during NCDOT’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure North Carolina Tour will be used to develop a request for information (RFI) to be released in February and will ultimately help inform the creation of a future request for proposal (RFP) from the NCDOT that will be used to implement the program.
Each roundtable is about 90 minutes long and will host utilities, electric vehicle equipment suppliers, site hosts and more. Registration is required for these roundtables and representatives can register online.
The public is invited to attend open house sessions following the roundtables. Registration is not required for the open house sessions.
Previously, on January 11th, the NCDOT held an information webinar session about the state’s NEVI Program deployment plan. A video recording of the session is now available for viewing.
The series focuses on sharing real-world use cases and success stories of sustainable fleet operations and strategies. Each webinar session featured in-depth presentations from nationally recognized fleets describing their experience with integrating applications of sustainable fleet technologies and strategies into their fleet as well as the lessons they learned along the way.
“The webinar series showcases the gold standard of fleet sustainability to help others see how clean transportation technologies and practices can fit into their own fleets,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the NCCETC Clean Transportation Program.
Driving Fleet Sustainability and Efficiency
Fleet management is dynamic with constant change, so integration of new strategies and technologies is imperative to stay competitive and meet growing demands of customers. The key to successful deployment of these new strategies and technologies is change management and fostering buy-in on all levels of an organization.
The webinar Creating a Culture for Change & Gaining Buy-In explains the basics of change management and features speakers from top fleets that have created a culture that embraces technology, change and continuous improvement. Panelists included Patti Early, Fleet Fuel Operations Manager at Florida Power & Light; Erin Osterroth, Fleet Services Manager for the City of Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada; Mark Swackhamer, formerly Director of Transportation for Alvin Independent School District in Texas; and Al Curtis, Fleet Services Director for Cobb County, Georgia.
According to Patti Earley, the objective of change management is not to eliminate resistance to change, but to minimize the impact on achieving the desired goal. “Change management is a structured, planned process at both the individual and organizational levels,” Earley explained.
Among the fastest growing and most promising developments in fleet management is video telematics. Cameras coupled with other sensors and technologies give fleets the potential to achieve improved safety, driver performance and efficiency. This emerging technology and results from real-world fleet applications were explored in Video Telematics Applications & Benefits.
Rick Sapienza of NCCETC and NAFA’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Schankel joined three of the top five Green Fleets to share their best practices for successful fleet sustainability. “In terms of sustainability, my advice is just to get started,” said Sapienza. “And in terms of applying for the awards, it’s a good exercise- you will certainly learn something new.”
NCCETC is a proud sponsor of the Green Fleet Awards, now in its 15th year of recognizing peak-performing fleet sustainability efforts. The Green Fleet Awards is free to enter and is open to both government and commercial fleets in North America.
Avoiding Potholes On the Road to Fleet Electrification
Public and private fleets across the United States are taking steps to transition away from conventional fuel vehicles, but electrification is a complex and multi-aspect process for fleets with thousands of vehicles or diverse needs. The 2022 SFTWS had several sessions focused on integrating electric vehicle (EV) deployment into long-term fleet planning along with funding opportunities to finance these efforts.
A fleet right-sizing analysis helps identify when vehicles need to be replaced and how to get the maximum value out of their current assets before replacing them. NCCETC’s Clean Transportation staff is able to provide fleet utilization analyses to help fleets understand utilization across their fleet as a first step in fleet right-sizing.
Several EV deployment cases from fleets leading the way in electrification were presented in Avoiding the Potholes in the Road to Fleet Electrification. Philip Saunders from the City of Seattle spoke of the lessons learned from the city’s transition to EVs so far and their plans for the future. Saunders was joined by Robert Gordon, Deputy Director of Fleet Management at Dekalb County, Georgia. Dekalb’s fleet has over 3600 vehicles – 437 of which are alternative fuel vehicles, according to Gordon.
Another key component of fleet electrification is the charging infrastructure and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) needed to keep EVs running and in service. The Charging Strategies & EVSE Readiness Planning webinar provides an overview of the critical planning required for properly meeting charging needs today, as well as planning for future additions of EVs.
Anne Blair, Policy Director at the Electrification Coalition, shared some of the resources and reflections from the organization’s work on charging deployment throughout the country. Blair discussed challenges and barriers fleets face when electrifying before highlighting how leading fleets have created opportunities to address these obstacles and find solutions.
One example of what worked came from San Antonio where Blink and the city formed a partnership to help alleviate some of the cost hurdles to installing charging stations. “They deployed more than 200 Level 2 charging stations, and 3 DC Fast charging stations throughout the city,” Blair noted. She said that these examples speak to how these partnerships mitigate the high cost of deploying charging infrastructure while also meeting the needs of the communities these chargers are installed in.
To view all of the past webinars and sessions from NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program, Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series, as well as the Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference series and more, click here.
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center, NAFA Fleet Management Association and The 100 Best Fleets are proud to offer sponsorship opportunities for the online Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series 2023. Note that there are a limited number of sponsorship opportunities for the SFT Webinar Series.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or learning more about partnership opportunities, please contact Heather Brutz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.