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)
Eleven FREE Sessions from the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference Available to Stream Online
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center recently concluded the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference featuring the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technology, operations and implementation. The conference consisted of 11 free webinars on best practices to make fleets run more efficiently, with valuable presentations and conversations from award-winning speakers from the industry.
All webinar recordings and resources are available to stream online now so you can access on-demand knowledge and expertise from fleet managers across the country. In total, there were 900 registered attendees for the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology (SFT 2021) Virtual Conference webinar sessions.
The SFT Conference is an annual event hosted by the Clean Transportation program at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) to share strategies for achieving fleet sustainability from experts in the private and public sector. Fleet managers and clean technology innovators gather to discuss lessons learned across the industry for implementing and integrating innovative clean transportation technologies and alternative fuel operations, including the implementation in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, hydrogen and propane arenas.
Director of NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program, Richard Sapienza, surveyed fleet managers to find relevant session topics to highlight the current technologies, topics and issues impacting today’s fleet industry. “We want to build a community where ideas can be exchanged and we can provide support and strategies for dealing with new technologies to drive efficiency in fleets,” Sapienza said in the first session of SFT 2021.
The Future of Fleet Electrification
SFT 2021 kicked off on September 9 with “Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning Best Practices and Considerations for Today and the Future” showcasing effective planning and modeling along with real-world use cases to support an electrified future for different use cases . Currently, public and private fleets across the country are preparing for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and, while significant consumer adoption is forecasted, transitioning entire fleets away from conventional fuel vehicles is a much more complex process than individuals going electric.
Attendees of the webinar heard from a panel of experts including David Dunn, Division Manager of the Fleet & Facilities management Division for the City of Orlando, Florida. Dunn emphasized the critical roles public fleets have in leading the EV revolution and being the agent of change, from installation and maintenance of infrastructure to creating solutions for grid vulnerability.
Part of being a leader means embracing change, and Dunn was proud to share his fleet’s latest change- the addition of a DANNAR Mobile Power Station® (MPS). The MPS is a heavy-duty EV designed for infrastructure maintenance and disaster response, equipped with a two-way charger and inverter to provide clean energy for single-day or multiple-day work requirements.
“This [MPS] is a charger, this is a generator, this is a work platform, this is a power station,” Dunn explained. “This is one way to attack the grid vulnerability issue, because you can charge several vehicles off of this one if you need to.”
Electrification was the focus of several SFT 2021 sessions, and those interested in learning more about charging solutions can benefit from the in-depth “Innovative Charging Solutions” webinar which covered power requirements, associated costs and time hurdles involved in meeting the charging needs of diverse use cases.
The last session of SFT 2021, “Future Proofing Electric Charging Infrastructure”, discussed steps to fleet electrification and considerations for fleets to be ready for the future, as infrastructure deployment continues to be a moving target with needs and technology rapidly changing.
Hot Topic – Alternative Fuel Sessions Popular Amongst Attendees
Alternative fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas have proven to be viable ways for fleets to reduce emissions, and two of the most widely attended SFT 2021 sessions included topics in this arena. Attendees learned from the top fleets in the United States, including recent winners of both The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas and The Green Fleet Awards.
“Quite often, when deploying alternative fuel vehicles and sustainable technologies, there’s an increased cost in acquisition, but there are a number of different ways for fleets to mitigate these costs,” said Sapienza.
One of the speakers from this webinar was Andrew Burnham from the Argonne National Laboratory which supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program. Argonne has developed the Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) tool. The AFLEET spreadsheet was designed to examine light and heavy duty vehicles for metrics like petroleum use, greenhouse gas emissions and more to find the total cost of ownership.
There are many opportunities for fleet’s to mitigate the higher acquisition costs associated with alternative fuel vehicles, including state and federal level funding and incentives. The “Funding Sources and Creative Financing for Alternative Fuel Vehicles” session shared resources and tips on how to take advantage of creative financing options for fleets to achieve their sustainability goals.
To view all of the past webinars and sessions from NCCETC Clean Transportation, Sustainable Fleet Webinar Series from NCCETC and The 100 Best Fleets, as well as the Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference series and others, click here.
Currently, the clean transportation team is hosting weekly 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. Register for an upcoming SFT Webinaronline now.
Stay tuned for future updates about the 6th annual 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference online atsustainablefleetexpo.com.
Sessions at the Fifth annual 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference (SFT) will showcase the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technologies and alternative fuel operations, as well as implementation in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, hydrogen and propane arenas. Session topics and speakers were carefully selected to highlight the current technologies, topics and issues happening in today’s fleet industry as we navigate the rapidly evolving transportation industry.
Richard Sapienza, Director of the Clean Transportation program at NC Clean Energy Technology Center, surveys fleet managers year-round to find relevant session topics suited for their needs. There are a myriad of strategies to achieve fleet sustainability and new clean transportation technologies are always on the horizon, and topics discussed at the SFT are meant to share best practices and lessons learned across the industry.
Currently, both public and private fleets in the United States are gearing up for an electric vehicle revolution as the transition towards vehicle electrification expands. Transitioning entire fleets away from conventional fuel vehicles, however, is a much more complex process than individuals deciding to go electric.
“This transition affects every fleet from light to medium to heavy-duty vehicles, which all have different use cases and needs regarding power levels, charging and range,” Sapienza explained. “You can’t just flip a switch and instantly see the change, but we’re hoping to make that change more accessible for these fleet managers.”
Attendees of SFT can expect to learn and share more about electric vehicle infrastructure planning, alternative and renewable fuels applications and decarbonization uses, idle reduction, sustainable fleet management and more. Session topics include a strong focus on data-driven decisions, tools and technologies from real-world applications of leading edge technologies.
Alternative fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas have proven to be viable ways for fleets to reduce emissions and help conserve fuel. Not only are alternative fuels featured in a session on fleet decarbonization, but attendees can also learn from success stories about propane autogas and natural gas applications in addition to a session focused on hydrogen as a transportation solution.
SFT 2021 features award-winning and expert speakers who will share the best practices to help fleets run more efficiently. From simple strategies like idle-reduction programs to more complex strategies including fleet charging costs and deployment, the conference agenda covers it all. Each session spotlights different opportunities for fleets to find the best solutions for managing a sustainable fleet.
Building towards a sustainable fleet is a multi-aspect process that involves planning, understanding, learning, tracking, analyzing, training and changing organizational culture, which can be challenging for individual fleets to navigate. SFT serves as a resource for public and private fleets by leveraging the knowledge of top performing fleets and industry experts sharing their best practices and operations for increasing vehicle fleet efficiency and sustainability.
“We’re trying to build a community to exchange and share ideas from lessons learned so that we can all avoid the potholes in the road,” Sapienza said. Early-adopters exist for every trend and technology, and fleet managers can learn from them to increase their own fleet’s efficiency both environmentally and economically.
The sustainable fleet practices presented at SFT 2021 provide a process of continuous improvement, fleet modernization and impact and risk reduction, while also working towards decarbonization and cost savings.
Who should attend?
Public & Private Fleet Managers
State Government Leaders
Municipal Government Officials
Clean Cities Coalitions & Stakeholders
Alternative Fuel Trade Organizations
Academic Leaders & Researchers
Learn more & register for individual SFT 2021 virtual sessions below:
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center hosts the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference as part of its mission to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies.
The 2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo showcased the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas and propane arenas – including everything from a 2-seater 6-foot tall electric GEM to a 15-ton Ford F-750 Danville Public Works propane truck with an attached Petersen Lightning Loader.
More than 50 speakers in a variety of backgrounds presented their ideas and practices last week in Durham, NC – highlighting the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities – including fleet managers, technicians, company presidents and CEOs, university professors, researchers, analysts, nonprofit managers and more.
Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Program Manager at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, said the event met the main objective well – which was to guide and exchange ideas.
“The conference was strong on all levels – speakers, attendees, and technologies presented,” Sapienza said.
“It was great to see professionals from different industries and backgrounds coming together to discuss strategies for improving the sustainability of transportation in our state,” said Heather Brutz, Clean Transportation Finance and Operations Manager.
Conference tracks included Trends in Advanced Fuels and Fueling, Integrated Fleet Technology Solutions, and Fleet Efficiency & Sustainability. Within those, the sessions were Electric Vehicles; Propane; Natural Gas; Biofuel Solutions; Telematics; Recruiting, Retention and Career Development; Infrastructure and Intelligent Solutions; Heavy Duty Vehicle Efficiency; Electrification and the Grid; Rural and Small Town Fleet Operations; Fleet Efficiency and Idle Reduction; and Procurement Solutions.
The expo hall was full of more than 40 diverse exhibitors and over a dozen vehicles inside and outside the convention center, including an ECO Vehicle systems propane bus, GoSolar Tesla, EV ARC (a solar-powered vehicle charging by Envision Solar), a plug-in hybrid Durham Police car, Altec JEMS electric bucket truck, a SMARTPTO Viatec bucket truck, Ingevity adsorbed natural gas truck, Dannar Mobile Power Station (MPS) electric work vehicle, Thomas Built Buses Jouley Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus, Zero Motorcycles and more.
“This year, the excitement and open two-way conversation stood out. People were engaged,” Sapienza said.
Fleet managers are looking for ways to improve the performance, efficiency and sustainability of their fleets, and more technology and equipment is coming out to aid in that endeavor, said Allison Carr, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC.
“There is a genuine interest in development and integration of sustainable strategies into fleets,” Sapienza said. “The appetite is there, and there is creativity on the part of the technology providers, as well as the end-users.”
New this year, the pre-conference day included a workshop: Fleet Efficiency & Sustainability in a Campus Setting, where experienced fleet managers discussed the metrics needed to make smart decisions for alternative fuels and technologies in various campus settings. Speakers included William Evans, Princeton University; Chris Facente, UNC Charlotte; Kathy Wellik, Iowa State University; Charles Bey, UNC Asheville; Ronald Gitelman, Yale University; Michael Duffy, University of Virginia (Both Yale University and the University of Virginia are NAFA Sustainable Fleet Accredited, and Iowa State University is in process for accreditation).
The Fleets & Advanced Mobility Solutions plenary panel with Greg Treinen of Daimler/Freightliner; Bill Combs of Penske; Stuart Weidie of Alliance AutoGas/Blossman Gas; Michael McDonald of UPS; and moderator Mark Smith of the U.S. Department of Energy – Vehicle Technologies Office; covered what each speaker is doing in their fleet to continue to improve on efficiency, performance and sustainability.
McDonald with UPS said that as a fleet manager, he looks at vehicles and uses what works best in every application – whether is electric, propane, natural gas or biofuel.
“Every technology that’s been mentioned or not been mentioned has a drawback. There’s no one fuel that solves the problem,” McDonald said. “Ask questions, get as much as you can from the questions you ask, and formulate your own opinion.”
The Planning for an Advanced Transportation Future plenary panel with Geoff Morrison of Cadmus; Diane Turchetta of Federal Highway Administration; Phil Bisesi of ElectriCities; Jibonananda Sanyal of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Chris Werner of North Carolina Department of Transportation; and moderator Cassie Powers of National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO); covered what each speaker is doing to get ready for the inevitable changes and new advanced technologies coming to the world of transportation. Overall, they agreed that integration, communication, collaboration and partnership were the keywords to make it happen.
Keynote speakers included David Dunn, Fleet and Facilities Management Division Manager of the City of Orlando; and Mark Smith, Technology Integration Program Manager at US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office.
Smith talked about the state of transportation and where it’s heading; integrating more technology within light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, alternative fuel infrastructure and energy efficient mobility systems and technologies; and the importance of Clean Cities coalitions. Smith said the Department of Energy ‘envisions more choices and more efficient and affordable technology, when and wherever it’s needed.’
Dunn pointed to the ways the City of Orlando continues to work to make its fleet more sustainable. He said that change doesn’t have to happen overnight – successful results can be slow and steady.
“Sustainability is not a destination; it is a never-ending journey,” Dunn said.
We visited the University of North Carolina at Charlotte last year to talk to Chris Facente, Automotive and Motor Fleet Supervisor, about the university’s fleet of electric vehicles. Check out our video on it here.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has 115 electric vehicles on its campus, including Polaris GEMs and Nissan Leafs. Facente said they’d like their fleet to be 25 percent electric in about two years.
Electric vehicles are cheaper to run because they don’t require gas and require less maintenance – and they produce no harmful emissions.
Considering alternative fuels for your fleet? Learn more about natural gas!
We visited a Waste Management site in North Carolina last year and talked to Project Manager Amanda Fairley about their fleet of natural gas vehicles. Check out our new video on it here!
Waste Management, a waste management, comprehensive waste, and environmental services company, has 21 million customers throughout North America, with 24,000 vehicles – 6,500 of which are compressed natural gas (CNG).
Whether produced via conventional or renewable methods, the advantages of natural gas as an alternative fuel include its domestic availability, established distribution network, relatively low cost, and emissions benefits, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center.
The winners of the 2019 edition of the 100 Best Fleets were announced last month! See the winners here.
On May 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., hear what the top three fleets did to distinguish themselves among 38,000 public fleets in North America. Learn their best practices you can use immediately in your own operation. We only learn from the best. Also, learn about the emerging technologies they use to do-more-with-less.
This information is intended for the entire team to listen in.
Find out where you compare to the very best-of-the-best.
Tune in to two new Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinars this month! These free & informative webinars keep you up to date on trends and technologies to help you do your job more easily and efficiently.
1 – Propane as a Transportation Fuel: Deployment Considerations, Best Practices and Best Applications
Hear from the Propane Education Research Council (PERC), leading propane vehicle suppliers, and fleets that have successfully deployed propane as a transportation fuel. We will also learn about deployment considerations, best practices and best applications.
PERC will provide a general overview of propane as a transportation fuel. Several fleets from different vocations including law enforcement, school bus, paratransit and tow truck/wrecker industry will tell their stories regarding their decision to switch to propane, their experiences, and lesson learned.
There will be a round table opportunity to have myths dispelled, and questions and concerns answered with PERC, the fleets and suppliers (ICOM Alternative Fuel Systems, Alliance AutoGas and Roush CleanTech) participating. Register here!
2 – How Two Fleets Changed Their Entire Operation With Two Powerful Tools
On Wednesday, January 30 from 2 to 3 p.m., join us for another free Sustainable Fleet Webinar. Hear from one fleet that went from #99 Best Fleet in North America to #4, using one powerful, transformative tool. This tool is not for sale – it is FREE to use in your own operation. You can’t afford to miss this presentation by the fleet manager on his story and the impactful results!
We will also hear from another fleet manager who is saving $1.2 million annually with another tool that you can use tomorrow in your own operation. In addition, we will hear from two emerging technology providers that are changing the industry.
There are only two ways to do more with less – and technology is one of them.
As always, we are here to help you learn and understand trends and technologies to drive efficiency and help you do your job more easily. Register here!
The 2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will be August 7-8 2019 in Durham, NC. Learn more and register at www.SustainableFleetExpo.com.
We put together a list of transportation-related events we’re looking forward to in the first half of 2019! There are many diverse conferences and events taking place all over the country, connecting transportation professionals, showcasing the latest technology, and sharing new ideas and practices. Just in the first few months of 2019, there are conferences covering general transportation, clean transportation, energy, fleet management, grid, work trucks and more. Take a moment to consider marking these on your calendar!
2019 NC Transportation Summit | January 9-10 in Raleigh, NC
North Carolina’s projected growth requires consideration and careful action, especially regarding population growth. In fact, the state’s population is expected to increase by 3 million people by the year 2040. That impressive number is equivalent to the entire state of Kansas relocating to North Carolina. While a remarkable statistic, this growth has the potential to create new challenges. The Summit is an exceptional opportunity for people to gather and consider these fast-approaching and disruptive shifts. In attendance will be policy makers, transportation and industry experts, and representatives from city/county governments. The Summit is anticipating 500 attendees from across the state. The gathering will also include exhibitors who will demonstrate and display cutting-edge technologies, advances in engineering, as well as services in multiple disciplines.
Energy Independence Summit 2019 is the nation’s premier clean transportation policy summit. The Summit provides a unique opportunity for Clean Cities Coalitions and leaders in the clean transportation industry to network and build partnerships with each other, and with key Congressional and Administration policymakers in Washington, DC. The agenda includes:
• Outlook for the Alternative Fuels Industry: Roundtable of Clean Transportation Industry Leaders
• Clean Transportation Policy Accomplishments in 2017 and Congressional Outlook for 2018
• Partnering with Utilities to Advance Clean Fuels and Vehicles
• The Volkswagen Settlement: How to Leverage Alternative Fuels Investments
• Innovative State and Local Clean Transportation Programs
• What Smart Cities and Smart Mobility Mean for Alternative Fuels
The 2019 Mid-year Appalachian Energy Summit will be hosted by the University of North Carolina Greensboro on Thursday, February 28. The Mid-year Summit brings together students, faculty, and leaders in academia and business to exchange ideas and share best practices in support of a clean energy economy. Since 2012, the Summit has provided a platform through which UNC System campuses have worked together to avoid almost $800 million in utility costs.
The NTEA Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event is your once-a-year chance to see all of the newest industry products. The Green Truck Summit offers cutting-edge solutions at the forefront of technology. The Fleet Technical Congress is an event where fleet managers can explore the latest technology solutions. A conference for commercial truck manufacturers, upfitters, distributors and body builders of all sizes.
NAFA Fleet Management Association 2019 Institute & Expo | April 15-17 in Louisville, KY NAFA’s annual Institute & Expo, the largest event of the fleet management industry, introduces several exciting improvements to the 2019 event to fit attendees’ goals more fully than ever before, offering registrants access to groundbreaking education in fleet and mobility, as well as the opportunity to increase their networking power and learn of new fleet products.
Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo 2019 | April 23-26 in Long Beach, CA The Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, North America’s leading conference and expo showcasing the real-world application of the latest transportation technologies, drive trains, and clean fuels. ACT Expo combines the best educational content in the industry with a cutting-edge trade show floor showcasing the most innovative technologies on the market today. Connected vehicle technologies, fuel efficiency improvement strategies and equipment, and drivetrain electrification will be key focal points for the 2019 show, set against the backdrop of increased use of alternative fuels, innovative powertrain solutions and economic & environmental fleet sustainability.
2019 State Energy Conference | April 30-May 1 in Raleigh, NC
The State Energy Conference provides actionable insight into the business of energy, connecting technical innovation, diverse resources and industry opportunity to help drive North Carolina’s regional energy economy forward with national impact.
The top electricity stakeholders, from regulators, ISOs, and utilities to technology providers, academics, and government agencies, put their heads together to determine how we will modernize the electric sector: the Grid Evolution Summit. The Summit will give you an opportunity to create solutions that will leave a lasting impact on our energy future.
The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will showcase the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, and propane arenas. The conference will also have a strong focus on data-driven decisions and technologies. With 50+ speakers and 40+ exhibitors, this event will highlight the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities.