Tag Archives: fuel what matters

Posted by Nicole Deck

“Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest Launches This March

North Carolina students from kindergarten through college can submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) is sponsoring its 2nd Annual “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest this March, where students residing in North Carolina from kindergarten through college can submit their artwork focused on the theme of actions that individuals and families can take to reduce the amount of air pollution from vehicles.

Winners will have their artwork featured on billboards across the state to help spread the word about ways that we all can help keep the air clean!

Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles. Please make artwork family-friendly and non-partisan. Examples: walking, biking, using public transportation, using biofuels and more. You can learn about the alternatives at cleantransportation.org or fuelwhatmatters.org.

Artwork in a more horizontal rectangular shape (about the shape of a billboard) is recommended.

Recommended dimensions:
400h x 1400w pixels at 72 ppi in RGB mode
400h x 840w pixels at 72 ppi
Save as JPG, PNG or BMP at maximum quality

The winner will be chosen based on:
• Relevance and appropriateness of the message, judged by NCCETC
• Visual design, judged by NCCETC
• Public votes on our Facebook account

View previous contest submissions here.

The official link and email to submit photos will be posted this March. Stay tuned on www.facebook.com/NCCleanTech and nccleantech.ncsu.edu!

Electric Vehicles Takeaways in 2018

 EnergyWire recently featured an article “7 Takeaways From a Wild Year for EVs,” covering the biggest news related to electric vehicles in 2018. While electric vehicles are still mostly absent from showrooms, the article stated, signs of progress were apparent in many places last year. In the U.S., the 1 millionth EV was sold, and battery prices continued to drop.

The top 7 takeaways from 2018:

Tesla news: Despite controversy involving Elon Musk’s negative publicity, Tesla hit its 5,000-a-week goal in September, and the Model 3 is by far the top-selling pure-electric car in the US.

New EV pickup truck in the works: Rivian, an auto technology startup, is producing an all-electric pickup truck and SUV with a large amount of specs, including 400 miles on a charge, towing 11,000 pounds, and more. It is expected to arrive around year 2020 or later.

EV charging gets funding: Investment is coming from several quarters, including Volkswagen. Major utilities, seeing an opportunity to sell electrons, are also getting in on the act.

Policymakers and regulators get on board: Many policymakers around the country have made major transportation announcements, including Gov. Jerry Brown calling for California to add 5 million EVs by 2030.

“Invasion of the scooters”: Electric scooters have spread to dozens of cities and have been ridden millions of times, and the companies making them are now worth billions of dollars.

Heavy vehicles make progress: The falling cost of batteries and changing attitude toward carbon emissions and policy changes have moved up the timeline for electric buses and trucks. Dozens of school districts and transit districts also announced they are buying electric buses.

Incumbents step in: GM announced it would lay off thousands of workers, and one reason for it was to double its investment in electric and autonomous vehicles in the next two years. President Trump expressed negative opinions on electric vehicles, and a bill to kill the $7,500-per-vehicle EV tax credit was introduced.


Worldwide and in the United States, electric vehicles had a big year of news and changes – and the state of North Carolina was no exception.

Total EV registrations (both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles) in North Carolina were at 7,946 in 2017, and in 2018, the numbers jumped to 10,001 just through June, representing a 26 percent growth, according to EVadoption.com.

In August 2018, the US Department of Transportation announced that North Carolina’s City of Greensboro, the Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority (GoTriangle), and Chapel Hill Transit were to be awarded a total of $4,225,000 in federal grants for its Low or No-Emission (Low-No) Bus Program Projects, which supports deployment of electric buses into their fleets.

The City of Greensboro received $1,900,000 in funds to replace older vehicles with battery electric buses and purchase charging stations. The Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority (GoTriangle) received $943,000 to purchase battery electric buses to replace older vehicles at the end of their useful life. Chapel Hill Transit received $1,382,000 to purchase battery electric buses to replace the oldest vehicles in their fleet.
Gov. Roy Cooper signs Executive Order 80 in Cary, NC in October 2018.

In October 2018, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 80, which calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. Cooper called for the number of zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) to grow at least 80,000 by year 2025, according to a press release from Gov. Cooper.

Also in 2018, NCCETC unveiled new EV policy research tools with DSIRE Insight, which provides research and analysis services to energy industry professionals. These reports provide concise, useful information concerning state legislative and regulatory developments, along with actions on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. The series of quarterly reports is available by subscription here.

Check out last year’s 50 States of Electric Vehicles reports here. The complete 2018 Annual Review will be available at the end of January 2019, and can be found on the same webpage or on www.FuelWhatMatters.org.

Posted by Nicole Deck

Mark Your Calendars For These 2019 Events

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 | February 11-13 in Washington, DC
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

Mid-year Energy Summit 2019 | February 28 in Greensboro, NC

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.

Open call for projects through the CFAT Project

NC Clean Energy Technology Center has an open call for projects through the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project. The application deadline for this new round of funding is December 17, 2018.

The Federal fiscal year 2019 $3.8 million initiative, focused on reducing transportation-related emissions, is supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding through the NC Department of Transportation.

The first round of CFAT 2019 funding Request for Proposals (RFP) period has opened and awards will be announced by February 2019.  In 2019, up to $2,350,000 in federal funding is being awarded.  Solicitations for 2019 will occur on a quarterly basis until available funds have been allocated.

Click here for the 2019 CFAT Request for Proposals
Click here for the CFAT RFP FAQs
Click here for the 2019 CFAT RFP Application
To view the media release related to the CFAT project and RFP,
click here.

Solicitation dates are:

  • Round 1: Open RFP 10/12/2018 – Application due 12/17/2018
  • Round 2: Open RFP 01/14/2019 – Application due 03/29/2019
  • Round 3: (if required): Open RFP 04/10/2019–Application due 06/21/2019

Learn more about the CFAT project here.

Applications should be emailed to Rick Sapienza.

Webinar: Top Three Green Fleet Award Winners 2018

Ron Wirth, Fleet Advance Planning and Sustainability Manager, Fleet Services Division, County of Sacramento, California (right) accepting the #1 winner award for the 2018 Green Fleet Awards at the Sustainable Technology Conference in Durham, NC on August 21, 2018. The award was presented by Tom C. Johnson (left), Author, The Green Fleet Awards.

 

***In case you missed it: the webinar is still viewable anytime for free here!***

Learn from the top 3 Green Fleet Award winners for 2018 out of a possible 38,000 public fleets in North America by tuning in to a free webinar, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 30.

Join us to get the straight story on the methods and technologies that work for the top Green Fleets! You will learn how the fleets were able to get funding for alternative fuel vehicles as well as the infrastructure to support them. They will also present the ROIs for their projects. These are tools, tips and strategies that you can use in your operation the next day.

Learn more about the Green Fleet Awards here, and register for the webinar here.

Learn about the top Green Fleet Award winners & webinar presenters:

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (#1) – Keith Leech Sr.

Keith Leech Sr. currently leads Sacramento County‘s Fleet Division and Parking Enterprise. The County of Sacramento is recognized as a trailblazer in implementing renewable fuels and innovative fleet technology projects driven by strategic business planning processes and data driven decisions.  Sacramento County’s fleet was recognized as the #1 Green Fleet in 2018 and among Government Fleet’s Leading Fleets and 100 Best Fleets for the last three consecutive years.  Keith was inducted into the Public Fleet Hall of Fame in 2017 by Government Fleet Magazine and APWA and received NAFA’s 2014 Fleet Excellence Awards for Excellence in Public Fleet Sustainability and Excellence in Fleet Leadership. Keith currently serves as Chairman of the Northern California Chapter of the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association and NAFA’s Government Affairs Committee. He also serves as President of the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition.

CITY OF SACRAMENTO (#2) – Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens has served as Fleet Manger for the City of Pompano Beach, FL; Asheville, NC; and the City of Sacramento, CA. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. For 20 years at the City of Pompano Beach, FL, Mark established a state of the art Fleet Management operation comprising fleet operation software, fuel management software, and complete operational procedures. Customers included Police, Fire, Public Works, Utilities Parks & Recreation and assorted support divisions. As Fleet Manager with the City of Asheville, NC, Mark was instrumental in upgrading the city’s CNG public access fueling site as well as establish a time fill CNG station for the increased use of CNG for its Sanitation Department solid refuse fleet. He augmented the city’s alternative fuel vehicle program to help reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint. Currently, Mark is Fleet Manager of the City of Sacramento, committed to continuing the award winning Fleet model for #1 Best Government Fleet and #1 Green Fleets, committed to promote the city’s Sustainable Fleet initiatives.

DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA (#18/100 BEST FLEETS # 1 WINNER) – Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon, Fleet Director for Dekalb County, Georgia (left) receives his award as the #1 winner of The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas at the NAFA I&E Conference in Anaheim, California on April 27, 2018 from Tom C. Johnson, Author of The 100 Best Fleets contest (right). Photo credit: Ken Hunter, NAFA.

Robert Gordon is the Deputy Director of the Fleet Management Department for DeKalb County Georgia. He has 31 years of professional work experience in the Fleet Management industry with 17 years of government fleet experience and 14 years of experience with truck leasing organizations. Robert earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Management, a Certificate of Public Works Management and an Advanced Certificate of Public Works Management through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. He graduated from DeKalb County Government’s Bright Futures Emerging Executive Leaders Program. He is on the board of directors for Clean Cities Georgia. DeKalb County Fleet Management has placed in the Top 10 of the 100 Best Fleet for the last 5 years. Under his direction, DeKalb County Fleet Management achieved 1st place in the 100 Best Fleet Award in 2018. Robert also received the 2018 FLEXY award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Fleet Management from NAFA Fleet Management Association. He serves on advisory committees at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Warren Tech, Southern Crescent Tech, Whitfield County Career Academy, and Atlanta Metropolitan College. He is also an active member in many organizations including 100 Best Fleet, Green Fleet, NAFA, Georgia Motor Trucking Association, American Public Works Association, Georgia Municipal Association, Clean Cities Georgia, Southeast Diesel Collaborative, and Southeast Governmental Fleet Managers Association.

NCSU Announces New Electric Vehicle Fast Charger

New Electric Car Charger Is More Efficient, 10 Times Smaller Than Current Tech

Earlier this month, it was announced that North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers have built an electric vehicle fast charger that is at least 10 times smaller than existing systems and wastes 60 percent less power during the charging process, without sacrificing charging time, according to NCSU.

This new technology is called a medium voltage fast charger (MVFC).

“This new approach offers four times more power from the same system footprint, reducing the system installation costs at the same time,” said Srdjan Srdic, a research professor at NC State who also worked on developing the technology (in a press release.)

Learn more about the fast charger at https://news.ncsu.edu/2018/10/better-fast-charger/.

Posted by Nicole Deck

100 Best Fleets series: Wake County

Wake County Government General Services Administration Fleet Operations displays its 100 Best Fleets awards since 2010.

The goals of Wake County’s fleet are the same as most: to carry out productive, safe, efficient and sustainable service at the lowest cost possible.

But the smartest and most successful way to achieve that goal, they have found, is by implementing new technology to continuously track data and uncover information.

“It doesn’t appear to be moving fast, but there’s a lot going on,” said Fleet Director Thomas Kuryla as he walked around the vehicle shop at Wake County General Services Center. “Even on slow days when there isn’t a lot of mechanical work, there’s a lot of planning and data analysis.”

Wake County has been on the 100 Best Fleets list every year since 2010, once placing number three out of the country.

There are about 1,000 vehicles in the fleet, including cars, trucks, trailers and boats, with emergency response vehicles representing half.

About 60 vehicles run on diesel, and 20 run on B20 biodiesel, Kuryla said. 400 of their vehicles are E85 compatible. Wake County hasn’t purchased new hybrid or electric vehicles in about 3 years, but around 50 hybrid vehicles are currently in the fleet.

Wake County EMS truck is lifted for maintenance repairs.

Out of the 1,000 vehicles and 200 that are serviced, there are a total of 10 mechanics.

“Our vehicles are in good enough shape that we don’t need as many,” Kuryla said.

Wake County has a preventative maintenance program in place that averts as many repairs. Vehicles are also sold with less mileage than most fleets. Many fleets keep their vehicles too long, Kuryla said, which means they’re stuck in the shop more for repairs, resulting in more downtown for drivers.

“By keeping our vehicles ahead of the game, we provide more service than other fleets out there,” Kuryla said. “People will say, ‘No, we can’t afford a new car…’ They need to think long-term and look at the big picture.”

Maintenance in the fleet is also done swiftly.

“At some places, the vehicles will spend two weeks in repair,” Kuryla said. “Here, they wait and leave — they’re working on it within 15 minutes and they’re out in less than an hour unless it’s a major repair.”

Kuryla has been Wake County Fleet Director since 2002, and he has orchestrated and seen many changes. One of the first adjustments Kuryla recommended was to transform and redesign the service and parts departments so that they were connected, and could communicate openly as a team.

“In a lot of industries, they’re battling each other,” Kuryla said. “We really wanted them to be teamed together.”

Kuryla said a big success Wake County’s fleet has had is with telematics, a system that collects data from vehicles when they’re on the road to improve efficiency. Telematics tracks the vehicles’ locations, miles per hour, time spent idling, starting or stopping too fast, whether or not the driver is wearing his or her seatbelt, and more. Drivers will be alerted with a beep when going beyond their limits, and supervisors are also automatically notified in some instances.

When telematics was first installed on the vehicles, drivers were getting a lot of beeps, Kuryla said. It didn’t take long for that to reduce considerably.

Wake County Sheriff vehicle.

Additional upgrades and changes are still to come.

Recently, the fleet introduced reusable oil filters, which increase the life of oil and keep them from ending up in a landfill. The reusable filters were put on 20 vehicles and tested for over a year. Kuryla plans to have all of their vehicles transitioned within 6 months.

The oil is also tracked with software that automatically changes intervals and notifies departments when the oil needs changing.

This year, they plan to introduce a drive over tread depth tire reader, which will generate data on the pressure and alignment, measuring the tread depth of each tire to decide whether or not it should be replaced.

Kuryla said the biggest challenge for their fleet is a common one — making advancements within the budget.

“We try to do our research and data analysis to justify why we want to do something,” Kuryla said. “Like the oil filters. Saying ‘I want to spend $75,000 buying filters’ – someone would say, ‘You’re crazy.’ But we just spent a whole year testing and found that we’ll have that buyback very quick.”

Kuryla suggests when trying to implement changes for a fleet, it’s helpful to talk to those who will be affected by asking their suggestions and opinions. For example, the new tire depth reader is talked about openly in the shop on purpose, Kuryla said. He hopes to increase interest and encourage discussion. When the oil filters were implemented, the mechanics openly discussed their experience and then helped come up with a better system.

“Get buy-in for everything you do.” Kuryla said. “Ask what would you like? What would make your job better? Get them involved. ”

Posted by Nicole Deck

Sustainable Fleet Management Practices & Technologies Training

From left: Heather Brutz, Al Curtis, George Survant, Brandon Pasinski, and Emily Barrett at the Sustainable Fleet Management & Technologies Training on June 20.

While experts at the Sustainable Fleet Management & Technologies Training came from a wide variety of backgrounds in fleet management, they shared a similar sentiment.

“The world’s changing; the climate’s changing. We’re finding out it’s a dirty fuel we’re relying on,” said Michael Taylor, of Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). “Alternative fuels are here to stay.”

The June 20 training covered an assortment of topics involving all things fleets — including sustainability metrics, vehicle selection standards, life-cycle cost analysis, change management, electric/hybrid vehicles and charging, idle reduction technologies, CNG, LPG and biofuels.

Rick Sapienza, of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC), estimated there was about 200 years of experience in the room.

George Survant talks about fleet sustainability metrics.

Presenters included Emily Barrett, Town of Cary NC Sustainability; Al Curtis, Cobb County GA Fleet Management; Chris Facente, University of NC Charlotte; Joe O’Neill, CNG Guy Consulting; Brandon Pasinski, Town of Cary NC Fleet Management; George Survant, National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA); and Michael Taylor, PERC; as well as Rick Sapienza, John Bonitz and Heather Brutz of the NCCETC.

Whether a fleet uses electric, CNG, LPG, biofuels or a combination of those applications, some work better than others — it all depends on the individual fleets’ needs.

“It isn’t one size fits all,” Sapienza said.

Survant, who discussed fleet sustainability metrics, said he encourages fleets to stay focused by regularly trying to come up with creative, innovative solutions.

“The array of solutions is unprecedented for us,” Survant said. “I think if we as fleet leaders don’t keep our antennae up to that right solution match to the problems we have to deal with, we miss a good opportunity.”

Emily Barrett and Brandon Pasinski of the Town of Cary.

Barrett and Pasinski, who shared the Town of Cary’s sustainable fleet journey, advised utilizing the right vehicle for the job, using what you already have, and buying only what you need. The two also suggested driving correctly, limiting waste, spending time on maintenance, and planning your routes.

“The key is getting to know your resources,” Barrett said. “It’s a process. It takes time and culture.”

Al Curtis discusses Change Management.

Curtis discussed change management, explaining that giving your team what they need to kick-start and accelerate change is of utmost importance. You can inspire and empower your team by offering ideas and using storytelling, and offering insights and practical methods, Curtis said.

Cobb County started with CNG stations, then purchased Flex Fuel cars, propane vehicles, hybrid cars, and now has 29 Nissan Leafs, 4 Zero Cycles and 45 charging stations with 1 DC fast charger, Curtis said.

“You must not just change, you must transform,” Curtis said.

Lisa Poger discusses the value of electric vehicles.

Poger talked about electric vehicles and their wide-range of benefits. Among them are fuel cost savings, lower maintenance, noise reduction and employee safety, exhaust/emissions reduction and more.

Michael Taylor discusses propane.

Taylor showed how propane is widely used, increasing in its use both in the US and abroad, and how it can be utilized more in the future. Propane is also non-toxic, he said — if it’s spilled it would dissipate, and it can’t be blown up like gas can.

Joe O’Neill discussed the value of NVGs (Natural Gas Vehicles) — informing that natural gas supply is estimated to be large enough to meet the US energy needs for the next 100 years. NVG is also a cleaner burning fuel, he said, with greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 20 to 30 percent when compared to diesel and gasoline. NVGs are also at a lower cost per energy unit compared to diesel or gasoline.

Joe O’Neill discusses NVGs.

Brutz talked about creating a sustainable fleet plan, vehicles selection standards, and life-cycle cost analysis — which looks at all the costs associated with owning or leasing a vehicle to determine what the total cost of owning the vehicle is over its lifetime.

Sustainable fleet goals should include emissions (environmental), energy (economic), and efficiency, Brutz said. The key components of a sustainable fleet plan are to commit to a process, set reduction targets, measure actions, and review and revise.

When it comes to managing a sustainable fleet and making any kind of change — even with the right knowledge, ideas and equipment — standstills and setbacks are not uncommon.

“It’s not always a magic bullet,” Facente said. “You do have challenges when going uphill.”

But the presenters agreed the future looks bright.

“These technologies work, they’re just different,” Sapienza said. “Embrace technology and embrace change.”

From left: Chris Facente, George Survant, Joe O’Neill, Brandon Pasinski, Emily Barrett, and Michael Taylor.

To get where you want to go