Tag Archives: north carolina

2022 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project Grant Funds Available Now

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Shannon Helm, 919-423-8340, shannon_helm@ncsu.edu

Project Contact: Heather Brutz, hmbrutz@ncsu.edu OR Rick Sapienza, 919-515-2788, resapienza@ncsu.edu

2022 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project Grant Funds Available Now

Over $1,500,000 to be awarded for transportation-related emission reductions

Raleigh, N.C. (May 12, 2022) – The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at North Carolina State University announces the following request for proposals (RFP) through the 2022 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. The 2022 initiative will offer $1.5 million, focused on reducing transportation-related emissions, and supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT). The primary purpose of the CFAT project is to reduce transportation-related emissions in 24 eligible North Carolina counties. 

Project proposals will be limited, none higher than $300,000 and none lower than $5,000. Applications will be due Friday, July 1, 2022. This will likely be the only solicitation for 2022. Learn more here

Projects located in the following counties are eligible for CFAT funding: Cabarrus, Catawba, *Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Granville, Guilford, *Haywood, *Iredell, Johnston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Nash, Orange, Person, Rowan, *Swain, Union, Wake, (*Represents partial counties). 

Projects for electric vehicle charging stations (EVSE) will be accepted within all 100 counties.

*Available funds: $1,500,000

Maximum per project award: $300,000

Minimum per project award: $5,000

Application deadline: July 1, 2022

Project period: December 5, 2022 – September 30, 2024

Click here for the 2022 CFAT Request for Proposals

Click here for the CFAT RFP FAQs

Click here for the 2022 CFAT Budget Worksheet

Click here for the 2022 CFAT RFP Application

Click here to download a guidance document with resources for how to get ready for transportation electrification and where to find detailed guides for different aspects of building EV charging infrastructure.

Click here and here to learn about previous successful CFAT projects

NOTE: Applications should be emailed to CFAT_grants@ncsu.edu.

NCCETC will host a CFAT 2022 Informational Webinar from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, 2022. The free webinar will present an overview of eligible projects and have Q&A to assist with application submission. Learn more and register for the webinar here.

View examples of prior successful CFAT project proposals in 2018 and 2019.

ABOUT THE N.C. CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
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 N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, visit: http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu. Twitter: @NCCleanTech

Vote Now: 2022 “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest Polls Open

The polls are open for the “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest – vote now for your favorites!

Vote for your favorite art in each age category (kindergarten through high school). Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles and help keep our air clean. Examples: walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using electric vehicles or biofuels, and more.

Winners in each category will be featured on billboards across the state!

The contest poll closes at 11:59 p.m. this Sunday, May 22.

Winners will be announced soon. Stay tuned on nccleantech.ncsu.edu and FuelWhatMatters.org. For more information or any questions, email Amira Ferjani at aferjan@ncsu.edu.

Vote Now

Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging

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)
    • Advanced Energy
    • Plug-In NC 
    • The City of Raleigh
    • Sourcewell
    • NC Department of Administration
    • North Carolina Sheriff’s Association 

>> Click here to view the full guidance document.

North Carolina Organizations Can Apply for Phase 2 VolksWagen Funds to Electrify their Fleets & Expand EV Infrastructure

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality is now soliciting proposals for participation in Phase 2 of the NC Volkswagen Settlement Mitigation Program. Phase 2 is the final phase, and the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) plans to invest the remaining $67.9 million settlement funds during the time period of 2022 – 2024.

The funds represent North Carolina’s share of the $2.9 billion federal settlement with Volkswagen (VW) due to its misrepresentation of diesel emission standards in certain vehicles. The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) was designated as the lead agency to manage the project in 2017 by Governor Roy Cooper, and Wilmington Trust officially named North Carolina as a State Beneficiary in January 2018.

SHIFTING GEARS IN PHASE 2

The DAQ is committed to ensuring that the funding is distributed equitably and that rural and lower-income counties receive funding. It is also conducting additional outreach to historically under-resourced counties to encourage more applications for the available funding to facilitate equitable use of the Phase 2 funds.

The NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) is partnering with the DAQ to host a series of public information sessions across the state to inform citizens about the VW Settlement Phase 2 funding opportunities, especially in Historically Under-Represented Counties. The Phase 2 Historically Under-Resourced County Outreach Program (HURCOP) aims to help counties that historically lack resources needed to effectively identify eligible vehicles for grant programs and submit quality applications.

The DAQ identified 37 Historically Under-Resourced Counties eligible for maximum funding amounts allowed by the VW Mitigation Consent Decree. Project applications in the 37 historically under-resourced counties may be eligible for the maximum funding amounts allowed as well as additional project scoring points.

Alrik Lunsford, Heather Brutz, and John Bonitz, with NCCETC’S Clean Transportation program, have conducted several in-person meetings with DAQ staff and will be attending the information session in Kernersville, NC on March 24 from 1 – 3 p.m.. Learn more about the in-person information sessions on the DEQ website and, if you are interested in attending, please register online. You can also find the presentation for the HURCOP information meetings online on the DEQ website.

Past HURCOP In-Person Information Sessions hosted by NCCETC & DEQ:

  • Henderson – February 23, 2022
  • Rocky Mount – February 23, 2022
  • Pembroke – February 24, 2022
  • Goldsboro – February 24, 2022
  • Elizabeth City – March 9, 2022
  • Hickory – March 10, 2022
  • Salisbury – March 16, 2022
  • Wadesboro – March 16, 2022

“These funds are a big opportunity for advancing transportation electrification and other alternative fuels across the state,” Brutz said. Brutz noted that settlement funds can be used to incentivize fleet transition to help reach new targets set by Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 246. The Order calls for an increase in registered ZEVs to at least 1,250,000 by 2030 and for 50% of sales of new vehicles in North Carolina to be zero-emission by 2030.

While developing the plan, the DEQ’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) sought input from North Carolinians across the state to determine how to allocate the funds over the duration of Phase 2. Phase 2 focuses will prioritize vehicle electrification projects. Public agencies, public and private non-profit organizations, as well as public/private partnerships are eligible for Phase 2 funding.

In Phase 2 of North Carolina’s VW Settlement Mitigation Plan, 80 percent of funds are allocated for the Diesel Bus & Vehicle Replacement Program and 15 percent of funds for the state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure Program. Through the Diesel Bus & Vehicle Replacement Program, 40 percent of Phase 2 funding will go towards replacing school buses, 20 percent of funding will be eligible for transit bus replacements and another 20 percent will be eligible for clean heavy-duty equipment and vehicle replacements.

The DEQ’s ZEV Infrastructure program was designed to expand the state’s ZEV charging infrastructure network along priority designated corridors. After receiving feedback from state agencies in Phase 1, the DEQ created a dedicated allocation for light-duty charging projects. The DEQ will also coordinate with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to determine optimal locations for installing EV charging stations for state fleet vehicles and attractions on state owned property.

BREAKDOWN OF VW SETTLEMENT FUNDS IN PHASE 2

DEQ is managing the VW settlement funds for Phase 2 through five programs:

  1. School Bus Replacement Program – Application deadline June 6, 2022
  2. Transit and Shuttle Bus Replacement Program – Application deadline May 2, 2022
  3. Clean Heavy-Duty Equipment and Vehicle Replacement Program – Applications open soon
  4. Diesel Emission Reduction Act Program – Application period closed
  5. Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program

Approximately $54.4 million in settlement funds will be available in Phase 2 for the Diesel Bus and Vehicle Program, which has been divided into three subprograms: School Bus, Transit and Shuttle Bus, and Clean Heavy-Duty Equipment and Vehicle Programs. The DEQ has released a program Request for Proposals (RFP) for the School Bus and Transit and Shuttle Bus Replacement Program for Phase 2, and the last program RFP will be released in April 2022.

The School Bus Program, which began accepting applications on March 7, 2022, will allocate $27.2 million in VW funds in Phase 2 of the program to assist interested parties to mitigate NOx emissions by replacing older diesel school buses. The DAQ is hosting an informational webinar for interested applicants and stakeholders on March 25, 2022 from 10 AM to 12 PM. During this webinar, DAQ staff will discuss the School Bus Program RFP and application requirements. Register for the webinar online.

In Phase 2 of the Transit and Shuttle Bus Program program, $13.5 million in Volkswagen funds are allocated to assist interested parties to mitigate NOx emissions by replacing older diesel transit and shuttle buses. Additionally, approximately $6 million has been allocated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for electric buses in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program eligible counties.

The DAQ is currently accepting proposals for the DC Fast Program – Priority Corridors until May 16, 2022. This program is designed to continue the expansion of the state’s ZEV fast charging infrastructure network along priority designated corridors with the $4.9 million in VW allocated for Phase 2. The DC Fast Program – Existing Site Upgrades RFP to allocate the remaining $2.1 million Phase 2 ZEV Program funds will be released in April 2022 on the DEQ’s website.

The Level 2 Charging Program is divided into four separate programs designed to expand the state’s light duty ZEV charging infrastructure and network. $3 million in VW funds are allocated in phase 2 of the program. The DEQ released an RFP on February 28 for the Phase 2 Level 2 State Agency Program in which $1 million in funds have been allocated to install Level 2 electric vehicle charging infrastructure at state-maintained facilities and attractions. The DAQ is accepting applications for the Level 2 State Agency Program until May 31, 2022.

The DAQ also released the RFP for Public Access Level 2 Charging Infrastructure Program rebates under Phase 2 of the Volkswagen Mitigation plan. The RFP details how to apply for the $1,070,877 available to fund the installations of new publicly accessible light-duty ZEV Level 2 charging stations. Eligible, complete applications will be selected for funding on a first-come, first-served rebate process until funds are exhausted. Applications for the Level 2 Public Access Program will open in the GMS on May 2, 2022.

For updates about in-person and virtual information sessions as well as future RFPs and funding opportunities, you can visit the DEQ’s Phase 2 – VW Settlement website. If you would like to receive email updates about this topic, please send an email with the word Subscribe in the subject line to daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov.

DEADLINE EXTENDED THROUGH MAY 13: Submit Your Artwork for the 2022 “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest

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

Show how you can help keep the air clean for Earth Day this year! Submissions will now be accepted through Friday, May 13 at 11:59pm.

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) has officially launched the 5th Annual “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest, where students in North Carolina from kindergarten through high school can submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state!

Students’ artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles and help keep our air clean. Examples include walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using electric vehicles or biofuels, and more. Please make artwork family-friendly, non-partisan and non-copyrighted. You can learn about the alternatives at cleantransportation.org or fuelwhatmatters.org or see examples from past winners and best practices for art submissions here.

Students now have until Friday, May 13 at 11:59 to submit their artwork. Please read the rules below to find out how to submit your artwork. Public voting will begin on Monday, May 16 and last through Monday, May 23 – stay tuned for a link to vote once submissions have closed!

For more information or questions please email Amira Ferjani at aferjan@ncsu.edu

Winners will be announced in June. Stay tuned on www.facebook.com/NCCleanTech and www.FuelWhatMatters.org!

GUIDELINES & SPECIFICATIONS

The winner will be chosen based on:

  • Relevance and appropriateness of the message, as determined by the contest judges
  • Visual design, as determined by the contest judges
  • Public votes on our Facebook account

ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS

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

Recommended dimensions:

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

Note: Make sure to leave space in the submission to include the “Keep Our Air Clean” tagline on the final billboards if it is not incorporated into your artwork.

RULES

  1. Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles.
  2. Please make artwork family-friendly, non-partisan and non-copyrighted.
  3. Only one entry per student is allowed and all submissions must be made via the submission form or by emailing Amira Ferjani at aferjan@ncsu.edu.
  4. Teachers may submit artwork on behalf of their students through email or the submission form; all artwork submitted must return a signed permission form with each submission.
  5. Artists who are over 18 or parents/legal guardians submitting on behalf of their children can submit artwork in one of two ways:
    1. You may email artwork directly to Amira Ferjani at  aferjan@ncsu.edu, please include a signed permission form with each submission.
    2. You may submit artwork via the Facebook submission poll. By submitting this work, you will be agreeing to the legal terms listed below. 
Legal Terms
By submitting this photograph, image, graphic, or video (collectively the “work”) you hereby agree to the following:
  • You certify and warrant that you are the legal guardian of the minor who is submitting the artwork or are the artist and are legally an adult.
  • You certify and warrant that the work is your work or your child’s own original creative work and does not violate or infringe the copyright or other proprietary or intellectual property rights of others.
  • You retain all copyright and equivalent rights but grant permission for NC State to use, reproduce, distribute, and/or release the work to the public in any manner and in any medium without payment of any fee, and in perpetuity.  
  • North Carolina State University reserves the right to use contestants’ names and works for educational publicity and/or promotional purposes, including website or exhibition of winning entries. You understand that the works will be shared with reporters covering these awards and for promotion of the competition itself. You hereby give North Carolina State University nonexclusive rights to use yours or your child’s name, likenesses, quotes and submissions for educational publicity and/or promotional purposes. This includes but is not limited to website display, print materials and exhibits.
  • You hereby agree to indemnify NC State, its trustees, officers, agents, and employees, from any and all claims, demands, and liabilities (including attorneys’ fees) incurred as a result of a final judgment or settlement or any claim or legal proceeding arising out of or resulting from a breach or claimed breach of the foregoing representations and warranties.

Best Practices for Submitting Artwork for the 2022 “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest

North Carolina students from kindergarten through high school are invited to submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state!

This Earth Day, you can show us how you help keep the air clean! 

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) recently announced the 5th Annual “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest will begin accepting submissions on Monday, March 14, 2022. Students residing in North Carolina from kindergarten through high school can submit their artwork focused on the theme of actions that individual families can take to reduce the amount of air pollution from vehicles. Before the contest launches next week, NCCETC wanted to share best practices for students to use so their artwork can shine through in their submissions.

ABOUT THE “KEEP OUR AIR CLEAN” STUDENT ART CONTEST

Heather Brutz, Finance & Operations Manager of the Clean Transportation Program at NCCETC, and leader of the Student Art Contest, said her goals were to educate the public about steps we can take to improve air quality, as well as engage young people’s creative talents to help get the word out.

Students are asked to create art focused on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles and help keep the air clean. Examples include walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using biofuels, electric vehicles, and more. You can learn about the alternatives at cleantransportation.org or fuelwhatmatters.org

See some examples from students whose artwork has won in the past:

Ashleigh Smith’s artwork was selected as the winning high school submission in the 2021 Student Art Contest for her creative combination of personal storytelling and visual skill to portray how she keeps our air clean. 

Smith featured a greenway near her house that she often visits with her family in her submission. “I was inspired by that greenway and my brother’s love for mountain biking to create a piece that incorporated both and displayed a love for the beauty of nature and the outdoors, which will hopefully help convince people to help keep their air clean,” Smith said. 

In 2019, Adriana Ryder’s artwork was the middle school winner for the Student Art Contest. Ryder focused on reducing pollution from driving in her submission. She explained, “Car-based pollution is one of the most common ways we are poisoning our air. Instead of driving, we could walk or bike- not only will it be keeping our air clean, but it is good exercise!”

Both Smith and Ryder’s artwork convey the “keep our air clean” theme with engaging subjects that show how someone can support it themselves. 

Since the winning artwork is displayed on a billboard, students should try to keep their artwork clear and uncluttered to make it easily comprehensible from a distance. A clear and captivating subject can also aid a student in receiving more votes during the public voting period NCCETC hosts after submissions close. Last year, Smith’s artwork (pictured to the left; photo originally from Cary Academy) was the most popular for high school submissions and gained over 300 votes from the public. 

It is also recommended that students use bright or high-contrast colors to make their artwork clear. Drivers passing by billboards on the highway only have a few seconds to grasp the message, so keeping the focus simple will make the artwork more effective.

GUIDELINES & SPECIFICATIONS

The winner will be chosen based on:

  • Relevance and appropriateness of the message, as determined by the contest judges
  • Visual design, as determined by the contest judges
  • Public votes on our Facebook account

ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS

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

Recommended dimensions:

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

Note: Make sure to leave space in the submission to include the “Keep Our Air Clean” tagline on the final billboards if it is not incorporated into your artwork.

RULES

  1. Artwork should focus on actions that people can take to reduce air pollution from vehicles.
  2. Please make artwork family-friendly, non-partisan and non-copyrighted.
  3. Only one entry per student is allowed and all submissions must be made via the submission form or by email.
  4. Teachers may submit artwork on behalf of their students through email or the submission form; all artwork submitted must return a signed permission form. 
  5. Artists who are over 18 or parents/legal guardians submitting on behalf of their children via email must include a signed permission form for each submission. 

The official link and email to submit photos will be posted on March 14! Stay tuned on www.facebook.com/NCCleanTech and www.FuelWhatMatters.org!

Coming This Month: 2022 “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest Launches March 14

North Carolina students from kindergarten through high school are invited to submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on billboards across the state!

Show us how you help keep the air clean this Earth Day!

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) is excited to announce the 5th Annual “Keep Our Air Clean” Student Art Contest this March, where students residing in North Carolina from kindergarten through high school can submit their artwork focused on the theme of actions that individual 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. Examples include walking, biking, using public transportation, carpooling, using biofuels, electric vehicles, and more. You can learn about the alternatives at cleantransportation.org or fuelwhatmatters.org. Please make artwork family-friendly, non-partisan and non-copyrighted.

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

Recommended dimensions:

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

Note: Keep in mind that text may be added on final billboards with the “Keep Our Air Clean” tagline. 

The winner will be chosen based on:

  • Relevance and appropriateness of the message, judged by NCCETC
  • Visual design, as determined by our judges
  • Public votes on our Facebook account

The official link and email to submit photos will be posted on March 14! Stay tuned on www.facebook.com/NCCleanTech and www.FuelWhatMatters.org!

Eastern Band of Cherokee Adding Four All-Electric School Buses thanks to US EPA DERA Grant Funds

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) are leading the way with cleaner student transportation in North Carolina.  Following their groundbreaking award of VW Settlement funds for a new electric school bus last year, this year EBCI received notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of an award for 4 additional electric school buses.  EBCI will be replacing 5 diesel school buses with 4 new electric buses in collaboration with the Cherokee Boys Club (CBC) and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC).  This latest award marks 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.

To assist EBCI in writing their grant, NCCETC staff provided emissions quantifications to examine the potential reduction in air pollution from the retirement of older polluting buses, and the deployment of new zero-emission electric school buses.  NCCETC also assisted EBCI in teaming with Duke Energy, a crucial funding partner who is supporting this project in partial fulfillment of their Electric Transportation Pilot.  Long-term, NCCETC will be providing ongoing technical support to EBCI and CBC’s transportation division, which operates the bus system for Cherokee Central Schools on the Qualla Boundary.

“We’re really excited to be able to support EBCI and CBC staff through the entire process of retiring the old diesel buses and getting the new electric buses onto the road,” said John Bonitz, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC. “The EPA has a very detailed process for scrapping old buses that has to be completed within 90 days of receipt of the new buses – afterall, we all want to remove these polluting vehicles from the road permanently.”

NCCETC will guide EBCI and the CBC transportation division through the disabling and scrapping process and will assist in properly documenting the operation.  Additionally, NCCETC will draft quarterly reports for the entire project period, quantifying the emissions reductions for the electric school buses and analyzing the total project cost effectiveness as well as gallons of diesel fuel saved.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have a long tradition of stewardship and the EBCI Natural Resources Department (ECBI NRD) is committed to protecting and preserving natural resources for generations to come. For example, for nearly a decade, the CBC has been making biodiesel from waste fryer oil and using that fuel to displace petroleum diesel.  Since 2012 CBC’s school buses run on a B20 blend (20 percent biodiesel, 80 percent diesel) with their own locally made biodiesel.  Also, the EBCI Air Quality Program (AQP) helps monitor air conditions in order to maintain clean and healthy air quality for EBCI lands and the surrounding area.  The Cherokee Boys Club works with the EBCI AQP to achieve ambient air pollution reduction and environmental protection.  As a rural community, mobile emissions from vehicles and buses are a major focus point for EBCI to help reduce the harmful impacts of diesel emissions.  The primary contributor of NOx on EBCI lands are mobile sources (93 percent), according to EBCI NRD.

Another benefit from the replacement of old buses is the reduction of fine particulates from diesel exhaust that scatters sunlight and creates the haze that obscures mountain vistas on EBCI lands. “This improvement in visibility will help our tourism industry and increase our visitor experience,” explains EBCI NRD.

EBCI added its first electric bus to its fleet in 2021 after being awarded grant funds from the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Diesel Bus and Vehicle Programs, which was a part of Phase 1 of the Volkswagen Mitigation Plan. EBCI was the first organization in North Carolina to receive an electric school bus from the state’s VW Mitigation Plan along with charging infrastructure to power the vehicle.

“Diesel school buses drive through every neighborhood, every week, to transport Cherokee Central School students,” Bonitz said.  The four all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley buses funded by the grant have zero tailpipe emissions, and emissions reduced through the retirement of diesel buses in the EBCI communities will especially improve local air quality on neighborhood streets, heavily trafficked roads, and on school campuses.

On top of the harmful effects to public health caused by diesel exhaust, emissions from diesel engines also contribute to ground-level ozone, which damages crops, trees and other vegetation.  DERA supports environmental justice by prioritizing emissions reductions in areas receiving disproportionate impacts from diesel fleets to provide an environment where all people enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards.

The DERA Program was originally created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which gave the EPA new grant and loan authority for promoting diesel emissions reductions.  DERA was reauthorized in 2020 and includes up to $100 million annually in award grants and rebates to achieve diesel emissions reductions through 2024.  According to the EPA, there are nearly ten million old diesel engines currently still in use in the United States that commit large amounts of carbon emissions, which contribute to serious public health problems, including asthma, lung disease and various other cardiac and respiratory diseases.

Electric buses have already shown lower operational costs throughout the country due to reduced fuel expenses, eliminated fluid changes, and fewer mechanical parts.  School children, however, can benefit from the reduced noise and vibrations electric school buses cause, making the ride more pleasant for the whole community.

Green Mobility in the Southeast

The State of the Green Mobility Industry in the Southeast: Market Trends and Policies Driving Transportation Electrification

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) recently published The State of the Green Mobility Industry in the Southeastern United States, a market study commissioned by the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. to gain an understanding of the current state of the industry for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure and their related supply chain, as well as biofuels and hydrogen, and to understand market opportunities for Dutch companies.

Electric vehicle adoption across the United States is happening faster than previously forecasted, with annual electric vehicle (EV) sales on track for around 5.6 million units in 2021, up from 2.1m in 2019 according to a report released earlier this month by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Several automakers have also committed to produce only electric vehicles, including General Motors, which announced that its vehicle lineup would be entirely electric by 2035.

Still, EVs are in the early stages of adoption and many states have enacted policies and incentives to mitigate the relatively higher up-front costs of electric vehicles and expand the charging infrastructure needed to support them in order to accelerate the adoption and deployment of electric vehicles. Recently, the US Senate passed an infrastructure bill containing approximately $12 billion in support for electric vehicles, including $7.5b for a nationwide charging network.

With the focus on green mobility, including electric and alternative fuel vehicles, growing nationwide, it is expected that green mobility opportunities will also increase in the US Southeast. However, the outlook for these opportunities varies significantly by state and technology depending on adoption rate, state policies and utility efforts, and existing manufacturing facilities and infrastructure.

The Embassy of the Netherlands commissioned the report to be a resource for Dutch companies interested in exploring opportunities in sustainable mobility in  the Southeast US. For the purposes of the report, green mobility is defined to include the following: electric vehicles, batteries, smart charging, charging infrastructure, hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

The State of the Green Mobility Industry in the Southeastern United States also provides an overview of recent developments in federal and state policy, utility programs, and brief descriptions of stakeholders in each state, including private businesses, convening non-profits and industry groups, and relevant research centers. The report covered the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

NCCETC staff from both the Policy & Markets program as well as the Clean Transportation program wrote the report and consulted with several of the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalitions across the southeastern United States, including the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, Louisiana Clean Fuels, Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, and Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition.

Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have become leaders in the deployment of EV charging infrastructure in the Southeast. Furthermore, Tennessee is showing great strength for fast charging deployment specifically, with the Department of Environment and Conservation working in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority to develop a statewide EV fast charging network.

The electric vehicle, battery and EV infrastructure manufacturing industries are closely related, with several states having different opportunities across the green mobility landscape in the Southeast. South Carolina and Tennessee lead the region in vehicle manufacturing, while Georgia leads in battery manufacturing and North Carolina has a strong electronics industry supporting electric vehicle supply equipment.

“Legal and regulatory barriers can affect the pace and location of EV technology deployment, while clear policy goals can both provide market certainty and accelerate deployment,” said Autumn Proudlove, a contributing author on the report and NCCETC’s Senior Policy Program Director.

The Policy & Markets team at NCCETC maintains the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a comprehensive online database of federal, state and utility policies and incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Earlier this year, DSIRE announced the addition of incentive programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to the database.

“Electric utilities are also taking a leadership role in advancing transportation electrification in several Southeast states through direct infrastructure deployment, incentive programs, and special rate offerings,” added Proudlove. Customers in states such as Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina can benefit from rebates for residential and commercial Level 2 charging stations that serve these customers’ private needs.

In August 2021, a new executive order set ambitious targets to make half of all new vehicles sold in the US in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), heightening attention from federal and state governments to accelerate the deployment of EVs and charging infrastructure to support transportation electrification. These federal policies will continue to drive demand higher across the nation, resulting in an increase in EV manufacturing in the automobile industry in the southeastern US.

For interested Dutch investors, the southeastern states with the greatest opportunity depend on which aspects of the green mobility industry best fit the interests of Dutch companies, according to the report. One of the largest cross-cutting trends for the region is the importance of the automotive industry. “Most of the states in the Southeast are home to either vehicle assembly plants or automotive supply chain manufacturers,” said Heather Brutz, one of the report’s authors and Finance & Operations Manager for NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program.

Additionally, several Southeast states like Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina had a higher prevalence of manufacturing specifically related to battery electric or fuel cell vehicles. Biodiesel and ethanol production has lost popularity, but there are still users and producers of those fuels in the Southeast.

Renewable diesel, on the other hand, is gaining popularity in the US. Due to the refining process for renewable diesel, regions with existing refineries are more likely to have the needed infrastructure and skilled workforce needed for renewable diesel refineries. “This benefits the Gulf Coast states that already have existing refinery industries, especially Louisiana,” noted Brutz.

In the findings of the market study, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee presented some of the greatest manufacturing opportunities for electric vehicle, battery, and charging infrastructure manufacturing. Hydrogen production also shows potential in the Southeast, with Louisiana leading in hydrogen production.

The region’s existing manufacturing infrastructure, combined with federal, state, and utility policies and plans to expand green mobility, offer an opportunity to capitalize on the growing electric and alternative fuel vehicle markets. Several of the Southeast states present significant opportunities in different elements of green mobility, from EV charging infrastructure manufacturing and deployment to production of alternative fuels such as synthetic fuels and hydrogen.


ABOUT THE NC CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER
The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is a UNC System-chartered Public Service Center administered by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. Its mission is to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. The Center provides service to the businesses and citizens of North Carolina and beyond relating to the development and adoption of clean energy technologies. Through its programs and activities, the Center envisions and seeks to promote the development and use of clean energy in ways that stimulate a sustainable economy while reducing dependence on foreign sources of energy and mitigating the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use.

 

Strategies & Success Stories for Sustainable Fleet Management On-Demand Now

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.

Typically, alternative fuel vehicles have greater up-front costs than conventional fuel vehicles. However, there can be cost benefits with regard to maintenance and operations costs, as well as vehicle useful life. The webinar “Total Cost of Ownership Comparisons of Alternative Fuel Vehicles versus Conventional Fuel Vehicles” addresses these concerns with a life cycle cost analysis and features examples from top fleets across the country using alternative fuels in their operations.

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.

Other session topics included “Working with your Utility and Understanding Fleet Charging Costs”, “Idle Reduction: Simple & Impactful” and success stories for specific transportation applications of natural gashydrogen and propane.

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 Webinar online now.

Stay tuned for future updates about the 6th annual 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference online at sustainablefleetexpo.com.

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