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2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference a Success for the Clean Transportation Community

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) welcomed more than 350 registered attendees in Durham, NC for the 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo. The conference showcased the latest and greatest technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas and propane arenas – including everything from Progress Solar’s latest mobile solar electric vehicle (EV) charging model to the diverse display of alternative fuel vehicles and other clean transportation technologies.

Over 80 speakers from a variety of backgrounds presented their ideas and best practices during the conference – highlighting the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and clean transportation opportunities – including fleet managers, technicians, company presidents and CEOs, university professors, researchers, analysts, nonprofit managers, motivational speakers and more. “It was inspiring to see professionals from different industries and backgrounds coming together to exchange ideas for improving the sustainability of transportation in our state and beyond,” said Heather Brutz, Director of the NCCETC Clean Transportation Program.

The sixth annual Sustainable Fleet Technology (SFT) Conference was able to return in-person in 2022 for the first time since 2019, bringing together fleet professionals and decision-makers to share and discuss evolving clean transportation strategies and technologies. Brutz marked SFT 2022 as a success in meeting this objective. “We’re fostering a community where members support each other during this transition to integrate sustainable operations and technologies into their fleets,” said Brutz.

During expo hall hours, attendees were able to network with more than 60 exhibitors while exploring over a dozen vehicles inside and outside of the convention center, with displays including a Chevy Bolt, Ford E-Transit, the City of Charlotte’s Ford F-150 Lightning and Ford Mustang Mach-E, the City of Durham’s bucket truck with a plug-in electric power take-off (PTO) solution by Viatec, Lightning eMotors, Thomas Built Buses Jouley Saf-T-Liner C2 electric school bus, Zero Motorcycles, an Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast Charger from Siemens, Progress Solar’s Mobile Solar Light Tower solution, XL Flee’s Hybrid Electric Upfit, Cenntro’s all-electric Logistar 400 and off-road utility task vehicle ORV, a long-range electric low-speed vehicle from Carolina Industrial Equipment, and more.

“This year the expo hall was full of a lot of electrifying conversations,” said John Bonitz, Clean Transportation Specialist at NCCETC. “There’s a lot of opportunities coming from recent federal and state actions encouraging creativity from both the manufacturers and the end-users.”

During the pre-conference day, NAFA Fleet Management Association hosted a Sustainable Fleet Management Program Boot Camp before announcing the 2022 winners of the 100 Best Fleets and Green Fleet Awards. Triangle Clean Cities also hosted the Triangle Electric Vehicle Summit, and Cenntro vehicles were available for the ride & drive outside of the convention center.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS & BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Keynote speakers John Konkel, Director of GM Fleet in the Southeast Region, and Robert Gordon, Fleet Management Deputy Director in Dekalb County kicked off day one of SFT 2022.

SFT Conference tracks included Vehicle Applications, Fueling Infrastructure, and Planning & Technology. Attendees were able to choose from 12 breakout sessions across the tracks:

  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Emissions Reductions & Case Studies
  • Best Practices for Managing Fleet Charging Equipment
  • Telematics: Realtime Information for Optimizing Fleet Performance & Safety
  • Hydrogen as a Transportation Solution
  • Charging Equipment Service & Maintenance for Reliability
  • Considerations & Opportunities for Rural Communities
  • Alternative Fuel Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Case Studies
  • Alternative Fuel Resilience Considerations
  • Funding & Financing Your Sustainable Fleet
  • Understanding Batteries
  • Considerations in EVSE Networking, Communications & Specifications
  • Idle Reduction an Easy Win

The plenary panel Industry Roundtable: Getting the Win in Sustainable Fleet was moderated by John Davis, Emmy® Award-winning producer, host and creator of MotorWeek. The panel featured Ted Koupparis of General Motors Fleet, Patrick Campbell of Cummins, Dawn Fenton of Volvo Group North America, Stuart Weidie of Alliance AutoGas, and Patrick Scully of Ballard Fuel Systems.

Stuart Weidie spoke of the long future of the internal combustion engine and the viable role for propane and other alternative fuels, a view shared by others on the panel. They examined the current state of sustainable transportation and identified opportunities for overcoming barriers to meeting goals for today and the future.

Dawn Fenton outlined two of the barriers many heavy-duty fleets face when building toward a sustainable fleet: the lack of established infrastructure for refueling alternative fuel vehicles and the need for incentives on local and nationwide scales.

Fenton said recent federal programs like those outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act have the potential to help public fleets overcome these obstacles. The Act includes expansions and extensions of utility-scale tax credits and rebates to incentivize the purchase of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks as well as its associated refueling infrastructure.

“Many utilities have also established make-ready programs to help lower the cost of infrastructure for heavy-duty fleet vehicles and equipment,” Fenton added.

Day two began with plenary panel Leadership Triple Play featuring Motivational Speaker & Scottsdale-based Leadership Development Coach Ramsey Bergeron of Bergeron Wellbeing, Lonnie Mayne of Red Shoes Living, Inc. and City of Orlando’s Facilities Management Division Manager David Dunn. The panel highlighted principles for fleet managers to employ to help their organizations successfully embrace change and improve results.

Later that day, Robbie Astrop, Sr. Business Development Manager at ABM moderated the plenary panel Industry Roundtable: Delivering Electrons for Transportation Electrification. Speakers on the panel were Todd Ritter, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of EvStructure; James Tillman, Sr. Vice President Business Development, Brytemove Energy; Sean Ackley, EV & Mobility Segment Lead of Hitachi Energy; and Anne Blair, Electrification Coalition’s Director of Policy.

Sean Ackley, an engineering graduate of NC State University, has had a career focus on electrical infrastructure technologies and execution projects. As Hitachi America’s resident expert on EV technologies, Ackley leverages his background in cloud managed services, product development, testing interoperability, and construction project management in facilitating critical thinking around the transition of large fleets to electric powertrain.

Ackley knows the transition to alternative fuel of large fleets is no small feat and he expressed that during the panel. “It’s a whole ecosystem,” said Ackley. “We’re changing the world.”

Ackley stressed the importance of future-proofing technology to support the expansion of infrastructure and equipment as it evolves. “Start early, think ahead, and get creative,” Ackley advised when asked about specific strategies for load management and deployment.

Overall, the panelists agreed that transitioning fleets to electric vehicles is a multi-aspect process that involves planning, coordination, maintenance, strategies for managing electrical load, and more. The roundtable discussion focused on charging options, use cases, policies and strategies to meet today’s needs, as well as what is needed to further transportation electrification.

Industry Roundtable: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Electric Vehicle Portfolio Planning was the conference’s final plenary panel and joined together several major OEMs to share their plans and investments related to bringing a light-duty EV line-up to market from what is available to what is coming.

”A lot of OEMs have been announcing major developments in regards to electric vehicle offerings within their portfolio,” said Brutz, who moderated the panel’s speakers: Bryan Chapman, Southeast Government Sales Account Manager, Stellantis NA; Ted Koupparis, Sales Enablement Manager, General Motors Fleet; James Morgan, Government Sales Manager, Ford Motor Company; Mark Namuth, Manager, Fleet Commercial Sales, Nissan; and Scott Bargatze, Southeast Commercial Sales Manager, Nissan.

The NCCETC hosts the annual 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.

PowerPoint presentations will be available in the coming weeks at www.SustainableFleetExpo.com. Stay tuned for next year’s conference dates. Don’t miss out on future updates for the 2023 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference – sign up for the clean transportation newsletter now!

Best Strategies for Sustainable Fleet Management Showcased at the 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo

The 6th annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference and Expo returns in-person for 2022! Discover the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technology, operations and implementation at the 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference on August 31 and September 1, 2022 at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, NC.

The 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology (SFT) Conference and Expo will showcase alternative fuel technologies and operations in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, and propane arenas, with a strong focus on data-driven decisions and best practices. The event will include keynote presentations, over 50 speakers and more than 40 exhibitors with indoor vehicle/equipment on display in the expo hall. Find the full conference agenda for SFT 2022 online here.

Building toward 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.

Attendees of SFT 2022 can expect in-depth presentations from award-winning and expert speakers sharing their best practices and lessons learned to help fleets run more efficiently. Session topics include a strong focus on data-driven decisions, tools and technologies from real-world applications of fleets across the nation. From simple strategies like idle-reduction programs to more complex operations like best practices for managing fleet charging equipment, the conference agenda has it all. Each session spotlights innovative opportunities for effective sustainable fleet management.

Who should attend?

Public & Private Fleet Managers

Purchasing Officials

State Government Leaders

Municipal Government Officials

Non-Profit Stakeholders

Clean Cities Coalitions & Stakeholders

Alternative Fuel Trade Organizations

Sustainability Managers

Academic Leaders & Researchers

Wednesday, August 31 will begin with a welcome and introduction to the 2022 SFT Conference from keynote speaker John Konkel, Director of GM Fleet of General Motors. Later that day, John Konkel will join a panel of industry leaders for the keynote plenary Industry Roundtable: Getting the Win in Sustainable Fleet to discuss the current state of sustainable transportation, opportunities, obstacles and measures needed to meet today’s and future goals. The panel will be moderated by Emmy® Award-winning producer, host and creator of MotorWeek, television’s original and longest running automotive series, John Davis. Other plenary speakers on this panel include President of Alliance AutoGas, Stuart Weidie; Vice President of Volvo Group North America, Dawn Fenton; and Regional Sales Manager of Cummins Inc., Patrick Campbell.

Day two begins with plenary panel Leadership Triple Play featuring Motivational Speaker & Scottsdale-based Leadership Development Coach Ramsey Bergeron of Bergeron Wellbeing, Lonnie Mayne of Red Shoes Living, Inc. and City of Orlando’s Facilities Management Division Manager David Dunn. Two other keynote plenary sessions are also on the agenda for Thursday, September 1: Industry Round Table: Delivering Electrons for Transportation Electrification and Industry Round Table: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Electric Vehicle Portfolio Planning.

Those interested in attending SFT 2022 can find out more during a free pre-conference webinar on August 9 from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. This preview will feature information on the breakout session topics and highlighted technologies of the program, as well as select presentations from a few of the speakers on the agenda for the conference. Register for the preview webinar for free online now.

This year’s breakout session tracks are Vehicle Applications, Fueling Infrastructure, and Planning and Technology. Session topics will be:

  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Case Studies
  • Hydrogen
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Biofuels
  • Local, State, and Federal Policies & Resources
  • Considerations & Opportunities for Rural Communities
  • Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)
  • Managing Fleet Charging Equipment
  • Fleet Performance & Safety
  • Sustainable Garage & Facility Operations
  • Natural Gas
  • Idle Reduction

Pre-conference events on Tuesday, August 30 include:

  • NAFA Sustainable Fleet Management Training | 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Ride & Drive with Cenntro | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Triangle Electric Vehicle Summit  | 12 – 2 p.m.
  • NAFA 100 Best Fleets | 2:30 – 5 p.m.
  • Green Fleet Awards | 5 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Networking & Reception Event | 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Fleets and stakeholders can take advantage of early bird pricing through July 29, 2022 to register for $199. General admission early bird pricing for SFT 2022 is $249 and will increase to $299 after Friday, July 29. Registration for groups of 3 or more is $149 each, and $50 for students. For additional details, contact Heather Brutz at hmbrutz@ncsu.edu.

Don’t miss out on future updates for the 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference- sign up for the clean transportation newsletter! More information about SFT 2022 can be found online here. Register for the conference here.

The NC Clean Energy Technology Center hosts the annual 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.

2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series

The 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series came to an end last month after bringing together industry leaders and top performing fleet managers to share real-world deployment examples of sustainable fleet technologies through 15 webinar sessions. The full webinar recordings are now available online, including strategies for achieving fleet management from nationally recognized fleets.

The 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series (SFTWS) was offered through a collaborative partnership between the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC), The 100 Best Fleets and NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA). “The fleet operations and strategies shared in the SFT Webinar Series are the gold standard in the industry,” said Richard Sapienza, director of NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program. 

Each SFTWS session included in-depth presentations from fleets honored in The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas, an award program that recognizes peak-performing fleet operations in the government fleet section. Originally founded by Tom C. Johnson, The 100 Best Fleets was acquired by NAFA earlier this year to expand their awards and recognition programs.

The first session of SFTWS, 4 Essential Traits for 2021 & Beyond, highlighted 3 fleet managers who successfully increased fleet efficiency, productivity and operational effectiveness, propelling their fleets into The 100 Best Fleets. The webinar panel included the only fleet manager to take 3 different fleets into the top 100, a manager of a first place winner of The 100 Best Fleets and one who was in The 100 Best Fleets for 20 years straight.

The top 100 best fleets in the Americas for 2021 winners were announced in a SFTWS webinar in April, celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of top fleets and their teams. In Best Practices of the Top Fleets of The 100 Best Fleets 2021, the top fleets shared how they distinguished themselves among 38,000 public fleets in North America. 

“These sessions are intended for the entire team to listen in,” Sapienza said. “Fleets can use it as an opportunity to benchmark their operations with knowledge that can be applied immediately.”

The SFTWS also included several sessions focused on alternative fuels including electric vehicles. In the United States, public and private fleets are taking steps toward transitioning away from conventional fuel vehicles but still have uncertainties about the complex process of electrification. While electric vehicle (EV) adoption is forecasted to expand for private citizens, fleets with thousands of vehicles have many more steps to take before they will be able to phase out old vehicles.

Fleet managers can learn more about the comprehensive involvement needed to plan, coordinate, budget and execute fleet electrification from a panel of experts in the session Fleet Electrification Planning“Electrification is inevitable, it’s coming,” said Electrification Coalition’s Jared Walker. “We want to be a resource to provide best practices, strategy, market forecasting and all manners of assistance to our partners as they’re going through this transition.”

Several EV deployment cases were presented in Real World EV Durability, Long Term Maintenance & Operating Cases and Electric Vehicle Use Case Deployment Examples to share lessons and methods for successful EV deployment from the fleets already doing it. 

ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY FLEET MAINTENANCE & OPERATIONS FROM THE 2021 GREEN GARAGE WINNERS

The Green Garage Contest Winners Announcement 2021 concluded the SFTWS by highlighting the innovative and simple ways to “green the maintenance garage”. Winning contestants showed comprehensive top to bottom commitment to green vehicle maintenance and environmentally friendly facilities features and systems.

The Green Garage Contest, organized by NAFA, first launched in 2020 with support from NCCETC, No Spill Systems, RinseKit and the United Soybean Board. The contest was created to bring together the most progressive and environmentally-committed fleets to share the best practices for eco-friendly vehicle fleet maintenance garages.

Tom C. Johnson, author of the Green Fleet Awards and the Green Garage Contest, is the Director of the Green Garage Contest. The winners of the contest are the “best of the best stewards of the environment” Johnson said. 

AND THE WINNER IS…

The Central Fleet Management (CFM) department in the City of Chesapeake, Virginia tied with the University of California Irvine Fleet Services for the Green Garage’s number one fleet for 2021. 

Previously, CFM ranked as the number one fleet for The 100 Best Fleets in 2017 for its guiding goals of operating an environmentally sound fleet, preventing the wasteful use of our resources and practicing environmental stewardship.

CFM prides itself on setting the example for sustainable operations, and it became the first department in the city to start a recycling program in 2005. According to the Fleet Manager George Hrichak, the recycling program has generated over $190,000 in revenue so far.

The University of California Irvine is also no stranger to sustainability, earning second place in the 2020 Green Garage Contest for its research on electric buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells. “They are leaders in hydrogen,” noted Johnson.

2021 GREEN GARAGE CONTEST TOP 10 FLEETS:

  1. Tie
Central Fleet Management, City of Chesapeake, VA The University of CA, Irvine
  1. West Valley Construction, CA
  2. Miami-Dade County, ISD Fleet Management Division, FL
  3. Laketran, OH
  4. Village of Oak Park, IL 
  5. University of California Davis Fleet Services
  6. NYC Parks Department, NY
  7. City of Long Beach, CA
  8. Cobb County Fleet Management, GA
Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series 2021:

Click on the webinar titles below to watch the full recording.

 

Success Stories for Sustainable Fleet Management at the 2021 Virtual Conference

The agenda for the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference has officially been announced! Attendees will be able to tune in for valuable presentations and conversations every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 to 3:30 PM ET starting on September 9 and ending on October 19, 2021.

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
  • Purchasing Officials
  • State Government Leaders
  • Municipal Government Officials
  • Non-Profit Stakeholders
  • Clean Cities Coalitions & Stakeholders
  • Alternative Fuel Trade Organizations
  • Sustainability Managers
  • Academic Leaders & Researchers

Learn more & register for individual SFT 2021 virtual sessions below:

Don’t miss out on future updates for the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference- sign up for the clean transportation newsletter or stay tuned online at www.sustainablefleetexpo.com.


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.

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