Electrification of transportation is exciting and challenging. Market forces are already pushing us in the direction of electric vehicles (EV), but our electric “refueling” infrastructure is lagging. Public and private investments are being made and more are coming in the form of grants, incentives, and substantial federal investments. In North Carolina alone, VW Settlement funds will bring ~$10 million this year. And the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) National EV infrastructure program (NEVI) will invest more than $109 million each year over the next five years in North Carolina.
Now, our challenge here in North Carolina is to prepare for this influx of funding, to ensure we are ready for it, and that we use it effectively and efficiently. This guidance document helps the reader understand how to get ready and where to find detailed guides for different aspects of building the new EV charging infrastructure.
There are many many “guides” already published, so we sorted through them to find the best and give pointers to them all. Now, you can easily find the best resources for you in our guide to the guides: Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging. We encourage local government planners, managers, fleet officers, and finance & purchasing administrators to be aware of this “guide to the guides.”
Let’s get ready!
What You’ll Find in The Guide
Getting North Carolina Ready for Electric Vehicle Charging covers:
Charging for homeowners
Charging for renters (apartment, townhome and condo dwellers)
Charging at work
The state of EV charger deployment in North Carolina
Locally-sourced North Carolina EV charging guides
Links to several valuable guides from organizations like:
The U.S. Department of Transportation
The Cadmus Group (in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation)
Eleven FREE Sessions from the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference Available to Stream Online
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center recently concluded the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference featuring the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technology, operations and implementation. The conference consisted of 11 free webinars on best practices to make fleets run more efficiently, with valuable presentations and conversations from award-winning speakers from the industry.
All webinar recordings and resources are available to stream online now so you can access on-demand knowledge and expertise from fleet managers across the country. In total, there were 900 registered attendees for the 2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology (SFT 2021) Virtual Conference webinar sessions.
The SFT Conference is an annual event hosted by the Clean Transportation program at the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) to share strategies for achieving fleet sustainability from experts in the private and public sector. Fleet managers and clean technology innovators gather to discuss lessons learned across the industry for implementing and integrating innovative clean transportation technologies and alternative fuel operations, including the implementation in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, hydrogen and propane arenas.
Director of NCCETC’s Clean Transportation program, Richard Sapienza, surveyed fleet managers to find relevant session topics to highlight the current technologies, topics and issues impacting today’s fleet industry. “We want to build a community where ideas can be exchanged and we can provide support and strategies for dealing with new technologies to drive efficiency in fleets,” Sapienza said in the first session of SFT 2021.
The Future of Fleet Electrification
SFT 2021 kicked off on September 9 with “Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning Best Practices and Considerations for Today and the Future” showcasing effective planning and modeling along with real-world use cases to support an electrified future for different use cases . Currently, public and private fleets across the country are preparing for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and, while significant consumer adoption is forecasted, transitioning entire fleets away from conventional fuel vehicles is a much more complex process than individuals going electric.
Attendees of the webinar heard from a panel of experts including David Dunn, Division Manager of the Fleet & Facilities management Division for the City of Orlando, Florida. Dunn emphasized the critical roles public fleets have in leading the EV revolution and being the agent of change, from installation and maintenance of infrastructure to creating solutions for grid vulnerability.
Part of being a leader means embracing change, and Dunn was proud to share his fleet’s latest change- the addition of a DANNAR Mobile Power Station® (MPS). The MPS is a heavy-duty EV designed for infrastructure maintenance and disaster response, equipped with a two-way charger and inverter to provide clean energy for single-day or multiple-day work requirements.
“This [MPS] is a charger, this is a generator, this is a work platform, this is a power station,” Dunn explained. “This is one way to attack the grid vulnerability issue, because you can charge several vehicles off of this one if you need to.”
Electrification was the focus of several SFT 2021 sessions, and those interested in learning more about charging solutions can benefit from the in-depth “Innovative Charging Solutions” webinar which covered power requirements, associated costs and time hurdles involved in meeting the charging needs of diverse use cases.
The last session of SFT 2021, “Future Proofing Electric Charging Infrastructure”, discussed steps to fleet electrification and considerations for fleets to be ready for the future, as infrastructure deployment continues to be a moving target with needs and technology rapidly changing.
Hot Topic – Alternative Fuel Sessions Popular Amongst Attendees
Alternative fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas have proven to be viable ways for fleets to reduce emissions, and two of the most widely attended SFT 2021 sessions included topics in this arena. Attendees learned from the top fleets in the United States, including recent winners of both The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas and The Green Fleet Awards.
“Quite often, when deploying alternative fuel vehicles and sustainable technologies, there’s an increased cost in acquisition, but there are a number of different ways for fleets to mitigate these costs,” said Sapienza.
One of the speakers from this webinar was Andrew Burnham from the Argonne National Laboratory which supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program. Argonne has developed the Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) tool. The AFLEET spreadsheet was designed to examine light and heavy duty vehicles for metrics like petroleum use, greenhouse gas emissions and more to find the total cost of ownership.
There are many opportunities for fleet’s to mitigate the higher acquisition costs associated with alternative fuel vehicles, including state and federal level funding and incentives. The “Funding Sources and Creative Financing for Alternative Fuel Vehicles” session shared resources and tips on how to take advantage of creative financing options for fleets to achieve their sustainability goals.
To view all of the past webinars and sessions from NCCETC Clean Transportation, Sustainable Fleet Webinar Series from NCCETC and The 100 Best Fleets, as well as the Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference series and others, click here.
Currently, the clean transportation team is hosting weekly webinars through the Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar Series, a collaborative partnership with NAFA Fleet Management Association and The 100 Best Fleets, to share the best practices and information on the latest fleet technologies. Register for an upcoming SFT Webinaronline now.
Stay tuned for future updates about the 6th annual 2022 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference online atsustainablefleetexpo.com.
Join us for two new, free webinars previewing some of the technologies and speakers that will be featured at the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference in Durham, NC, August 7-8 with pre-conference events August 6.
The preview webinars will be June 27 and July 11, both from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference provides an opportunity for fleet managers and transportation professionals to experience the latest vehicle technology, tools and resources designed to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. The event will include keynote presentations, 50+ speakers, breakout sessions, exhibit booths, indoor vehicle/equipment display, and networking.
Conference session topics include Electric Vehicles; Natural Gas; Propane; Biofuel Solutions; Electrification and the Grid; Telematics; Procurement Solutions; Infrastructure and Intelligent Solutions; Heavy Duty Vehicle Efficiency; Rural Fleet Operations; Idle Reduction; and Recruiting, Retention & Career Development. View the full agenda here.
Each webinar will feature different conference topics and speakers, who will give you a preview of what they’ll cover at the event.
Register for the June 27 webinar here, and the July 11 webinar here.
Telematics is a powerful tool that allows fleets real-time monitoring and information regarding any activity or metric that is important to their business and operations. Applications and benefits include driver safety and behavior, asset management, maintenance, route optimization, security, liability protection, lower costs, and increased efficiency.
Please join us on March 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. for a free Sustainable Fleet Technology Webinar on Telematics Applications for Fleets.Hear from industry experts and fleets that have successfully employed this technology regarding its capabilities, applications and benefits. Telematics continues to bring new solutions to help improve fleet operations. Learn how it can help yours.
Save the date for the 3rd annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference, August 7 & 8, 2019 in Durham, NC! The conference provides an opportunity for fleets and transportation professionals to experience the latest vehicle technology, tools, and resources designed to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. The event will include keynote presentations, 50+ panelists, breakout sessions, indoor vehicle/equipment display, and plenty of networking opportunities. Pre-conference events will take place August 6, which will include the Green Fleet Awards Forum along with the NC Smart Fleet and Mobile Care Awards!
Who should attend? Public & Private Fleet Managers
State Government Leaders
Municipal Government Officials
Clean Cities Coalitions & Stakeholders
Alternative Fuel Trade Organizations
Academic Leaders & Researchers
Attendees can learn & share about: Alternative Fuels (including biofuels, CNG, electric, propane, renewable diesel)
Advanced Vehicle Technologies
Motor Fleet Management
Vehicle Sharing Technologies
Vehicle Right Sizing
Autonomous Vehicles & Future Technologies
Stay tuned for more updates! For more information, visit the website, and contact Allison Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-515-9781 for any questions.
The evening before the 2018 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo, the Clean Transportation team at NC Clean Energy Technology Center displayed several plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles outside of the Durham Bulls baseball game on Aug. 21.
Learn more about electric vehicles by checking out our Electric Vehicles FAQ flyer here.
Attendees of the pre-conference events came to watch the game, enjoy networking and eat a barbeque dinner.
Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Director, accepted the game ball on the field and spoke with game announcers in a live radio interview (listen to below)!
Industry experts discuss the present and future of alternative fuel vehicles
Fleet industry professionals, alternative vehicle experts, and sustainability advocates from around the country gathered recently for the 2018 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo in Durham, NC.
More than 50 speakers presented their practices and ideas at the two-day conference, including fleet managers, technicians, company presidents and CEOs, university professors, researchers, analysts, nonprofit managers and more. With all of the varying backgrounds in transportation, there seemed to be a definitive consensus on alternative fuels – whether electric, propane, biofuel or natural gas – the industry is moving forward, and the future looks bright.
“The electrification movement and the movement to diversify our source of fuels – it’s happening. There’s no point of return now,” said Tony Posawatz, industry leader and keynote speaker on day one of the conference. “The costs are coming down; the ecosystem is being built. But it will take some time.”
Keynote speaker Posawatz; who is recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles as Vehicle Line Executive/Director for the Chevrolet Volt (and founding member), Avalanche, and Cadillac Escalade; kicked off the conference on Wednesday morning.
Posowatz noted the alternative fuel market has steadily risen each year, and more and more choices have become available to consumers.
“It’s important for the industry to grow and for customers to be satisfied,” Posawatz said.
“The Triangle Research area is an important area for taking transportation where it needs to go,” Posowatz said. “It’s an area for emerging technology, automobile, mobility as well as energy and environment altogether.”
Posawatz noted that while the industry is obviously improving, it’s still impossible to predict.
“The future of mobility is before us,” Posawatz said. “It will surprise us all, even myself. Anyone who tells you they know what it will look like… they’re wrong.”
The three conference tracks included Connected Fleets, Alternative Fuel Solutions, Deployment and Lessons Learned, while 12 breakout sessions covered Predictive Analytics; Electric Vehicles; Solutions for Port & Freight; Smart Mobility; Propane; Local, State, Federal Policies & Resources; Managing for Fleet Efficiency; Biofuels; Sustainable Garage & Facility Operations; Smart Cities & Smart Grid; Natural Gas; and Idle Reduction.
The first plenary panel, Future of Sustainability, featured Stuart Weidie, CEO of Alliance AutoGas; Loreana Marciante, Low Carbon Mobility Strategy Manager at Paul Allen Philanthropies; Scott Phillippi, Automotive Maintenance and Engineering Manager at UPS; and Scott Curran, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Phillipi compared the current state of the industry as a ‘big sandbox with a lot of different technologies.’
“We’re in a time in technology where perfect is a moving target,” said Phillippi. “As technology evolves, we may find that different things come to the forefront.”
While the plenary panel all came from different backgrounds, they agreed each alternative fuel and technology has its place and application.
“We’re seeing change happen more rapidly,” said Rick Sapienza of NCCETC. “There’s not one set solution. Use all the tools available to you.”
At the VW Settlement Plenary Panel, Michael Buff of Electrify America; Michael Abraczinskas of NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDEQ); Alexa Voytek of Office of Energy Programs at Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEQ); and Debra Swartz, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; discussed settlement funds coming from Volkswagen.
Over 40 exhibitors showcased their products, services, and vehicles in the Expo Hall. Plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Chevy, and Chrysler were on display, as well as other vehicles fueled by natural gas and propane, including a heavy-duty Freightliner CNG trash roll-off hoist truck.
“The conference was a great success,” said Rick Sapienza, Clean Transportation Director at NCCETC. ” It brought together transportation professionals to exchange ideas on clean transportation technologies with a good mix of what is working today, and strategic thought-provoking discussion to consider and prepare for what might be coming tomorrow.”
“As we deploy new technologies and new companies come on board, the one thing that is certain is there are going to be bumps along the way,” Phillippi said. “This is not going to be easy, but it will be worth the effort.”
The City of Raleigh has more than 2,000 registered vehicles in its fleet used for a wide variety of services, including the police force, garbage, maintenance and repairs, public utilities, water and sewer and more, according to Fleet Services Superintendent Travis Brown.
Along with the wide range of vehicles, Raleigh also has a large number of alternative fuels and alternative vehicles to match.
The City, which isn’t new to the 100 Best Fleets list, uses 385 vehicles with B20 biodiesel, over 1,000 E85 flex fuel-compatible vehicles, 223 hybrids, 18 electric powered neighborhood vehicles, 25 vehicles that use propane, and 7 that use natural gas.
Brown, who has worked with the City of Raleigh for 16 years, said the City has been working to transform the fleet even before he arrived, when the City was already using biodiesel.
Brown said that so many alternative fuels have been introduced into the fleet because they help to reduce emissions, improve air quality, promote domestic energy production, help decrease fuel costs, and can help farmers.
The goal of the City is to take care of its citizens, Brown said – and using alternative fuels is a part of that.
“It’s about being a good steward of a city, and trying to do the right thing,” Brown said.
Raleigh also uses anti-idling technology in many of the police fleet vehicles. The Energy Xtreme Law Enforcement anti-idling system allows vehicles to operate their full electrical system (including lights, camera and radio) without using the vehicle’s engine, according to the City of Raleigh website.
After the first quarter of the anti-idling technology usage, about 962 gallons were saved from 29 vehicles that used it, according to the website. The projected annual savings were estimated at $63,199.
Previously, many City police vehicles were driving Ford Crown Victorias, and now they’re driving hybrid sedans – which Brown said saves a lot of money when it comes to fuel. The Crown Victorias were getting around 13-18 miles per gallon (MPG), he said, and the hybrids get around 30-38 MPG.
“It’s been a good investment on return, going that way,” Brown said.
In addition to alternative fuels, the City schedules vehicle replacements every year to ensure the fleet is kept modern.
Raleigh also uses a maintenance management system, which provides GPS information for departments on engine faults, idling, equipment and accountability.
The most challenging part of managing a fleet, Brown said, is communicating and educating – getting the word out to all staff about changes and plans, and educating on new ways of doing things and how those changes are beneficial.
Brown said he addresses it as much as he can by having meetings with service departments and providing data on fuel usage.
When running a fleet, Brown advises doing research, networking with those in the same industry to see what works for their fleet, looking at your own to figure out what could work for yours, and attempting to do some forecasting.
“There’s so much technology out there, and the automotive industry is changing so much,” Brown said. “Don’t look at necessarily what’s happening today – try to find what’s coming up three years down the road. You don’t want to get something approved, and then it’s outdated.”
Looking ahead, Brown said Raleigh hopes to push more telematics, eventually adding the technology to all vehicles being used. Currently, Raleigh uses a maintenance management system, but the City would like to upgrade to a web-based system so they can provide more transparency to users and customers.
Learn more about the City of Raleigh’s alternative fuel use by visiting the website here.
Seven fleets from North Carolina made it on the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas’ list of winners for 2018 — and in the next several weeks, Fuel What Matters will be featuring each fleet and what it has done to achieve success.
Nuckolls said Concord’s fleet has become more efficient through the years by implementing a career development program, rightsizing vehicles, and using alternative fuels and technologies.
Concord began implementing more fuel-efficient strategies and equipment in 2003. Electric cars and EV chargers are used throughout the city, and today, about 5 percent of Concord’s light-duty fleet is comprised of hybrid electric vehicles.
In the police fleet, Concord moved from 9-cylinder cars to 6-cylinders, which Nuckolls estimates saves about 34K gallons of fuel per year. Concord also uses B20 blend biodiesel for all diesel vehicles, which he estimated displaces 60,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.
“Fuel usage over the last 10 years has not increased very much at all — it remains flat,” Nuckolls said.
The City Of Concord is an active participant in the Clean Cities coalition and is a core stakeholder in the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, according to their website. Fleet Services also developed and administers the Concord Air Awareness Program, which educates and informs City employees about air quality issues.
“From the very get-go, we wanted to implement alternative fuels,” Nuckolls said. “Mainly for air quality, but also, certain things are helping cost.”
One of the most successful improvements of the City of Concord Fleet Services Department, Nuckolls said, is the Career Development Program, which is designed to reward and advance the careers of technicians, parts personnel, and supervisors by converting their training and experience into ASE Certifications (Automotive Service Excellence).
The Career Development Program was implemented in 2003 when the fleet had a total of 3 ASE certifications among 8 technicians, 2 supervisors, and 2 parts personnel. Now, the fleet has 84 ASE certifications with 6 Master Mechanic certifications.
Nuckolls said the program has led the fleet to become the lowest cost fleet in North Carolina for five consecutive years.
“As fleet director, I feel it is important to encourage individuals to distinguish themselves and to provide incentives for continuous improvement,” Nuckolls said. “As our technicians become more proficient, so does our fleet maintenance program, which drives our fleet availability and productivity. “