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Question of the Month: Clean Cities uses a lot of acronyms. What are the most important ones to understand?

February 18, 2016 by Clean Cities
Say What? 10 Clean Cities Acronyms You Should Know

Have you ever been on the DOE’s AFDC to learn about EVSE for EVs or PHEVs to meet EPAct requirements? Let’s take a step back. Perhaps you feel like you need a translator just to understand the basics of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. If this sounds familiar, get in the know with our list of the top Clean Cities acronyms, broken down into 10 categories:

  1. Federal Agencies and National Laboratories
    1. DOE: U.S. Department of Energy. DOE includes:
      1. EIA: Energy Information Administration
      2. DOE National Laboratories:
        1. ANL: Argonne National Laboratory
        2. INL: Idaho National Laboratory
        3. NREL: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
        4. ORNL: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
        5. PNNL: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    2. DOT: U.S. Department of Transportation. DOT includes:
      1. FHWA: Federal Highway Administration
    3. EPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  2. AFDC: Alternative Fuels Data Center
  3. Vehicle Characteristics
    1. GVWR: Gross vehicle weight rating
    2. VMT: Vehicle miles traveled
  4. Fuel Economy
    1. MPG: Miles per gallon
    2. MPGe: Miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent
    3. GGE: Gasoline-gallon equivalent
    4. DGE: Diesel-gallon equivalent
  5. Vehicle Classes
    1. LDV: Light-duty vehicle
    2. MDV: Medium-duty vehicle
    3. HDV: Heavy-duty vehicle
  6. Vehicle Emissions and Pollutants
    1. GHG: Greenhouse gas:
      1. CO2: Carbon dioxide
    2. Air pollutants:
      1. CO: Carbon monoxide
      2. NOx: Oxides of nitrogen
      3. SOx: Oxides of sulfur
      4. PM: Particulate matter
      5. VOC: Volatile organic compound
  7. Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fuel Vehicles
    1. AFV: Alternative fuel vehicle
    2. Biodiesel
      1. B5: 5% biodiesel, 95% petroleum diesel
      2. B20: 20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel
      3. B100: 100% biodiesel
    3. Electricity
      1. HEV: Hybrid electric vehicle
      2. PEV: Plug-in electric vehicle. PEVs include:
        1. PHEV: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
        2. EV: All-electric vehicle
      3. EVSE: Electric vehicle supply equipment
    4. Ethanol
      1. E85: A high-level ethanol-gasoline blend containing 51%-83% ethanol, depending on geography and season.
      2. FFV: Flexible fuel vehicle
    5. Hydrogen
      1. FCEV: Fuel cell electric vehicle
    6. Natural Gas
      1. CNG: Compressed natural gas
      2. LNG: Liquefied natural gas
      3. RNG: Renewable natural gas
      4. NGV: Natural gas vehicle
    7. Propane
      1. LPG: Liquefied petroleum gas
  8. Clean Cities Tools and Resources
    1. GREET: Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation tool
    2. AFLEET: Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation tool
    3. PREP: Petroleum Reduction Planning tool
    4. VICE: Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation model
  9. Federal Programs
    1. CAFE: Corporate Average Fuel Economy
    2. CMAQ: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement
    3. RFS: Renewable Fuel Standard
      1. RIN: Renewable Identification Number
  10. Key Federal Legislation
    1. CAA: Clean Air Act of 1970
    2. EPAct: Energy Policy Act
    3. EISA: Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
    4. ARRA: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009

 

Bonus
TRS: Technical Response Service: Sometimes you even need an acronym to figure out an acronym! That’s where the TRS comes in!

For more information:

 

 

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

January 22, 2016 by Clean Cities

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2013, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2016, by H.R. 2029 (PDF).

Fueling equipment for natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Consumers who purchased qualified residential fueling equipment prior to December 31, 2016, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000. Unused credits that qualify as general business tax credits, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may be carried backward one year and carried forward 20 years. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 114-113; 26 U.S. Code 30C and 38; and IRS Notice 2007-43 (PDF))

Point of Contact
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (800) 829-1040
http://www.irs.gov/

Question of the Month: I heard the Clean Cities website was recently revamped. What changed?

December 21, 2015 by Clean Cities

Redesigned Clean Cities Website Offers Bold New Look, Enhanced User Experience

What You Should Know About Navigating The Revamped Clean Cities Website

As the work of Clean Cities continues to grow, the Clean Cities team is committed to ongoing communication about the program’s resources and accomplishments. Last month, Clean Cities launched a new and improved version of its website, which aims to highlight the program and assist the public and stakeholders.

The redesigned Clean Cities website has a fresh new look, is easy to navigate, and includes many new features to help users learn about and connect with the program.

newccwebsiteBelow are the top five changes you should know about the site:

  1. Reorganized Resources: Some resources have moved with the new design. Most notably, funding information and publications are now located in the About section, which can be accessed from the top website banner. As before, funding opportunities are separated into current and related categories, and the easily searchable publications are listed by popularity and publish date. Information about Clean Cities partnerships, such as the National Clean Fleets Partnership and the National Parks Initiative, is now conveniently accessed from the Partnerships & Projects section, which can also be accessed from the top website banner.
  2. Selective Communication Options: It’s easier than ever to stay up to date on Clean Cities. You can now subscribe to the newsletters and updates that you want —and choose to skip those you don’t! You can sign up to receive the Clean Cities Monthly Update, the Clean Cities Now Newsletter, or Webinar Alerts. The “What’s Happening?” bar on the bottom of the homepage is another easy to way to catch up on the latest events, news, blog posts, and videos.
  3. Searchable Clean Cities Projects: Under the Partnership & Projects section, which is accessed from the top website banner, users may now view and search Clean Cities funded transportation projects. You can search by keyword or filter by the initiative or award, such as projects under the National Parks Initiative, Electric Vehicle Community Readiness, or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Project Awards. Project descriptions include basic information, states impacted, partners involved, the Clean Cities award amount, and the amount of local matching funds.
  4. Audience-Tailored Content: The new website design clearly separates information for different audiences. While the old website combined resources for the public and resources for Clean Cities coordinators, the new design restricts public access to the Coordinator Toolbox.
  5. Clean Cities On-the-Go: Lastly, the new design has an updated, clean aesthetic. From the newly organized coalition pages to the streamlined Technical Assistance page, the website is intuitive and easy to read. As an added bonus, the new website is mobile-friendly and responsive, so you can access Clean Cities information wherever you go.

Visit the updated Clean Cities website to see all of these features and more!

 

blog post written by

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icfi.com
800-254-6735

Central Florida Clean Cities November Recap

December 14, 2015 by Clean Cities

2015-Protec_3 On Thursday, Nov. 5, Central Florida Clean Cities welcomed its newest sponsor and member, Protec Fuels, as they sponsored a luncheon and workshop on Green Fleet Solutions. Speakers included Orlando City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Gray, Robert White of the Renewable Fuels Association, Bruce Chesson of NASA/KSC Transportation and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Programs, 100 Best Fleets’ Tom Johnson, David L. Dunn from City of Orlando Fleet and Facilities Management, and Protec Fuel’s Andrew Greenberg to discuss the benefits of adding E85 Flex Fuel to your fleet.

 

2015-Third-Annual-Emerald-Coast-Transportation-Symposium-The Third Annual Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium took place over Nov. 12-13 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, FL.  Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator Colleen Kettles spoke at the symposium in a panel event on renewable and alternative fuels.  Learn more about the event at http://www.wfrpc.org/events/transportation-symposium.

 

 

 

 
2014-Auto-Show_Volt-Test-DrivesFinally, we capped off the month at the Central Florida International Auto Show, which took place over Nov. 26-29 at the Orange County Convention Center.  We were able to check out many new, exciting, and game-changing alternative fuel vehicles.  Go to http://autoshoworlando.com/ to check out pictures and more information on the event.

We hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season.  We look forward to reporting back in the new year!

 

 

EV Summit Recap

November 9, 2015 by Clean Cities

We promised you a full recap of the 2015 EV Transportation and Technology Summit, and here it is!  Held at our Florida Solar Energy Center campus in Cocoa, FL from Oct. 20-22, the event was organized by the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center of the University of Central Florida.  The Summit engaged attendees from across the country on the future of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) and how their expanding adoption effects city, road, and development planning as well as assists in advancing technology, economics, and the environment.

The Summit kicked off with a pre-event PEV Market and Technology Workshop to discuss current trends and opportunities in PEV adoption.  After, Summit attendees were invited on a Kennedy Space Center Tour followed by the opening reception at the Cocoa Beach Courtyard Marriott.

To take a look at the Pre-Summit Workshop Materials, go to http://evtc.fsec.ucf.edu/education/short_course/EV-Workshop.html.

Day 2 began with a focus on PEV Technology, Infrastructure, Product Development, and Resources, featuring presentations on PEV technology and standards, PEV charging technology and the grid, product and market offerings, and vehicle adoption programs and resources.  Trev Hall, Clean Cities Southeast Regional Manager, provided an overview of US Department of Energy Vehicle Technology Office Resources made available through the Alternative Fuels Data Center website.  The day concluded with a PEV Vehicle Display in the Florida Solar Energy Center parking lot nearest the public PEV charging stations.

Finally, Day 3 of the EV Summit featured presentations pertaining to Planning, Policy, and the Future of PEVs.  Linda Bluestein, Co-Director for National Clean Cities, delivered a talk on PEV Public and Policy Awareness as it influences electric vehicle adoption.  Other presentations that followed included an assessment of the current state of the EV, a few discussions of future infrastructure and transportation planning goals, and a concluding panel of Florida electric utilities’ perspectives on PEV advancement.

Please visit the 2015 EV Summit website to take a look at this year’s presentations, presenters, and a full agenda at http://www.evsummit.org/schedule.php.

We thank the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center for organizing the Summit and for allowing Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition to participate in this new and educational event.  Hopefully, we’ll be seeing another wonderful EV Summit in 2016!

Other recent and upcoming events include:

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Central Florida Clean Cities welcomed its newest sponsor and member, Protec Fuels, as they sponsored a luncheon and workshop on Green Fleet Solutions. Speakers included Orlando City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Gray, Robert White of the Renewable Fuels Association, Bruce Chesson of NASA/KSC Transportation and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Programs, 100 Best Fleets’ Tom Johnson, David L. Dunn from City of Orlando Fleet and Facilities Management, and Protec Fuel’s Andrew Greenberg to discuss the benefits of adding E85 Flex Fuel to your fleet..

Finally, the Third Annual Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium will take place Nov. 12-13 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, FL.  Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator Colleen Kettles will be speaking at the symposium in a panel event on renewable and alternative fuels.  Learn more and register for the event at http://www.wfrpc.org/events/transportation-symposium.

We look forward to reporting back again soon!

Photos

Co-Director for National Clean Cities, US DOE Linda Bluestein delivers a presentation on Electric Vehicle Public and Policy Awareness at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Photo by Nick Waters.

Co-Director for National Clean Cities, US DOE Linda Bluestein delivers a presentation on Electric Vehicle Public and Policy Awareness at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL. Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, James Culp of Duke Energy describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, James Culp of Duke Energy describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL. Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, Todd Jensen of Florida Power and Light describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, Todd Jensen of Florida Power and Light describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL. Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, Bryan Coley of Gulf Power describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, Bryan Coley of Gulf Power describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL. Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, JEA’s Peter King describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, JEA’s Peter King describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL. Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, OUC’s Eva Reyes describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, OUC’s Eva Reyes describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL. Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, TECO’s Keith Gruetzmacher describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A participant in the Electric Utility Perspective Panel, TECO’s Keith Gruetzmacher describes his business’s electric vehicle and alternative fuels advancement programs at the 2015 EV Summit in Cocoa, FL. Photo by Nick Waters.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Participants were able to climb inside the different vehicles to learn more about the model options and which vehicle offerings best matched their business and personal needs.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL. Participants were able to climb inside the different vehicles to learn more about the model options and which vehicle offerings best matched their business and personal needs.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Pictured here is a new 2015 VIA Motors Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), provided by Florida Power and Light.  Many other utilities are also currently using and expanding their fleets of PEVs.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL. Pictured here is a new 2015 VIA Motors Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), provided by Florida Power and Light. Many other utilities are also currently using and expanding their fleets of PEVs. Photo by Nick Waters.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Pictured are a Chevy Volt and a Nissan Leaf actively charging at the Florida Solar Energy Center public PEV charging stations.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL. Pictured are a Chevy Volt and a Nissan Leaf actively charging at the Florida Solar Energy Center public PEV charging stations. Photo by Nick Waters.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL.  Pictured is a participating Tesla Model S vehicle.  Photo by Nick Waters.

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Display was held on October 21, 2015 at the EV Transportation and Technology Summit in Cocoa, FL. Pictured is a participating Tesla Model S vehicle. Photo by Nick Waters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central Florida Clean Cities October Re-Cap

October 29, 2015 by Clean Cities

Fireball-Run-2015_2October has flown by for us at Central Florida Clean Cities, and it’s time again to recap all of our alternative fuel activities we had fun with throughout the month.

On Friday, Oct. 2, we provided a display vehicle at the 2015 Fireball Run stop in Sanford, FL. We helped cheer on Team Sanford, co-partnered by Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplet and entrepreneur Don Schreiner, to the day’s finish line on downtown 1st street. A lineup of electric vehicles awaited the victorious drivers.

 

2015-Florida-TechXpo_1On Friday, Oct. 9, Central Florida Clean Cities representatives assisted in organizing the electric vehicle display at the 2015 Florida TechXpo in Melbourne, FL. We were able to reach out to many innovators, students, and event attendees about the alternative fuel vehicle choices available to them for reducing their carbon footprint and lowering vehicle air emissions all around. Thank you to Florida Solar Energy Center, Space Coast Electric Vehicle Drivers, NRG eVgo, and Melbourne BMW for allowing us to work with you at this successful and exciting event!

 

2015-Florida-Energy-Summit_1The 2015 Florida Energy Summit took place over Oct. 14-16 in Jacksonville, FL. The event dedicated itself to educating its attendees about the future of Florida energy options, particularly with upcoming natural gas vehicle and infrastructure solutions and alternative fuels overall.

 

 

 

 

 

2015-EV-Summit_1Finally, we were able to host the 2015 EV Transportation and Technology Summit at our Florida Solar Energy Campus in Cocoa, FL from Oct. 20-22. Attendees from across the region came to learn about the future of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) and how their expanding adoption effects city, road, and development planning as well as assists in advancing technology, economics, and the environment. An event highlight? How about Linda Bluestein, Co-Director for National Clean Cities, coming down south to give a talk on PEV Public and Policy Awareness! Trev Hall, Clean Cities Southeast Regional Manager, was also able to deliver a presentation. He elaborated on the US Department of Energy Vehicle Technology Office Resources, made available through the Alternative Fuels Data Center website. Overall, the event was a blast, and we learned so much! A full recap of the EV Summit will be made available shortly, so be on the lookout.

Although we’re done with October, we’ll also be participating in some upcoming events—check them out!

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Central Florida Clean Cities welcomes its newest sponsor and member, Protec Fuels, with a complimentary luncheon attended by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Robert White of the Renewable Fuels Association, Bruce Chesson of NASA Transportation and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Programs, 100 Best Fleets’ Tom Johnson, David L. Dunn from City of Orlando Fleet and Facilities Management, and Protect Fuel’s Andrew Greenberg to discuss and celebrate the benefits of adding E85 Flex Fuel to your fleet. RSVP by October 30, 2015 with Amber Pearson at amber@protecfuel.com or 512-686-8532.

Finally, the Third Annual Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium will take place over Nov. 12-13 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, FL. Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator Colleen Kettles will be speaking at the symposium in a panel event on renewable and alternative fuels. Learn more and register for the event at http://www.wfrpc.org/events/transportation-symposium.

Have a happy and safe Halloween, everyone. We look forward to reporting back again soon!

Protec Fuel/Central Florida Clean Cities Green Fleets Forum 2015

October 28, 2015 by Clean Cities

On October 28th Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the Department Agriculture will be in Kissimmee, Florida will announce the 100 million dollar Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership grant for E85 Flex Fuel Gasoline and higher ethanol blended gasoline.

This is the largest renewable fuels grant in history by the Department of Agriculture and includes public Fleet Managers that qualify for the program.

Click image to view larger

Click image to view larger

This grant and other sustainability topics will be on the agenda at a luncheon sponsored by Protec Fuels and hosted by the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition on Thursday, November 5, 2015, in Orlando (Click here to view event page). The program includes  speakers from the Renewable Fuels Association, NASA and the Florida Fleet Manager who was recognized in June at the White House by the President of The United States for his Public/ Private Partnership.

Think funding plus emerging green technologies that have a return on investment.

This Protec sponsored luncheon is reserved for the first 50 Public Fleet Managers that RSVP. These are one-time-only presentations by the best Fleet minds in Florida and your opportunity to network with them. We only learn from the best.

PLACE:     Orlando, Florida (directions provided with registration)

TIME:       November 5th 2015. 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.

This unique meeting is FREE to qualified Public Fleet Managers and sustainability officers.  Space is limited so reserve your seat now.

Question of the Month: How can I improve my gas mileage while driving this winter?

October 19, 2015 by Clean Cities

Answer: Whether taking that long-awaited ski trip or just commuting to work in the frigid weather, there are several things you can do to improve your fuel economy and save money in the wintertime.

Why You Get Worse Gas Mileage When It’s Cold

Cold weather and winter driving conditions can reduce your fuel economy significantly. On particularly chilly days, when temperatures drop to 20°F or lower, you can expect to see up to a 12% hit on your fuel economy for short city trips. During very quick trips—traveling only three to four miles—your fuel economy could dip even lower (as much as 22%)!

This reduction in fuel economy is due to several factors. First of all, cold temperatures increase the time it takes your vehicle to warm the cabin, engine, drive-line fluids, and other components up to fuel-efficient operating temperatures. Cold fluids increase the friction on your engine and transmission, which can reduce fuel economy.

Let’s take a moment to address one of the main myths about driving in cold weather:

Myth: To warm up your engine and vehicle cabin in the wintertime, you should let the engine run for several minutes before driving.

Truth: Most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds of idling. In fact, the engine will warm up faster when driving. Idling can use a quarter to half a gallon of fuel per hour, and even more fuel if the engine is cold or accessories like seat heaters are on.

Also keep in mind that winter gasoline blends in cold climates have slightly less energy per gallon than summer blends. This is because refineries alter the chemical makeup of gasoline to allow it to evaporate more easily in low temperatures, ensuring proper engine operation.

Aerodynamic drag is another consideration. In simple terms, cold air is denser than warm air, so when temperatures drop, wind resistance increases slightly. This requires a little more power from your engine to drive at a given speed. The effects of aerodynamic drag on fuel economy are most significant at highway speeds.

Six Tips to Cut Fuel Costs and Unnecessary Idling When Winter Hits

Winter Fuel-Saving Tips

The following tips can help you warm your car (and fingers!) more efficiently and improve your fuel economy in the winter:

  • Park in a warmer place like a garage that traps heat to keep the initial temperature of your engine and cabin higher than it would be outside in the elements.
  • Avoid idling to warm up the engine and cabin. See more information above.
  • Avoid using seat warmers more than necessary, as they require additional power.
  • Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners: Pre-heat your vehicle while still plugged in. Since PEVs use battery power to provide heat to the cabin, cabin and seat heaters can drain the vehicle’s battery and reduce the overall range. If you need to warm up quickly, warm the vehicle while it’s still charging.
  • PEV owners: Use seat heaters instead of the cabin heater when able. Using seat heaters instead of the cabin heater can save energy. Seat heaters use less energy than cabin heaters and can often be more efficient at warming you up quickly in the winter.
  • Read the owner’s manual for detailed information on how your vehicle’s cabin and seat heaters work and how to use them efficiently.

 

Do you live in a place where snow and ice isn’t an issue? Check out the May Question of the Month (http://www.eereblogs.energy.gov/cleancities/post/2015/05/19/summer_fuel_economy.aspx) for year-round warm weather driving tips.

More Information

For more information on how to improve your fuel economy, please refer to the following FuelEconomy.gov tips:

·        Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape – http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/maintain.jsp

Central Florida Clean Cities September Re-Cap

October 5, 2015 by Clean Cities

Ford Smart Mobility_2September may be over soon, but we’d like to re-cap all of the exciting events Central Florida Clean Cities was able to be a part of this month.

Starting on Wed. Sept. 9, Central Florida Clean Cities representatives were invited to attend the Ford Smart Mobility Experience at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.  A traveling presentation, Ford’s Smart Mobility Experience provides a sneak peak at Ford’s transportation designs that revolutionize the way we move ourselves in the future.  Our favorite was a look at the electric bike concept which combined some of our best-loved features:  alternative fuels, multi-modal transport, and a new way for us to travel sustainably.

NDEW_Sept. 12_1

On Saturday, Sept. 12, we kicked off National Drive Electric Week at Valencia College in downtown Orlando.  Attendees at this event were able to check out a variety of electric vehicles and speak with the car owners to learn more about electric driving.  The event also featured a presentation period during which speakers elaborated on the distinctions of the PEV, how this alternative fuel contributes to a healthier community and environment, and what attendees can do to embrace this fun, green, and exciting vehicle market.

NDEW_Sept. 18_2On Friday, Sept. 18, Central Florida Clean Cities representatives were able to attend a Drive Electric Orlando event at the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando.  The event kicked off Enterprise’s commitment to providing electric rental cars for the nation’s number one tourist destination here in Central Florida.  Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared the day to be the first ever Drive Electric Orlando Day—before he was able to cruise off in a rented Chevy Volt!

 

NDEW_Sept. 19_2The Space Coast Electric Vehicle Drivers Club capped off Drive Electric Week by hosting an EV event at Satellite Beach on Saturday, Sept. 19.  35 EVs attended the event, and upwards of 120 total test rides we given to prospective EV buyers.  Of the registered attendees, EV owners collaboratively reported more than 650,000 miles between them on pure electric drive.

Finally this month, we were able to welcome a new hire, Shauna Basques, to the Central Florida Clean Cities fold.  Having worked previously on workplace charging (WPC) for the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition, she is excited to begin working with the Central Florida EV community to help advance adoption of alternative fuels and spread the word on workplace charging.  If you have any questions for her (or just want to say hi), contact her at sbasques@fsec.ucf.edu.

And don’t forget—Central Florida Clean Cities will be participating in more upcoming events!

On October 2, 2015, we will be celebrating the tail end of Team Sanford’s Fireball Run stint from 3-6 PM on 1st St. in Sanford, FL.  We will provide a small electric vehicle display and cheer on the team to the finish line the following day on the Florida Space Coast.

From October 14-16, the 2015 Florida Energy Summit will be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Florida.  Presentations at the summit will focus on alternative fuels, CNG and LNG in particular.  For information and registration, please visit FloridaEnergySummit.com.

We will also assist in hosting the 2015 EV Transportation and Technology Summit at our Florida Solar Energy Center campus from Oct. 20-22 in Cocoa, FL.  For information and registration, please visit EVSummit.org.

Thank you for all of your interest and support.  We look forward to reporting back soon!

Question of the Month: Are fuel taxes equal for all fuels?

September 22, 2015 by Clean Cities

In theory, if all motor fuels were taxed equitably it would ensure tax consistency among jurisdictions and reduce consumer burdens. In practice, motor fuel taxes vary widely between jurisdictions and across fuel types. This is largely because federal and some state highway excise taxes are based on volume, not on energy content, resulting in significant tax inequity among fuels. As discussed in the July and August Questions of the Month blogs, motor fuel taxes are used to fund transportation infrastructure. The number of vehicle miles traveled on a specific amount of fuel is linked to the amount of energy in the fuel. Therefore, energy content provides a more accurate measure of a vehicle’s impact on a roadway.

Before we go any further, let’s make sure you understand some basic keywords and phrases regarding energy content:

  • Btu: British thermal units, or the unit of measure to show an amount of energy.
  • Heating value: A measure of energy content in Btus, which represents the amount of heat released during combustion. Typically, we use the lower heating value when comparing fuels.
  • Gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE): The amount of fuel that has the equivalent energy to a gallon of gasoline. Similarly, diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) is the amount of fuel that has the equivalent energy to a gallon of diesel. GGE is used for alternative fuels that typically replace gasoline (e.g., ethanol), whereas DGE is used to measure fuels that replace diesel (e.g., liquefied natural gas, or LNG).

Federal Excise Taxes

Last month, the President signed H.R.3236 (Public Law 114-41), the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, which assesses the federal fuel excise tax levied against LNG and propane on a Btu basis relative to diesel and gasoline, respectively, beginning on January 1, 2016. Compressed natural gas (CNG) is already taxed based on an energy content basis relative to gasoline. Prior to Public Law 114-41, the federal excise taxes for LNG and propane were higher than the conventional fuel counterpart. This is still the case for biodiesel and ethanol, leaving these fuels at a tax disadvantage compared to diesel and gasoline, respectively.

State Excise Taxes

Motor fuel tax variations within and between states are even more complex. Many states have some of the same tax equity issues that we see at the federal level. Plus, there are many different fuel definitions and measures, which create an undue burden for interstate fleets that must comply with the International Fuel Tax Agreement. For example, only some states tax CNG and LNG on a GGE or DGE basis. Though a number of states are currently evaluating legislative proposals to tax fuels this way, others states are waiting for a decision by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM). And if NCWM does adopt a standard, states will still have to individually adopt the standard into their laws or regulations before it can be implemented.

Taxes on Electricity as a Transportation Fuel

Other motor fuels, such as electricity and hydrogen, do not have federal excise tax requirements. Although plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) currently represent a very small portion of the total vehicle population, it is likely PEV and FCEV registrations will continue to grow in coming years. Any effort to collect taxes on electricity to pay for highway infrastructure would need to account for the fact that PEVs are capable of fueling at home. In addition, some plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners pay taxes on their gasoline use. Making the situation even more complicated, electricity is already taxed in ways not tied to highway funding. Some states have implemented annual PEV fees through registration or vehicle decal programs to account for lost revenue from motor fuel taxes, which we discussed in the August Question of the Month blog.

Refer to the following for more information on motor fuel taxes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
technicalresponse@icfi.com
800-254-6735

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