The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition has been keeping busy, working to maintain its status as Central Florida’s leading alternative fuel technologies and vehicle advocates. In February, Central Florida Clean Cities met virtually before a board at DOE headquarters comprised of Clean Cities Regional Managers, DOE labs personnel, and other program participants. During this meeting, the coalition presented on its various alternative fuel and emissions reductions programs and partners, reaffirming its commitment to the Central Florida region with its many sustainability projects. The Department of Energy has once again accepted our pledge, officially redesignating the coalition as a Clean Cities Coalition for the next three years.
The 2015 Clean Cities Annual Report was submitted in March and reflected the cumulative efforts of our Central Florida region, calculating the emissions reductions of Central Florida Clean Cities’ partner fleets. In 2015, regional fleet managers report a cumulative 4,641,614 gallons of gasoline equivalent reductions, which means a GHG emissions reduction of almost 26,000 tons (a record high for Central Florida). The majority of these reductions were achieved by local fleets adopting alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Congratulations, Clean Cities partners, and thank you for doing your part in enhancing transportation in our region.
Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition also did its part in attending various energy and alternative fuel vehicle conferences since the start of the year. For instance, coalition representatives participated in the 2016 Energy Solutions Conference. Held March 23-24, it was a sequel to the highly successful Virtual Conferences held in 2013 and 2012. It was a Simulcast—a virtual event accessed by any computer or mobile device as well as in person at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, FL. The event featured presentations on energy options and choices, both now and in the future, with recognized experts from across the country speaking on topics such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation planning, and more. On Thursday, March 24, Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator Colleen Kettles moderated a panel on Clean Cities and Alternative Fuel Vehicles, attended by representatives from various vehicle manufacturers, utilities, and clean cities stakeholders. To learn more about this event, please visit the Energy Solutions Conference website at http://conference.energysmartplanning.org/home.html.
Next, Drive Electric Florida (DEF) hosted its first 2016 meeting in Jacksonville on Monday, April 4 at the newly constructed North Florida Regional Transportation Management Center. This state-of-the-art center opened last November, culminating a 12 year partnership between the North Florida TPO, the Florida Dept. of Transportation, and the Florida Highway Patrol to work towards safe and efficient travel in the Northeast Florida area. The meeting featured speakers on industry updates, utility PEV updates, EV outreach events, and DEF committee reports. This included a report on the newly formed Drive Electric Florida Workplace Charging (WPC) Committee, which first started meeting in early 2016. Chaired by Peter King of Jacksonville Electric Authority and staffed by the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, the committee is in the process of pledging to be a Workplace Charging Challenge Ambassador, working on behalf of DOE to assist local businesses with WPC adoption. To learn more about Drive Electric Florida or the Workplace Charging Challenge, please visit the DEF website: http://driveelectricflorida.org/.
Central Florida Clean Cities then kicked off its First Responders Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Safety Training program in Melbourne on April 19. This was the first of many “train the trainers” sessions, during which local first responder trainers are taught how to conduct workshops with their teams on approaching AFV collisions, particularly for propane, CNG/LNG, and electric vehicles. This program will continue throughout the year with scheduled trainings pending in Tampa, Ocala, Broward County, and Jacksonville.
On April 20, intern Shauna Basques spoke on her year’s work with the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition in the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program’s end of semester presentation. Busy staffing the Drive Electric Florida Workplace Charging Committee and assisting Coordinator Colleen Kettles with program projects and events, Shauna continued her work throughout the summer, advancing alternative fuel vehicle adoption.
Central Florida Clean Cities also partnered with the Florida Solar Energy Center to present on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fuel vehicle solutions at the Kennedy Space Center/NASA’s Earth Day celebration, April 21 – 22. On the event’s first day, presenters met with KSC/NASA personnel, displaying a Chevy Volt, a Nissan LEAF, and two solar ovens. On the second day, these displays were moved into the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex, near the Rocket Garden, where presenters were able to meet with KSC visitors and staff alike, speaking on the benefits of AFVs and alternative energy sources.
EnergyWhiz took over the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, FL on Saturday, May 14. Hundreds of students participated in renewable energy events, including a solar car sprint, an energy transfer machine competition, a solar energy cook-off, a display of EVs and the Electrathon. For more information on the event, please visit http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/k-12/energywhiz_olympics/index.htm.
Finally, we attended the US DOE Clean Cities Southeast Regional Meeting in Jacksonville, May 18-20, 2016, where CFCCC Coordinator Colleen Kettles made a presentation on the FAST Act and its EV Corridor implications. On May 24, she traveled to NREL in Golden Colorado for a Clean Cities meeting on advanced technology vehicles and their impact on Clean Cities activities.
Although we’re done with spring, we’ll be reporting back on our summer events soon. In the meantime, check out the upcoming 2016 EV Transportation and Technology Summit at http://www.EVsummit.org. Hosted at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, FL over October 17-20, the summit will feature presentations and industry panels on electric vehicle transportation planning, policy building, and future technologies designed to promote electric vehicle advancement. Register now!