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DOE Offers $12 Million for Carbon Fiber-from-Biomass Technologies

February 7, 2014 by Clean Cities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on February 3 announced up to $12 million in funding to advance the production of cost-competitive, high-performance carbon fiber material from renewable non-food-based feedstocks such as agricultural residues and woody biomass. Carbon fiber derived from biomass may be less costly to manufacture and offer greater environmental benefits than traditional carbon fiber produced from natural gas or petroleum. This funding supports the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, which is a cross-cutting effort to ensure U.S. manufacturers remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Carbon fiber is a strong, lightweight material that can replace steel and other heavier metals to lower the cost and improve performance of many technologies, including fuel-efficient vehicles and renewable energy systems. For example, by investing in lightweight carbon fiber materials for vehicles, the Energy Department is helping U.S. manufacturers reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel efficiency and save drivers money at the pump. Reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10% can improve fuel economy by 6% to 8%.

In addition to its uses in fuel-efficient vehicles, carbon fiber can also improve other clean energy technologies including wind turbine blades, pressurized hydrogen storage vessels for fuel cells, and insulation materials for energy efficient buildings. The Energy Department intends to support projects that identify and develop a cost-competitive technology pathway to produce high-performance carbon fibers from renewable biomass.  See the Energy Department press release.

Energy Department Offers $50 Million to Advance Fuel Efficient Autos

January 31, 2014 by Clean Cities

The Energy Department on January 22 announced nearly $50 million to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies that give drivers and businesses more transportation options and protect the environment in communities nationwide. This new funding includes support for the Energy Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, a broader initiative launched in March 2012 to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as affordable and convenient to own and drive as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.

The funding will support a wide range of technologies that further cut fuel costs for drivers and help make vehicles more efficient and durable, including lightweighting materials; cost-effective batteries and power electronics; advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; and improved fuels and lubricants.

With support from the Energy Department, U.S. automakers, universities, and national laboratories have achieved significant advances in vehicle efficiency and electrification, including cutting the cost to manufacture advanced electric vehicle batteries by 50% over that last four years. At the same time, the size and weight of PEV batteries has also been reduced by more than 60%, while improving overall vehicle performance and durability.

Last year, Americans bought nearly 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles, nearly twice as many as sold during 2012. According to industry estimates, the U.S. PEV market is on track to pass the 200,000 sales milestone by spring 2014—nearly two years faster than hybrid electric vehicles reached this milestone after their introduction 10 years ago.  See the Energy Department press release.

DOT Offers nearly $25 Million for More Zero-Emission Buses

January 31, 2014 by Clean Cities

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on January 9 announced that its Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is making $24.9 million available through its new Low- or No-Emission Vehicle Deployment Program that will put a new generation of advanced, non-polluting transit buses on the road in communities nationwide. The funds are intended to encourage more widespread adoption of reliable “green energy” buses into transit fleets.

FTA will award the funds on a competitive basis to transit agencies and state transportation departments working either independently or jointly with bus manufacturers that are already making low- and zero-emission buses. The program builds on the success of FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which invested in the research, development, and testing of alternative fuels and related equipment, such as electric charging stations, for the transit industry. This program successfully committed $90 million over seven years for innovative research, demonstration, and deployment projects to reduce the cost of fuel cells for transit use.

In addition to their environmental benefits, LoNo transit buses will, in the long run, help transit agencies save money on fuel and maintenance costs. According to the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, zero-emission buses can achieve more than double the fuel economy of buses running on diesel and other fuels. See the DOT press release.

100 Best Fleets Event

January 7, 2014 by Clean Cities

The City of Orlando Fleet & Facilities Management Division, Clean Cities and

The 100 Best Fleets in North America™

Present:

Implementing Best Business Practices Forum & Expo, Solutions to the Biggest Fleet Challenges in 2014

Florida has more top 100 Fleets than any other state; we are asking 1,000 public fleet managers in the state what their biggest challenges will be in 2014.

SEND US YOUR CHALLENGES AND WE WILL

HAVE SOLUTIONS ON JANUARY 23!

This interactive solution-based forum will be facilitated by some of the best public Fleet Managers in the country. We only learn from the best.

 

Some solutions already:

  • Doing more with less; there are only two ways, learn them on the 23rd
  • Funding; one fleet manager received $17 million in grants, learn alternative sources of financing.
  • Get buy in to your ideas from your boss; Rebecca Sutton the Chief Financial Officer of Orlando will discuss how to compete for scarce public resources and communicate up-the-ladder effectively.
  • Return on investments; actual case studies because everything you do today has to have an ROI & this forum also has a Return on Attendance…you can’t afford to miss this-one-time-only forum.
  • Productivity; learn from Leaders achieving 90-95% with real time, fully burdened rates.
  • Americas got talent; find out how to recruit and retain the next generation of fleet professionals.
  • In-sourcing; not if… but when, find out how to shorten your learning curve by 2 years.
  • Alternative fuels; not only the right thing to do, but now make economic sense too, learn the best, emerging green technologies.

Visit the Fleet Expo; cutting edge technologies that are staggering with their potential efficiencies.

 

Tour; of the award winning Orlando shop that includes a “net zero” facility. A tour of the completed solar array will follow the presentations. Energy consumption is down 27.5% at the facility. Your facility manager will want to tour this state-of-the-art building. There is technology here that exists no where else in the industry!

 

Thursday; January 23, 2013; 9:00AM-2:30 PM

 

Leu Gardens 1920 N Forest Ave

Orlando, FL 32803

Use MapQuest.com to get directions if needed.

 

Alan Savarese; Fleet Manager; Deerfield Beach, FL said: “The 100 Best Fleet seminar is without a doubt one of the best financial/educational bang-for-the-bucks sessions a fleet professional (of any level of experience) could attend.”

 

John Hunt, #1 Fleet in 2011 and Fleet Manager of the Year for 2005 from Portland, Oregon said: “There isn’t a better use of your time than brainstorming with your successful peers for better ways to do the business of government.”   

 

Paul Patterson, Fleet Manager of Oneonta, New York said: “It was worth the three hour drive. We got one idea we implemented that saved us $20,000 immediately.”

 

More comments on the seminars.

Space is limited. Please reserve at your earliest convenience.

Satisfaction guaranteed. Work smarter, not harder!

 

Investment (includes lunch) is only $125 for first person from your fleet and a discounted $95 per person after that.

 

You can pay by PayPal, credit card or check.

 

Click to Register & Pay Online Now. You can pay online via PayPal or credit card.

                     ——OR——

 

If you wish to pay by check, Register Online Now and send your check made out to “Tom C. Johnson” to:

 

         Tom C. Johnson

         5407 Diamond Heights Blvd, Suite 4

         San Francisco, CA 94131                     Phone 415-285-8391

Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate

December 17, 2013 by Clean Cities

Below is the final rule language and application form that the Office of Energy has filed with the Florida Department of State to administer the Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate Program. The rules will be effective on January 7, 2014. The Office of Energy will begin accepting applications on January 7, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. Any applications received before January 7, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. will be returned unopened to the applicant.

 

The Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate provides eligible applicants a rebate for the cost of conversion or the incremental cost incurred by an applicant in connection with the conversion, purchase, or lease for a minimum term of 5 years, of a natural gas fleet vehicle placed into service on or after July 1, 2013. The maximum rebate under this program is $25,000 per purchased/leased or converted vehicle, not to exceed 50 percent of eligible costs. Each applicant may receive up to a total of $250,000 per fiscal year on a first come, first serve basis.

 

  Fiscal Year   Appropriation   Application Period Begins   Application Period Ends   Balance
  FY 13-14   $6 million   January 7, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time   June 30, 2014*   $6 million
  FY 14-15   $6 million   July 1, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time   June 30, 2015*   $6 million
  FY 15-16   $6 million   July 1, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time   June 30, 2016*   $6 million
  FY 16-17   $6 million   July 1, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time   June 30, 2017*   $6 million
  FY 17-18   $6 million   July 3, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time   June 30, 2018*   $6 million
  Updated as of December 17, 2013
  *The funding for this program is issued on a first come first served basis.  Applications received after funding is exhausted will be returned to the applicant pursuant to Rule 5O-4.001(11), F.A.C.

 

2012 Fuel Economy of New Vehicles Sets Record High: EPA

December 17, 2013 by Clean Cities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 12 reported that model year 2012 vehicles achieved an all-time high fuel economy of 23.6 miles per gallon (mpg). This represents a 1.2 mpg increase over the previous year, making it the second largest annual increase in the last 30 years. Fuel economy has now increased in seven of the last eight years, according to the annual EPA reports.

EPA’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2013” attributes much of the recent improvement to the rapid adoption of more efficient technologies, such as gasoline direct injection engines, turbochargers, and advanced transmissions.

Fuel economy is expected to continue to improve under the Obama administration’s National Clean Car Program standards. The program doubles fuel economy standards by 2025 and cuts vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by half. The standards will save American families $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs, and by 2025 will result in an average fuel savings of more than $8,000 per vehicle. The program will also save 12 billion barrels of oil and by 2025 will reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day. See the EPA press release and the complete report.

New Campaign Promotes Benefits of Propane Autogas for School Buses

December 9, 2013 by Clean Cities

MFP-LogoTAMPA – Dec. 4, 2013 – Moving Forward with Propane was created to inspire others, in the spirit of grassroots advocacy, to encourage Florida’s school officials to explore the transition to school buses powered by propane autogas.

Today, virtually all of Florida’s 20,000 school buses run on diesel fuel and nearly three-quarters would fail current EPA emissions standards. This means they may spew more than ten times the dangerous particulate matter allowed by current EPA regulations.

This particulate matter and other diesel emissions, according to the EPA, “can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and allergies, especially in… children,” complicate heart and lung disease, pollute Florida’s estuaries and emit greenhouse gases.

Propane autogas is an abundant clean domestic energy source collected entirely in North America with 90 percent coming directing from within the US.  Autogas costs approximately one-third the price of diesel and saves school districts on average $.40 per mile. When calculated per mile, per day, per bus, over the life of the bus, school districts with smaller fleets can save hundreds of thousands of dollars. Larger districts can realize savings in the millions.

Propane autogas fuel systems uphold rigorous school bus safety standards with puncture resistant tanks supported by 50,000 psi steel frame rails and an ignition point 500 degrees hotter than gasoline.

Propane autogas school bus fleets are a win-win for school districts and the environment. Visit MovingForwardwithPropane.com for more information.

How Far We’ve Come

December 6, 2013 by Clean Cities

Over two decades, Clean Cities has transformed transportation markets for alternative fuelsGallons Displaced

In its 20-year history, Clean Cities has changed the world of alternative fuels, helping to displace more than 5 billion gallons of petroleum. The program has achieved this success through the work of nearly 100 local coalitions across the country and their thousands of stakeholders on the front lines.

When the Energy Department first established Clean Cities in 1993, many people had never heard of alternative fuels. Today, organizations in the public and private sectors are striving to become more sustainable, the price of oil continues to fluctuate, and the impacts of climate change are growing, making the need for alternative fuels self-evident. “Clean Cities addresses these issues that are increasingly important no matter what your political background is,” said National Clean Cities Director Dennis Smith.

Recognizing the breadth of the energy challenges facing our transportation sector, the Energy Department understood that Clean Cities had to draw on resources beyond the federal government. From the beginning, Clean Cities has established relationships with communities and provided them with the tools to move vehicles off petroleum. Since then, both the coalitions and the alternative fuels markets have matured significantly. “Our Clean Cities coalitions have become world-class organizations,” said National Clean Cities Co-Director Linda Bluestein. “They are beacons in their communities for anything that has to do with clean vehicles and fuels.” Spurred in part by Clean Cities, there are now nearly 200 alternative fuel and hybrid vehicle models on the market and more than 27,000 alternative fueling and charging stations in operation.

Much of Clean Cities’ success derives from its flexibility and adaptability to local needs. “The program is based on the concept that we are helping local communities help themselves,” Smith said. “It’s not just a one-size-fits-all.” Coalitions apply Clean Cities’ tools in unique ways and learn from one another on an on-going basis. In addition to the discussions among coalitions on best practices, the program shares these experiences through videos and case studies.

In particular, the 25 Clean Cities projects across the country supported by $300 million from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have played a special role in Clean Cities’ growth. The funding directly deployed more than 8,000 alternative fuel vehicles and nearly 1,500 fueling and charging stations, but that was only the beginning. “The level of experience coalitions and stakeholders gained in deploying these technologies is unparalleled,” Bluestein said. Based on their experiences with these projects, many organizations are independently investing in alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Some have even become passionate advocates, informing other fleets and creating new business models based on alternative fuels. The Recovery Act projects created “the critical mass, the tipping point,” said Smith.

As Clean Cities celebrates its accomplishments, it also looks forward. Aiming to displace more than 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum-based fuel per year by 2020, it continues to find new ways to shift communities and fleets to a more sustainable transportation future.

Tool makes it easy to explore and compare alternative fuel options

December 6, 2013 by Clean Cities

Clean Cities offers a robust collection of tools and publications that help stakeholders deploy alternative fuels and vehicles. One popular tool is the Light-Duty Vehicle Search, a searchable database that allows users to easily find and compare alternative fuel vehicles.

Until recently, consumers and fleet managers looking for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) had just a few options available directly from manufacturers. Today, there are more than 17 million light-duty AFVs on the road,* and a buyer’s options are numerous. For example, the 2014 model year features more than 180 AFV and hybrid electric vehicle models, including more than 85 flex fuel vehicles.

The search tool helps buyers navigate these options. It lists individual vehicle models by fuel type, manufacturer, and class. Better yet, the handy, interactive tool allows you to select multiple vehicles, across multiple model years, and compare them side by side. Select one or more vehicles and the tool provides key information (e.g., fuel economy, engine size, and transmission type) for each model. A quick link to the Vehicle Cost Calculator lets you estimate a vehicle’s total cost of ownership and emissions.

Did you know? The number of cars that can plug in is growing. There are 13 all-electric vehicle models scheduled to hit dealerships in 2014, and 10 plug-in hybrid electric models. Check them out using the Light-Duty Vehicle Search!

Annual Fuel Economy Guide with 2014 Models Released

December 5, 2013 by Clean Cities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Energy Department  released on December 3 the 2014 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a resource to identify and choose the vehicles that are the most fuel efficient and emit the lowest amount of greenhouse gases. The 2014 models include efficient and low-emission vehicles in a variety of classes and sizes, ensuring a wide variety of choices available for consumers.

The guide provides “Top Ten” lists allowing consumers to see the most efficient advanced technology vehicles as well as the most efficient gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.  Consumers will also find a broad range of information in the guide that can be helpful while shopping for a new vehicle— including an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices. An online version of the guide, available through www.fueleconomy.gov, allows consumers to enter local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate. Also, for the second consecutive year, the guide includes a 1-10 greenhouse gas rating for each model, providing a quick way for consumers to identify vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions. See the fueleconomy.gov website.

EPA fuel economy estimates are the best way to compare the fuel economy among vehicles.  Official fuel economy testing is controlled, repeatable, and accounts for a variety of real-world conditions for the average driver, like air conditioning usage and a variety of speed and temperature conditions. Individual mileage will vary depending on factors such as driving style, high air conditioning usage, carrying extra weight, towing trailers, and weather.  EPA and the Energy Department will update the guide online as more 2014 vehicles become available. See the Energy Department press release and tips for efficient driving.

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