PoleVolt The Ritz at WH Side View 17-Feb-2022

EVs for Equity Event

Living near highways, traffic, and other sources of harmful air emissions disproportionately affects historically overburdened communities and results in worse health outcomes such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and much more. Getting more electric vehicles on the road in and around these communities presents the opportunity to improve health outcomes by reducing emissions. 

While the Historic West End has a gas station just around nearly every corner, there are only two charging stations in the community. By working with The City of Charlotte, UNCC EPIC, Centralina Regional Council, and others, the Historic West End is beginning to equip itself with more EV infrastructure to enjoy the economic, health, and sustainable benefits EVs bring. The recent PoleVolt Project has encouraged drivers, local businesses and governments to embrace EVs and the benefits they bring. 

CleanAIRE NC, Historic West End Green District, the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition and PoleVolt project partners Duke Energy, City of Charlotte and UNC Charlotte recently hosted an EVs for Equity event that allowed residents to come out and learn about sustainable transportation and local electrification efforts. The event showed off various passenger EVs and gave drivers an opportunity to discuss their experience driving EVs. Additionally, the event included two models of the new EV bus provided by the Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) which will be used on routes in the Historic West End. Deploying EV buses in the Historic West End and other communities, while electrifying bus fleets in general represents a huge impact on fighting climate change and mitigating air pollution. This July there will be a Clean Air Advocacy Training event that will aim to increase understanding of air pollution in the Historic West End and explore opportunities for residents to engage in solutions that improve air quality in the community.

The electric surge is coming and with gas prices and inflation increasing, there has never been a better time to equip our communities, businesses, and fleets with sustainable transportation and other vehicle options to improve our states overall economy, health, and sustainability. 

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Regional EVSE Planning

NEW: CENTRALINA REGION EVSE FUNDING DASHBOARD

The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition acknowledges there are currently a multitude of local and national funding opportunities for EVSE and other alternative fuel infrastructure available, with more programs slated to become available in the coming months. It can be difficult to keep track of the variety of funding programs available and understand which opportunities your community or organization may be able to participate in. To address this situation, Centralina has developed a region-specific EV Infrastructure and Funding Dashboard to serve as a one-stop resource for communities, organizations and businesses to identify available funding opportunities.

Our regional EV Regional Plan Update Flyer can help you learn further about funding sources and how to prepare your community. To view this plan and understand how Centralina is developing resources that support planning and funding activities on a regional level view the page here.

By working with stakeholders, the N.C. Department of Transportation has developed plans and strategies to reduce transportation emissions. These include the Zero Emission Vehicle Plan, Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEV Memorandum of Understanding, and the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Reduction Study.

As a part of the development process, five work groups were created to gather stakeholder input. These work groups can be found here and include

  • ZEV Plan for Light-Duty Vehicles
  • ZEV Plan for Medium & Heavy-Duty Vehicles
  • Fleet Transition Plan for Public & Private Vehicle Fleets
  • VMT Reduction Plan
  • Clean Transportation Infrastructure 

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (“NEVI Formula”) was created to provide funding to States to strategically deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability. Providing nearly $5 billion over 5 years ending in 2027, the NEVI Formula provides funds to build out alternative fuel corridors.

Funding is available for installation of network-connected public chargers, or non-public chargers that serve more than one company. Operation and maintenance of the charging system as well as additions that lead to overall lower construction and operating costs are also considered eligible costs to be funded by NEVI Formula funds.

Alternative Fuel Corridors

These corridors include several interstate highways, federal and state roads and were established through nominations from state and local officials with stakeholder input. Along the National Highway System, alternative fuel corridors are a national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure.

With a goal of transitioning to zero-emission fleets, we know change takes time. While your fleet converts, other methods of fuel conservation can help to reduce emissions and save on costs too. Visit the CCFC Fuel Conservation Resources page to find easy and immediately implementable tips and practices.

PublicityFor additional information or questions, please contact Megan Upchurch, Regional Planner at mupchurch@centralina.org.

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Clean School Bus Education Technical Assistance Series Now Out!

The Alternative Fuels Data Center has recently released an eight piece series surrounding electric school bus education. The series has been named “Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses” and features  handouts and recorded webinars. The series is catered towards K-12 schools and school bus fleets that are interested in implementing electric buses. Each part of the series focuses on a different fleet consideration for electric school buses.

The entire series can be watched as a whole step-by-step guide through the process, or you can focus on the topics that meet your specific fleet’s needs and concerns. The eight parts include:

  1. Electric School Bus Introduction
  2. Working with Electric Utilities
  3. Vehicle Requirements
  4. Charging Infrastructure
  5. Infrastructure Planning and Solutions
  6. Vehicle in Use Performance
  7. Driver and Technician Training
  8. Cost Factors

Additionally, the EPA and the DEQ have funding opportunities to assist in the cost of making the switch from old buses to new low- and zero-emission buses. The main website is available here: https://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus and applications are now open

For more information on funding opportunities or questions, please contact Megan Upchurch, Regional Planner at mupchurch@centralina.org  

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May Virtual Feedback Session Follow Up

In case you missed the May Clean Transportation Virtual Feedback Meeting, here are the agenda, follow up links, recording and more! Questions? Missing a topic? Contact Megan at mupchurch@centralina.org

Link to the agenda here.
Recording not playing for you above? Here’s the direct YouTube link

Topics discussed included the NC Clean Transportation plan and what role stakeholders can play in the discussion.
Links included

Upcoming Opportunities for stakeholders include the NC VW Settlement Phase 2 funding categories and EPA Clean School Bus funding program

Authorized by the recently signed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Clean School Bus Program provides $5 billion over the next five years to replace school buses with low- and zero-emission school buses. The first funding opportunity under this program will be the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates. EPA will offer $500 million for zero-emission and clean school bus rebates. The EPA’s program guidance and a list of eligible/prioritized applicants are now posted on the Clean School Bus Program website. Once you have completed the recommended steps to prepare, please begin filling out your rebate application.
The VW Settlement has upcoming deadlines, so be sure to apply before the opportunity passes!

Finally, the next CCFC stakeholder meeting will be August 23rd. Please be on the lookout for a calendar hold soon or connect with Megan(above) to ensure you’re on the list!

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Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project Grant Funds Now Available!

The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at North Carolina State University announces the following request for proposals (RFP) through the 2022 Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project. The 2020 initiative will offer $1.4 million, focused on reducing transportation-related emissions, and supported with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT). The primary purpose of the CFAT project is to reduce transportation-related emissions in 24 eligible North Carolina counties. 

Project proposals will be limited, none higher than $300,000 and none lower than $5,000. Applications will be due Monday, August 1, 2022. This will likely be the only solicitation for 2022.

Projects located in the following counties are eligible for CFAT funding: Cabarrus, Catawba, *Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Granville, Guilford, *Haywood, *Iredell, Johnston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Nash, Orange, Person, Rowan, *Swain, Union, Wake, (*Represents partial counties).

Projects for electric vehicle charging stations (EVSE) will be accepted within all 100 counties.

  • Available funds: $1,400,000
  • Maximum per project award: $300,000
  • Minimum per project award: $5,000
  • Application deadline: July 1, 2022
  • Project period: December 5, 2022 – September 30, 2024
  • Click here for the 2022 CFAT Request for Proposals
  • Click here for the CFAT RFP FAQs
  • Click here for the 2022 CFAT Budget Worksheet
  • Click here for the 2022 CFAT RFP Application

NOTE: Applications should be emailed to CFAT_grants@ncsu.edu

View examples of prior successful CFAT project proposals in 2018 and 2019

NC Clean Energy Technology Center hosted a CFAT 2022 Funding Opportunity Informational Webinar from 12-1:30pm Monday, May 16, 2022. The webinar featured an overview of eligible projects and had a Q&A session to assist with application submission. To view a recording of the webinar, click the button below. 

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Region of Excellence 2022 Clean Cities Winners

Congratulations to our nominees: Charlotte Douglas EV bus fleetMacLeod Construction and UNC Charlotte EPIC PoleVolt project, for the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition category award for the 2022 Centralina Region of Excellence Awards!

Our  winner this year was the CLT Electric Vehicle Bus Fleet!  The airport utilized clean fuels and fuel alternatives in airport vehicles to reduce the consumption of traditional transportation fossil fuels. CLT also supported sustainability by:

  • Purchasing 100% battery electric zero emissions buses that will last for 12 years
  • Replacing older vehicles with newer vehicles to reduce emissions
  • Implementing fuel economy improvements to lower fuel costs

These achievements have resulted in a reduction in  gasoline gallon usage by almost 100,000 gasoline gallon equivalents in 2021 alone! Congrats again to the Charlotte Douglas Airport EV Bus fleet!

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NC VW Phase 2- Multi-unit Dwelling Program

Eligible applicants to be submitted to the Level 2 Multi-Unit Dwelling Program include property owners of multi-unit dwellings with 10 or more units in North Carolina, such as apartment complexes, condominiums, etc. This excludes individually-owned townhouses, row houses and mobile homes.

The program includes funds totaling $489,544 to be used in installing Level 2 electric vehicle charging infrastructure at eligible multi-unit family dwellings. The RFP was released May 2, 2022 and applications will be made available June 13, 2o22.

On May 9, 2022 the DAQ will host a webinar on how to request access to the DAQ Management System from 1:00pm- 2:00pm for applicants who do not have access to the system. The webinar will discuss what documents are required to request access to the system, how to use the built in tutorials once access is granted to the system and how to submit an application. Register here

A second webinar hosted by the DAQ will occur on May 16, 2022 from 1:00pm-3:00pm. The focus discussion for this webinar will be RFP and its requirements. Staff will answer questions regarding the Request for Proposals and the program application. Register here

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Clean School Bus Program Funding

A Clean School Bus, as defined by the BIL, is a bus that reduces emissions and is operated entirely or in part using an alternative fuel or is a zero-emission bus. The BIL provides $5 billion dollars over 5 years (FY22-26) for the replacement of existing school buses with low and zero-emission buses. State or local government entities, eligible contractors, nonprofit school transportation associations, and tribes, tribal organizations, tribally-controlled schools are all eligible for the program funding. A zero-emission bus is defined as a school bus that
produces zero exhaust emission of any air pollutant and any greenhouse gas. 

Awards will be granted covering up to 100% of the cost of the replacement bus and charging or fueling infrastructure. Priority applications may be recognized to replace buses that serve; high-need local education agencies, tribal schools, rural schools, low-income area schools, or applications that provide cost share through public-private partnerships, grants from other entities, or school bonds.

Usage requirements (All replacement buses must):

  • Be operated as part of the school feet for which the award was made for not less than 5 years;
  • Be maintained, operated, and charged or fueled according to manufacturer recommendations or state requirements and;
  • Not be manufactured or retrofitted with a power unit or any other technology that creates
    pollution within the school bus, such as an unvented diesel heater.

Slides are now available from the EPA’s Clean School Bus program webinar here.

Sign up for Clean School Bus Program news here.

More information and updates available here: https://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus.

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Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition -- Based in Charlotte, NC

Earth Day 2022

Happy Earth Day 2022! Here at the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, we value the importance of Earth Day and what it means to participate in protecting and appreciating our Earth. Recently, the CCFC published resources for fleets to look towards when trying to conserve fuel as a way to save money and cut back on petroleum dependence. We encourage fleets to check out these resources this Earth Day to see how your fleet can make an impact. 

Check out that page here. Which includes fuel conservation tips like;

  • Encouraging drivers to do their best to cut idle time
  • Planning routes and selecting refuel stops in advance
  • Keeping each vehicle up to date with tuneups and overall maintance 

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NC School Bus Electrification

The NC VW School Bus Program, Duke Power Electric School Bus Pilot Project and Bipartisan Infastructure Funds will all provide funding for electric school buses. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is seeking to increase interest and awareness of the availability of electric school bus replacement funding through the NC Volkswagen Settlement Program. 

NC VW School Bus Program Information

             –Historically Under-Resourced County Outreach Program

Duke Power Electric School Bus Pilot Project Information

Bipartisan Infastructure Funds Information

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