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Fuel Conservation Resources

With fuel costs and inflation keeping prices high, CCFC staff have compiled a list of fleet resources on fleet fuel  conservation.

Idle Reduction

As a basic rule of thumb, turn off your engine whenever possible. Idling uses a considerable amount of fuel,; an average medium, heavy-duty truck consumes approximately 0.84 gallons per hour while idling. However, some vehicles require idle time while operating. So, in these scenarios, there are technologies available that can help reduce fuel consumption during the idle period. Listed on this resource are various technology options for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles. The table at that link also lists the percent emission reduction associated with the technology as recognized by the EPA. 

Additionally, Argonne National Laboratory’s idle reduction worksheet can help guide the process of calculating savings when considering the switch to an idle reduction technology.  

Conserving Fuel

Though it might seem obvious, it is important to remind fleet drivers of the basic tips & tricks to conserve fuel. Remind drivers to slow down and drive consistently,  as speeding increases fuel consumption and decreases fuel economy. When planning routes or deliveries, combine trips and reduce vehicle load whenever possible. By avoiding unnecessary stops and reducing your vehicle load, you can maximize the vehicle fuel consumption. 

Keeping your vehicle in shape-such as by correcting tuning issues- can improve gas mileage by an average of 4%. Additionally, keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure can improve gas mileage from anywhere between 0.6% and 3%.

General easy to follow tips may include: accelerating gently, coasting to decelerate, use air conditioning sparingly, and attempt to plan routes ahead including fuel stops to avoid unnecessary stopping. 

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NC VW Settlement Phase 2 Grants to Fund Level 2 Charging Stations at State Government Sites

The Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has released the Request for Proposal (RFP) for State Agency Level 2 Charging Infastructure grants under Phase 2 of the Volkswagen Mitigation plan. 

The RFP details how to apply for the $1,000,684 available for funding to install new light-duty zero emission vehicle (ZEV) Level 2 charging stations at state agencies and state-managed attractions.

Applications can be submitted by NC state agencies and state-managed attractions including; departments, institutions, public universities, community colleges, state parks, aquariums, and museums. Public-private partnerships where the lead applicant represents a state agency or state-maintained attraction may also apply. Projects within the 37 counties identified as Historically Under-Resourced are eligible for bonus project scoring points & other additional technical support. 

The PDF version of the application is available on the program webpage for agency reference to prepare all required materials for the online application. The online application will be made available April 1, 2022 and must be submitted on May 31, 2022 via the  Grant Management System. 

The DAQ will hold an information session on this RFP for interested applicants on March 14.

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First PoleVolt EV Charging Station Now Open!

Governor Cooper and Mayor Lyles visited the unveiling of the new first of its kind in North Carolina PoleVolt charging station outside of the Ritz at Washington Heights Park. The curbside EV charging station uses existing streetlight infastructure to cut down the costs of installing an EV charging station by as much at 50 percent. 

The Ritz at Washington Heights Park is located in the Historic West End. In 2018, several community leaders formed the Historic West End Green District. This initiative was designed to improve air quality, reduce emissions, and improve health. Making this location perfect for the free-to-use charing station. 

The project has been brought to fruition by the partnership of Duke Energy, The City of Charlotte, Centralina Regional Council, and the UNC Charlotte EPIC center. 

It is essential to support EV infrastructure to be ready when electric vehicles will become more affordable and accessible. Installing an EV charging station outside of the Ritz at Washington Heights Park gives locals access to charging that lack off-street parking availability for at home charging. 

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Region of Excellence Awards Clean Cities Category Now Open

The nomination period for the Centralina Region of Excellence Awards is here! The awards are opportunities to recognize and celebrate how local governments and partners expand opportunity and improve quality of life across our region. As partner organizations in the Centralina region, we encourage you to submit nominations for project, programs, or plans that were initiated or completed during the past calendar year. 

The recipient of this award is a stakeholder organization that reduced the consumption of traditional transportation and fossil fuels by recognizing the environmental, economic and national security benefits. The awardee demonstrates leadership and excellence in clean transportation options, emerging mobility initiatives and alternative fuel activities. These activities include but are not limited to purchasing alternative fuel and/or fuel-efficient vehicles, using alternative fuels in their fleet, implementing idle reduction policies, improving fleet fuel economy, partnering with fuel providers to expand alternative fuel availability or generally supporting and participating current Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition/Clean Cities programs and priorities. The Clean Cities award has its own unique evaluation process and judges. Visit the Centralina Region of Excellence award page for more information!

Pictured: Chris Davis, Operations Supervisor & Fleet Manager Charlotte Department of Transportation

The 2021 Clean Cities Award was presented to the Charlotte Department of Transportation for implementing fleet improvements as part of the Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The SEAP listed several goals including participation in Duke Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan, the development of three new EV charging locations that will provide 13 additional chargers through infastructure installations, the introduction of an electric street sweeper and installing up to 874.4 kilowatts of solar capacity that would generate 1M kwh of zero-carbon electricity, a projected savings of approximately $3 million over the life of the solar units. Interested in learning more about the Charlotte DOT award? Contact csoriano@centralina.org to get in touch with Charlotte award contacts. 

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MacLeod Construction CNG Success

Join Bob MacLeod on a virtual tour of MacLeod Construction as he explains how they utilize compressed natural gas to power part of their construction fleet and ensure project sites receive concrete in a more environmentally friendly way.   The MacLeod fleet contains 35 vehicles, including 15 CNG cement trucks. They are in the process of purchasing more CNG vehicles to expand their fleet. 

Hear from regional experts including Norm Scott of Nuovo Energy and Ben Kessler, former Coordinator for Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition as they outline the benefits of CNG for fleets. Learn more about MacLeod Construction and how compressed natural gas can benefit your fleet in the MacLeod Construction Alternative Fuel Fleet Success Video. 

CLIENT: MacLeod Construction

WEBSITE: https://www.macleodnc.com/

PROJECT COMPLETION:  Ongoing

ALT FUEL UTILIZED:  CNG

Special Thanks To

Bob MacLeod, MacLeod Construction; Heather Scott, Nuovo Energy; Norm Scott, Nuovo Energy; and Matt Abele, Capital City Creative for making this success story happen!

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NC VW Settlement Phase 2 Transit & Shuttle Bus Replacement Applications Now Open

The Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is now accepting applications for the Transit and Shuttle Bus Program grants under Phase 2 of the Volkswagen Mitigation plan. The Request for Proposal (RFP) released yesterday details how to apply for the $13.5 million available to replace older, diesel transit or shuttle buses with cleaner low emission vehicles to significantly reduce NOx emissions and improve air quality.

Projects can be submitted by local, state, and tribal government organizations, public or private nonprofit organizations, and public-private partnerships where the lead applicant is a public sector, public or private nonprofit organization. In Phase 2, DAQ will prioritize electric vehicle replacement projects to maximize emission reductions and public health benefits. Projects within the 37 counties identified as Historically Under-Resourced (Appendix D of the RFP) are eligible for bonus project scoring points as well as additional technical support during the application process.

DAQ will accept applications for the Transit and Shuttle Bus Program until May 2, 2022 via the Grant Management System. Specific instructions on how to register for the Grant Management System and submit an application are detailed in the RFP. The Division will also hold additional information workshops during the application period. Information regarding applications, eligibility, and the registration for DAQ’s online RFP information sessions will all be located on the division’s website, at https://deq.nc.gov/VW-Transit-Bus-RFP.

If you have any questions about the RFP or application process, please contact NCDEQ at daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov with the subject title: “Transit and Shuttle Bus_Program RFP” prior to submitting your application and in advance of the submission deadline.

Phase 2 of the VW Mitigation Plan covers the remaining $68 million of the state’s share of a national settlement with the automaker and includes programs for school bus replacement and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure. The schedule for future RFP releases is available online.

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Centralina Case Study on Connected & Autonomous Vehicles

The US Department of Energy released their latest case study on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition was a featured participant. Our workshop series from 2017, Roadmap from 2018 and next steps are all included in the article you can read here

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US DOT Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: NC Benefits

USDOT Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: NC Benefits 

The U.S Department of Transportation released a fact sheet highlighting how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) will impact communities nationwide. The bill is geared towards improving transportation accessibility through repairing roads and bridges, increasing transit infrastructure, developing a country wide network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, upgrading airports and more. Signed into effect by the Biden administration, it is noted as the country’s largest long-term investment in infrastructure in about a century, at a whopping $1.2 trillion.  

North Carolina’s infrastructure has been at a deficit for years due to suffering from a lack of investment at a systemic level. The BIL will benefit North Carolina through a focus on climate change mitigation through infrastructure repairs with an emphasis on equity, resilience, and safety. The state is expected to receive roughly $7.7 billion dollars over the course of a five-year period in federal funding to tackle the 1,460 bridges and roughly 3,116 miles of highway in poor condition. $13 billion dollars is also being invested in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act that goes directly into improving roadway safety, a 29% increase in FAST Act funding levels. North Carolina local and tribal governments will be able to apply for direct funding to advance plans associated with reducing motor vehicle-related crashes and fatalities.  

The infrastructure plan not only recognizes, but highlights the importance of improving sustainable transportation options for Americans. This is observed by the implementation of the first-ever nationwide EV charger network to provide convenient charging options across the country that accelerates progress toward EV usage while addressing the climate crisis and supporting domestic employment growth. North Carolina will also receive $920 million dollars of funding across 5 years focused on improving public transportation options; a 32% increase to the 2021 FAST Act transit funding amount.  

Modernizing passenger rails to improve freight rail efficiency is another focus of the bill, in addition to improving airports through terminal development projects by addressing outdated infrastructure. This is being done in efforts to expand accessibility of disadvantaged groups. Local and State governments will have access to participate in competitive grant programs funded by the BIL that are expected to launch within a year or so of adoption. These include Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (TNFRA) grants with a $14 billion dollar expanded budget, Capital Investment Grants (CIG) with a $23 billion dollar expanded budget, the new Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant program with a $1 billion dollar project fund, and many more. 

With all these funding updates on the horizon, plan to follow adoption and implementation by seeing the current status of the bill here: As the bipartisan infrastructure bill passes, here’s what’s next for Biden’s economic plans. 

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ARRIVAL to Charlotte-What’s Next for the EV Company?

ARRIVAL is a revolutionary European technology company who produces electric buses and vans. They are opening their first US headquarters and van factory at the beginning of 2022 in Charlotte, NC. Nearby they are also opening a bus factory in Rock Hill, SC. These vehicles are not like your average vans and buses. They are built modularly from the ground up in micro factories using a smart robotic assembly of composite materials that are designed to be circular within a repair, reuse, and recycle model.  

The build consists of an adjustable skateboard platform design that can be customized for all vehicle sizes and a fully recyclable composite material developed in-house that decreases the weight of the vehicles while enhancing the durability of these crash resistant panels. There is no use of paint shops, which is great for the vehicles and the environment, because the paint is embedded into the material. Micro factories allow what typically takes years to construct to be done in 6 months or less, all while sourcing from the local area and developing for the region they are within. The efficiency of a micro factory enables ARRIVAL to continue to grow as demand grows, while the localization of the supply chain reduces the environmental impact. These factors combined regarding material usage, robotic assembly, and micro factory implementation allow for a smaller carbon footprint, easier repair job, lower cost of total ownership, and rapid worldwide deployment.  

In North America, ARRIVAL uses SAE J1772 plug types for AC charging and CCS1 plug types for DC charging. The vans are compatible with AC and DC charging as they are equipped with an 11kW AC onboard charger and can DC fast charge up to 120kW. This enables the vehicle to be charged anywhere from a lower power AC outlet at home to a designated DC charger. 

The use of digital products permits ARRIVAL vehicles to connect to the world with commercial operators and advanced telematics to help analyze vehicle data, track fleet routes, and respond to alerts in real time. They have been working with small business owners and essentially anyone who can use a van.

ARRIVAL combines sustainability, efficiency, and affordability through pricing their vehicles competitively with fossil fuel equivalents which will lead to an expected lower cost of ownership. There will be more information regarding specific price points released soon. 

Four Different Vehicles to Reach the Market by 2023: 

1.) Bus  

  • Year- 2021 
  • Range- 149-249 miles 
  • Payload- 80-125 passengers 

2.) Van 

  • Year- 2022 
  • Range- 93-211 miles 
  • Payload- 2,150-4,409lbs 

3.) Large Van 

  • Year- 2022 
  • Range- 118-249 miles 
  • Payload- 8,818lbs 

4.) Small Vehicle 

  • Year- 2023 
  • Range- 62-186 miles 
  • Payload- 992-1,764lbs

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Marshville Electric Vehicle Charger Now Open!

The Town of Marshville, in partnership with the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC), unveiled a new electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station to the public on Monday, 11/15.

 “This is an exciting time for Marshville, which is on the cusp of growth and development with the recent completion of the Monroe Bypass and increased interest from commercial and residential developers,” said Frank Deese, Town Manager of Marshville. “We greatly appreciate the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition for assisting us with the grant process and helping make the EV charger a reality. Marshville is truly the diamond of Union County and with the EV charger, we are one step closer to establishing ourselves as a key destination in Union County.”

Made by ChargePoint, the EV charger is located at 119 N. Elm Street in Marshville. The cost to use the charger is $0.14 per KWH with one hour of free parking for the first hour and $1 per hour for parking after the first hour. The charger is free for Town of Marshville employees to use for Town vehicles.

In addition, the Town’s EV police vehicle-a modified Tesla 3, was on hand for folks to see. It was purchased in anticipation of the fast charger being installed.  

“Our mission is to reduce petroleum dependence, improve air quality and expand alternative fuel use and technology, so we were excited for the opportunity to assist the Town of Marshville in applying for and receiving a grant to install a charging station for their downtown area,” said Carina Soriano, MPA, regional planner and co-coordinator with CCFC. “Not only are we helping improve transportation energy efficiency in Marshville, but are playing a role in helping with the Town’s economic development goal.”

The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition – which is housed at Centralina Regional Council – helped the Town of Marshville with a grant application for NC VW Settlement funds that were received for an EV DC Fast charger. According to the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement, Governor Roy Cooper has designated the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to manage North Carolina’s share of the VW Settlement, an agreement between the German automaker and the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure program is one of the five programs that can receive VW Settlement funds.

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