Alternative Fuel Corridors in North Carolina and Beyond

Plug-in NC’s recent article, “How Alternative Fuel Corridors Help Shape Electric Transportation In North Carolina and Beyond,” shares the perspectives of Jason Wager (Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition), Annie Lee (Triangle Clean Cities Coalition) and Sarah Nichols (Land-of-Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition) on all things electric. Answering questions like why do Alternative Fuel Corridors matter for EV drivers? And how does this work prepare North Carolina for the future of EVs? This article is the perfect read for anyone wanting to learn more about Alternative Fuel Corridors. 

Read the full article here. 

Also check out the CCFC Regional EVSE Planning Page and Regional EVSE Funding Map for a quick look at Alternative Fuel EV-Ready Corridors in the CCFC region. 

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All 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico Have Submitted Plans for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

EV infrastructure deployment plans have, as required under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, been submitted by all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico by the August 1, 2022, deadline. The plans, established and funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, are required in order to unlock the first round of the $5 billion in infrastructure deployment investments. Available over 5 years, NEVI will help accelerate the important work of building out the national EV charging network and making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans. The Joint Office and FHWA (Federal Highways Administration) will review the plans and continue to work with states, with the goal of approving plans by September 30th. The on-time submission by all participants demonstrates the widespread commitment to build out EV charging infrastructure to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, create jobs, and reduce our contributions to climate change. With each approved plan, state departments of transportation receive the “green light” to deploy EV charging infrastructure focused initially along designated alternative fuel corridors.  

The N.C. Department of Transportation statewide Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment plan submittal sets forth a “roadmap” for the development of the state’s public electric charging network. In addition to outlining North Carolina’s Plan, Vision, and Goals for the use of its NEVI program funding, this document also incorporates the North Carolina Clean Transportation Plan, a requirement of Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 246. Read more about the plans by navigating to the full PDF on the right.  

Learn more about NEVI Formula Funding here.

View NEVI Formula Program Frequently asked questions here.

Where will this funding apply in our region?

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VW Settlement First Funding Awards Announced

Of the $68 million available to North Carolina in Phase 2 of the NC Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program, $225,000 in rebates has been announced. This funding is the first to be awarded. Additional rebates are still available to qualifying applicants.

Rebates announced will help fund 59 new Level 2 charging ports at 23 sites across the state. The DEQ is awarding Level 2 Public Access rebates to qualifying applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the full $1,070,877 is allocated for this program. Local government agencies, nonprofits, and private businesses are all eligible to apply. 

Currently, funds are still available and applications are still open. View the webpage here for more information.

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Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines (GRADE) Funding Now Available for 2022!

The Mecklenburg County Air Quality improvement program called Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines or GRADE is now accepting applications for funding. Over $300,000 is available in the form of rebates to cover 25%-60% of the cost to replace or repower heavy-duty vehicles and equipment operating in the Charlotte region. Applicants can request funding to purchase new, less polluting fuel technology such as electric, diesel, alternative fuel and hybrid electric. 

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Airport GSE
  • Dump Trucks
  • Pavers
  • Semi-trucks
  • Box Trucks
  • Excavators
  • Roll-off trucks
  • Tractors
  • Bulldozers
  • Forklifts
  • Rollers
  • Wheel Loaders
  • Compactors
  • Grinders
  • Scrapers
  • AND MORE!

For more information and to access the one-page application visit the GRADE homepage HERE.

Read about current and past project successes here to get ideas for your fleet replacements. 

Join the distribution list by clicking here to ensure you don’t miss funding announcements!

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Sustainable Fleet Technology Registration Now Open-Catch the Early Bird Special!

Registration is now open for the 6th annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo, August 30- September 1 in Durham, NC! Discover the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technology, operations, and implementation along with other leading fleets and technology providers. Share industry ideas, trends, strategies and technologies that will improve efficiency and sustainability of fleet operations.

Early Bird Special!

Register by July 29th to save on your registration with early bird pricing!

Clean Cities Stakeholder Special

Clean Cities Stakeholders (from any coalition) are eligible for the Clean Cities Stakeholder rate, which gives a $50 discount off of regular price.

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Workplace Level 2 EV Chargers RFP Now Open for VW Funds

The NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has released the Request for Proposals (RFP) for Level 2 Workplace Program rebates under Phase 2 of the VW Settlement. The RFP details how employers can apply for the $489,544 available to fund the installation of light-duty zero-emission (ZEV) Level 2 charging stations for their employee or fleet vehicles. 

The application will open in the DAQ Grants Management System on July 25, 2022, while a PDF version of the  application is now available on the program webpage for applicants to prepare all required materials in preparation for the online application. Applicants are encouraged to register for access to the Grants Management System prior to July 25. 

Eligible applicants include local and federal government agencies and nonprofits or private employers with at least 5 or more year-round and full-time employees or with at least one electric vehicle in their organization’s fleet. Rebates will reimburse workplaces up to 60% of the cost to install new Level 2  chargers for a maximum rebate of $25,000. Rebates will be awarded on a first-come first-serve basis to qualifying applicants until funds are exhausted.

A webinar will be held on June 20, 2022 to review the Grants Management System and an informational webinar will be held on June 27, 2022 to discuss the Level 2 Workplace Program RFP. Information regarding applications, eligibility and registration for webinars can be found here

With additional questions please contact daq.NC_VWGrants@ncdenr.gov

The Level 2 Workplace Program is the final funding program of Phase 2 of the VW Settlement. 

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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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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 Carina Trustram Eve, Co-Coordinator, at csoriano@centralina.org  

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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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