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 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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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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2021 DERA Request for Proposals Now Open

The North Carolina Division of Air Quality will be accepting proposals to fund clean diesel projects beginning at 9:00 am September 15, 2021 through the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s Grant Management System.  Approximately $861,000 is available for eligible projects through the Mobile Source Diesel Emission Reduction Grant program.  The grants can be used to cover a wide range of projects including repowering non-road construction or agricultural equipment with cleaner burning engines, converting vehicles to run on alternative fuels and replacing older diesel vehicles or eligible equipment with new cleaner vehicles or equipment.  

Businesses and organizations from the public and private sector are eligible to apply. The division will prioritize funding for non-road equipment projects, but proposals for on-road and other eligible projects will be considered if funding is available. 

Applications must be submitted through the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s Grant Management System no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time on November 30, 2021 to be considered.  More information on eligible projects and application instructions is available online at http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-air-quality/mobile-source-emissions-reduction-grants.

The 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant program is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. The purpose of DERA funding is to support projects designed to achieve significant diesel emissions reductions.

NC DAQ held a question and answer session on September 22, 2021  and October 27, 2021 to assist with the application process for this year’s grant.  The question and answer session provided information on eligibility and how to request access, log into and use the Division of Air Quality’s Grant Management System.  If you have any questions that you would specifically like to have addressed, please email them to daq.mscb.ncdaqgrants@ncdenr.gov.

For information on the WebEx webinar and a link to view a recording, visit: 

https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/onstage/g.php?MTID=efa54a72ece3f7759f8d10aa31b9087dc

For more information about the Mobile Sources Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant program, please visit the state Division of Air Quality’s website at: http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-air-quality/mobile-source-emissions-reduction-grants or via e-mail at daq.mscb.ncdaqgrants@ncdenr.gov.

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President Biden Announces New EV Targets, Emissions Standards

Washington D.C -President Biden last Thursday signed an Executive Order that sets an ambitious new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles. Th Executive order also kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards to save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis. 

In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Transportation announced how they are addressing rollbacks of near-term fuel efficiency and emission standards. Through these coordinated notices of proposed rulemaking, the two agencies are advancing smart fuel efficiency and emissions standards that would deliver around $140 billion in net benefits over the life of the program, save about 200 billion gallons of gasoline, and reduce around two billion metric tons of carbon pollution. For the average consumer, this means net benefits of up to $900 over the life of the vehicle in fuel savings. 

American automakers Ford, GM and Stellantis and the United Auto Works (UAW) stood with President Biden at the White House in support of these efforts. 

Read the full fact sheet on the Executive Order

Read the statements from automakers & others

 

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Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Vehicles (GRADE)

In 2007, Mecklenburg County Air Quality launched an innovated air quality improvement program called Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines or GRADE. GRADE is designed to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx), an ozone forming air pollutant, by providing businesses and organizations funding incentives to replace or repower heavy-duty non-road equipment with newer, cleaner, less polluting engines.

Since its inception, GRADE has funded over 318 projects and awarded $6.6 million. These projects have reduced over 1,059 tons of ozone-forming NOx in the Charlotte region. Watch the award-winning GRADE video for more information.
 
Seeking Electrification Projects
Please contact PJ McKenzie at 704-336-5430 if you are interested in pursuing the following types of projects:
 
  • Replacing old, diesel ground-support equipment (GSE) with new, fully electric GSE;
  • Replacing a diesel terminal tractor/yard hostler with a fully electric version; or
  • Adding a hybrid drive system to your Class 7/8 semi-truck, capable of hauling a full load up to 25+ mph without burning diesel.
For more information, visit Mecklenburg County LUESA GRADE. The video below is courtesy of their program and features one of the GRADE projects. 

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McAbee Trucking Propane Success

Join Lisa McAbee on a virtual tour of McAbee Trucking as she explains how they utilize propane vehicles to power their fleet and ensure deliveries arrive on time. McAbee Trucking completes over 38 trips overnight from Charlotte, NC to Greenville, SC, and local runs within Blacksburg, SC.  The McAbee Trucking fleet contains 46 vehicles, including two compressed natural gas trucks and six propane trucks. They are in the process of converting more of their diesel box trucks into propane and their semis’ into CNG. McAbee Trucking Inc. was part of a demo with the ROUSH CleanTech Propane Autogas to experiment how these would fit with a USPS contracting fleet.  

Hear from experts all over the region including, Steve Whaley, Director of Autogas Business development at PERC, Derek Whaley, Business Development Manager at ROUSH CLEANTech, and Mitch Rose, Branch Manager of Blossman Gas as they outline the benefits of propane autogas for fleets. Learn more about McAbee Trucking Inc. and how propane autogas can benefit your fleet in the McAbee Trucking Alternative Fuel Fleet Success Video. 

CLIENT: McAbee Trucking

WEBSITE: https://mcabeetrucking.com/

PROJECT COMPLETION:  2021

ALT FUEL UTILIZED: Propane & CNG

A Special Thanks to:

Steve Whaley, PERC; Derek Whaley, Roush CleanTech; Mitch Rose, Blossman Gas; Happy Fox, Alliance Autogas; Matt Abele, Capital City Creative and Mr. & Mrs. McAbee, McAbee Trucking for making this success story happen!

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Truck Manufacturer Pierce Releases First Electric Fire Truck

The Pierce Volterra Platform of Electric Vehicles will help create a more sustainable future for communities around the world, while providing firefighters what they need to do their job safely every day. The zero-emission Pierce Volterra Pumper and Oshkosh Airport Products Striker Volterra performance hybrid Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicles feature patented Oshkosh Corporation battery electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle technologies.
 
This new battery electric fire truck has a patented parallel-electric drivetrain with a electro-mechanical infinitely variable transmission allowing for zero-emission operation when powered by the integrated onboard batteries. It can be coupled to the internal combustion engine for continuous power to the pumping or drive systems and is equipped with a battery pack that recharges using on-site recharging infrastructure. More information about the Pierce electric fire truck can be found here.
 
The Volterra Platform of Vehicles was designed through close collaboration with Oshkosh fire department partners to provide all the safety, functionality and performance needed by first responders while also helping protect the planet. For more information about the Volterra Electric Vehicle Platform, visit the Oshkosh site here.

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Statesville EV Charger Ribbon Cutting

Centralina was very excited to attend the ribbon cutting of an EV charger in Statesville on Thursday, 5/27! This fast charger is courtesy of Energy United, ChargePoint, Banner Drug Co, the NC Electric Membership Corporation and funding was provided by the NC VW Settlement through the NC Department of Environmental Quality. Great to see more alternative fuel infrastructure (and vehicles) coming to our region. This charger ribbon-cutting marks the first charger built using VW Settlement funds in our region.
 
Randy Marion Chevrolet in Mooresville was able to bring around two Bolts and a Mustang Mach E to complement Energy United’s two Tesla Model 3s.
If you’re looking at your own sustainability plans and need funding to implement them, it’s not too late for your municipality or business to get funding for your own alt fuel vehicles/stations through Phase 2 of the VW Settlement. 
Visit the NC VW Settlement website here for more information and to subscribe to their updates.

Event: Statesville DC Fast EV Charger

Project Completion:  2021

Notable Achievement:  First DC Fast charger funded by NC VW Settlement installed/operational in the Centralina region

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