Category: Regional Happenings
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.
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 Carina at email@example.com.
Topics discussed included the NC Clean Transportation plan and what role stakeholders can play in the discussion.
- The NC Clean Transportation plan page: https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/climate-change/Pages/electric-vehicles.aspx,
- Workgroup pages that include recordings of previous workgroup meetings: https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/climate-change/Pages/nc-clean-transportation-plan-work-groups.aspx,
- Background on the update to the state plan: https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/climate-change/Pages/clean-transportation-plan.aspx
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 Carina (above) to ensure you’re on the list!
Congratulations to our nominees: Charlotte Douglas EV bus fleet; MacLeod 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!
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with Charlotte award contacts.
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:
- Year- 2021
- Range- 149-249 miles
- Payload- 80-125 passengers
- 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
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.
On Wednesday, 11/17, Jason Wager, Coordinator of the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition was interviewed by Fox46’s Kaci Jones to talk about the large federal infrastructure bill President Biden has just signed into law. To watch the interview, press play on the viewer above.
This past Saturday, November 6th 2021, The Ritz at Washington Heights held its ribbon-cutting ceremony and officially opened. The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, along with representatives from UNC-Charlotte, the City of Charlotte and Duke Energy, proudly attended the ceremony and joined the celebration. The park site was historically occupied by the Ritz Theater, a segregation-era Black theater that the park is named for in an effort to honor the community’s history. The project of opening this park where the former Ritz Theater sat vacant was chosen from more than 2,000 entries to the Lowe’s 100 Hometowns Grant. Lowe’s awarded millions of dollars to 100 unique community projects across the U.S in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary. The Ritz project received $200,000 from Lowe’s to complete the park, along with a $25,000 contribution from the Washington Heights Neighborhood Association and a $50,000 contribution from the City of Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity program.
The park is located at 1201 Beatties Ford Road, and this also marks the spot where a PoleVolt curbside electric vehicle charging station will be constructed in the coming months. The PoleVolt charger is part of a US Department of Energy (DOE) pilot effort to explore the challenges and opportunities for introducing curbside electric vehicle charging infrastructure into communities nationwide. As electric vehicle ownership becomes more accessible, charging solutions for electric vehicle owners who do not have access to in-home charging infrastructure are becoming increasingly vital. The product of a three-year partnership between the UNC-Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), the City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, and the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition; PoleVolt represents both technological innovation and the increasing importance of energy equity within the electric vehicle charging market.
EPIC and Duke Energy began developing the PoleVolt charger prototypes in 2019. The chargers will be powered by existing Duke Energy light poles and include retractable charging cables and dynamic lighting features to indicate charging status. The project team hopes PoleVolt may serve as a scalable solution for curbside charging efforts in Charlotte and beyond. The multi-year effort to execute the pilot program has yielded valuable insights about curbside charging regulations and requirements for communities nationwide. These learnings will be released in the next year in a project report to US DOE by EPIC and the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition. The project team is also grateful to have partnered with the Ritz project to introduce curbside charging infrastructure to the Beatties Ford Corridor and surrounding community. The area provides not only a creative, culturally significant space for community events but is also a sign of the progression towards broadening alternative fuel access within the City of Charlotte.