• Shift Into High Gear

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to update both its renewable fuels and other fuels regulations that would align them with recent developments in the marketplace. The result could mean increased production of cellulosic and other advanced biofuels. Public comment is welcome for 60-days following publication in the Federal Register. 

    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is out with their annual energy outlook which includes promising projections, including that by 2025 6% of national light-duty vehicle (LDV) sales will be full zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and transitional ZEVs. Further, they say that LDVs will account for half a percent of national electricity demand and it will continue to grow through 2040. Henrik Fisker is back and he’s promising a new electric vehicle (EV) sometime toward the end of 2017. Fisker, Inc. (not the old Fisker which is now Karma Automotive). The company joins the legions of those wanting to take on Tesla and looks to deliver better range and overall charge life.

    Exportable power is a centerpiece of the Chevy Colorado ZH-2, unveiled this week at the fall meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. The truck is being developed by the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and General Motors (GM). GM believes it to be “…the most extreme off-road-capable fuel-cell-powered electric vehicle ever.”  At a conference on the other side of the country this week, Otto Founder Anthony Levandowski shared his views on how autonomous vehicle technology will streamline freight movement. “It’s 2016. We now make phone calls that are automatically connected. Why aren’t shipments automatically connected from the shipper to the carrier and vice versa?” said Levandowski. 

    There they go again. UPS has once again added a sizeable order to their sustainable fleet by purchasing 50 hydraulic hybrid trucks from Lightning Hybrids. Funding for the project was made possible in part by Drive Clean Chicago. The trucks will be assigned to delivery routes in the Windy City.

    Kenworth Truck Company announced this week that they will add the Cummins Westport ISL G near zero emissions natural gas engine as an option to their lineup. The engine offers 90% lower emissions and meets EPA’s GHG emission reductions. And, American Power Group (APG) is bringing natural gas fueling options for trucks in the Pacific Northwest. APG has just signed on two Oregon companies as authorized dealers and certified installers of its natural gas, dual fuel technology.

    Viatec is a North Carolina-based company that has developed “Smartload TM,” an electro-hydraulic system for class 5-8 trucks. Recently the South Carolina Research Authority unanimously voted to bring them in as a Client Company through its SC Launch program, designed to foster innovation. They also recently displayed the technology to US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx who toured the International Transportation Innovation Center.

    CALSTART Senior Vice President Bill Van Amburg is part of a distinguished BSR forum called “Future Freight: Defining progress post-Paris” coming up on November 2nd.  Other panelists include EPA’s Cheryl Bynum and BSR’s Angie Farrag-Thibault. Note to CALSTART members-if you are having a tough time keeping track of industry meetings and events, we have a new events page available to members only. You can access it here.

    EPA Proposes Major Updates to RFS Regulations, Biomass Magazine

    Electric and Hybrid Vehicles to Make up 6% of Auto Sales by 2025, Utility Dive

    Henrik Fisker Launches New Electric Car Company, Reuters

    GM and the U.S. Army Team up for Fuel-Cell Powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH-2, MLive

    OTTO, Uber and True ‘no touch freight,’ Fleet Owner

    UPS Adds Hydraulic Hybrids to AFV Fleet, Transport Topics

    Kenworth to Offer Cummins Near Zero Nox Nat-Gas Engine, NGT News

    APG Dual Fuel for Pacific Northwest, Fleets & Fuels

    Viatec Enjoys Market Success, SCRA

    Future Freight: Defining Progress Post-Paris, BSR

    CALSTART Industry Events Calendar, CALSTART

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  • Racing 2 Zero

    Ten years ago this month, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law California’s AB32 which aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to 1990 levels by 2020. The San Francisco Chronicle goes in-depth to assess the positive impact the decarbonization of the economy has had, in spite of oil company attempts to derail it. Electric bus maker Proterra is cited as a California success story having moved its headquarters from South Carolina to California and they’ll open a new factory in LA next year.  The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority in Boston will be receiving 44 60-foot New Flyer buses with BAE Systems hybrid electric drive technology. Articulated buses are usually used in highly populated cities.

    CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel had buses on his mind in a recent interview with California Transit. In particular he outlines the genesis and details of the U.S. –China Race to Zero Emissions (R2ZE) which is a competition between the U.S. and China to see which country has the most emission free buses by 2025.

    And, China is doing a great job on installing public charging stations. Their aim is to have 5 million charging stations by 2020 and already they’ve increased the number by 65% in the first half of this year with a total of 81,000 locations. The New York City fleet has high ambitions, too, with a target to have close to 1,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in their fleet by the end of next year. At the end of last year they were half way there with 500 EVs in the city fleet. 

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently signaled a clearer heavy-duty pathway for the reduction of GHGs in the form of their Phase 2 Standards. Tim Reeser with Lightning Hybrids recently got to sit down with Fleet Owner’s Jack Roberts to talk about their electric hybrid drive systems, which is another option in helping OEMs meet GHG regulations. Fuel economy benefits from the system can be 15-35%.

    I couldn’t resist the addictively clickable app CARBONCOUNTER.COM which solves the problem of how to know exactly what the carbon footprint is of a new car you are about to buy.  The app shows more than 100 new car models and their lifetime cost as well as GGE per mile driven. Their results show you don’t have to pay more for a low-carbon emitting vehicle.

    A CALSTART team got to go to Ohio this week for the unveiling of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) $1.6M hydrogen refueling station. Soon, SARTA will have a fleet of 10 zero-emission buses making it the third largest fuel cell fleet in the country. 

    Hydrogen and fuel cell enthusiasts should mark their calendars for October 5-6 as the California Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Summit takes place in Sacramento, CA. Keynote speakers include representatives from Pacific Gas & Electric, American Honda, the California Air Resources Board, and the Office of the Governor.

    Climate Change Legislation Led to Widespread Adoption of Green Tech in CA, Future Structure

    New Flyer, BAE Systems to Provide Hybrid-Electric ‘Bendy Buses’ in Boston, Mass Transit

    On Board with John Boesel, California Transit

    China Charged Up, Inside EVs

    Getting a Handle on Hydraulic Hybrid Drivetrains, FleetOwner

    NYC Clean Fleet Surpasses 500 EVs, Expects to Double by 2017, NGT News

    An App to Help Save Emissions When Buying a Car, The New York Times

    Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses Joining SARTA, Cleveland.com

    California Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Summit, Fleets & Fuels

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  • Good Energy

    There’s good energy in California this week. Governor Brown declared war on “super pollutants” by signing into law a 40% reduction in methane and hydrofluorocarbon emissions and a 50% cut in human caused black carbon below 2013 levels. Since the Paris accord there’s renewed energy in Sacramento about making climate change relevant to disadvantaged communities. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the biggest municipal utility in the country and they are poised to continue on a cleaner energy pathway as well. The LA City Council has voted to partner with local experts to study the best pathway towards a 100% clean energy goal. The big winner in this proposal? Kids, says Grist.

    The world of autonomous vehicles has been marked by a hodge-podge of regulations varying from state to state. As of this week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is bringing order to the growing activity in this space by laying out standards requesting that automakers share “crash and other relevant data.”  Given that this is guidance vs. a regulation, there’s uncertainty around how compliant industry will be. Uber recently announced they are doing self-driving vehicle testing in Pittsburgh, PA and now the ride-share company is sharing plans that they will open a new facility in Detroit to foster greater collaboration with suppliers and automakers.

    CALSTART is out with a new report that finds that suppliers support U.S. 2025 fuel economy standards. Twenty-three suppliers that are big enough to sell parts directly to automakers were surveyed, with 70% saying the US shouldn’t change the 2025 goal of raising fuel economy from 35.5 MPG to 50.8 MPG.  Eaton’s Mihai Dorobantu echoed the sentiment saying “Suppliers are quite optimistic they can help the automakers achieve these targets.” The Colorado Hydrogen Coalition in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is looking for suppliers devoted to accelerating development of the hydrogen fuel cell technologies market in Colorado and beyond by creating a database of manufacturers and suppliers to the hydrogen fuel cell industry.  To be added, interested parties just have to complete a form.

    Efficient Drivetrains, manufacturer of drivetrains for advanced-plug-in electric and battery electric vehicles has raised just under $8 million in its initial close of its Series C financing round. H&Q Asia Pacific is the new investor. Funding will allow the company to expand  its manufacturing in both the US and China.

    Fleet managers pondering the use of natural gas are invited to check out the latest infographic and white paper from NGV America, the trade association working to advance natural gas vehicles (NGVs). From renewable natural gas (RNG) to the development of near-zero NG engines, the group demonstrates the emissions and environmental benefits of using NG. Cummins Westport and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will work together to develop a 12-liter NG near-zero engine for heavy-duty vehicles. $1 million in project funding was awarded by the California Energy Commission (CEC).  And, American Power Group (APG) is doing business in British Columbia having announced a partnership with Cullen Diesel Power, which will manage their dual fuel conversions. Clark Freightways of Coquitlam, BC will receive the first ten APG dual fuel systems.

    Sacramento Clean Cities expects 200 people to attend their 7th annual Northern California Clean Technology Forum and Equipment Expo, October 19-20. For the first time there will be a medium- and heavy-duty Ride & Drive featuring products from Complete Coach Works, Hino Trucks, Lightning Hybrids, Terex, XL Hybrids, and Zenith Motors. There is no charge for admission.

    California to Get Tough on Black Carbon, San Diego Union-Tribune

    Who Wins from LA’s Bid to go 100% Renewable? Grist

    NHTSA Standards for Autonomous Vehicles, The Washington Post

    Uber Hopes Facilities in Detroit Will Shape Autonomous Future, Autoblog

    Tier 1 Suppliers Back 2025 CAFÉ, CALSTART Survey Says, Wards Auto

    Calling Suppliers to the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Industries, Colorado Hydrogen Coalition

    H&Q Asia Pacific Leads $15M Series C Round in Efficient Drivetrains, China Money Network

    NGV America White Paper Touts NG for Fleets, NGT News

    California, Cummins to Develop NG HD Engine, Truckinginfo

    American Power Group Launches with Cullen Diesel Power, Fleets&Fuels

    Sacramento CCC Forum Next Month, Fleets&Fuels

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  • A Feather and a Chapeau

    Delivery giant UPS has some interesting initiatives underway including a collection on delivery service in Russia. But, the great new feather in their brown chapeau is two new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grants that UPS Automotive Director Mike Britt calls “…a potential game-changer for our EVs.”  As UPS sets out to spur innovation and sustainability, they are also funded to promote more efficient cars and trucks. Innovation is deep-rooted in the 109 year-old company which already surpassed a goal to drive 1 billion alternative fuel and advanced technology miles by 2017. As Britt opined, “the greenest mile is the mile never driven.”

    Plug in America (PIA) is demonstrating what a game-changer EVs have become by presenting National Drive Electric Week with over 200 cities hosting events across the country. PIA has announced a milestone noting that over 500,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been bought in the US.  General Motors expects that number to grow as this week they unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt which is both affordable and delivers 238- miles on a charge. For people who still have EV jitters, Chevy has also launched a website introducing the Bolt and answering questions about range, charging stations, and how much money you can save. For further proof that the market is growing, ChargePoint announced this week that they have built 95 DC fast charging stations on both the east and west coasts, in partnership with BMW and VW.

    Demonstrating that EVs aren’t just for lightweights, Efficient Drivetrains and First Priority GreenFleet have teamed up to produce alternative fuel commercial vehicles. This partnership means commercial fleet operators will have a full line of Class 2 through Class 8 plug-in vehicle solutions.

    Will the Tesla of buses please stand up? Stand up they did when Proterra, earlier in the week, unveiled a new version of their electric bus which can operate for 18 hours on a single charge, the same amount of time as a diesel bus can run, they note.  Its Catalyst E2 Series buses can drive up to 350 miles before having to recharge.

    The White House is all charged up about fleet electrification, too. This Thursday, from 1:00-1:30 p.m. EDT, Christine Harada, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, will call on states, counties and municipalities to join Federal agencies in transitioning to electric vehicles. CALSTART, with Clean Cities coalitions and several other national partners is involved with this transition through a DOE funded EV Smart Fleets project. Interested fleets can sign up to participate here. Anyone who wants to join the White House Kickoff call on Thursday can call 202-395-6392 (conference passcode 414 9458).

    H2@Scale is a DOE concept that a nearly 50% reduction in GHG emissions could be achieved by 2050 via large-scale hydrogen production and use. To advance the concept, the DOE has issued an RFI seeking feedback on the H2@Scale proposal. Black & Veatch knows a thing or two about hydrogen infrastructure for transportation and they have just released a new white paper that looks at hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the U.S. It is free and available here. Anyone attending the VERGE Sustainable Transportation Summit next week in Santa Clara, CA can hear Black & Veatch VP Fred Ellermeier talk about smart transportation options for cities and utilities. 

    Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Northern California Clean Technology Forum & Equipment Expo on October 19-20 in Sacramento, CA. CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg is the keynote speaker for the event hosted by East Bay Clean Cities, Sacramento Clean Cities, CALSTART, MEMA and NAFA. For the first time there will also be a Ride & Drive including vehicles from Hino Trucks, Lightning Hybrids, Terex and Zenith Motors. There is no charge for registration and you can sign up here.

    Sustainability at the Core of UPS Growth Strategy, Brandchannel

    U.S. Has More than 500,000 EVs, Autoblog

    The Chevy Bolt is Electric, But That’s No the Really Good Part, The Verge

    Get Plugged In, Chevrolet Bolt Website

    BMW, VW, ChargePoint Establish Fast-Charging Corridors on Both Coasts, Cnet

    Efficient Drivetrains & First Priority Greenfleet Partnering, CleanTechnica

    The Tesla of Buses Just Made a Big Move to Eliminate Diesel Buses Forever, Business Insider

    EV Smart Fleets

    DOE Seeking Input on H2 Scale, Green Car Congress

    Alternative Fuel Sources to Transform Smart Cities, Fleets and Mass Transit, Yahoo! Finance

    Headed for the Fast Lane? Progress of US Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure, Black & Veatch

    Northern CA Clean Technology Forum, Eventbrite

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  • Renewable Matters

    The big post-Labor Day news is that Volkswagen (VW) AG has bought a 16.6% stake in Navistar International allowing VW to gain a U.S. market foothold. The partnership is expected to reach combined synergies of $500 million over the next five years.  Navistar CEO Troy Clarke said they were motivated in part by new U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulations, which were recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. What those rules mean and how they will work is the focus of a free webinar this Friday when CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg talks with Matt Spears, Center Director, HD Diesel Program, US EPA, and Kim Heroy-Rogalski, Chief, Mobile Sources Regulatory Development Branch, California Air Resources Board. 

    While low gas prices have many consumers driving more, companies like UPS and Chicago’s Pace transit agency understand the agony when diesel prices spike. Many fleet managers are taking advantage of voucher programs to buy down the cost of alternatively powered vehicles with some like UPS diversifying by using CNG, propane, LNG, hybrid electric and electric. FedEx, which has expanded their alternative-fuel vehicle fleet to almost 1900, has a strong focus on electric. The New York Truck-Voucher Incentive Program (NYT-VIP) is making those vehicle purchases even easier with an announcement that there’s an increase of the maximum incentive amount for the New York State Electric Vehicle-Voucher Incentive Fund (NYSEF-VIF) from $60k to $150k. Eligible class 3-8 EVs can receive up to $150k depending on the GVWR.

    Sacramento County fleet services chief Keith Leech is pleased with the GHG emissions benefits resulting from converting their 60 garbage trucks to renewable liquefied natural gas (RLNG) from liquefied natural gas (LNG).  With the recent addition of renewable diesel as part of their fleet mix, the County now claims that over 50% of their fuel consumption is renewable fuel.

    Funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Vouchers Pilot means that small business XL Hybrids will be matched with Argonne National Laboratory to receive testing, validation, and analysis assistance for its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Reach walk-in commercial vans. The van is a Class 3 delivery van and the company hopes to increase market penetration in the commercial vehicle sector.

    NGT News shares UQM Technologies success in securing their first electric bus customers for the PowerPhaseDT heavy-duty drivetrain pilot program.  Partners include ADOMANI, Pi Innovo and Eaton, among others. BYD and the Canadian province of Alberta are also teaming up. The two have inked an agreement to develop smart infrastructure and electric transportation systems. And, kudos to BYD’s VP Macy Neshati who was recently appointed to the Transportation Research Board’s Transit Research Analysis Committee (TRAC) where he’ll advise on future transit investments for federal research programs.

    From the please spread the word department, CALSTART is hiring a Project Manager/Technical Analyst to join our team. The ideal candidate will be able to apply test plan development, data analysis, and modeling capabilities to a range of clean transportation technology initiatives.

    Government Fleet invites interested parties to Save the Date for October 19 and 20 when CALSTART, Sacramento and East Bay Clean Cities Coalitions, NAFA and MEMA present a free Forum focusing on advanced clean technologies and fuels. The event offers cutting edge topics and keynotes by CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg and Government Fleet 2015 Fleet Manager of the Year Bill Griffiths from Montgomery County Maryland. New this year is a medium-and heavy-duty ride and drive featuring Lightning Hybrids, XL Hybrids and Zenith Motors. The event takes place at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento and you can register here.

    Navistar, VW Forge Global Partnership, American Trucker

    HD Phase 2 Fuel Economy Rules-What They Mean, How They’ll Work, CALSTART

    Commercial and Public Fleets Try Alternative Fuels, Chicago Tribune

    New York State Increases EV Voucher Incentive Amounts, Truck VIP

    Sacramento County Taps Landfill Gas to Power Garbage Trucks, GreenFleet

    XL Hybrids Awarded DOE Small Business Vouchers Pilot, FleetOwner

    UQM Secures Commercial Customers for PowerPhaseDT, NGT News

    BYD & Alberta Team Up On Smarter, Safer Transit Buses, Clean Technica

    BYD’s Neshati Named to NRC Committee, Metro

    CALSTART Hiring: Project Manager/Technical Analyst, CALSTART

    Northern California Fleet Groups Host Clean Tech Event, Government Fleet

    Northern California Clean Technology Forum, Eventbrite

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  • Trash Talk

    Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) adopted a second round of standards for medium- and heavy-duty on-road vehicles designed to reduce carbon pollution and increase fuel efficiency. Fleet Equipment shares reactions to the rules quoting well known fleets and manufacturers, including Mike Britt from UPS who applauded the work of the agencies and said the targets are “…forward looking and feasible.”  In an effort to help industry stakeholders understand the rules and how they work, as well as look at some of the technologies and approaches that result from the standards, CALSTART is hosting a free webinar on Friday, September 9. The speakers are Matt Spears, Center Director, Heavy-Duty Diesel Program, US EPA, and Kim Heroy-Rogalski, Chief, Mobile Source Regulatory Development Branch, California Air Resources Board. Registration information is available here

    Volvo Group North America has spent years developing the next generation of fuel-efficient trucks and will continue to do so as the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $20 million award to them for their participation in the SuperTruck II program. The intent of the program is to improve freight efficiency by 50% while reducing oil consumption and greenhouse gases. Pittsburgh, PA based Hyliion is developing a hybrid axle concept for long haul semi-trailers which promises to improve fuel economy by over 30%. Tom Berg, the Senior Editor of Heavy-Duty Trucking drove their electric drive tandem for trailers and in reviewing it observed the credibility of their efficiency claims.

    At least one reporter in Toronto is talking trash and points to Chicago as the city that Torontoans should emulate. In particular, the focus is on the first electric garbage truck in North America, developed for the city of Chicago by Motiv Power Systems. Motiv CEO Jim Castelaz says electric garbage trucks make sense because of their route profile, and they can save 2,668 gallons of fuel a year plus achieves emissions reductions of 68 tons. BYD is talking garbage, too, as they have launched a new series of all-electric sanitation trucks, featuring 26 different models, in Beijing. BYD is working with Beijing Environmental Sanitation Engineering Group which will replace 45% of its diesel fleet with pure electric by the end of 2017.

    A long slog and a lot of hard work could be applied to many things but in Kirt Conrad’s world, the Executive Director of the Canton, Ohio Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) is talking about the opening of the largest transit hydrogen pumping station outside of California. The $1.9 million price tag was almost entirely federally funded and if successful could lead to more infrastructure and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in the state. SARTA is not alone in exploring fuel cell possibilities. General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) have been working on an off-road hydrogen fuel cell Chevrolet Colorado and they’ve announced plans for the unveiling. There aren’t a lot of details yet but it will be shown at the Association of the U.S. Army’s fall meeting.

    There’s a newly approved California HVIP voucher eligible company and that’s Missouri-based Orange EV. The company’s diesel terminal truck runs on electric motors and purchasers of the new T-Series can receive a voucher amount of at least $95,000. Speaking of California, CALSTART, in partnership with others, is co-hosting  two upcoming events including the October 19 San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit which takes place in Clovis. The next day, October 20, Sacramento is the site for the Northern California Clean Technology Forum & Equipment Expo. Both events feature advanced clean transportation topics and vehicles  AND both events are free, but you do need to register. 

    Fleets, Industry Leaders React to New Fuel Efficiency Standards, Fleet Equipment

    CALSTART Webinar-HD Phase 2 Fuel Economy Rules Analysis, CALSTART

    Volvo Group Selected to Participate in DOE’s SuperTruck II, Green Car Congress

    Test Drive Shows the Hyliion Trailer Hybrid Works, HDT

    What Toronto Can Learn From Chicago’s Electric Garbage Truck, Torontoist

    BYD Launches EV Truck Lineup, NGT News

    SARTA Readying Hydrogen Fueling Station, CantonRep.com

    GM, TARDEC Tease Chevy Colorado FCV, The Detroit News

    Orange EV Approved for California Incentives, HDT

    San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit, Eventbrite

    Northern California Clean Technology Forum & Equipment Expo, Eventbrite

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  • Extending Hollywood in Hollywood

    CALSTART and many of our member companies who have worked hard to ensure that California’s most important climate legislation would pass were buoyed yesterday by the passage of SB32, eliminating any uncertainty about the state’s ability to act beyond 2020. The measure requires the state to reduce heat-trapping pollution to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, a steeper target than the current aim of reaching 1990 levels by 2020. CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel observed, “The State Assembly voted today in favor of job creation, and to make California a leader in the clean transportation technology industry going forward. We expect that passage of this measure will lead to more in-state manufacturing jobs for advanced vehicles and components.” The Los Angeles Times provides the behind the scenes story of how CALSTART and others in the industry have worked tirelessly to ensure that businesses in the clean transportation technology industry continue to thrive. SB32 offers policy certainty that California is a place where businesses can thrive and create jobs.

    Oil interests have been heavily involved in California around clean fuel and transportation initiatives and a recent Lux Research report warns that the days are numbered for the dominance of big oil. Renewable Diesel (RD) is one example of a fuel that could be a game-changer. And, for the first time ever, a Navy ship has operated using 100% drop-in RD fuel (18,000 gallons of it). The test was to show that the fuel could work without modification and that it performs equal to or better than existing petroleum-derived fuels. The results in the twelve-hour test were successful and the data is now being fully analyzed. The Navy’s target is to have 50% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

    The ubiquitous Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a new product announcement which is an upgraded battery that will increase the Model S range to 315 miles and 289 miles for the Model X. Musk observed that the Model S can now accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 2.5 seconds.

    Canadian-based Ballard Power Systems has just signed an agreement with Toyota Tsusho (Japanese trading arm of Toyota) making the latter a distributor of Ballard’s fuel cell systems in Japan. Ballard views this as a positive global market expansion. The agreement is good through 2020, the year that Japan hosts the Olympic Games, which will use fuel cells to provide power for the event. The country has also embraced fuel cells for transportation. 

    Canadian manufacturer New Flyer Industries will deliver the first OEM installation of the near-zero 2016 Cummins Westport ISL G engine in the third quarter of this year to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The compressed natural gas (CNG) engine will power a New Flyer Xcelsior XN40 bus.  American Power Group (APG) has announced that its largest customer, WW Transport, is operating over 100 heavy-haul Class 8 trucks using (APG’s) Turbocharged Natural Gas Dual Fuel conversion technology. WW Transit, based in West Burlington, Iowa, has expertise in specialized freight.

    And kudos to Motiv Power Systems a company that exemplifies the success of California’s policies. Motiv, manufacturer of all-electric powertrains, just opened a new headquarters in Foster City, CA that is triple the size of their previous location and will afford them the space needed to hire up to 100 new employees. 

    Ending here with a noteworthy observation made by John Cheney, a San Francisco investor commenting on the value of SB32, who opined that debating whether to continue California’s climate programs is like asking, “Should we vote to extend Hollywood in Hollywood?”

    State Assembly Passes SB32, San Francisco Chronicle

    Clean Tech Leaders Put a Business Friendly Spin on Climate Change, LA Times

    Navy Ship Runs on 100% Biodiesel, Environmental Leader

    Tesla Unveils a Powerful New Battery, The Christian Science Monitor

    Ballard Teams with Toyota Tsusho to Distribute Fuel Cells in Japan, Hydrogen Fuel News

    New Flyer for ISL G Near Zero Option, Fleets & Fuels

    American Power Group Customer Reaches Milestone, NGTNews

    Motiv Opens Its New HQ, Fleets&Fuels

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  • A New Phase

    It’s finally here! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation have finalized the new rule that will make trucks and buses much more efficient over the next decade. It gets even better as projections are that the final Phase II regulations will result in carbon pollution being cut by 1.1 billion metric tons by 2027 and will save truckers millions in fuel costs.  To pave the way for these efficiencies, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $137M in awards for SuperTruck II, to develop next generation technologies. Four teams were selected and include Cummins, Inc. and Volvo Technology of America. 

    The automotive supplier base is a big deal player in delivering efficiencies for the medium- and heavy-duty market and CALSTART has issued a new report that maps U.S. suppliers. The effort includes 255 companies operating from 535 facilities in 40 states with products that can help meet the Phase II targets. 

    CALSTART members continue to lead the way in providing products that further increase fuel efficiency and reduce GHG emissions.  Orange EV has announced it is now accepting orders for its new T-Series pure-electric terminal truck. The company cites fuel savings on the Class 8 electric truck in the $200-$400k range, per year, for a fleet of 20 vehicles.  Fuel economy improvements and a 50% Nox emissions reduction have been announced by XL Hybrids as the results from their urban drive cycle testing on Ford Transits using their system. The test results show a 26% mpg improvement. 

    Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids has delivered two of their hydraulic hybrid shuttle buses to Denali National Park in Alaska for use in shuttling visitors around the 14-mile paved section of the road at the entrance to the park. Lightning’s fuel efficiency gains come from regenerating braking energy. And, a new partnership has been announced between Sumitomo and US Hybrid to collaborate on fuel cell stack production capacity, particularly as it applies to public transportation. 

    A coalition including The Department of Energy, Colorado Hydrogen Coalition, Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, NREL, Virginia Clean Cities, and others are collaborating on a new project to compile a database of manufacturers and suppliers to the hydrogen and fuel cell industry. Companies interested in being included in that database can do so by filling out this form

    CALSTART is out with another new report called California’s Clean Transportation Technology Industry: Time to Shift into High Gear. The findings demonstrate that executives in this industry, which is 300+ companies strong, credit much of their success to California’s forward-looking policies and that with the continuation of those commitments the potential for even greater growth is huge.

    Feds Release New Heavy-Truck Emission Rules, Detroit Free Press

    DOE Announces SuperTruck II Awards, Green Car Congress

    CALSTART Maps Supplier Base for Fuel Saving Technologies, FleetOwner

    Orange EV Launches Class 8 Electric Trucks, GreenFleet

    Urban Drive Cycle Testing Shows a 26% MPG Improvement with XL Hybrids, Green Car Congress

    New Lightning Hybrids Buses to Transport Denali National Park Visitors, NGT News

    Sumitomo and US Hybrid Have High Hopes for Hydrogen-Powered Public Transit, Yahoo!Finance

    Hydrogen Supply Chain Form, Colorado Hydrogen Coalition

    Report Shows Significant Opportunity for California’s Clean Transportation Tech Industry, CALSTART

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  • Zooming in on Zero

    Thanks to a new Obama administration directive, federal agencies will now need to do a climate change impact analysis that contemplates climate impacts of decisions they make.  The Council on Environmental Quality has finalized the process which is expected to increase public input on decision-making.  And speaking in Traverse City, MI this week, EPA’s Chris Grundler called for more aggressive carbon reduction from the auto industry saying in order to meet established targets set in Paris late last year, we need to see a lot more zero-emission solutions in transportation.

    Utah Transit Authority and New Flyer, in partnership with CALSTART, are heeding the call and thanks to $5.4 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration, they will have five new battery-powered buses in operation early next year serving Salt Lake City and the University of Utah. CALSTART’s Fred Silver’s focus at the upcoming Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Tech Expo in Novi, Michigan is Enabling Mass Adoption of Electric Buses. He’s giving a welcome address and chairing a panel that includes representatives from Proterra, Nova Bus and Yutong Bus Company. 

    There’s buzz around a new truck presence in the market and perhaps even more so now that Nikola Motor Company reports achieving 100% zero emissions on their new hybrid-electric Class 8 truck.  The company says they can get a range of up to 1200 miles and they’ve gotten deposits for more than 7000 “truck reservations.” Their planned unveiling is December 2 in Salt Lake City. UPS’ green street cred continues to grow as they’ve met their goal, one year early, of one billion miles driven using alternative fuel. The delivery giant has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Motiv, the seven-year old manufacturer of an all-electric powertrain, is growing again and they are pleased to be moving into their own building in Foster City, CA. The company opens their doors on Thursday, August 18 from 2-4 p.m. Pacific Time. Anyone interested in attending can register here.

    Automotive News has confirmed that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which debuted as a concept car under two years ago, is set for production beginning in October of this year. The electric vehicle range is expected to be in excess of 215 miles per charge. But if they build it will the electric charging be in place for new owners? The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has stepped up to the plate having pledged $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to seed a vision for commercial scale deployment of EV charging throughout the country.  

    One final invitation. CALSTART’s Policy Director Ryan Schuchard is inviting CALSTART members to be part of a California Legislative Briefing webinar tomorrow at 11 a.m. Pacific time. This is the final month of the session and there are several bills under consideration of critical importance to our industry.  Sign up here for updates and to learn what you can do.

    Federal Agencies Directed to Calculate Climate Change Impacts, The Washington Post

    EPA Warns Automakers of Even Steeper US Fuel-Economy Goals, Bloomberg

    UTA to Introduce Zero Emission Buses Next Year, KUTV

    Enabling Mass Adoption of Electric Buses, Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

    Hybrid-Electric Class 8 Truck Scores Zero Emissions in Testing, TruckingInfo

    UPS Completes 1 Billion Miles in Rolling Lab Green Fleet, Business Green

    Motiv Grand Opening

    Chevy Bolt EV to Enter Production This October, Transport Evolved

    DOE to Back Nationwide EV Charging Network with $4.5 Billion, NGT News

    California Legislative Briefing Webinar, CALSTART

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  • Quantum Leaps

    If you’ve noticed it’s so hot that your seat belt is feeling like a branding iron, it’s not just you. NASA scientists announced yesterday that global temperatures are about to hit another high temperature benchmark with 2016 marking the third year in a row of record heat. The Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute, Gavin Schmidt, says we’re now dancing with the temperature targets set in last year’s Paris climate treaty. 

    Loveland, Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) keep doing their part to curb transportation emissions. NREL has now purchased two of Lightning’s fuel efficient hydraulic hybrid systems for use on two of their seven shuttles that transport employees and visitors around their 632-acre campus. Last fall Lightning Hybrids was the winner of the “Best Venture” award bestowed by NREL at their Industry Growth Forum.

    Sacramento County gets to add more natural gas vehicles (NGVs) to their fleet thanks to a $600k award from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The county, with 2300 fleet vehicles, continues to move toward environmentally-friendly transportation options. And CEC also gave an assist to Northern California-based Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), one of the industry partners in a $5.9M grant to develop 10 all electric vehicles (EVs) for operation at the Port of San Diego. EDI will be creating a series of EV trucks and electrifying forklift accessories. Other industry vendors supporting the San Diego Port Tenants Association project include BYD Motors and Transpower.

    Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies is leaping into a new future having just been acquired by a billion-dollar investment firm called Douglas Acquisitions. The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, makes NG fuel systems.

    I suspect it wasn’t the finest hour for the City of Chattanooga, TN when Walter Cronkite named it the dirtiest city in America.  That was 1969 and in 1995 the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) launched an emission-free electric shuttle bus service downtown. The bus, which has one million passengers a year, was the driving force behind transforming their transportation system, according to Scott Allen Fiedler of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), located in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, FL area, has finally issued an RFP to buy 3 diesel hybrid and 2 electric buses. The SunCoast Sierra Club actually organized a campaign to give the Board a little push in a zero-emission direction

    Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) wants to save money and decrease emissions by buying 18 electric buses. ART is working with BYD Motors on the project and Mayor Richard Berry says Albuquerque will be the first city in the country to operate a fleet of 60-foot-long electric buses.

    Cards Against Urbanity is the latest spin-off of the popular game Cards Against Humanity. The transportation-themed version of the game was dreamed up by Members of Young Professionals in Transportation as a way to teach players about urban planning. The target is “policy wonks” who are interested in infrastructure. Included among the irreverent cards is “Highways that look like Soviet bread lines,” and “Actually believing bikeshare is a Marxist plot.”

    Global Temps on Course for Another Record, New York Times

    NREL Adds Fuel Efficient Hydraulic Systems to Its Shuttle Fleet, Denver Post

    Grants Expand NGV Use in Sacramento County, PUBLICCEO

    EDI Selected as Drivetrain Provider for $8.2M Electrification Project, NGTNews

    Quantum is Back from Bankruptcy, Fleets & Fuels

    In Former ‘Dirtiest City in America’ Clean Transportation is Thriving, Southeast Energy News

    St. Petersburg, FL Goes Shopping for Electric Transit Buses, Charged EVs

    NM: Electric Buses to be used for Albuquerque Rapid Transit, Mass Transit

    Cards Against Urbanity-A Dream for Parody Wonks, The Hill

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  • Rush Hour For Electric

    More details are coming out about how states will be able to spend the $14.7 billion settlement resulting from Volkswagen’s diesel cheating scandal, where emissions from their vehicles were more than 40 times higher than legal limits. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a checklist with 10 categories of allowable expenditures to make sure emissions mitigation is the driver of the spending. CALSTART’s Senior VP Bill Van Amburg observed “If you clean up just one big truck, you’re offsetting the pollution created by a lot of smaller cars.” 

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just gave a nod to XL Hybrids making their hybrid electric vehicle conversion of newly purchased GM vans eligible for the state’s Heavy Duty Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP). XL has partner installation facilities across the state and makes it easy for purchasers as they handle the voucher paperwork on behalf of customer fleets.

    ‘It’s Rush Hour for Urban Electric Buses’ proclaims the GreenBiz headline and CALSTART CEO John Boesel echoes that sentiment saying “EV technology has made more inroads in city transit than in trucking or other heavy-duty sectors,” and he observes that the truck and bus markets move in parallel as many of the technologies are transferrable. The story points to electric bus manufacturer Proterra’s market success, having deployed buses or orders with 27 cities.

    Plug Power, makers of GenDrive fuel cells used to power forklifts in large warehouses and distribution centers has partnered with France-based FM Logistics, pushing their product into Europe. FM Logistics is a family-run business operating in 13 countries around the world. The hydrogen fuel cell supply chain has just gotten an assist in the form of the launch of a website that will connect hydrogen and fuel cell companies to each other. The U.S. Department of Energy three-year project is managed by Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University and is designed as a resource to grow the industry.

    California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) has proven to drive innovation and investment and a significant number of companies are producing enough fuels to meet the regulations requirements. Almost 60 producers and providers of clean fuels, ranging from electricity to biofuels, recently signed a letter urging state policymakers to sustain the policy which is a tool to lower the state’s GHG emissions and drive in-state investment.

    Driving electric is a new business model twist that General Motors (GM) and Lyft are focusing on. Lyft, the ride-share company that is in partnership with GM announced a new program called “Express Drive.” The concept is that Lyft drivers can rent electric vehicles from GM to drive for hire. Drivers will have access to the 2017 Bolt EV and the 2016 Volt. The program is available in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, DC and will launch in San Francisco this month and in LA by the fall. 

    Affordable and profitable electric transportation comes in another form in San Francisco where Scoot is growing its emissions-free scooters on demand program. Hundreds of smart-phone activated scooters are available for lease and due to a new round of funding, hundreds more, no special license required, will be available soon. One million zero-emission miles later, the company has plans to launch in new markets in 2017. 

    VW’s Diesel Cheating Settlement Provides Trucking Windfall, Trucks.com

    XL Hybrids Receives CARB Approval, NGT 

    It’s Rush Hour for Urban Electric Buses, GreenBiz

    Plug Power Closes on New Order with French Company, Albany Business Review

    Virginia Clean Cities Announces Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Nexus Website, Augusta Free Press

    Renewable Fuels Industry Urges California Lawmakers to Back LCFS, CALSTART

    Lyft and GM to Rent EVs to Ride-Hailing Drivers, LA Times

    1,000,000 Zero-Emission Miles to Date, CleanTechnica

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  • Race To A Greener Future

    The auto industry eagerly awaits a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that will be used to determine if the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards will stay in place. The report kicks off a multiyear review period and could be released any day. The rules require that automakers produce car and truck fleets that average more than 50 MPG by 2025.

    California has aggressively pursued policies and incentives to meet requirements under their 2006 global warming law and a new state finding shows that greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) fell in 2014 by less than 1%. There’s optimism that at this rate the state can meet short term targets but given population growth and other factors, meeting longer term goals could be challenging. 

    CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel, along with Foothill Transit’s Executive Director showcase the value of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in a recent editorial in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.  Transportation is responsible for 40% of the state’s GHG emissions, and the LCFS has already played a role in the deployment of over 100 zero-emission buses on the road.  One California company, Complete Coach Works, which refurbishes and repowers buses reports that it has upgraded its Zero Emission Propulsion System (ZEPS) battery pack increasing the energy storage capacity. Their electric buses operate in fleets around the country.

    EPA’s efforts to reduce emissions from older heavy-duty diesel vehicles through their Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program just got a boost. As part of Volkswagen’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, VW will pay $2.7 billion into an environmental remediation fund which will be used to replace old polluting vehicles with cleaner operating diesel engines.

    General Motors, BYD and Tesla are among six manufacturers that Lux Research says will dominate the plug-in vehicle battery market by 2020. With battery and vehicle costs on the decrease, as well as increased range, their findings show the market will reach $10 billion in just a few years. 

    Jay Leno’s Garage recently featured Toyota’s i-Road EV concept vehicle which is described as a cross between a motorcycle and a car. The zero-emission vehicle gets 31 miles on a charge and Leno explained the sensation of it by saying, “It feels like I’m driving a car, but it’s almost like I’m on skis.”  

    The 2016 Indianapolis 500 which took place at the end of May was the 100th running of the race.  CALSTART member Auto Research Center, based in Indianapolis, knows a thing or two about racing and vehicles.  Check out the video they produced showing the historic race car aerodynamic  improvements they’ve seen up through today.

    Carmakers Wait to See if MPG Rules Will Stick, The Detroit News

    California’s GHG Emissions Drop, Barely, San Francisco Chronicle

    Route to a Greener Future Includes Zero Emission Buses, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

    CCW Upgrades the ZAPS Battery Pack, Fleets & Fuels

    VW Settlement Includes Funds for Truck Emissions Reduction, Truckinginfo

    Plug-In Vehicle Battery Market Expected to Swell to $10B, NGT News

    Jay Leno Drives Toyota i-Road-Video, InsideEvs

    Indycars: The Role of Aerodynamics in Racing

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  • Shifty Paradigms

    Fuel economy regulations have become an important strategy for curbing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the transportation sector, but emissions keep rising, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The sector keeps achieving fuel efficiency gains but Americans are driving more than ever and indulging their appetite for bigger, less fuel-efficient, trucks and SUVs than had been anticipated. The reporter asks if the technology is there. You’ll see many examples showcased below of the great industry strides to develop technology solutions that will reduce GHGs.

    Siemens is in partnership with Volvo testing an electric highway project in California to determine how the configuration of hybrid trucks can connect with the infrastructure of an electric highway in Long Beach and Los Angeles. Sweden, because they are cool, is also testing an electric highway system for trucks with hopes of developing an environmentally friendly transit system down the road.

    Lightning Hybrids makes an Energy Recovery System for medium-and heavy-duty trucks and buses and Massachusetts-based Kiessling Transit has ordered 32 units, which will come close to doubling the number of hydraulic hybrids in their fleet. Kiessling bought 35 of the units last year and the performance tests on the vehicle fleet demonstrated improvements in fuel economy and emission reductions.

    Sharing can certainly aid in the growth of clean technologies. Tesla did it and now Proterra has open-sourced its proprietary “on-route fast-charging technology” on a royalty-free basis. Citing Proterra’s commitment to expanding the electric bus market as a whole, CEO Ryan Popple said, “We hope this decision encourages even more transit agencies to bring clean, quiet, emission-free vehicles to our city streets and community roadways.” Speaking of Tesla, they could be doing that paradigm shifting thing again. Everyone gets that range anxiety is a problem and Tesla is in talks with Sheetz, a major gas station and convenience store chain about expanding their network of charging stations by putting them in their stores. Sheets operates hundreds of outlets in six, mostly mid-Atlantic, states. 

    States with vehicle purchase incentives continue to demonstrate that vouchers and rebates matter. Colorado’s legislature recently passed a tax credit bill that won’t take effect until January but Ford Motor Company says that while the car market has declined 14%, sales of electric vehicles in the state increased 6% for the first quarter of 2016. In addition to light-duty vehicles, there are also credits ranging from $7k to $20k for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks.

    California has led the way in implementing market incentives for vehicle purchases which includes $150 million for clean truck projects and incentives. While the money is still there, it has been deferred until it will be finalized following summer discussions. CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg observed that “These timing gaps can slow momentum and send confusing signals to investors and manufacturers.”  The pace of technology change in the on-road and off-road heavy-duty sector is swift and that will be a focal point of Bill’s opening keynote address at the November Electric & Hybrid Industrial Vehicle Technology Symposium 2016 in Cologne, Germany. CALSTART members receive a 10% discount off of the registration fee. Just use the code 20160614NM10 when you register.

    GHGs are Rising Despite Fuel Economy Standards, E&E Publishing

    The eHighways will Promote a Fossil Fuel Independent Transit System, Tech News Today

    Lightning Hybrids 32 More for Kiessling, Fleets & Fuels

    Proterra Open-Sources Its Fast-Charging Patents, electrek

    Tesla’s In Talks That Could Redefine Gas Stations, The Washington Post

    Ford EV Sales Surge as Colorado Named Best Place to Buy a New EV, Real Vail

    $150 Million in Clean Truck Incentive Funds Blocked by Uncertainty, Trucks.com

    Electric and Hybrid Industrial Vehicle Symposium 2016, Cologne, Germany

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  • Zero Tolerance

    The envelope please-and the winner is Columbus, Ohio which defeated half a dozen cities to claim the grand prize in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) smart city competition.  Driverless vehicles and EV charging station access will lend to changing the transportation complexion of the city. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown was so excited about it that his office let The Columbus Dispatch in on the news overshadowing the DOT’s planned announcement for tomorrow.

    San Francisco was in the running for the Smart City award and even absent the $50M infusion, the city continues to grow their charging network. The state’s major utilities have plans underway including Pacific Gas & Electric which wants to deploy 7500 chargers in central and northern California. The state of New Jersey is employing a different strategy to get EV charging in place and it’s called It Pays to Plug In.  Phase 1 focuses on employers and provides $725,000 in grants to offset charging infrastructure costs.

    60,000 is the annual sales number expectation for Toyota’s Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. Their engineers see longer electric range, clear differentiation from the standard Prius, and easier battery recharging as the variables that will allow them to reach their sales numbers.

    San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) and BYD are both winners in a recent $9 million award announcement by the State of California to purchase 27 zero-emission trucks. The project demonstration will last for two years and is expected to reduce 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide, 3,250 pounds of nitrogen oxide, and 170 pounds of diesel soot. Tesla cofounder Ian Wright is focusing on emission reductions too as he recently teamed up with Mack Truck to develop a new powertrain with four electric motors. The hybrid electric refuse truck is expected to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 65%.

    If you haven’t heard of Nikola Motors that’s understandable as the announcement of its existence was just made last month. This month the company has announced that they’ve already generated $2.3 billion in pre-sales for their hybrid electric semi-truck powered by lithium battery packs and a compressed natural gas generator. CEO Trevor Milton assured questioning minds that the truck does exist and will be unveiled this December.

    UQM Technologies (motor and inverter system), Eaton’s Vehicle Group (2-speed transmission) and PiInnovo (transmission control unit) are the newest trio to partner on an electric powertrain system for the medium-and heavy-duty commercial EV market. UQM CEO Joe Mitchell believes this is the ideal drivetrain solution for electric and range-extended commercial vehicles.

    If you’ve not heard about WAVE systems, you’ll probably want to. Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) is a charging system embedded into the roadway. The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in California has authorized the purchase of the charging systems. The charging infrastructure, plus a recent award for 29 new battery-electric buses means AVTA is on track to be completely zero-emission by 2018.

    School Transportation News takes a look at school buses using a recent CALSTART webinar on renewable diesel (RD) as a springboard. San Jose Unified School District is transitioning its 72-bus fleet to RD. Pat O’Keefe with NexGen Fuel says greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by 65 to 90% when running on RD.

    The operative words are “substance” and “free” when talking about the High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum (HTUF) 2016 National Meeting & Technical Interchange, which is put on by CALSTART and the U.S. Army TARDEC National Automotive Center. The focus is on technologies that support commercial and military vehicle capabilities. The meeting is August 1 in Novi, MI, space is limited, and you can register here.  

    Columbus Awarded $50M in Smart City Grants, The Columbus Dispatch

    Utilities Want to Plug in More Electric Drivers, KQED

    New Jersey Offers Business Grants for EV Charging Stations, TAPinto

    Toyota Targets Annual Sales for Prius Plug-In, InsideEVs

    California Awards Fleets $9M for Zero-Emission Trucks, HDT Truckinginfo

    Tesla Co-Founder Plays Frankenstein With Hybrid Electric Garbage Truck, Digital Trends

    Electric Truck Start Up Nikola Motors Claims $2.3 Billion in Preorders, Jalopnik

    UQM for a New Full Electric Drive System, Fleets&Fuels

    AVTA to Purchase WAVE Charging Systems, NGT News

    The Next Big School Bus Alternative Fuel Is…Diesel? School Transportation News

    HTUF 2016 National Meeting & Technical Interchange, August 1, 2016, Eventbrite

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  • From Sea to Shining Sea

    There was good news out of Washington D.C. last week where the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee approved a standalone, five-year reauthorization of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). Competitive incentive funding is available to aid in reducing emissions from older diesel powered vehicles and equipment. The demand for the program is high with applications exceeding available funding by a 35-to-1 ratio. 

    Funding programs for advanced technologies offset the higher costs of clean and fuel efficient vehicles which CALSTART has witnessed first-hand through California, New York and Chicago voucher programs we administer. Trucks.com captured not only that but the full range of fuel and technology neutral work CALSTART offers across the commercialization process from policy and technology development to tech validation and helping start-ups grow. 

    Incentives come in many forms and a new, successful one is the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Sustainable Fleet Accreditation Program. Time Warner Cable’s fleet manager George Survant provides insights into the strategies he has employed to become one of the first 10 companies to receive the national accreditation as a sustainable fleet. CALSTART is a partner in the program and CEO John Boesel observed, “It helps fleets measure themselves against each other” and enables potential clients to measure the relative greenness of trucking companies bidding for their business.

    Kudos to Clean Fuels Ohio which played an instrumental role in the Ohio General Assembly approving  legislation allocating $5 million in grants for compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane conversions in vehicles. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the Governor in the next few weeks. Clean Fuels Ohio Director Sam Spofforth believes there is significant demand for the program and will work to expedite funding for vehicle acquisitions and conversions.

    Volvo Trucks is thinking big and in partnership with the Swedish Energy Agency they are shooting to improve long-haul truck efficiency by 50%. They are well on their way with a new concept truck that uses 30% less fuel than a typical long-haul truck. The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center is in testing mode, too, and along with the Michigan Department of Transportation, plans are underway for a convoy to test driverless vehicle technology. The test is scheduled to take place late this month on Interstate 69 in Michigan.

    Next stop-Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s where the CNG from Sea to Shining Sea Road Rally will be today. Through June 10 Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) will make stops in 13 cities to demonstrate that vehicles and fueling infrastructure (911 CNG public stations) are in place across the country.

    Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2016 On Way to 2021, Construction Equipment

    CALSTART: Easing the Way to Cleaner Trucking, Trucks.com

    Time Warner Cable: Forging a Path Toward Fleet Sustainability, UFP

    A Green Measuring Stick for Truck Fleets, Trucks.com

    Ohio to Provide $5M in Grants for Alt-Fuel Conversions, GreenFleet

    Volvo Concept Truck Slashes Fuel Consumption by 30%, Gizmag.com

    US Army to Test Driverless Vehicle Technology in Michigan, CBS Detroit

    CNG From Sea to Shining Sea Road Rally, NGVAmerica

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  • Bus Eats Cars

    The US insurance industry is the second largest institutional investor in fossil fuels and a new report from Ceres suggests divestment strategies are in order to avoid losing money. Insurers are beginning to look at investment risks posed by climate change and have already invested $7 billion in clean energy companies

    Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an 8% increase in harmful airborne particulates in cities around the world and some experts are concerned that a contributing factor could be growing discrepancies in vehicle emissions between laboratory tests and real world air pollution from cars. Experts point to improved vehicle emissions standards as a way to cut air pollution.

    The changing car culture has captured the attention of auto manufacturers and Toyota and Volkswagen are the latest to announce investments in start-ups. Toyota has formed a partnership with and is investing in Uber, and the New York Times suggests automakers are considering a future where mobility solutions won’t require individual car ownership. While auto sales have not been hurt to date, everyone’s jockeying to understand and stay ahead of the changes.

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is poised to consider a new, $150 million in funding for clean trucks programs, next month. The funds include $63 million for truck operators to purchase clean and advanced equipment. CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg applauds the air board’s management of the limited funds available; he also signaled a need for more zero-emission trucks.  The San Joaquin Valley in Central California is known for its air pollution problems and now the California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded the Fresno Local Government Commission (LGC) and its project partners which include CALSTART, $1.5 million to create a clean energy market in their community. 

    Peapod is delivering good news around Chicago where they’ve taken advantage of the Drive Clean Chicago voucher program to operate two fuel-efficient, hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks as they deliver groceries in the area. Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids is the designer and manufacturer of the Energy Recovery System (ERS) which offers significant fuel and brake savings. The emissions reductions are expected to be in the 50% range.

    Fuel and brake savings as well as fast payback are the promises of a new technology that will be available in mid-2017. A group of engineers based in Pittsburgh is developing a hybrid-electric drive trailer tandem with a projected payback within as little as six months. Hyliion, the company name, stands for hybrid lithium ion, which is the type of battery in the system.

    If you are tired of reading, just watch the video for an under two minute look at a model Land Airbus which straddles the traffic lanes on rails but allows vehicles to pass under it. The bus, being dreamed up in China, can hold up to 1400 passengers, would run on electricity and take the place of 40 buses. Transit Explore Bus is building a life-size model in Changzhou and it is to be tested in July or August. 

    Fossil Fuel Investments Growing Riskier for Insurers, Inside Climate News

    Unreliable Car Emissions Tests Harming Fight Against Air Pollution, The Guardian

    Automakers Girding Against a Changing Car Culture, The New York Times

    CARB Seeks $150M for Clean Trucks Program, Trucks.com

    Fresno on Path to Becoming an Advanced Energy Community, Business Journal

    Peapod Deploys Hydraulic Hybrid Delivery Trucks in Chicago, NGT News

    Hybrid Electric-Drive Trailer Tandem Promises Quick Payback,  Heavy Duty Trucking

    Watch This Straddle Bus Eat Cars While Speeding Down the Highway, City Lab

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  • Charge Ready

    It’s anticipated that over the next 35 years, truck traffic will increase by 80% nationally and 50% in California, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Does this portend a bleak CO2 future? Not necessarily. The authors say the outlook is bright if, among other things, we accelerate zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies of urban delivery, refuse collection, drayage trucks, and transit applications. 

    Moran Transportation is doing their part as they recently announced a follow-on order for Orange EV’s T-Series Electric Terminal Truck. The company reports “an immediate and substantial effect on reducing their carbon foot print,” as well as an 80% reduction in unit energy cost. Loop Energy out of Vancouver, Canada is another company concerned about emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. Their solution is to use hydrogen fuel cells as a part of hybrid hydrogen-electric drive trains. The company is testing a prototype fuel cell on a yard truck in a deal with a major Chinese trucking company.

    By 2030, one in five transit buses are expected to be ZEVs. Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is the latest to introduce three Proterra electric buses into their fleet. On the other side of the country, the pioneering SunLine Transit Agency has just announced the purchase of their first pure EV. BYD is SunLine’s technology partner providing the 40 ft. low floor bus that achieves a range of 155 miles on a single charge.
    Self-driving cars are all the rage but The New York Times points to a Google engineer led start-up called Otto, as a reason why the commercial trucking industry may have a leg up in bringing autonomous vehicles to long-haul freeway driving. Adding self-driving technology to cars would mean a huge expense but putting robotics on a $150k truck might be more affordable. Once emerging from a regulatory maze, Otto anticipates offering their technology as an upgrade to truck owners. Automated trucks will be one of several focal points on August 1 in Novi, Michigan as CALSTART hosts the 2016 High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum (HTUF). It is held in conjunction with the Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium (GVSETS). Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details.

    Pending an expected signature from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, as of January of next year state residents will be able to get $5k off an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) at the time of purchase.  Add the $7500 federal tax credit to that and backers of the bill expect AFVs to account for 3% of vehicle purchases, up from the current 0.9%.

    Southern California Edison (SCE) is making electric vehicle ownership more convenient as they move ahead with their Charge Ready EV pilot program. The utility is putting $22 million toward partnering with employers, landlords, universities and others in their service territory to add up to 1,500 new charging stations. 

    If you want to travel far and fast, Popular Mechanics offers one GIF and a 188-year-old look at the history of electric vehicles. From Anyos Jedlik’s first experiment in 1828 up to the Tesla Model 3, see it all in seconds.

    Hitting US Climate Targets: Will Electric Trucks Deliver the Goods, UCCS

    Moran Transportation Announces Orange EV Follow-on Order, Orange EV

    Vancouver Firm Wants to Clean Up Heavy Transport Emissions, Vancouver Sun

    PVTA To Introduce Electric Buses on Holyoke-Springfield Line, MassLive

    SunLine Expands Fleet With First All-Electric Bus, InsideEVs

    Want to Buy a Self Driving Car? Trucks May Come First, New York Times

    Buying an EV in Colorado Just Got $5k Cheaper, The Denver Post

    SCE Launches $22M Charge Ready Program for 1,500EV stations, NGT News

    The 188-Year-Old History of the Electric Car in One Gif, Popular Mechanics

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  • Pollution Solution

    Transitioning away from oil and gas to clean and renewable energy are key to meeting global greenhouse gas (GHG) climate commitments and global space agencies are calling for a new reporting tool that could pinpoint country by country where GHG’s are coming from. The plan involves 6-8 satellites that would map clouds of carbon dioxide resulting in greater precision in verifying emission reports from the member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Argonne National Lab has updated its fleet tool, AFLEET, which includes vehicle air pollution emission factors. Additions also include fuel cell vehicles, state-based fuel pricing, private station fuel pricing, and fueling infrastructure costs.

    Freight transport, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), accounts for about half of toxic diesel particulate matter and 6% of GHG emissions in California. CARB and the South Coast Air Quality Management District announced a pollution solution pilot project last week designed to facilitate the commercialization of zero-emission truck technologies. CALSTART worked with the air districts to help identify and recruit key truck makers and suppliers. The $23.6 million award means 43 zero-emission trucks will operate in Disadvantaged Communities. BYD, Peterbilt, TransPower, Volvo, Kenworth, and BAE Systems are all part of the team.

    Missouri-based Orange EV, maker of electric drive terminal trucks, is expanding. The company has received a $150k investment from the Missouri Technology Corp, they are moving to a new much larger plant, and the staff is expected to double in size by year-end.

    Delivery giant UPS has committed to log 1 billion miles with advanced technology vehicles by the end of 2017 and toward that end they’ve upgraded and improved the fuel efficiency on 125 of their hybrid-electric delivery trucks. In partnership with Workhorse Group, the trucks now have a quiet 2-cylinder engine and updated E-Gen chassis. 

    UPS has also committed to purchasing 46 million gallons of clean renewable diesel (RD). Several fleets along the West Coast including Oregon, Washington and California have made big commitments to RD and most recently the city of Corvallis, OR decided to switch its 55-vehicle fleet to RD. Pat O’Keefe, President of Nexgen Fuel urges policy makers in state legislatures to mandate the use of low carbon fuels to make them more competitive. 

    Zero-emission vehicles are the centerpiece of Toyota’s strategy to roll out their hydrogen fuel-cell Mirai Sedan in California as well as Northeast states over the next two years. Fleets&Fuels reports that there are 150 Mirai’s on California roads with an aim to sell or lease 3,000 of the vehicles in targeted markets by the end of 2017. Ford Motor Company has ambitions, too, but their focus is electrification with a battery-electric vehicle that gets 200 miles or more of range. The Ford Model E will likely be sold as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric vehicle.

    There are a lot of clean and fun ways to travel and some border on the downright funny. Check out 27 bikes from around the world that you’ve never seen before.  Being a fan of bikes is a vicious cycle.

    Potential Eyes in the Sky on GHGs, The New York Times

    Argonne Rolls Out New Version of Advanced Vehicles Analysis Tool, Phys.org

    California Funds Zero-Emission Trucks, MM&D

    Electric-truck Maker Orange EV is Expanding, The Kansas City Star

    UPS Adds 2-Cylinder Engine to Hybrids to Boost Range, Truckinginfo

    Renewable Diesel Facing Availability Issue, Hard Working Trucks

    City’s Diesel Fleet Switching to Renewable Diesel, Corvallis Gazette-Times

    Toyota Takes the H2 FCV Commercial, Fleets&Fuels

    Ford Confirms 200-Mile Electric Car, Green Car Reports

    Funny Bikes You’ve Never Seen Before, Bajiroo

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  • Airbnb on Wheels

    Scientific American reports that automakers continue to meet or exceed fuel economy rules set by the U.S. EPA and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) doubling car fuel efficiency in 2025 from 2012. 63% of all new 2016 vehicles were CAFÉ-compliant compared to 41% last year.  On the light truck and SUV side the percentage of CAFÉ-compliant vehicles stayed the same at 40%. 

    The city of San Diego is setting ambitious targets as Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer aims to have the city run on 100% renewable power by 2035. His efforts are being touted as a bipartisan push that could be a model for other cities that are growing impatient over federal bickering on climate change. San Diego will switch half of its fleet to electric power as part of the plan. Startup First Element is doing its part to make low carbon fuel available in California, having completed a network of 15 hydrogen fueling stations. The company has also rolled out their new brand with the stations going by the name True Zero.

    Kudos to Kirt Conrad, the ubiquitous Executive Director of Ohio’s Stark Area Regional Transit Authority. Conrad was just selected to be the Board President of the Ohio Public Transit Association. SARTA is a leader in adopting clean bus technology and will have 10 fuel cell buses in its fleet by 2017. The market for battery-electric buses is growing and Utah-based WAVE (Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification) is at the ready to equip transit properties with their wireless charging system that will soon provide an invisible infrastructure. WAVE expects to have 20 systems in place later this year in several cities.

    Everyone’s coming up with new ideas and perhaps Elon Musk is leading the pack. This time he’s taking a look at inner-city, high density transport problems. Speaking at a conference in Oslo recently, Musk used “autonomous vehicles” and “not exactly a bus” together in suggesting a future solution to getting passengers beyond the bus stop. BMW is out with a new idea, too. Addressing growing interest in ride-sharing, BMW’s AG Mini brand is looking to install devices allowing owners to rent out their vehicles. A BMW exec likened it to Airbnb on wheels

    Well, who better than former NHTSA Administrator David Strickland to take the lead in making sure the federal government defines the rules of the road in laying out federal standards for autonomous vehicles?  Ford, Volvo, Google, Lyft and Uber have formed a “Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets” and leading it is Strickland himself. The coalition will work with lawmakers and regulators to make sure vehicles meet federal safety standards. 

    As snowflakes are falling outside my window, you’ll forgive me for pining for a bicycle car. Swedish design engineer Micael Kjellman’s creation is a bicycle with four wheels and is covered by waterproof fabric complete with studded tires, a mini-trunk, a heated windshield and a seat with back support. I just checked and his Indiegogo funding campaign is at over $40k meaning he’ll be assembling a kit so we the people can create our own “PodRides.” I’m in!

    American Cars on Track to Double Fuel Efficiency, Scientific American

    San Diego Republican Mayor Pushes 100% Renewable Energy, The Guardian

    True Zero to be Brand for Hydrogen Fueling Stations, Green Car Reports

    Conrad to Head Ohio Public Transit Association Board, Crain’s

    WAVE Wireless Charging Helps Transit Agencies, ChargedEVs

    Might Tesla Revolutionize the Bus Industry, Ecowatch

    BMW-Airbnb on Wheels, Bloomberg

    Let’s Get Cracking on Self-Driving Car Regulations, PC Mag

    Swedish Cyclist Designs a CarBike, inhabitat

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  • Bolt Baring

    “The U.S. Senate acted in a bipartisan fashion….” Wait, what? That’s the news today from the Washington Post where the Senate passed a sweeping energy bill in a vote of 85-12. The result seems to be cheering from industry and a more tepid appraisal from environmental interests. The bill included a measure authored by Michigan’s senators promoting investments in the research and development of more fuel-efficient vehicles. The next step is a conference committee with the House to reconcile the Senate and House bills.

    The new and fuel-efficient Chevrolet Bolt is garnering a lot of attention and for those of you really wanting to delve into the electric powertrain, Charged EVs is here to help. In a series of photos you’ll also be able to see the battery pack in comparison to the Volt and the Spark EV. What will it take to get more EVs on the road? Michael Shepherd with E Source points to utilities playing an education and awareness building campaign suggesting that now is the time for them to play the disruptive innovator and transition transportation from petroleum to electricity. This is the first in a five-part series on the role utilities should play in bringing EVs to market.

    Fleet managers in Oregon can begin or resume transitioning their fleets  as the Oregon Department of Energy has $6 million in tax credits for those wanting to replace two or more fleet vehicles with EVs, CNG, LNG, propane, RNG, hydrogen, renewable diesel or butanol. Seven lucky transit fleets are the recipients of $22.5 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s (LoNo) program. The funds will be used to pay for battery-electric, fuel cell and other innovative technologies in their fleets.  CALSTART is pleased to be on two of the winning teams including partnerships with the Utah Transit Authority and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority in Ohio.

    New Flyer has announced the inaugural road demonstration of their Xcelsior XHE60 heavy-duty articulated hydrogen fuel cell transit bus with participation from Metro Transit of Minneapolis and Alameda County Transit based in California. New Flyer’s fuel cell propulsion system partners were Ballard and Siemens. There’s a hydrogen fuel cell rally underway today in California where California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary Nichols is joined by California Energy Commission (CEC) Commissioner Janea Scott and Tyson Eckerle, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The group will be part of a ribbon cutting this afternoon for the unveiling of the Central Valley’s first hydrogen refueling station. The delegation is traveling 400 miles from Los Angeles to ARB headquarters in Sacramento in celebration of Earth Day.

    Cultivating new relationships and introducing new companies to the hydrogen and fuel cell market in California is the goal of an upcoming Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Supply Chain Exchange and Partnership Development Workshop next month in Long Beach. The workshop takes place on Thursday, May 5 from 1-5 p.m. at the Convention Center.

    The Senate Just Passed an Energy Bill, The Washington Post
    The New Chevy Bolt Bares All In Juicy Powertrain Pictures, Charged EVs

    Why Utilities Should Promote EVs to Consumers, UtilityDIVE

    Oregon Makes $6M Available for Alt-Fuel Fleet Projects, NGT News

    FTA Selects 7 Projects to Receive $22.5M in Grants, Fleets&Fuels

    FTA Provides Funding for 51 Zero Emission Buses-CALSTART on Two Winning Teams, Market Wired

    New Flyer Intros First 60-Foot Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus in North America, Newswire Today

    ARB Chair Mary Nichols Leads Hydrogen Fuel Cell Rally, The Business Journal

    Supply Chain Exchange Workshop, California Hydrogen Business Council

    Registration http://bit.ly/1U6J34m

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