• Revolution Now

    Last week’s news focused a lot on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to weaken fuel economy standards that were put in place by the Obama administration. Stanford University professor of environmental law, Deborah Sivas, offers a clear history of the California waiver that allows the state to have stricter fuel economy standards than the rest of the country. She allows that the impacts of a rollback could be significant and thwart the innovations in vehicle and infrastructure advances that have been made. 

    The Natural Resources Defense Council has stepped in to provide EV technology reporting in lieu of the Department of Energy (DOE) doing away with regular reporting on four clean energy technologies including electric vehicles (EVs). The NRDC has launched a website called Revolution Now that aims to duplicate the data that had been compiled by DOE including facts like 195,000 plug-in vehicles (PHEVs) were sold last year and the cost of lithium-ion batteries has decreased by 79% since 2010. 

    CALSTART is part of a team with utility company Hawaiian Electric and is helping them create their Electrification of Transportation Strategic Roadmap.  The utility wants to generate 100% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2045 and that includes powering their light-duty vehicles (LDVs) from clean sources. The state already has 7,000 registered EVs.

    Kudos to Colorado-based Lightning Systems which has won an award from the Colorado Manufacturing Association (CMA) for developing hydraulic-hybrid and electric powertrains for mid-sized trucks and buses. This is the third year that CMA has honored manufacturers with the award which acknowledges business success, manufacturing acumen, and contributions to the industry in Colorado. 

    Efficient Drivetrains (EDI) has a new product in the marketplace as they’ve announced a compressed natural gas (CNG) PHEV for agricultural work applications. Their EDI PowerDrive 4000 is in a Class-4 General Motors Low Cab Forward platform. The truck is to be operated in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) in California.  New York City Transit has pegged Love’s Trillium CNG for maintenance and operations services for six existing CNG fueling facilities. They were awarded a seven-year contract by New York City Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Trillium CNG has partnered with NYC Transit for the past 16 years.

    For those in the SJV who are interested in natural gas, the San Joaquin Valley Natural Gas Partnership is holding a meeting on Friday, April 27th to establish a market development plan for the Valley. The event is free and involves food. For those wanting to participate in a Chicago area event, the Green Drives Conference takes place on Thursday, May 17 and is spearheaded by Chicago area Clean Cities which includes Chicago, Wisconsin and Northern Indiana. The green-technology conference features keynote speakers including the Executive Director of the Cummins electrification business, Julie Furber, as well as CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel. Sign up here!

    Until Soon,


    What Impact Will Cutting Fuel Economy Rules Have? Futurity

    NRDC Provides EV Technology Reporting, Charged EVs

    Revolution Now, NRDC

    Hawaiian Electric Lays out Transportation Electrification Roadmap, NGT News

    Loveland’s Lightning Systems Wins Statewide Award, Reporter Herald

    Efficient Drivetrains Introduces CNG PHEV for Ag Work Trucks, Green Car Congress

    NYC Transit Awards Contract to Trillium CNG, Mass Transit Magazine

    Natural Gas Meeting, Project Clean Air

    Green Drives Conference Comes to Chicago in May, Green Drives Conference

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  • Belated April Fools' Day Trick

    On Monday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the rollback of Obama-era fuel economy standards saying there will be a national standard. Secretary Scott Pruitt said there will be a reexamination of California’s long-standing authority to set its own emissions standards. California’s Governor Brown shot back calling the announcement “a belated April Fools’ Day trick.” Governor Brown isn’t alone in his opposition to the announcement as Attorney Generals from 11 states formally objected saying they would challenge such a move in court. More than 50 mayors from around the country also registered their objections. 

    NBC picked up on the story in advance of the EPA announcement and cited CALSTART’s recent supplier survey which found that auto suppliers do support the standards and that the 54.5 mpg target for 2025 is reachable. The New York Times, in response to the announcement delved into fuel economy standards globally, citing research by the International Center on Clean Transportation. The European Union and South Korea already have higher standards than the current U.S. targets but several other countries have modeled their standards after those in the U.S. There’s concern that if the U.S. weakens the rules, there could be a global ripple effect.

    Cummins Inc. has a product portfolio that includes diesel, natural gas, hybrid and electrification. To better reflect the breadth of their integrated power options, the global company recently announced they are now Cummins Integrated Power. Trucks.com recently met up with Volvo’s Magnus Koeck, VP of Marketing and Brand Management for Volvo Trucks North America about its truck offerings. The topics covered were wide ranging including autonomous vehicle technology, the role for diesel, and the possibility of introducing an electric truck in North America.

    Workhorse keeps making news and the latest is that a patent has been issued for their HorseFly Truck launched drone package delivery system. The system, which is integrated into their electric and hybrid delivery trucks, will help speed up last mile package delivery. Ryder, which is the primary distributor for Workhorse for their light-and medium-duty range extended EV fleets, has delivered leased E-GEN electric step vans to W.B. Mason, a U.S.-based office products dealer. Morgan Olson builds the walk-in van bodies and ChargePoint is the main infrastructure provider. 

    Lightning Systems is taking a road tour and their featured focal point is the Ford Transit LightningElectric model which is getting 61 MPGe in town and 66 MPGe on highway. They are getting a lot of mileage launching the tour in their hometown of Loveland, Colorado with one vehicle going westward and stopping throughout California, and ending up at the ACT Expo in Long Beach. The other is eastward bound including stops in Detroit, Kansas City, Albany, NY and New York City. NGT News lists the complete schedule.

    If you want to hit the road, RoadMap11 may just be your ticket. The Portland, Oregon-based conference takes place June 19-20 and focuses on widespread adoption of electric and smart mobility solutions and targets industry, utility and government attendees. CALSTART supports Forth Mobility in this effort and NewsNotes readers can click here and use code CALSTART75 for $75 off of registration. 

    For a chuckle, check out what these five automakers came up with in the spirit of a little April Fool’s Day fun. My favorite is number 4.

    Trump Administration Moves to Challenge CA Environmental Protections, Los Angeles Times

    U.S. States and Cities tell EPA to Back off Fuel-Economy Standards, Autoblog

    EPA Expected to Announce Rollback of Obama-era Mileage Standards, NBC

    How U.S. Fuel Economy Standards Compare With the Rest of the World, The New York Times

    Cummins Rebrands as Cummins Integrated Power, Bulk Transporter

    Volvo Exec Talks Electrification, Connectivity and Self-Driving Trucks, Trucks.com

    Drone Delivery Patent Issued to Workhorse, DroneDJ

    WB Mason Receives Fleet of Workhorse E-GEN Electric Vans, Clean Technica

    Lightning Systems Announces Multistate Road Show for All-Electric Ford Transit, NGT News

    Roadmap 11 Conference, Forth

    Automotive Humor, April fools, Autoblog

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  • Start Your N-Gens

    Up next-the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) isn’t convinced that automakers can meet fuel efficiency standards that were established under the Obama administration.  Auto manufacturers are expressing concern over a potential weakening of the targets and Ford has said that they are not asking for a rollback. CALSTART has just announced the latest findings from auto suppliers and 84% of the largely Tier 1 suppliers back the 2025 standards as being effective in spurring job growth. This reflects a 25% increase over a similar survey conducted by CALSTART in 2016 in support of strong fuel-economy standards.

    And now a shout out to Clay Siegert, COO at XL for his excellent summary of the effectiveness of voucher programs for fleets, particularly showcasing the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP). Anyone interested in exploring the program, which is administered by CALSTART, can get more information here

    The Harvard Business Review is showcasing UPS and what’s behind their electric vehicle adoption strategy. In addition to up-front cost barriers being broken down, the industry is seeing greater efficiency as well as brand benefits associated with innovation. Scott Phillippi (UPS Senior Director of Maintenance and Engineering) also talked about the UPS partnership with Workhorse which yesterday held a media event to announce the deployment of four all-electric N-Gen delivery vans in the San Francisco Bay area. UPS previously announced that they will lease 50 Class 5 electric vans from Workhorse. 

    Motiv Power Systems has received the first zero-emission chassis certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The company showed its battery electric EPIC chassis earlier this month at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. Eberspaecher Controls is out with news about their plug-in power mini relay component which can control and switch electric loads for various applications including passenger cars, commercial vehicles, off roaders or industrial applications. 

    Efficient Drivetrains has been contracted to participate in a Department of Energy program to provide an electric drivetrain for school buses as a replacement for diesel engines. The award is $4.4 million and with other project funding partnerships the total project is about $9 million. EDI has collaborated with several OEMs on bus electrification projects.

    SoCalGas is on a mission to get more natural gas (NG) trucks on the roads in Southern California and toward that end they have announced new efforts that are part of a South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Prop 1B incentive pool. 400 diesel trucks will be replaced with NG trucks if all of the submitted applications are funded. Participating fleets can receive up to $100,000 toward the purchase of a new NG truck.

    Move LA and CALSTART are partnering to explore a new initiative for 2020 that could yield substantial funding to clean up the freight sector and convert truck and bus fleets to zero/near-zero technologies in LA County. You are invited to “Vision 2020 Can California Conquer Both Clean Air & Climate Change” which is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (lunch is included) at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Join CALSTART, Move LA, Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board, and retired Senator Fran Pavley along with other targeted influencers to launch the discussion. You can sign up here.   

    Until Next Week,


    Trump Officials Prepare to Undo CAFÉ Targets Despite Misgivings, Washington Post

    Survey Says Auto Suppliers Back Tougher Fuel-Economy Standards, Wards Auto

    Vouchers are Becoming the Clean Vehicle Incentive of Choice for Fleets, Green Car Congress

    HVIP Voucher Program

    Inside UPS’s EV Strategy, Harvard Business Review

    Electric N-Gen Vans From Workhorse Begin Delivering Goods, Trucks.com

    Motiv Scores First California Cert for MD EV Chassis, Trucks.com

    Solid State Power Mini Relay Targets Automotive Applications, EENews

    EDI Selected by DOE to Provide Drivetrains for Electric School Buses, ChargedEVs

    Hundreds of SoCal Fleets Make Moves Toward NG, NGT News

    Move LA and CALSTART Invitation

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  • Spy Photographers

    Thirty-six utilities including Southern Company, Edison Electric Institute, Florida Power & Light, and Pacific Gas & Electric have signed onto a letter calling for the expansion of the electric vehicle(EV) tax credit and requesting that the manufacturer cap be removed from the existing Section 30D electric car tax credit language. Utilities and automakers think the tax credit is critical to the growth of the EV market.

    Ford’s CEO Jim Hackett recently announced their aggressive plans which focus on pickups and utility vehicles. The strategy is to double down on electrification, though, and introduce hybrid versions of some of its signature products so they are equipped with good options should gas prices rise. Toyota Motor has its eyes on fuel efficiency gains and this Spring the manufacturer will introduce a new 2.0 liter engine which will power 80% of their future product lineup. There will be 17 iterations of 9 new engines as part of what they are calling their “Toyota New Global Architecture.”

    General Motors is going all in on autonomous technology as they will begin production of the Cruise AV next year. Picture a Bolt with no steering wheel or pedals. The company will spend $100 million to begin making production versions of the self-driving Chevy Bolt sedan. And, Audi’s latest announcement is of a fuel cell variety. By 2020 the company plans to have a limited number of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell EVs.

    The not so retiring Mike Britt, known widely as the former Director of Maintenance and Engineering for delivery giant UPS, has signed on to be on the Advisory Board of First Priority Group, LLC. First Priority made the announcement calling Mike a true innovator who will help the company expand their work with public and private fleet managers.

    It’s not just the light-duty space that’s electrifying their products. Allison Transmission and Cummins have just received California Air Resources Board certification for their model year 2018 hybrid-electric propulsion system paired with Cummins engines. Odyne Systems has their sights set on electrification too and got a good boost recently as they secured an investment from Arenberg Holdings. The funds will help them with their expansion of their electric drive and zero-emission worksite operation in the medium-and heavy-duty vehicle market. 

    There’s a lot of buzz around the U.S. Postal Services highly anticipated announcement of which manufacturer(s) will be selected to replace up to 180,000 of their vehicles. VT Hackney Inc. and Workhorse are in the running and spy photographers snapped a shot of the pure electric mail prototype as it was leaving an Ohio test track.  CALSTART and Ballard Power Systems are working with UPS on a trial in the California South Coast Air Basin using a Class 6 delivery van. Using Ballard’s fuel cell range extender system, the goal is to demonstrate the economic and technical potential of the technology.

    If you are a fleet customer and want to try out a hybrid electric 6X4HE axle, Hyliion is making the Class 8 trucks available to customers for one week at no charge. You can find out how to take the truck for a trial run here. 

    The future is now in advanced transportation technologies and Audi is giving you one last transporter concept to think about. Check out the small city car sporting a drone. Could  this be your autonomous flying car of the future?

    Until Soon,


    Utilities Ask Congress to Keep EV Tax Incentive, Daily Energy Insider

    Ford’s Aggressive Product Plan Bears Hackett’s Stamp, Automotive News

    Toyota’s New Powertrain Raises the Bar on Fuel Efficiency, The Drive

    GM Begins Mass Production of Autonomous Cruise AV in 2019, Autoblog

    Audi to Launch Fuel Cell Model by 2020, gasworld

    Mike Britt Joins First Priority Group’s Advisory Board, Cision

    Allison Transmission Receives CARB Certification, Cision

    Odyne Expands Electrification Technology for Trucks, PR.com

    New Photos of Electric Mail Truck Prototype, Trucks.com

    Ballard Range-Extender Fuel Cell to Power Hybrid UPS Delivery Van, MM&D

    Hyliion Offers Own Trucks to Customers, Transport Topics

    Here’s Your Autonomous Flying Audi of the Future, Top Gear

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  • Green Drives

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has awarded $7 million of a $16 million project to CALSTART. The project is with Achates Power and a heavy-duty truck manufacturer. The Achates opposed-piston engine will be demonstrated in Class 8 trucks that will be road-ready in 2019. Other funding partners include the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

    CALSTART’s newest member, Roush CleanTech has announced several high level changes, starting at the top.  Roush CleanTech is a manufacturer of alternative fuel vehicle technology and thanks to a new promotion, Todd Mouw has taken the helm as their new President. Former Business Development Manager Chelsea Jenkins has now ascended to a new position as the Executive Director of Government Affairs. 

    Efficient Drivetrains Inc (EDI), a hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions provider, has completed a California Energy Commission (CEC) project integrating their EDI PowerDrive 6000 into a fleet of six Class 6 armored trucks. The vehicles, which will be used by Sectran Security, run on renewable natural gas (RNG) when operating in hybrid mode. 

    UQM and Lightning Systems, two Colorado-based companies, are in the news again. UQM has expanded their global footprint and this time it is through a deal with Ashok Leyland, a large Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer. The company has placed an order for 51 electric drivetrains that will power electric buses. India is shooting for 30% of new vehicles to be battery-powered by 2030. 

    Lightning Systems took the spotlight in Indianapolis last week at the Work Truck Show for the debut of their electric Ford Transit cargo van with a hydrogen range extender to get up to 200 miles. Incentive programs in California and New York will bring the price down significantly. Motiv Power Systems was in Indianapolis last week, too, and announced that they’ll supply Spartan Motors with class 4-6 Utilimaster electrified step van chassis for three years. Utilimaster is based in Bristol, Indiana. 

    The City of Oakland is all charged up as it recently made solar EV charging available. The EV ARC products from Envision Solar provide EV charging to the city’s public works department and emergency response services. The infrastructure, which is equipped with ChargePoint chargers, generates enough solar electricity to power up to 225 miles of EV driving in a day. And, if you are in the Oakland area on March 21, check out the AltCar Expo taking place at Oakland City Hall. There’s a terrific lineup of speakers and topics. If Chicago is closer to your neighborhood, mark your calendar for May 17 when Clean Cities Coalitions from Chicago, Wisconsin and Northern Indiana put on their “Green Drives” conference. CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel is a featured speaker.

    Don’t forget that CALSTART’s 2018 San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit is on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and there’s no cost to attend! There’s a Ride N’ Drive that includes a large number of HVIP eligible vehicles, too.  And, if connecting with California elected officials and regulators is of interest to you don’t miss CALSTART’s Sacramento Summit on March 26 and 27. There’s a who’s who of speakers including Daniel Sperling, Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California; Janea Scott with the California Energy Commission; and,  Matt Rodriguez, California EPA Secretary. Other featured speakers include Macy Neshati, Senior VP of Electric Buses with BYD; George Minter, Regional VP,  Southern California Gas Company; and, Caroline Choi, Senior VP with Southern California Edison. Online registration closes on Wednesday so sign up today!

    ARB Awards $7M for Truck Demo with Achates, Green Car Congress

    Big Moves at Roush CleanTech, NGT News

    EDI Deliver Six Plug-In Hybrid Renewable CNG Armored Trucks, Digital Journal

    UQM Receives Order for 51 Electric Drivetrains, Green Car Congress

    Lightning Systems Plans Hydrogen/Electric Ford Transit Cargo Van, Trucks.com

    Motiv EPIC 4 All-Electric Chassis at the 2018 WTS, Trucks.com

    City of Oakland Provides Solar EV Charging to Employees, Solar Novus

    5TH Annual Northern California AltCar Conference, AltCar Expo

    Tristate Clean Cities Host Major Chicago Area Green Transportation Conference, Newton County Enterprise

    CALSTART Clean Transportation Summits, CALSTART


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  • Elon Musk Does It Again

    Wait, is that a CALSTART logo I see on the podium at SunLine Transit? Last Friday was a big day in Thousand Palms when SunLine unveiled a new, long-range (250-300 miles), zero-emission fuel cell bus. CALSTART has partnered with SunLine on advanced bus technology for more than two decades. Thanks to funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), this new configuration includes a small hydrogen fuel cell built into each bus to recharge the battery.

    Cleaner school buses continue to take off around the country. With California’s funding for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) receiving over $140 million in new funds, school districts can now receive vouchers of $235,000 per bus. Companies that have already delivered vouchers include Adomani, Efficient Drivetrains, Bluebird, Vision Electric and Lion Electric. Texas also has new funding  for school buses having recently announced $6.2 million for the purchase of alternatively fueled buses or diesel retrofits.

    Gas prices in California keep rising and so do the sales of electric vehicles (EVs).  While the state is poised to meet their newly announced goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2025, public charging infrastructure isn’t yet keeping up with only 0.05 charging outlets per ZEV on the road. The Orange County Register reports that Southern California Edison (and other state utilities) has aggressive plans underway.  Trillium CNG is poised to help as it plans to start offering hydrogen refueling. First up will be a station for fueling fuel cell electric buses for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

    EMOSS Mobile Systems is a Netherlands-based electric powertrain developer and they’ve partnered with Allison on an electric semi-truck designed to haul heavier payloads. It’s called the E.V.E.R. truck and they’ll begin to pilot it this year. And, in Washington state yesterday Kenworth made a splash announcing their new hydrogen fuel cell, zero-emission, electric cargo truck as part of a media event. The $7 million project funded by the Department of Energy and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, heads to Total Transportation Services and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in a few weeks. The truck has a Ballard fuel cell engine and an Eaton transmission.

    On a lighter note (that would be a weight reference), the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck is getting a 15% fuel economy boost thanks to a flexible cylinder deactivation technology designed by Silicon Valley’s Tula Technology. The technology allows powertrain engineers to reduce the number of cylinders used from eight to four resulting in fuel savings. GM Ventures invested in the company and Tula delivered.

    Elon Musk does it again, so reads the Scientific American headline. Who wasn’t mesmerized by the images and live feed of the SpaceX launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket and its success?  And now there’s a Tesla Roadster in space as payload and it contains delightful whimsy including a miniature Starman, a plaque that holds all 6,000 names of SpaceX employees, and a quartz disk encoded with the full text of Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation trilogy. What a blast off!

    SunLine Transit Unveils Zero-emission Bus, KESQ.com

    School Districts Take Advantage of Alt-Fuel Funding, School Transportation News

    Texas Provides Latest Round of Clean School Bus Funding, School Transportation News

    California on Path to Meet Goal of 1.5 Million EVs, Orange County Register

    Trillium CNG Adds Hydrogen Fueling to its Offerings, Waste 360

    Dutch OEM Develops Allison-Equipped Electric Semi-Truck, NGT News

    Kenworth Showcases Its Hybrid Electric Cargo Transport Truck, Truck News

    How Silicon Valley Startup Boosted MPG in 2019 Chevy Silverado Pickup, Green Car Reports

    Elon Musk Does it Again, Scientific American

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  • The Big Chill

    California Governor Jerry Brown signed an ambitious executive order (EO) last week calling for 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030. The new goal was announced as part of his State of the State speech where he also proposed meeting the electric car target with a $2.5 billion investment over the next eight years to subsidize charging and hydrogen fueling stations as well as vehicle purchases. This is an expansion of a previous EO calling for 1.5 million zero-emission cars in the state by 2025. Just how likely is it for the state to meet the 5 million vehicle target? Many are speculating about accelerated growth in demand for ZEVs and a new study by think tank Next 10 concludes that California is on track to meet the 2025 goal.  Last year California ZEV sales increased 29.1% over 2016 sales.

    Ford Motor has seen a lot of change in its 114-year history and their new mobility push includes a reorganization of their mobility business that includes two new acquisitions. Autonomic has a cloud-based platform that manages data and transaction offering payment processing, route mapping and mass transit services among other things. The other acquisition is TransLoc which makes software that can help manage transportation systems. Ford anticipates this direction will help them make money in the rapidly evolving transportation marketplace.

    CALSTART member Eberspaecher Controls North America, a global automotive supplier, has a new President. Oleg Riabtsev has worked for Bosch in the Ukraine, Middle East, Russia and Europe. A lot of CALSTART members are focusing on drivetrain electrification by expanding their product lines to meet growing demand in the heavy-duty vehicle and equipment segment. Among the manufacturers developing programs include Meritor, Volvo, Caterpillar and AxleTech. Axle Tech, in collaboration with Proterra came up with a new electric drivetrain to achieve motor efficiencies for both in-city and freeway drive cycles. 

    More changes are in the wind and up next is a recent announcement from Volvo Truck which expects to pilot electric trucks on the road this year and will be selling them in Europe next year. Their new program is designed to address emissions reductions as well as identifying new ways to manage logistics.  Claes Nilsson, president of Volvo Trucks, calls the full electrification for urban distribution the first step but they also are looking at electrification for other transportation applications. For another sign that there’s a new revolution in trucking, look no further than Nikola. The start-up hydrogen-electric semi-truck manufacturer has announced that they will build a $1 billion factory outside of Phoenix, Arizona. The state is providing some incentives and Nikola is promising to create 2,000 jobs and add $1 billion in capital investment by 2024. CALSTART’s John Boesel observed that there is opportunity for disruptive companies like Nikola to come into the rapidly evolving zero-emission truck space. 

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB), in partnership with CALSTART, continues to grow the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) to accelerate the growth of efficient trucks and buses in state. The entire HVIP voucher funding for this year is now in place. CARB has added $133,176,000 in voucher funding for all technologies, and $7,440,000 in voucher funding specifically for Low NOx vouchers.  More information is available on the HVIP website. Note, too, that there will be sessions devoted to HVIP program eligibility and how it works at two upcoming CALSTART events. The San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit is March 14-15, 2018. On March 26-27, 2018 the Clean Transportation Summit: California 2030 is being held at the Sacramento Convention Center. Agendas for both are available online.

    Football fever is building in anticipation of Super Bowl 52. Retailers are hopeful that consumers will splurge while audiences eagerly anticipate 30-second advertising spots that average $5 million a pop. Electric bus maker Proterra is already a winner as the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority is deploying one of their 40-foot electric buses to transport visiting fans. The forecast calls for a very chilly 7 degrees. CEO Ryan Popple isn’t worried about the big chill as what better way for the manufacturer to  demonstrate their unique cold weather capabilities. 

    California’s New Goal: 5 Million Zero Emission Cars by 2030, CNN Money

    Study Sees CA Hitting 1.5 MIL ZEV Target by 2025, The Detroit Bureau

    Ford Snaps Up Two More Startups in Mobility Push, Fortune

    Eberspaecher North America Names New President, Truck News

    Performance and Power Exceeding a Diesel Engine, OEM Off-Highway

    Volvo Eyes 2019 for Electric Truck Sales, CCJ

    Nikola Plans $1 Billion Arizona Fuel Cell Truck Factory, Trucks.com

    California HVIP Voucher Funding in Place, California HVIP

    San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit,

    CALSTART Clean Transportation Summit-California: 2030

    Minnesota Transit Agency Taps Proterra for Super Bowl, NGT News

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  • Fast Lane

    A new analysis from the Rhodium Group concludes that for the second year in a row, the transportation sector is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.  While the green transportation industry has seen an impressive growth in electric vehicles (EVs), fossil fuels still dominate. Vehicle miles traveled increased last year by 1.3 percent.  The University of Michigan, though, is delivering good news in a recent study that found EVs win when comparing the costs of driving a gasoline car vs. an EV. Looking at variables across states, the typical savings when driving an EV vs. a gas-powered car is $632 or 2.3 times more.

    Ford Motor is doing their part to populate the nation’s highways by committing to invest $11 billion in 40 hybrid and electric models within the next four years. The announcement was made this past Sunday at the Detroit auto show. 16 of the vehicles will be pure electric and the rest will be plug-in electric. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved 15 pilot projects last week that aim to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric will embark on projects that include electrifying school buses, delivery trucks, airport/seaport equipment, truck stops and commuter locations.

    Electric school buses are all the rage in California these days as school districts and state and local government agencies collaborate on transitioning away from diesel. CALSTART members Motiv Power Systems and TransPower are cited in the San Francisco Chronicle as two of the companies helping to drive a cleaner school bus market. Fuel cell vehicle drivers set a record last year for the amount of fuel they used at the hydrogen station on the UC Irvine (UCI) campus. UCI Anteater Express and Toyota drivers are among those who helped set a record of dispensing almost 49,000 kg of hydrogen.

    Back to the Detroit North American International Auto Show where engine-developer Achates Power is working with Aramco Service to test a Ford-150 equipped with their opposed piston engine, which can run on gasoline, diesel, biofuels or natural gas. Achates is also developing a high-efficiency diesel engine with Cummins, Inc. for the U.S. military. 

    Hyliion, Inc. is putting their money on hybrid technology to hybridize the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer combination. They recently introduced the 6X4HE, and electric drivetrain system for Class 8 diesel trucks.  Their proprietary cooling system and battery delivers 18,000 BTUs to get 10 hours on a single charge. 

    The Golden State is commemorating the California Air Resources Board’s Golden (50 years) Anniversary with a Symposium to be held this coming Friday at the UC Davis Conference Center. Featured speakers include California Governor Jerry Brown, CARB Chair Mary Nichols, and former US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  Washington, D.C. is the place to be next month when industry leaders join with Clean Cities Coalitions to talk about and advocate for policies to help accelerate the sales and scale of clean transportation fuels and technologies.  Early bird registration for the Energy Independence Summit is available through Friday, January 19. 

    Cars & Trucks are America’s Biggest Climate Problem for 2 Years in a Row, Vox

    Researchers Find EV Fuel Costs Are Less Than Half Compared to Gas Cars, plugincars

    Ford to Invest $11 Billion in 40 EV Models by 2022, Reuters

    California PUC Approves 15 Transportation Electrification Pilots, Green Car Congress

    Goodbye, Diesel: California School Buses Drive Toward Electric Age, San Francisco Chronicle

    University Run Hydrogen Station Sees Record Year in 2017, NGT News

    2018 Detroit Auto Show: Achates, Aramco Launch Pickup Engine, Trucks.com

    Hybrid Solutions for Long-Haul Trucks, Fleet Equipment Magazine

    CARB 50th Anniversary Symposium, UC Davis

    Energy Independence Summit 2018, Transportation Energy Partners

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  • Driver Assist

    Section 209 of the Clean Air Act grants California a waiver to set its own vehicle emission standards and section 177 gives other states permission to follow the California standard, which 13 states are doing. Those standards are generally more stringent than the federal government. Now, there are discussions between the Trump administration and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) about having one national standard. Last year New York and representatives from 12 other states said they would challenge efforts that result in rolling back vehicle fuel rules. 

    Several cities have sued oil companies claiming climate change and global warming have resulted in costly reparations. New York City announced today that they are suing the five biggest ones to hold them accountable. Mayor De Blasio punctuated that announcement by also divesting its pension funds of $5 billion in fossil fuel investments. The Mayor’s actions to mitigate climate change impacts don’t stop there. He has also signed legislation for a two-year test that will use renewable diesel, biodiesel, hybrid electric and fuel-cell electric power in the city’s ferries. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting in on the clean transportation action having announced their commitment to having Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses be all-electric and natural gas powered. They’ve ordered buses from New Flyer and Proterra.

    Fleets in California get to take advantage of a new XL Hybrids kit (it needs to be installed by certified installers) that recently received an Executive Order (EO) approval from CARB. The plug-in system is an upfit for the Ford F-150 pickup truck. Ohio-based Workhorse has taken 5,300 fleet operator orders for its plug-in hybrid electric pickup truck and it is now taking reservations from the general public. Workhorse and XL Hybrids both have HVIP eligible technology. HVIP, which is administered by CALSTART, offers point-of-sale incentives for clean trucks and buses in California. 

    There’s a lot of buzz this week about the Las Vegas CES 2018 show and all of the shiny new vehicle technology. Toyota and Kenworth are both getting attention. The former for the debut of the e-Pallette which is a fully automated electric vehicle. It is available in three sizes so could range from a small delivery truck to a shuttle bus. Kenworth is showcasing a prototype zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell day cab. The fuel cell is provided by Ballard Power Systems. This is part of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Zero Emission Cargo Transport demo project. 

    BYD has come up with another good idea and this time it is the debut of a driverless monorail in Yinchuan, capital of NW China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The train is fully automated. The public-private partnership is being seen as another example of how China is a leader in mass transportation.

    The final piece of good news is that CALSTART is hiring! We are opening a new Michigan office and are seeking a Regional Director to be located in Southeast Michigan. And, we’re hiring a Northeast Regional Director (replacing our current Director who will be heading to our Pasadena HQ office) who will work out of the Brooklyn, NY office. Check it out here.

    U.S. Regulators Meet With California on Fate of Vehicle Fuel Rules, Reuters

    De Blasio Plans Big Oil Lawsuit, Politico

    NYC To Study Using Renewable Fuels for Ferries, Biodiesel Magazine

    New York’s MTA Kicks Off Electric Bus Pilot, The Drive

    XL Hybrid’s Kit Makes for CARB Approved Ford F-150 Plug-In Hybrid, hybridCARS

    Workhorse PHEV Pickup Receives Over 5,000 Orders, electrek

    Toyota Reveals e-Pallete Multi-Mode Transportation Concept, LeftLane

    Kenworth Day Cab with Hydrogen Fuel Cell on Display, The Trucker.com

    BYD Driverless Monorail Logical Extension of Company’s Ideas, Global Times

    CALSTART is Hiring, CALSTART Careers

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  • Clean Innovation

    A new report from the SierraClub shows not only that clean energy creates more American jobs than thefossil fuel industry, but it also finds that the trend will continue. Currentlyclean energy leads in jobs creation over fossil fuels by a ratio of 2.5 to 1and the report concludes that investment in clean energy employment couldcreate millions of new jobs across the country.

    The California Air ResourcesBoard voted unanimously last week to continue with stricter vehicle emissionsstandards for 2022 to 2025. The standards require new cars and trucks toaverage 36 miles per gallon by 2025. The Board also voted in support ofpolicies to have 4 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the state by 2030. ChargePoint’sColleen Quinn writes in an editorial for The Hill that innovation is behindtremendous electric vehicle (EV) and EV charging market growth “…supported by adynamic marketplace and sound public policy….” resulting in a 70%year-over-year increase in EV sales  compared with the previous year. Quinnencourages policymakers to continue to endorse policy solutions that willfoster even great innovation and market competition.

    Tesla gets to keep on innovatingand this time it is with Asia’s second highest valued tech firm, Tencent whichhas bought a five percent share in the company. The timing gives Tesla a strongally as it prepares to launch the mass-market Model 3. Toyota’s play withautonomous vehicles includes a new partner-Microsoft.  Toyota is the first partner in the launch ofMicrosoft’s new auto licensing program. Included in Microsoft’s vehicletechnology offerings is an operating system, voice recognition, gesturecontrol, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity tools.

    Like Tesla and Toyota, Fordcontinues its focus on mobility services and connected vehicles. They’ve justannounced a $200 million investment for a new data center on their Flat Rock,Michigan campus. Earlier, Ford said the plant would launch three new vehiclesincluding a fully autonomous hybrid for ride-sharing fleets.

    American Power Group is movingahead with the initial production development phase of a low Nox solution for13L to 16L Class 8 diesel engines model year 2010 and newer. Having justreceived funding approval from its Board, CEO Lyle Jensen observed “Currently,no alternative low Nox solution exists for this class of engines withoutcompromising their critical heavy-haul power and torque capabilities.”

    Los Angeles InternationalAirport passengers who park in Wally Park’s lots will now be able to benefitfrom a new fleet of Phoenix Motorcars Zero Emissions Utility Shuttle (ZEUS)buses. There are now 16, 14-passenger buses available to travelers atoff-airport parking.

    Fleets and transit propertiesare increasingly adopting advanced technology and alternatively powered  buses. How they are performing is part of whatwill be assessed at the upcoming Public Transit Fuel Management & RiskSymposium where they’ll learn about emerging trends and the performance ofthese advanced technologies. Speakers, including CALSTART’s Fred Silver, willlook at measurable performance results of zero-emission, clean diesel, naturalgas, propane and hydrogen. The Symposium takes place in Chicago on May 18.

    Clean Energy Creates More Than Twice as Many Jobs as Fossil fuels, ZMEScience



    CARB Reaffirms State Emission, Electric-car Rules for 2025, Green CarReports



    Innovation is Driving Change for EVs, The Hill



    Tesla Deal Boosts Chinese Presence in US Auto Tech, Reuters



    Toyota Turns to Microsoft for Connected Vehicle Technology,AutoGuide.com



    Ford Invests $200 M in Data Center for Autonomous Vehicles, The Stack



    APG Nets Funding to Develop Low Nox Dual-Fuel/Exhaust System, NGT News



    LAX Has Zero-Emission Utility Shuttle Buses From WallyPark Lots, CleanTechnica



    Public Transit Fuel Management & Risk Symposium, Ameresco



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  • Happy Birthday CALSTART

    In the past 36 years vehicle horsepower has increased by 120% while acceleration improvements increased by 47% and in spite of that new vehicle fuel economy has increased 33%. Those results are reported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Don Anair with the Union of Concerned Scientists has the success of automakers to meet fuel economy standards on his mind, particularly as it relates to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) meeting this Friday to review the state’s Advanced Clean Cars program. In spite of the Trump administration’s desire to loosen federal standards, Anair articulates the success of California’s standards, believes they should be reaffirmed and that work should begin right away on setting the next round of standards.


    A coalition of cities is reacting to the Trump Administration’s focus on weakening Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards by possibly collaborating on a $10 billion purchase of plug-in vehicles. Los Angeles and New York City are leading the group of 30 cities which could purchase 114,000 vehicles. Governor Cuomo punctuated New York’s commitment to electric vehicles (EV) by launching a $70 million EV rebate available to all New York residents who buy eligible vehicles from participating dealers. The Drive Clean Rebate initiative is one of several actions the state is engaged in to motivate residents to go electric.


    Green Commuter has launched the first all-electric vanpool service in the U.S. Operating in Los Angeles, their fleet of Tesla Model X vehicles is available for vanpoolers to lease during rush hour and then for car- share users or businesses during off hours. Green Commuter anticipates their fleet size will grow to 50-80 vehicles by the end of the year.


    Truck fleets interested in taking advantage of ARB’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) have yet another purchasing option. Peterbilt’s work truck models, equipped with a near-zero emissions natural gas engine from Cummins, are now eligible for vouchers ranging from $8,400 to $8,695. NGV’s seem to be all the rage in Texas too. This FY tax collections for CNG and LNG fuels have seen a 15% increase over the same time last year. That translates to $2.8 million from the sale of compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). UPS and Frito-Lay are among the big users in the state.


    Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America introduced their eCanter battery-powered Class 4 electric work truck last week in Indianapolis at the Work Truck Show. The truck has a 100-mile range and is available for a two-year lease in the U.S., Japan and Europe. They will offer the first 50 units to select customers by the end of the year. The truck design is for dense population centers like Brooklyn and Manhattan, according to Fuso’s Otto Schmid.


    AxleTech International, a global designer, manufacturer and supplier of drivetrain systems has been around for more than 100 years, and signaling their commitment to EVs, they recently joined CALSTART. In seventy-five years CALSTART will be 100, but in 2017 we’re celebrating our quarter century anniversary. You heard it here first and today we launch our 25th Anniversary Symposium website and invite you to block off October 24th and 25th as days you will join regulators, elected officials and industry leaders in Pasadena to stimulate thinking toward a 2030 vision. Many thanks to our early sponsors which include UPS, Toyota, Thor Trucks, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), BAE Systems, BYD, and GENTHERM. See you there!


    DOE: New Vehicle Fuel Economy Improved 33% From 1980-2016, Green Car Congress



    Opinion: California Clean Car Rules Have Cleaned the Air, Saved Money, The Mercury News


    Cities Plan to Spend $10B on EVs, Autoblog



    Governor Cuomo Launches $70M Electric Car Rebate, Outreach Program, NGT News



    Green Commuter Successfully Launches All-Electric Vanpool Service, The Auto Channel



    Peterbilt Near-Zero Emissions Trucks Get California Incentive Approval, FleetOwner



    Tax Collections Hint at Wider Adoption of NGVs, Bizjournals



    Mitsubishi Fuso Brings Electric ‘Urban’ Work Truck to U.S. Market, Trucks.com



    AxleTech Joins CALSTART and EDTA, AxleTech


    CALSTART’s 25th Anniversary Symposium, CALSTART





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  • An AFV Tsunami

    If you like cars that get good mileage you aren’t alone and that’s why some are projecting that the White House move to undo the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/Department of Transportation (DOT) fuel economy standards will face objections. President Trump is in Michigan today to challenge the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Rules (CAFÉ), a key tool for combatting global warming under President Obama. 

    There’s a lot of momentum around investments and the rollout of fuel-efficient vehicles.  Across the country industry and states are focused on the Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) is now in receipt of VW’s plan for how they intend to spend the first $200M on zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) fueling infrastructure. Thirty cities across the country aim to prove demand for EVs and trucks by demonstrating a healthy appetite for the vehicles. Municipalities have asked automakers to look at costs and capabilities to provide 114,000 EVs to cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The participants view this as the first step in a bidding process.

    Manufacturers continue to come out with new EV options including Volvo which is making its first all-electric car. The 2019-vehicle is expected to have a range of 250-miles and will sell for between $35,000-$40,000. Audi is coming out with three new battery-electric models by 2020. The first is expected to be a sport utility vehicle to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show next January.

    Right on cue the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is telling folks in Northern California that they are there to help with the infrastructure side of EV ownership. The Charge! Program is designed to build up a network throughout the Bay area by providing funding to offset the cost of purchasing, installing and operating new public charging stations. The deadline is May 22.

    Delivery fleet leaders from UPS and FedEx continue to step-up their sustainability game. UPS has announced plans to add six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and to purchase 390 CNG tractors and terminal trucks as well as 50 LNG trucks to its fleet. The price tag? $90 million. And, speaking at a conference in Tennessee yesterday, Mitch Jackson with FedEx highlighted that their investment in advanced, clean transportation technologies has saved the company $1 billion. Jackson was behind successfully pushing for fuel economy and greenhouse gas reduction legislation in commercial trucking.

    Industry leaders are gathering in Indianapolis this week for the Work Truck Show/Green Truck Summit where DOE’s Reuben Sarkar and ARB’s Jack Kitowski talked about the various ways that states and the federal government are driving the adoption of zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure. 

    Ford Motor announced at the Work Truck Show that in order to expand their range of alternative fuel vehicle offerings they have tapped XL Hybrids, Motiv Power Systems, and Lightning Hybrids to offer electrification and hydraulic systems for a range of Ford vehicles. 

    BYD, using funds from a contract from California’s Air Resources Board, has delivered the first vehicles in a fleet of 27 electric yard and service trucks. The first four newly delivered battery-electric trucks will operate at Daylight Transport’s facility in the City of Fontana. The rest of the vehicles will be used by BNSF Railway at rail yards in San Bernardino and the City of Commerce. 

    Electric trucks are joined by platooned trucks as the future of the trucking industry. The system allows trucks to travel using automation and in close proximity to one another.  On March 8, three big trucks (see video) cruised together on the 110 freeway in San Pedro, CA.  The demonstration is designed to improve safety and increase fuel efficiency. UC Berkeley and Volvo Group of North America collaborated on the project which was sponsored by Caltrans and the U.S. DOT. Volvo notes they don’t see the technology as a replacement for the driver but one providing added safety and reduced stress and fatigue.

    Trump Administration to Review Vehicle Emissions Rules, The Daily News

    California ARB Receives VW’s 30-Month ZEV Investment Plan, Green Car Congress

    Cities Across the US Said to Splurge on EVs, Fortune

    Volvo’s First EV Will Cost Less Than $40k, engadget

    Audi Plans Three EVs by 2020, Autoblog

    Grants Available to Offset Cost of EV Charging Stations, NBC Bay Area

    UPS Makes Massive $90M Investment in NGVs, NGT News

    FedEx Executive Talks Up Sustainability, Timesnews

    Objectives for Adopting Zero Emission Vehicles, Fleet Owner

    Ford Adds Electrification to Vehicle Modifier Program, Automotive Fleet

    First of 27 BYD Electric Trucks Deployed at CA Freight Yard, Trucks.com

    Truck Platooning Pilot Program Could Revolutionize Trucking Industry, Long Beach Press Telegram

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  • Action!

    The Trump administration is expected to announce any day now the rollback of federal regulations on fuel economy standards, relaxing restrictions on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signaled over the weekend that he’s looking at how to undo California’s waiver (adopted by 15 states) allowing it to implement standards more stringent than the federal government.  California has received these waivers for 45 years and The Atlantic looks at why this waiver is so important to California and the nation. 

    Charging to work just got a lot more desirable as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $4.8 million project on Monday that will result in the installation of 450 new charging stations for electric vehicles (EV). The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded $1.7 million to CALSTART and its partnership to implement this one of a kind Workplace Charging initiativeAlycia Gilde, Northeast Regional Director at CALSTART observed “Charge to Work not only incentivizes EV adoption, but fosters a community culture for partnership and sustainability.”  The city of Chicago is also looking at charging station expansion as sales of EVs grow in Illinois. CALSTART is working with the Chicago Department of Transportation to grow awareness and incentivize the purchase of fast-charging stations.

    AmeriPride has announced plans to add 20 walk-in vans, using Motiv Power Systems all-electric powertrain, to their fleet. The textile rental services and supply company will deploy the vehicles in the San Joaquin Valley cities of Bakersfield, Fresno, Merced and Stockton. PHEV upfit solution provider XL Hybrids has received enough customer interest to officially offer Ford F-150 PHEV pickup trucks, with the XL Hybrids powertrain, in the fourth quarter of this year. Utility and municipal fleets from all over the country have made purchase commitments.

    AxleTech, a manufacturer and supplier of heavy-duty (HD) and specialty vehicle drivetrain systems and components, is in Las Vegas this week at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG. The Troy, Michigan-based company used the opportunity to announce their expanded product portfolio which includes a complete line of electric drivetrain systems including electric axles, wheel ends and gearboxes for transit and heavy-duty EVs.

    Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) (operating in the northern part of Los Angeles County) is committed to being zero emission by 2018 and one of their many tools is a demonstration of a Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) system prototype which will be delivered later this year. The system eliminates the need for on-board storage as it uses an embedded charging pad placed in the pavement to a receiving pad mounted underneath the vehicle.

    Ten-year old Bria Loveday sent a missive to Elon Musk suggesting a contest where Tesla fans can enter a video contest for a chance to become part of a Tesla ad campaign. Done! You’ve got two months to shoot your best 90 seconds. The 10 winning videos will be shared across social media, the top 3 will get additional promotion, and the best of the best will be given a spot at an upcoming product launch (complete with travel and accommodation for two). Time to get shooting.

    The Coming Clean-Air War Between Trump and California, The Atlantic

    More Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to NY, CALSTART

    Chicago Pushes Charging Stations as Electric Car Sales Rise in Illinois, WTTW

    AmeriPride Plans Record Electric Walk-in Van Order, Trucking Info

    PHEV Pickup Trucks Coming in 4th Quarter From XL Hybrids, CleanTechnica

    AxleTech International Expands Product Offering, AxleTech International

    WAVE Demonstrates 250kW Wireless Power Transfer System, Mass Transit

    Win Tesla’s Project Loveday Crowdsourcing Add Contest, Autoblog

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  • Meet George Jetson

    There was a little more federal clarity regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) yesterday as the ethanol industry gathered in San Diego for the Renewable Fuels Association annual meeting. President Trump, in a letter to the attendees, highlighted that his Administration values “…the importance of renewable fuels to America’s economy and to our energy independence.”  And, Luxe Research is out with a  projection for the growth of advanced biofuels. In anticipation of next generation technologies scaling up production, Luxe estimates that over the next five years advanced biofuels will nearly double.

    Pacific Gas & Electric and Efficient Drivetrains Inc. are keeping the lights on for you. The Utility has unveiled the industry’s first plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) Class 6 truck that reduces emissions by 80%. The truck can get 50 miles of all-electric driving or they can export power to keep the lights on during outages. EDI is a Silicon Valley-based company that manufactures hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions. On the other side of the country, Georgia Power is sponsoring a program with Georgia Ports and IKEA to operate and evaluate a BYD Class 8 yard tractor for several weeks. The tractor uses the first battery specifically designed for vehicle electrification and can run for 15 hours between charges.

    There’s a big PHEV partnership forming in the Midwest, too, and this one is designed to raise awareness and adoption of plug-in vehicles. The partners include a new group called Evolve, the American Lung Association, seven Midwest states and eight regional U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities Coalitions. Coalitions will be tasked with hosting more than 200 events through 2020 including 78 ride-and-drives.  The Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium organizers encourage anyone interested in fuel cell technologies to sign up for their Symposium on March 30-31 in Elyria. The event, in conjunction with the DOE offices of Fuel Cell Technologies and Fossil Energy will look at the state of and advances in all things fuel cell.

    Ballard is all about fuel cell electric buses and recently showcased the good work of SunLine Transit Agency and their CEO & General Manager Lauren Skiver. SunLine is based in California’s Coachella Valley and has a long history supporting fuel cell buses. Skiver observed, “Battery-electric technology is evolving. I think that the future is a hybrid solution that embraces both hydrogen and battery power.” Complete Coach Works (CCW) and the Indianapolis International Airport (IAA) are also committed to zero-emission, all electric buses. IAA is purchasing six CCW 35 foot remanufactured buses making it the largest fleet of electric buses at any U.S. airport.

    I shall quit droning on soon but not before telling you what UPS and Dubai have in common. Earlier this week UPS tested a truck-launched drone delivery system in rural Florida. The delivery giant is partnering with Ohio-based Workhorse Group which manufactures electric trucks and they are a drone developer.  And, as a city with a major transport hub for passengers and cargo, Dubai has a yen for what drones can do, too. Starting in July their autonomous flying taxi will transition from test mode to a passenger mobility option. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the ruler of Dubai and he anticipates that by 2030, 25% of trips in the city will be conducted by driverless vehicles.  And, on cue, here’s the Jetsons TV Intro. You are welcome.

    Trump Reaffirms Support for Ethanol in Industry Letter, The Hill

    Report Forecasts Advanced Biofuels Will Nearly Double in Five Years, NGT News

    Plug-in Hybrid Utility Truck Keeps Lights on During Emergencies, Green Car Reports

    Georgia Ports, IKEA to Preview BYD Electric Trucks, Business in Savannah

    Midwest Coalition Forms to Support PHEV Interest, hybridCARS

    Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium, The Fuel Cell Corridor

    Advocating for Zero Emission Transit, Ballard

    Indianapolis Int’l Airport to Purchase Six SEPS Buses, Mass Transit

    UPS Tested Launching a Drone From a Truck for Delivery Services, USA Today

    Dubai Plans a Taxi That Skips the Driver, The New York Times

    The Jetsons TV Intro, YouTube

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  • Big Wheels In Motion

    Yesterday, Volkswagen Group of America announced that over ten years it will put $2 billion in investments in zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure and awareness programs as part of its court settlement. Their plans include more than 500 charging stations nationally and 300 stations in 15 metro areas. British Columbia is serious about ZEVs too and the government recently announced it is putting $40 million into its Clean Energy Vehicle Program to be distributed over the next three years. The incentives are for the purchase of vehicles priced under $77,000.
    Software driven disruption is leading many automotive companies to ask if they are in the software business and should they be. Software has been used to improve performance and now the industry is being challenged to use it to improve the customer experience. The writer points to Tesla as a model of agility in providing software-first customer experience that allows them to solve problems as they are discovered vs. waiting for next year’s model. 

    Sometimes you just need a standard and SAE is here to help.  To ensure interoperability across brands of electric vehicles and wireless charging stations, SAE brought together Tier 1 suppliers, automakers and technology providers to agree on standardization. Mission accomplished and soon they’ll be out with the SAE recommended practice for wireless power transfer and automated parking alignment and charging. 

    BYD continues to create manufacturing jobs in the United States having tripled in size in the last 18 months. A 200,000-square-foot factory expansion is underway with their workforce of 530 people expected to triple by 2020 with most jobs located in the Lancaster, CA facility. While known for their electric buses, their portfolio has expanded to Class 5 through 7 trucks and Class 8 tractors with a focus on goods movement. Tesla’s Elon Musk is prolific on the Twitter scene and interestingly tweeted that plans are still in the works to make an all-electric semi-truck but also confirming that their biggest priority is the Model 3.

    Late last year the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Odyne was selected to receive $2.9 million to improve driving fuel efficiency of work trucks and electrifying job-site functions. Odyne says they’ve fielded more Class 5 through 7 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) work trucks than any other supplier in the U.S. 

    The University of California Irvine is the first U.S. College to switch its bus fleet to zero-emissions as they prepare to add 20 all-electric BYD buses to their existing zero-emission hydrogen electric bus. Undergraduate students voted to pay up to $40 per quarter to cover the purchase price and other costs. The cost is approximately $15M dollars. Who doesn’t love a little carbon market cooperation? Kids are the beneficiaries as Quebec and California are cooperating in bringing the all-electric eLion from Quebec’s Lion Bus for an unveiling in Palo Alto. Built in North America, three battery packs keep the bus running for 50 miles. Lion plans to open a manufacturing plant in California.

    School districts pining for zero- or near-zero emissions school buses can get an assist from the California Air Resources Board which has set aside up to $10M. Applications will be accepted March 1-30 for The Rural School Bus Pilot Project and is open to all California public schools and California public entities that own school buses.

    Volkswagen Forms US Unit for Zero Emission Vehicles, Detroit Free Press

    B.C. Government Investing $40M in Zero-Emission Vehicle Program, Business Vancouver

    One Day All Companies Might Be in the Software Business, MarketWatch

    SAE Releases Global Standard for Wireless Charging, Charged EVs

    Electric Truck and Bus Maker BYD on a Roll, Trucks.com

    Tesla Making Progress on Its Electric Semi-Truck, CleanTechnica

    Odyne Uses DOE Funds to Develop Efficient Plug-In Hybrid Work Trucks, NGT News

    Big Wheels in Motion, UCI

    eLion Electric Bus Rolls To School With No Emissions, New Atlas

    California’s ARB to Award Up To $10M for Zero – and Near- Zero School Buses, Green Car Congress

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  • Aquatic Emissions

    Global records are being set for Volvo Buses sales as they now have 3000 units sold in 22 countries around the world. The largest single market is the UK which is responsible for almost half of their sales. Ford is focused on helping clear the air in London with the design of an experimental Transit Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). The target market is business users and a trial using 20 customized hybridized vans will launch this fall. 

    Researchers at the University of California-Riverside have completed an analysis of Cummins Westport’s ISL G Near-Zero Engine and concluded that the engine performs with Nox emissions below their certification level and that emissions decrease as the duty cycles decrease, making it an ideal application in stop-and-go traffic.

    CALSTART members UQM and Meritor have partnered on a development agreement that will result in cleaner and more fuel efficient medium-and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. UQM is a Tier 2 supplier that will provide the motor and inverter technology and hardware to Meritor’s mechanical drivetrain components. The end result will be the Meritor and UQM Electric Axle System (MUQM Electric Axles).

    More advanced onboard safety systems for trucks has resulted in the avoidance and lessening of severe collisions, observed CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg as Trucks.com takes a look at how and why trucking fleets are moving closer to automation. More truck rental firms are adopting active safety systems as prices have come down and a payback of 12-14 months is now standard.

    There’s a new partnership between General Motors and Honda to mass produce hydrogen fuel cells at scale by 2020. The collaboration, called Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, will be located in GM’s Brownstown, MI plant and is expected to create 100 jobs. Both companies have committed to working on the expansion of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. 

    Audi has sold 4,700 of its A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid hatchback since it went on the market 14 months ago. The company in two years will launch the Audi e-tron, all-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicle, the first of three EV’s to launch by 2020. Scott Keogh, president of Audi America urged dealers at a recent J.D. Power Automotive Summit to get with the EV program saying they need to embrace the unfolding market trend of electrification or face an uncertain future. 

    Georgia Power is doing its part in growing EV infrastructure in their service area. They’ve installed 2500 ChargePoint EV chargers across the state and they’ve issued more than 1,700 rebates to residential and business customers. Atlanta is getting ready for self-driving cars and was the first stop in a month-long cross-country tour of an Easy Mile electric shuttle. Clean Cities Coordinator Don Francis commented on Atlanta’s leadership with advanced technologies anticipating there will be much more to come.

    Super Bowl commercial season has begun complete with leaks of some of the ads. Audi offers a powerful message on pay equality. Toyota’s will only run in California where the Mirai takes center stage featuring a troubled daisy that gets another shot at life thanks to aquatic emissions. Enjoy!

    New Milestone for Volvo’s Hybrid Buses, Automotive World

    Transit PHEV Embodies Ford’s Effort to Improve London’s Air Quality, autoevolution

    New Report Showing Favorable HD NG Engine Performance, Yahoo! Finance

    UQM & Meritor Partner for Full e-axle Systems for M&HD Vehicles, Green Car Congress

    Trucking Fleets Get Closer to Automation, Trucks.com

    GM and Honda Partner to Mass Produce Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Tech Crunch

    Audi Tells Its Dealers to Get With the Electric Car Program, Green Car Reports

    Georgia Power Continues Expanding EV Infrastructure, NGT News

    Atlanta is First Stop on National Self-Driving Car Tour, WABE

    Audi’s Super Bowl Ad, Popsugar

    Toyota Mirai-Let’s Go Places, Autoweek

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  • No Turning Back

    Pew Research Center is out with a new survey showing that Americans continue to value the development of alternative energy sources over expanding fossil fuel production.  The analysis looks at the wide political differences between respondents and the finding that Americans under 50 are likely to make alternative energy a priority.

    California Governor Jerry Brown delivered his State of the State address yesterday and made it clear that the state is not turning back and remains as committed as ever to climate action with a basis in science. The Air Resources Board (ARB) underscores that commitment with a new proposed plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40%, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2030. A cornerstone of the plan is an “enhanced focus on zero- and near-zero emission vehicle technologies and low-carbon fuels.” 
    Right on cue, Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are collectively seeking $1 billion in public funding from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to accelerate electric-vehicle charging infrastructure in the state. This, too, is part of the state’s effort to reach the 2030 GHG reduction targets.

    Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI) is growing their manufacturing footprint in Dixon, California having just announced a hybrid and electric vehicle center to develop EV and PHEV commercial vehicles. Their solutions have been integrated on global OEM platforms including Ford, GM, Peterbilt and others.

    The bus market continues to expand zero-emission footprints in transit agencies around the country. New Flyer, manufacturer of battery-electric, trolley-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, has announced a record number of zero-emission bus deliveries in 2016. The company realized a 48% increase over the previous year having delivered 213 equivalent units. Park City Transit in Utah has just purchased six electric buses from Proterra which becomes the first electric bus rapid transit (BRT) route in a resort community and they are operating a zero-emission Proterra shuttle during the Sundance Film Festival which runs through January 29.

    The University of California, Irvine (UCI) has announced that they will be the first college campus in the country to have an all-electric fleet as they have ordered 20 battery-electric BYD buses for $15 million. Students voted to pay up to $40 each quarter to cover the bus purchases and other costs.  BYD made news recently as well when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a new 35-foot zero-emission BYD bus which joins the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) DASH Downtown transit fleet. This is one of four buses to be included in a demonstration this year funded by the California Energy Commission and administered by CALSTART.

    Oberon Fuels, producer of the first fuel-grade Dimethyl Ether (DME) in North America in 2013, is now part of a test with the New York City Department of Sanitation to use the clean-burning fuel in a Mack Truck. DME is approved for use in every state and delivers the same performance as diesel but is cleaner.

    Clean fuels are what it’s all about when the California Biodiesel Alliance holds their annual conference in Sacramento on March 1. CALSTART shares a venue with them at the Capitol Plaza on February 27 and 28 as we present the Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit which includes two confirmed California State Senators as speakers-Kevin de Leon, Senate Pro Tem, and Senator Henry Stern.

    Two-thirds of Americans Prioritize Alternative Energy over Fossil Fuels, Pew Research Center

    CA Governor Jerry Brown Defends Climate Action and Attacks Alternative Facts, The Washington Post

    CARB’s Plan to Cut GHG Emissions by 2030, Clean Technica

    California Utilities Want $1 Billion for Electric Cars, Bloomberg

    EDI Extends Solution Offering with EV and PHEV Development Center, Yahoo! Finance

    New Flyer Zero-Emission Bus Deliveries Surged in 2016, Green Car Congress

    Proterra To Be Part of Sundance Film Festival, GSA Business Report

    UCI to Convert Shuttles Buses to All Electric Fleet, NGT News

    Electric DASH Buses to Begin Service in DTLA Next Week, Mass Transit Mag

    Oberon, Mack Trucks & New York City Sanitation, Trucks.com

    6th Annual California Biodiesel Conference, Biodiesel Magazine

    5th Annual Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit, CALSTART

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  • Moon Shot

    Seattle’s King County Metro Transit is going all in on electric buses with plans to buy more than 100 and  Proterra has announced an agreement to supply 73 of its Catalyst models, a deal worth up to $55 million. The manufacturer will be opening a new production facility in the Los Angeles area later this year. The Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) of Genesee County, Michigan is in line for 32 new buses thanks to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). MTA’s new buses will run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and the agency plans to eventually get rid of their diesel buses and aim for a 100% alternatively powered fleet.

    Ballard has gained a lot of mileage with their fuel cell buses which are in 15 countries on five continents. The Canadian company is a leading developer of fuel cells and they have become, over the last ten years, the first company whose systems have logged 6.2 million miles. Fuel cell buses are gaining traction in China too, where Hydrogenics Corporation is expanding their presence beginning with a $4 million award to power buses in several major metropolitan areas. 

    It is Detroit Auto Show time again and among the many demonstrations is a fully electric Ford Transit that can easily be converted into a zero-emission, plug-in electric vehicle. The companies behind this are from Michigan -New Eagle and Inventev. New Eagle provides the Powertrain Kit and Inventev will serve as the up fitter and distributor. The van is on display through tomorrow at the Automobili-D. Earlier this week at the Show, 60 automotive journalists announced that the Chevy Bolt is the winner of the top car in North America award. General Motor’s global product development head, Mark Reuss, described the Bolt as a “moon shot.”

    Since 1998, Volvo Cars has had a Sunfleet program operating in 50 Swedish cities as a car sharing program. With 50,000 subscribers built up, the company is now targeting a global expansion of that program as they roll out their new shared mobility strategies.  

    A group of West Coast mayors from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle have released the first multi-city request to the automobile industry to help grow the electric vehicle market. This market survey targets the auto/bus and EV industry to find out what type of EVs exist, their costs, the volume required for cost breaks, and what kind of demand it would take to bring new advanced technology vehicles to market.  You can find the RFI here. The four partner cities believe they could be ordering up to 24,000 vehicles for their fleets. 

    Cities and states are increasingly demonstrating leadership in moving clean energy initiatives forward. To help people track what is happening across the states, the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) and Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) have created the Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker. The database has information, by state, on energy legislation introduced and/or passed since 2012. Emissions, transportation, electricity generation, and infrastructure are included as part of the ten categories.

    Finally, two quick reminders of policy-related summits coming up. The first is the Energy Independence Summit which brings together Clean Cities Coalitions and industry leaders to partner and educate key Congressional and Administration policymakers in Washington, D.C. That takes place from February 12-15. The Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit happens February 27-28 in Sacramento.  CALSTART brings together state legislators, agency staff and industry executives to look at the latest policy developments in advanced fuel technologies. The early-bird rate for both Summits is the end of this week.

    Proterra Snags Order For Up To 73-Battery-Powered Buses, Forbes

    MTA Receiving 32 CNG Buses, The Davison Index

    Ballard Fuel Cell Buses Hit the 6.2M Milestone, Plant

    Hydrogenics Chose for $4m Fuel Cell Deal in China, gasworld

    Inventev and New Eagle Agree to Join EV Commercial Van Development, Automotive World

    Chevy Bolt Wins Top Honors at Detroit Auto Show, The New York Times

    Volvo Cars to Establish New Shared Mobility Business Unit, Green Car Congress

    City Mayors Push for Major Increase in EV Production, NGT News

    EV Request for Information, RFI

    All the State Energy Legislation From 2016, In One Place, Vox

    Energy Independence Summit 2017, Transportation Energy Partners

    2017 Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit, CALSTART

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  • 2017 Charged

    For quite some time the United Auto Workers have been making the case to Ford Motor management to make their high volume autonomous vehicle production plans a reality in Michigan vs. Mexico. The automaker has decided to say yes to Michigan by announcing plans to expand the Flat Rock, Michigan plant where the company will also build their new all-electric truck.  Ford isn’t alone in electrifying trucks and Navigant Research is out with a forecast that projects a potential 10-fold increase in global electric truck sales by 2026. They site a growth in suppliers and generous government incentives as market drivers.

    XL Hybrids had a merry holiday as San Diego Gas & Electric has ordered 110 plug-in hybrid pickup trucks with a package that recharges the battery in one hour using a 240 volt charger. Their XL3 powertrains have clocked 35 million road miles with close to 100% uptime since 2013. Wisconsin-based Odyne Systems basked in some holiday cheer of their own with news from the Department of Energy that they are the lead partner in a $6 million R&D project. The project aim is to improve on its electric motor and lithium-ion battery technology. There are several partners including Freightliner, Allison, South Coast Air Quality Management District and Sempra Energy.

    What’s old is new again and Achates Power knows that well as they gear up for the first commercial use of their two-stroke, opposed-piston engine. The engine, which doesn’t use valves or camshafts, is a simpler design that gets twice the power of a traditional engine for the same amount of fuel burnt. Their target is to introduce the first commercial use of the engine in 2020. CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg observed that the engine “can represent the replacement and future life of internal combustion.

    GreenPower Motor is a Canadian company that manufactures 100% electric buses that produce zero emissions. The California Air Resources Board has approved their EV550 double-decker bus as eligible for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP). The 45-foot bus seats 100 people. Electric bus investments appear to be growing across the market and Proterra has announced that it has raised $140 million in its latest funding round which will be used to help the company rapidly expand production. Proterra has sold more than 300 buses to 35 North American transit agencies.

    Academy Award winner Leonardo De Caprio has just landed a starring role as a brand ambassador for electric vehicle manufacturer BYD, headquartered in Shenzhen, China. The environmental activist has signed up to promote BYD’s electric vehicles in China throughout 2017. BYD specializes in battery technologies including electric buses, trucks and automobiles.

    Lux Research has their eye on California policies that are shifting to an emphasis on the carbon intensity of seven different low-carbon fuels and 26 different feedstocks. The shift away from mandating volumes of specific biofuels, according to Lux, means near-term fuel winners will be renewable diesel, conventional electricity and renewable electricity. What all of this means for low-carbon fuel policies and commercialization will be the focal point of CALSTART’s 5th annual Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit coming up February 27-28 in Sacramento. The Summit brings together state legislators, agency staff, and industry executives. California Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Senator Henry Stern, along with Cliff Rechtschaffen, Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, have all confirmed their participation.  You can join them by registering here.

    Until Soon,


    Ford Picks Michigan for Autonomous-Vehicle Assembly, Car and Driver

    Electrified Trucks Will See Sales Grow 10 Times in 10 Years, hybridCARS

    XL Hybrids Introduces Plug-in Hybrid Pickup Truck System, Gas2

    $6M Project to Advance Odyne Plug-in Hybrid Technology, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Achates Best Opposed-Piston Engine on Trucking Horizon, Trucks.com

    CARB Gives EV550 All-Electric Bus the Nod, NGT News

    Proterra Raises $140M in Series 5 Funding, International Business Times

    BYD Signs Leonardo DiCaprio as Brand Ambassador, Forbes

    Lux Research Finds Paradigm Shift in Low-Carbon Fuels, Lux Research

    Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit, CALSTART

    Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit Registration, CALSTART

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  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures

    Autonomous vehicle headlines have become ubiquitous in 2016, perhaps motivating the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to propose new rules requiring automakers to adopt crash avoidance technology to talk to each other (aka vehicle-to-vehicle or V2V). Having now published the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), it is anticipated that manufacturers would be required to install the technology in new vehicles by 2020. TechRepublic is out with their top ten list of autonomous vehicle developments this past year. The items range from Tesla announcing that all of their new vehicles will have hardware installed to allow full-autonomy in 2018 to Uber buying driverless truck startup “Otto” for $680M. 

    The day can’t come soon enough, well, actually it can. As of today, if you are in San Francisco and hailing an UberX you might be picked up by a self-driving Volvo XC90. Being an ahead of the game kind of state, California has a permitting process in place for manufacturers to test the hundreds of cars on California’s roads. 

    Bill Gates believes in climate change and he’s putting his money behind an effort that aims to commercialize new technologies. The $1B investment fund is called “Breakthrough Energy Ventures”(BEV) and transportation is one of the greenhouse-gas emissions reduction areas of interest. BEV is overseen by several co-Directors who have been called the richest group of investors ever assembled. 

    XL Hybrids has been at the business of commercializing their upfit solutions for some time and they are out with a new one in the form of a ‘fleet-ready’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Utility and municipal fleets will achieve higher fuel economy and lower emissions with a 50% improvement in miles driven per gallon, according to the company. 

    What about flying cars, you say? Well, Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group does see flying cars in their product lineup future. Next June, Burns says, you can look for a prototype of what he calls the Surefly personal flying machine. The goal is to provide the U.S. Postal Service with electric mail trucks equipped with delivery drones.

    General Motors (GM) had a big day in California yesterday as they delivered their first three electric Bolts. The $37,495 electric vehicle (EV) has a range of 238 miles and was recently named the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Autoblog stumbled upon an ad for the European version of the Bolt which you must see. It involves two bugs and a heavenly being and will only eat up :29 of your time.

    Electric vehicle advocacy group, Plug In America, has announced the date for National Drive Electric Week 2017. It will be September 9-17 and the group seeks EV enthusiasts around the country to step up to host an event in their community.

    Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) has made available a recording of a recent webinar focused on “How Will a Trump Presidency Affect AFV’s?” The discussion was in advance of TEP’s Energy Independence Summit (EIS), the premier clean transportation policy event which takes place in Washington, DC February 12-15. More information is available here.

    NHTSA Moves Forward on Autonomous Vehicles, Time

    Top 10 Autonomous Vehicle Developments in 2016, TechRepublic

    You Can Hail a Self-Driving Uber Starting Today, The Verge

    Bill Gates & Friends Launch Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Sustainable Brands

    XL Hybrids to Launch Plug-In Hybrid Pickup Truck Upfit in 2017, NGTNews

    Workhorse Visions-A Hybrid Flying Car, GeekWire

    First 2017 Chevy Bolt Sold Yesterday in California, CNNMoney

    EVs Are Dangerous to Bugs, and Can Surprise God, Autoblog

    National Drive Electric Week 2017, Plug In America

    How Will a Trump Presidency Affect AFVs?, NGTNews

    Energy Independence Summit 2017, Transportation Energy Partners

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