• 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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  • Charge Ready

    Earlier this week Al Gore had an audience with Ivanka and Donald Trump to discuss climate change. Shortly following that meeting more than 800 Earth scientists and energy experts (almost all PhD’s living in the U.S.) signed on to an open letter to the President-elect urging him to “…take immediate and sustained action against human-caused climate change….recognizing that the science is unequivocal.” The plea is followed by 6 specific actions that can be taken. Trump is getting a lot of mail these days and on Monday New York-based Plug Power penned an appeal asking that an overlooked investment tax credit for fuel cells be included in a package of tax credit extensions.  The tax credit was mistakenly omitted from the December 2015 package resulting in job insecurity for tens of thousands of fuel-cell industry workers. 

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) sends promising news for the future in the form of a recently released draft of their initial plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, calling it the “most ambitious target in North America." The plan includes efforts to put more fuel-efficient cars and zero-emission vehicles on the road and use low-carbon fuels and renewable energy.

    Utility Drive offers an in-depth look at a Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) pilot project that will work with both utility- and third party-owned EV chargers as they roll out new charging infrastructure in their territory. Southern California Edison (SCE) has a “Charge Ready” pilot program where hosts own the charging stations and San Diego Gas & Electric is moving ahead with the “Power Your Drive” pilot of utility-owned chargers. The article details the challenges involved in finding consensus on the various utility ownership models. In New Jersey (NJ) the state’s four electric utilities are looking at EV charging, too, and in particular they want to create a pilot program to create a charging infrastructure network to grow the volume of EVs purchased. NJ Clean Cities Coalition Coordinator Chuck Feinberg observed that it’s important because “…auto manufacturers are only pushing electric vehicles in states where the infrastructure is being built.”

    John Deere has announced a prototype zero-emission, all-electric tractor that would have an agricultural application. The tractor has stacks of battery packs that provide 130kWh of capacity. They are serious about the electrification of their machinery and have formed a development group to explore what a broader electrified portfolio would look like.   Nikola, the manufacturer of a new Class 8 hydrogen truck has announced that Ryder System will be their exclusive national distributor. The company is offering a 72-month lease package that includes the truck, one million miles of fuel, and a maintenance package.

    The American Journal of Transportation spreads the news that the California Energy Commission is extending their deadline to apply to their $4 million grant solicitation that focuses on R&D of natural gas engines for medium- and heavy-duty off-road vehicles. The focus is on agriculture, construction, industrial, port and cargo markets. The solicitation also prioritizes projects in the most polluted regions of the San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast air basin. The new deadline is Monday, December 19, 2016.

    An Open Letter From Scientists to President-Elect Trump on Climate Change, Clean Technica

    Fuel Cell Workers Plead for Their Jobs in Open Letter to Trump, Bloomberg

    CARB: New Emissions Reduction Plan Calls for ZEVs, Low-Carbon Fuels, NGT News

    How PG&E’s EV Charging Pilot Will Test Utility Ownership Models, Utility Dive

    New Jersey Plans for More Electric Vehicle Stations, newsworks

    John Deere Unveils Latest All-Electric Tractor Prototype for Zero-Emission Agriculture, Electrek

    Ryder with Nikola for New Class 8 H2 Truck, Fleets & Fuels

    Deadline for $4M Off-Road NGV Funding Opportunity Extended, AJOT

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  • Kudos Canada

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is finalizing the 2025 Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas (GHG) standard following their midterm evaluation which wills double fleet-wide fuel efficiency while cutting GHGs. They have opted not to change the standards and there will now be a 30-day comment period. CALSTART’s recently completed supplier survey indicated that the vast majority of suppliers are in support of maintaining the current standard which would allow for long-term investments to be made.

    Plug In America has been awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to promote the adoption of electric and plug-in vehicles in four northeast states. Working with Clean Cities Coalitions in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont, the partners will focus on education and awareness, including Ride-and-Drives. On the other side of the country, California’s Pacific Gas & Electric has released a new report and interactive map with an eye toward supporting and easing the installation of EV fast chargers in their territory. The report identifies 300 areas in Northern and Central California in need of charging installations based on recent forecasts. 

    Elaine Chao was named by President-elect Trump yesterday to be the new head of the Department of Transportation. She formerly served under President George W. Bush as deputy secretary of transportation. CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel recognized that Chao has a “good grasp of how the federal system works and how to manage a major agency.” 

    In San Francisco there are now BART buses that are using a unique underground charging technology provided by Utah-based WAVE. In partnership with OEM Gillig and Contra Costa Transit Agency, the electric buses are using in-route charging at the Bay Area’s Walnut Creek BART station.  Thanks to funding from the California Air Resources Board there will be 15 new Proterra zero-emission, all-electric buses in service in the San Joaquin Valley. The buses will be built in its new manufacturing facility in Burlingame, CA. 

    BYD has been innovating having recently launched the first all-electric, long-range garbage truck.  Trucks.com asks, given a new administration moving into Washington, D.C. if this is a last gasp for electric trucks. CALSTART’s Senior Vice President says to the contrary, the market demand is based on efficiency and operational improvements, not U.S. energy policy. Efficiency gains have been well documented by Massachusetts-based XL Hybrids which will place 21 Ford F-59 trucks using XL Hybrids hybrid electric drive system with AmeriPride Services by the end of the year. AmeriPride is one of the largest textile rental and supply companies in North America. 

    Kudos to Canada!  Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna made the announcement last Friday that the country will develop a low carbon fuel standard which will apply to transportation fuels. The 2030 target aims to reduce GHG emissions by the equivalent of removing  7 million cars from the road. In response to McKenna’s announcement, Lux Research outlines the reasons why California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) will become a global phenomenon. Lux observes that a model that isn’t biofuels-centric allows for expanded opportunities to adopt natural gas vehicles (NGV) and electric vehicles (EV). 

    For those interested in learning more about the successes and future opportunities presented by California’s LCFS, you are invited to join CALSTART for the 5th Annual Clean Low Carbon Fuels Summit, taking place in Sacramento on February 27-28. This is the premier meeting for elected officials, staffers and industry representatives to discuss the landscape of advanced fuel technologies and latest policy developments in California and beyond. 

    US EPA to finalize 2025 Vehicle Emissions Rules Without Change, Daily Mail

    Survey Shows Suppliers Support for Existing 2025 Federal LDV Regs, CALSTART

    Plug in America to Advance EV Use in New England, Aftermarket News

    PG&E Makes Moves to Support EV Charging, Adoption, NGT News

    Trucking, Auto Industries Praise Elaine Chao’s Nomination, Trucks.com

    CCCTA Adds WAVE Wireless Charging at BART Station, Metro

    Proterra to Provide Buses to San Joaquin Valley, GSA Business Report

    BYD Launches New Electric Garbage Truck, But What’s Next?, Trucks.com

    AmeriPride Adds XL Hybrids’ System to their Fleet, Business Wire

    Canada to Develop New Clean Fuel Standards: McKenna, iPolitics

    California’s LCFS Will Become a Global Phenomenon, Green Car Congress

    Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit, CALSTART

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  • Bolting Ahead

    ChargePoint is among several charging providers that are lauding the recent White House announcement to install 48 electric vehicle (EV) charging corridors on U.S. highways in order to push the use of EVs. The scope is impressive in that it will cover 25,000 miles in 35 states. Right about the same time the state of New Jersey launched a campaign to promote EVs as well. ChargeEVC consists of a coalition of industry, environmental groups, utilities, and New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition. The group plans to publish a New Jersey EV roadmap early next year.

    On the other coast, California can boast 30 models of electric vehicles due to its ZEV mandate and through a combination of factors there are now 250,000 plug-in EVs on the road. Electrek says the Chevy Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 could be big contributors in making those numbers grow. And, bolting to the front of the line in winning the Motor Trend Car of the Year award is none other than the Chevy Bolt.  The 200 plus mile EV was called “…a game changing vehicle….” by Motor Trend Editor Ed Loh.

    Navigant Research is out with a new report inviting advanced vehicle enthusiasts to keep their eye on electric buses.  Their prediction is that global sales will jump with an estimated 181,000 by 2026.

    Subject to Congressional approval, the SuperTruck II funding is expected to be $80 million, with an expected outcome that engine and trailer builders will be able to double the amount a heavy-duty truck can haul on a gallon of fuel. The four teams chosen to participate by the Department of Energy include Cummins Inc. and Peterbilt Motors; Volvo Group, Daimler Trucks and Navistar. Thanks NGT News for spreading the word that Workhorse has an electric pickup truck with a range extender. The Workhorse W-15 light-duty platform targets locally driven trucks and gets an 80-mile battery range. The Duke Energy and City of Orlando fleets have already submitted letters of interest.

    Following Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Long Beach, Carlsbad and other cities, San Diego is the most recent city to convert its 1,125 vehicle fleet to run on renewable diesel. Officials say the cost is competitive with diesel . The state of California has endorsed the fuel and San Diego is now the largest city fleet to be using it.

    Way to go Exxon Mobil for releasing a statement affirming support of the Paris climate agreement (went into effect on November 4). The company has said it will play a “constructive role” in finding solutions to the threat of climate change in the years to come.

    If you have opinions about how to spend $800-million over 10-years on the VW Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Commitment in California, the Air Resources Board would like to hear from you. There will be a workshop held on Friday, December 2 from 9 a.m. to noon Pacific Time at Cal/EPA Headquarters in Sacramento. There’s also a webcast and details are here.

    Charging Providers Laud White House Plan, Fleets & Fuels

    New Campaign Promoting EVs Launches in NJ, NRDC

    California Hits Milestone of 250,000 Electric Plug-in Cars, electrek

    Chevrolet Bolt Wins Motor Trend Car of the Year Award, Inside EVs

    Sale of Electric Buses to Increase in Coming Decade, Hydrogen Fuel News

    Super Truck Program Scores Big, Trucks.com

    Workhorse Develops PHEV with Range Extender for Fleets, NGT News

    San Diego’s Vehicles Switch to Renewable Diesel, The San Diego Union-Tribune

    ExxonMobil Statement on Paris Climate Agreement, ExxonMobil

    California ARB Holding Public Workshop on How to Spend VW’s $800M

    Meeting Notice: VW’s Zero Emission Vehicle Investment Commitment, ARB

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  • Lives Per Gallon

    The American Lung Association (ALA) is out with a new report showing the annual health and climate costs attributable to cars is $37 billion, and that’s just in the 10 states that have zero-emission vehicle (ZEVs) sales programs. Costs include 220,000 missed days of work, 109,000 asthma attacks and 2,580 premature deaths per year.  The report also says that if new-car sales are 100% EV by 2050, and 65% of all cars are EVs the costs will decrease by $21 billion to $15.7 billion.

    It must be time for the LA Auto Show as Motor Trend has named the Tesla Model S 60/75 and the Chevrolet Bolt EV as short list contenders for their Car of the Year award. The Audi A4, Chrysler Pacifica, and Volvo S90 also made the list of 9 contenders. The award will be announced at the LA Auto Show on November 14.

    Canadian fuel cell product developer Ballard Power Systems is deploying large numbers of fuel cell buses in China. Last month they deployed 12 in the District of Sanshui, Foshan. Now they’ve placed another 10 fuel cell buses in Yunfu city, China. The Chinese Government is looking at mass transit solutions, like Ballard’s zero-emission fuel cell buses, as a strategy to get ahead of an urbanization drive which will increase populations in urban areas.

    Derichebourg Canada Environment (a major international player in waste collection, recycling and transport) will invest $2 million into greening their Quebec fleet. Montreal company Effenco’s innovative Stop-Start hybrid electric technology will be fitted on 60 trucks which are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.  In San Francisco, waste-hauling company Ratto Group has taken delivery of its first of 16 garbage trucks that will be driven in Sonoma and western Marin Counties in California. The range-extended, turbine-electric powertrain was developed by Wrightspeed which claims the powertrain can cut annual fuel consumption by 70 percent or more compared to an average diesel refuse truck.

    Renewable Energy Group is moving ahead with plans to expand biodiesel production capacity in Ralston, Iowa from 12 million to 30 million gallons at what had been its original biodiesel plan built in 2001. The company will spend $24 million and they will have a ground breaking ceremony on election day-Tuesday, November 8.

    Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids was honored in a ceremony that took place last week when the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA) awarded them the 2016 Cleantech breakout company. Before this they were most recently in the news for placing 50 of their delivery trucks in the Chicago metro area for use by UPS. The vehicles are equipped with Lightning’s hydraulic Energy Recovery System (ERS). 

    UPS isn’t the only one helping meet Chicago’s decarbonization goals. Last week EV bus manufacturer Proterra inked a lease deal with JLL (an a-list real estate company) to replace their fleet of diesel shuttle buses with 10 electric buses making it the first all-electric shuttle fleet to operate in the U.S. Prudential Plaza and the Aon Center have offered the bus service for 20 years. The project receives a $1.5 million subsidy from Drive Clean Chicago. 

    The Texas Clean School Bus Program aims to reduce emissions of diesel exhaust by retrofitting older school buses and they’ve put money behind those aims. There is more than $5.9 million available in grant funds. The deadline had been yesterday but has now been extended to December 15, 2016.

    Health Costs From Vehicle Emissions Add $18 to a Tank of Gas, Autoblog

    Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Bolt among 2017 Car of the Year Finalists, Inside EVs

    Ballard’s Power Play in China’s Urban Expansion, Vancouver Sun

    Waste Collection and Transport in Brossard, CNW Company

    Wrightspeed Debuts First Fleet of Range-Extended Electric Refuse Trucks, Trucks.com

    REG to Expand Capacity at Ralston Biodiesel Plant, Biodiesel Magazine

    Lightning Hybrids Recognized for Clean Vehicle Projects, NGT News

    Prudential Plaza, Aon Center Giving Tenants Greener Shuttle Buses, Chicago Tribune

    Texas Clean School Bus Program Accepting Grant Applications, TCEQ

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  • All Things Automated

    It is payback time and yesterday a federal judge approved a nearly $15 billion settlement resulting from Volkswagen having rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software to elude emissions standards. The funds will be used for buybacks and environmental mitigation. That’s not all that’s official. Yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  published in the Federal Register the Phase 2 rules regulation designed to reduce carbon dioxide and other GHGs from heavy-and medium-duty trucks. December 27, 2016 will be the official start date for the rules to go into effect.

    California continues to do its part to drive the market for advanced, clean vehicle technologies. Last week the California Air Resources Board (CARB) provided definition for how to spend the $360 million from the cap-and-trade program. The plan includes $150 million for heavy-duty vehicles and off-road equipment as well as a voucher incentive program to deploy hybrid, low-Nox and zero-emission trucks, buses, and engines.

    History was made in Colorado last week as 45,000 cans of Anheuser Busch beer were delivered in a self-driving truck, tooling 120 miles on Interstate 25.  Otto, the self-driving truck subsidiary of Uber, officially delivered the first revenue generating load transported in an autonomous truck.  In another “Look Ma, no hands” story, Engadget reports that two driverless, full-size buses are being tested in Singapore. The electric buses will be tested with 80 passengers each for a one mile trip. This isn’t the first autonomous bus trial but Singapore is becoming known for doing some serious testing on self-driving vehicles.

    Demonstrating that they aren’t messing around when it comes to fuel cell technology, Toyota plans to gear up to bring over 100 fuel cell buses to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic games. Paving the way, the company plans to start selling fixed-route fuel cell buses in 2017. They’ll be made by its Hino subsidiary. Back in the U.S. LA Metro received news this week that the US. Department of Transportation has awarded them $10.5 million for the purchase of 30 low-emission compressed natural gas buses. The buses are expected to reduce emissions by 25% over the 2014 model CNG buses they currently use.

    Derichebourg Canada Environment (a major international player in waste collection, recycling and transport) will invest $2 million in purchasing new trucks. Montreal company Effenco’s innovative Stop-Start hybrid electric technology will be fitted into the trucks which are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. Effenco is also making news in New York City where the Department of Sanitation has been testing their Stop-Start technology and they are seeing impressive fuel savings. Effenco is providing systems for trash trucks and terminal tractors with an expected ROI in close to one year.

    Now that automated trucks and buses are garnering a lot of attention, what will they think of next? Self-flying vehicles? Yep. Airbus Group in Silicon Valley has revealed a self-piloted aircraft that can detect and avoid obstacles. It has room for one passenger or cargo. Airbus has completed the vehicle design and says to look for a prototype by the end of next year.

    US Judge Approves VW Settlement, Fortune

    EPA, NHTSA Publish Phase 2 Fuel Efficiency Rule, FleetOwner

    CARB to Spend $363 Million for Clean Vehicles, Trucking Info

    Otto Hauls Budweiser in First Commercial Use of Self-Driving Truck, Denver Post

    Self-driving Buses May Soon Be a Thing, Engadget

    Toyota to Introduce 100 Fuel Cell Buses Ahead of Tokyo Olympics, NGT News

    LA Metro Receives $10.5M for Near-Zero Emission CNG Buses, Mass Transit

    Effenco and Derichebourg Canada Environment Form Partnership, Edmonton Journal

    Engine Start-Stop System Saves Fuel for NY’s Trash Trucks, Truckinginfo

    Airbus Wants to Build a Self-Flying Taxi, Autoblog

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  • 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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