• The Wheel Deal

    For several years the Obama administration has tackled major fuel economy improvements for all vehicle classes. The latest focal point is trucks and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced their new proposed fuel economy standards for medium-and heavy-duty trucks. What does it all mean? Sign up for CALSTART’s July 16th webinar which takes a look at the rules, what they require, and how to take advantage of the formal comment period on the draft rules.

    Thank you California for never failing to show us the money. Yesterday the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a $373 million funding plan for FY 2015-16 which covers everything from zero-emission buses to rebates for low- and zero-emission passenger vehicles. And, in a separate action, the California Energy Commission has extended the deadline for comments on its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (approximately $100 million in funding). 

    More money news out of California this week came from Caltrans which announced $224 million in awards for transit and rail in California. CALSTART is part of one of the successful proposals that includes member companies Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA),WAVE, and BYD. And, Monterey-Salinas Transit received $10 million to expand their 37-year old facility to maintain and dispatch up to 90 buses. 

    The Massachusetts Department of Transportation took action earlier this week resulting in New Flyer of Winnipeg, Manitoba receiving a contract for the manufacture and delivery of 325 new replacement buses for the MBTA fleet. The company will deliver 40-foot hybrid and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. And, Greenville, South Carolina-based electric bus manufacturer Proterra has announced $30 million in new equity financing, just in time for them to double their production capability. 

    Loveland, Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids is on their way toward raising $10 million in new financing. Their regenerative braking drive systems are used by bus and delivery truck fleets. Their aim is to expedite growth and continue their expansion into foreign markets.

    Talk about expediting growth, EVgo’s fast charging network has doubled in size in the past eight months. The company now has more than 350 DC fast chargers in 19 markets. They currently have chargers in LA, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, Chicago, and Denver and expect to add 7 more markets by the end of the year. And, ChargePoint has just introduced a new, low cost 24KW charger called the Express 100.The Express 100 can provide up to 100 miles of range for every hour of charging.

    And now for a really cool safety technology. Argentina’s got a problem with a high incidence of traffic deaths, many of which involve drivers trying to overtake trucks on two-lane roads. Samsung has a solution and in just two minutes you can see how their see through Safety Truck, using a wireless camera on the front grille connected to four displays on the rear of the truck, saves lives.

    US Revs Up To Cut Down on Truck Emissions, Slate
    http://slate.me/1LBmI9W

    EPA Phase II: Interpretation of Draft of New Regulations, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1L23ich

    California’s Big Clean Vehicles Money, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1gbJ2v9

    Caltrans Backs $224M in Transit Grants, CalSTA
    http://bit.ly/1KsSmY4

    Monterey-Salinas Transit Gets $10M, Monterey Herald
    http://bit.ly/1JvrgMX

    MBTA Signs $222M Deal with New Flyer, Boston Business Journal
    http://bit.ly/1LyyFgS

    Investors Put Another $30 Million Into Proterra, Greenville Online
    http://grnol.co/1GN3Yid

    Loveland’s Lightning Hybrids Seeks $10 Million Investment, Reporter-Herald
    http://bit.ly/1JvrjrX

    EVgo’s Fast Charging Network Doubled in Size in 8 Months, Charged
    http://bit.ly/1U4FCcV

    ChargePoint Announces Express 100 Station for EVs, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1GXBwN6

    Samsung Safety Truck, RT.com
    http://bit.ly/1fglMvt

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Transport Evolving


    The commercial energy storage market just keeps getting more interesting with companies like Tesla getting into it. This week General Motors announced that they are repurposing Chevrolet Volt batteries to help power a data center that is part of its testing facility at their Milford Proving Ground. One GM expert said after the battery has reached the end of its useful life in the Volt, up to 80% of its storage capacity remains.

    GM isn’t the only company breaking new ground. Globally there’s been a steady growth in the number of cities welcoming all-electric buses on their roads. Volvo has entered a collaborative project in Gothenburg, Sweden allowing them to introduce three all-electric buses to Gothenburg’s Route 55, offering full zero-emission capability. Closer to home, Monterey-Salinas Transit now has a zero-emission vehicle in the form of a former gas-powered trolley. With the help of Complete Coach Works it now has an electric engine and is powered through magnetic induction technology. The transit agency is the first in the nation to use this innovative wireless power transfer.

    The proof is in-cleaner trucks do make a difference in decreasing engine emissions. A UC Berkeley scientist, Dr. Robert Harley, has concluded that mandatory upgrades to diesel truck fleets that serve the Port of Oakland resulted in significant reductions in two major air pollutants.  Dr. Harley will elaborate on his findings tomorrow at a seminar and webcast open to the public.

    Honda announced this week that they will discontinue sales of its Civic GX natural gas-powered vehicle which has been in the U.S. since 1998. The natural gas and hybrid versions of the Civic will be replaced by a new generation of turbo-powered gasoline engines that will get about 40 MPG. Natural gas enthusiasts have until July 17 to submit nominees for the 23rd Annual NGV Achievement Awards which will be presented in Denver at the NGVAmerica annual meeting September 15-17.

    And now for the show me the money portion of NewsNotes. First up is the U.S. Department of Agriculture which aims to boost infrastructure for renewable fuel use.  The USDA has up to $100 million in competitive grants for state-led efforts to “…support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers.”  Next up, the Chicago Department of Transportation in partnership with CALSTART has announced a new program focused on getting taxi and other public-passenger fleets to purchase or lease electric or natural gas vehicles. Approved vendors will be able to offer vouchers of up to $10,000 per qualified vehicle. Applications are now being accepted. 

    And finally, Drive Oregon is hosting a leading electric vehicle conference called EV Roadmap 8, taking place in Portland at the end of July. CALSTART members are invited to register using the code “CALSTART” to save $50.

    GM and Nissan Reusing Old Electric Car Batteries, The New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1Il5AQv

    Electric Bus Route 55 Launched in Gothenburg, Sweden, Mass Transit
    http://bit.ly/1GfYLOM

    Cord Cut on Salinas-Monterey Wireless Electric Trolley, KSBW.com
    http://bit.ly/1dKM6N7

    Study Finds Truck Fleet Clean-up Decreases Port of Oakland Emissions, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1GZtG8R

    Honda Discontinues Civic Natural Gas, WardsAuto
    http://bit.ly/1BnUz3y

    NGVAmerica Seeks Award Nominations, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1fhIhjv

    USDA to Invest Up to $100 Million in Renewable Fuels Infrastructure, USDA
    http://1.usa.gov/1eo8QUd

    Chicago Launches Voucher Program to Spur Adoption of Alt-Fuel Taxis, NGTNews
    http://bit.ly/1IPrqOX

    Drive Clean Chicago
    http://bit.ly/1FdvGmi

    EV Roadmap 8, Drive Oregon
    http://bit.ly/1N3lGT4


    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Embracing the Weird


    The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) are now partnering in hopes of increasing the production of plug-in electric vehicles. The partnership brings utilities into DOE’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, and will help them access their considerable R&D resources.  Last week, San Diego Gas & Electric signed an agreement with automakers, EV service providers, public interest environmental groups and labor unions in support of the utility’s Vehicle Grid-Integration pilot project. The aim is to make electricity a low cost fuel to spur the adoption of the clean vehicles. The pilot includes the installation of 550 charging stations in their service area. 

    Kudos to AC Transit for achieving more than 19,000 hours of operation in their twelve fuel cell transit buses, exceeding industry durability and reliability expectations by two years. Funding for this project was provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as part of their National Fuel Cell Bus Program (NFCBP) and is administered by CALSTART. US Hybrid is providing technical support to maintain the fuel cell bus fleet. Ballard Power Systems has inked a $10 million clean energy bus deal in China. Their fuel cell technology will support the deployment of 33 fuel cell-powered buses. They are partnering with municipal governments in Guangdong province and in Jiangsu province to deploy the fuel cell bus fleets by 2016.

    Battery bus manufacturer Proterra has also set four records in FTA testing trials in Altoona, PA. The bus has set an efficiency performance record of a miles-per-gallon electric rating of 22 compared to 3.86 for conventional diesel buses. Orange EV has news of an electric kind, too. The company converts existing diesel-powered terminal trucks to pure electric and they are pleased to announce their first official sale of its T-Series all-electric terminal trucks. This sale is for off-road hauling and in February they announced the availability of trucks designed for on-road use.

    Good things come in threes and this morning there are three states with three new funding opportunities. The ALT Fuels Colorado vehicle grant application has been released and is designed to incentivize the purchase or lease of new OEM class 2-8 CNG, LPG, EV and CNG bi-fuel vehicles. Oklahoma is focused on natural gas where Governor Fallin has approved legislation to allow interest-free loans to county governments that purchase NGVs or convert fleet vehicles to natural gas. And, this week Utah’s Governor signed a bill that will provide an income tax credit to those who purchase an HD NGV. A second approved bill will create a grant program for converting vehicles to run on alternative fuels.

    And now, for one final pick-me-up, there’s a new opera that debuted in Milan, Italy in May called CO2. The inspiration for the environmental opera was none other than Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The opera comes complete with a fictional climatologist and Greek mythology. As the Grist writer suggests, the included trailer embraces the weird.

    Feds, Electricity Utilities to Focus on PHEVs, The Hill
    http://bit.ly/1dtrHMr

    SDG&E Vehicle Grid Pilot Wins Wide Support, Environment News Service
    http://bit.ly/1GpQEnl

    Fuel Cell Shows Dramatic Design Improvements for Transit Buses, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1AXNGpU

    Ballard Gets Blast-Off Bus Pact With China, 24/7 Wall Street
    http://bit.ly/1T9WWNb

    Proterra Sets Records in Altoona Trials, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1GyJuiu

    Orange EV Touts Initial Sales of Its All-Electric Terminal Trucks, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1S2pYwM

    ALT Fuels Colorado, Clean Air Fleets
    http://bit.ly/1Mk4vxz

    Oklahoma Governor Signs NGV Conversion Bill, TruckingInfo
    http://bit.ly/1QoKUkf

    Governor Signs Bills for AFVs, KSL.com
    http://bit.ly/1BUbSV4

    Al Gore Inspired an Opera on Climate Change, Grist
    http://bit.ly/1Qmt5SS

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Heavy-Duty Winds A Blowin'


    The news broke over the weekend that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) long anticipated proposed regulations to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from medium- to heavy-duty trucks is expected this week or next. CALSTART is actively working with stakeholders and fleets to provide feedback to EPA and NHTSA to craft the most effective rule possible. In addition, CALSTART will be releasing its preliminary findings from a fleet benefits report that shows that the anticipated fuel economy required by these rules can demonstrate a positive payback to end-users. CALSTART will host a webinar on the proposed draft Phase II rules on Tuesday, June 30 that will include discussions from industry experts on how these regulations affect industry. 

    In the meantime, trucks just keep getting better. New York-based Plug Power has announced an expansion contract with Walmart, which has added 124 GenDrive fuel cells at its distribution center in Alberta, Canada. In the US, Plug Power has deployed more than 1800 units with Walmart since 2007. US Hybrid received good news recently, too.  The Department of Energy has awarded them funding for their fuel cell-battery electric hybrid for utility or municipal medium-duty (MD) or heavy-duty (HD) bucket trucks.

    Fleets & Fuels reports that Parker Hannifin is on track to enter production early next year of their third-generation series hydraulic hybrid drivetrain for MD and HD trucks. The trucks, in testing, are seeing more than 43% fuel savings. And, TransPower and Sacramento County have formed a partnership to demo two battery-electric HD refuse trucks to see how they stack up to diesel and natural gas vehicles. Enthused fleet manager/Clean Cities Coordinator, Keith Leech, anticipates cost savings and environmental advantages.

    Ford is doing its part to accelerate the market for electric vehicles (EVs) by announcing that competing OEMs can have access to more than 650 electrification-related patents in their portfolio. And, Route Fifty reports that California is likely to see the largest upcoming plug-in vehicle growth and that utilities have played a major role in making that happen.

    Kudos to Chicago Clean Cities for working with member fleets to displace more than 25 million gallons of petroleum and 240,000 tons of GHG emissions. Coordinator Sam Bingham said that’s akin to removing 3,150 tanker trucks’ worth of gasoline. Neighboring South Shore Clean Cities has announced that they are managing the Rockport/Spencer County (Indiana) Diesel Emission Reductions Grant Opportunity. The program provides up to $440,000 through a competitive grant process.

    CarbonBLU (a company that helps fleets analyze and explore optimization options) has announced the new California Energy Commission (CEC) funded Center for Alternative Fuels. On June 16th everyone is welcome to participate in a webinar focused on the market outlook as well as engagement opportunities.

    EPA Proposal Will Put Bigger Truck on a Fuel Diet, New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1I1H5dn

    Walmart Adds 124 Plug Power Fuel Cells, Times Union
    http://bit.ly/1KE5PZL

    US Hybrid Receives DOE Funding, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1H0kWxI

    Parker Readies 3-Gen Hydraulic Hybrid, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1FScL4d

    Sacramento County to Demo Electric Refuse Truck, Truckinginfo
    http://bit.ly/1QpJMYc

    Ford Opens Up Its EV Patents, Charged EVs
    http://bit.ly/1GkxYai

    Here’s Where EV Use is Growing, Route Fifty
    http://bit.ly/1Jjm4y0

    Chicago Clean Cities Success Story, Daily Herald
    http://bit.ly/1RJLPsI

    Rockport/Spencer County Grant Opportunity, South Shore Clean Cities
    http://bit.ly/1ePBduj

    carbonBLU to Host Sustainability Forum, carbonBLU
    http://bit.ly/1Jqud26

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • EV Mecca


    The pathway to low carbon transport is a focal point of the International Transport Forum taking place today in Leipzig, Germany. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has placed urgency on the challenge of world leaders finding clean transportation solutions to combat the impacts of climate change. Unless patterns shift, carbon dioxide emissions from transportation are expected to rise by 70% between 2010 and 2050. A group of nongovernmental organizations is tackling emissions reductions by aiming to recruit 100 companies to hit targets recommended by scientists to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) lists NRG Energy as one of very few global companies already employing science-based GHG reduction goals.

    With tougher emissions standards looming, many school districts throughout the country are turning to propane autogas to fuel their buses. Of the top 25 school bus markets, 19 have propane-fueled vehicles in their fleets including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. And Recently, Boston Public Schools committed to the purchase of 86 autogas buses citing compliance with city mandates to reduce tailpipe emissions

    New Flyer has announced that their Xcelsior XE35 and XE40 battery electric buses are now eligible for the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). HVIP is administered and implemented by the California Air Resources Board through a partnership with CALSTART. The base HVIP voucher for New Flyer’s eligible transit buses is $95,000 per bus. Motiv Power Systems makes electric bus and truck control systems and they’ve recently received $8.1 million from the California Energy Commission to expand their manufacturing operations. With their Hayward, CA factory officially opening today, they are moving from the demo project stage into full commercialization.

    Money talks and Tennessee is talking. The state has announced a rebate program for qualifying electric vehicles. Tennessee will rebate $2,500 on zero emission battery electric vehicles and $1,500 on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that meet certain conditions. The program goes into effect for purchases after June 15. What Tennessee and other states are doing to grow EV purchasing, Kansas City and several other utilities are doing to make the infrastructure side work. Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) earlier this year launched their Clean Charge Network with the goal of installing 1,000 public charging stations. If all goes well it will propel EV sales and that translates to the sale of more kilowatt-hours of electricity for KCP&L.

    When you think of the most cycling-friendly cities in the U.S. you’ll be forgiven for incorrectly assuming that Portland and San Francisco made the top 10. Iowa City, Iowa and State College, Pennsylvania, though, managed to rank right up there. Check it out for more surprises. Many cities are doing bold things to encourage more cycling and walking and Seoul’s latest ambition is a mega-idea. What do you do when a 3000-foot highway is no longer safe for heavy traffic? How about turning it into a tree-covered pedestrian path for the more than 20-million residents of the mega-city? The Skygarden is part of Seoul’s vision to make car ownership unnecessary by 2030 and give their citizens a pleasing green mobility option.

    Growing Focus on Making Transport Greener, DW
    http://bit.ly/1RnxEJT

    Companies Urged to Set Emissions Targets, Bloomberg
    http://bit.ly/1LJtPLY

    Schools Turn to Propane Buses, New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1Ke1TPf

    Boston School District Buys Slew of Propane Buses, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1FOHYXq

    New Flyer’s E-Buses Eligible for HVIP, Mass Transit
    http://bit.ly/1FaSvaF

    Motiv Power Gets Funding for EV Systems, Bloomberg Business
    http://bloom.bg/1dxUoIP

    Tennessee Offers EV Rebate Programs, Wate.com
    http://bit.ly/1HwjJtE

    Kansas City Bids to Become EV Mecca, Automotive News
    http://bit.ly/1dvZMMp

    What’s the Most Bike Friendly City in the US?, Grist
    http://bit.ly/1BpeNEQ

    Innovating a Massive Pedestrian Path in Seoul, Fast Company
    http://bit.ly/1J0lWli

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Pacesetters

    California Governor Jerry Brown continues to be a pacesetter in fighting climate change and this week he signed onto a pact between 12 regions in seven countries binding each to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) drastically. The agreement is in line with Brown’s recent executive order to reduce GHG emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The International Monetary Fund has a new paper showing the global economy is suffering due to fuel subsidies which now equal $5.3 trillion. The Economist correlates health and environmental damage with the lion’s share of the subsidies going to highly polluting coal.

    Georgia’s electric vehicle (EV) owners are mad enough that they are contemplating a class-action suit against the state which recently eliminated a $5k EV tax credit and requires EV owners to pay a $200 annual road-use fee. That can’t be good for EV sales and enthusiasts see the moves as discrimination against EVs. Meanwhile, Connecticut has announced a new EV incentive program that will give a cash rebate of up to $3k to people who buy an electric car. Dealers will benefit, too, from selling EVs and fuel cell vehicles. $1 million has been set aside for the program.

    On the heavier side Charged EVs is casting a spotlight on Silicon Valley-based Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. PG&E is one of their happy customers having taken ownership of a new plug-in hybrid Class 5 Ford F-550 bucket truck with 20 more orders in the pipeline. CEO Joerg Ferchau commented that their plug-ins are full EVs and only use the engine when the battery energy is low. Another California company, Transpower, has been testing EV technologies for heavy-duty, Class 8 trucks and the results are in. In independent testing the company found that total life-cycle savings could exceed $700,000. For fleets focused on forklifts, there’s a new blog from C2E dedicated to industry experts explaining the benefits of battery power from fuel cost savings to carbon emissions reductions.

    Cummins Westport is doing some testing of their own and their focus is a spark-ignited natural gas engine that is capable of producing near zero NOx. Testing will be in the ISL G engine for transit and refuse OEMs. Their technology will meet the 2017 EPA GHG emission requirements. 

    Yellowstone National Park continues to demonstrate its clean energy leadership. They are using nickel-metal hydride battery packs from a used 2008 Toyota Camry to store electricity generated from solar panels. The partnership includes Toyota and several others who are working to extend the useful life of hybrid vehicle batteries.

    Also working to make the world a better place is CALSTART’s Steve Sokolsky, the mastermind behind tomorrow’s Southern California Green Airport Fleets Workshop. This event brings together major California airports to look at technology and funding options to meet their environmental and energy challenges. Attendees include airport staff, clean transportation technology vendors, and government agency representatives. You are invited too. Register here.

    California’s Brown Signs International Climate Change Pact, Los Angeles Times
    http://lat.ms/1R1dHbw

    A Costly Mistake, The Economist
    http://econ.st/1HuDPtJ

    Lawsuit Considered Over Controversial EV Fee, NeighborNewspapers.com
    http://bit.ly/1JA85Tm

    Connecticut Offers Cash To Buyers, Sellers of EVs, Courant
    http://cour.at/1ScN0SS

    EDI Delivers Extended Range EV Drivetrains, Charged EVs
    http://bit.ly/1Sd8bnM

    Transpower Tests HD Electric Tech, GoBYTruck
    http://bit.ly/1PWGBHq

    Convert To Electric Blog
    http://bit.ly/1HtqNK6

    Cummins Westport Tests Near Zero NOx Natural Gas Engine, Work Truck
    http://bit.ly/1ILplWK

    Hybrid Car Batteries Find New Life at US National Park, Environmental News Service
    http://bit.ly/1HuDXJE

    Southern California Green Airports Fleets Conference, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1FRIiF6



    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Disruptive Autonomy

    The state of Minnesota aims to get more businesses to offer charging locations for their employees who drive electric vehicles (EVs) and 3M has saluted. To date they have 44 charging spots throughout their campus. So far the state has 200 public charging stations. Tesla’s thinking about vehicle charging too but their sites are set on how to modify their EVs to meet China’s charging standards. China has said they won’t support the construction of stations that don’t meet their standard.  

    With growing interest in the Chinese market there’s a need to understand how to protect intellectual property. That’s the focus of a meeting on May 21 put on by the UC Irvine School of Law and includes everything from protecting trade secrets to anticipating future challenges.

    Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) manufacturer Efficient Drivetrains has China on the brain. The company has announced a new full-size Chinese SUV that can be turned into a PHEV with an all-electric range of 31 miles. CEO George Ferchau believes that the combination of a growing Chinese market and air quality challenges equals a lot of potential demand in this segment. 

    There are many examples of how transportation is being transformed before our very eyes and that has caught the attention of transit agencies. The American Public Transit Association’s 2014 report on millennials (ages 18-34) looked at what will drive those choices as their generation shifts away from driving cars. Key to attracting the cost and convenience motivated generation is investment in transit networks. No doubt some transit agencies are also focusing on the Uberization of transit. Boston-based Bridj has jumped into the fray as they create dynamic bus routes to transport riders. Boston fares run $3-$5 and they’ve recently expanded to Washington DC with a flat fare of $5.

    The next prognostication about what will be comes from TedTalkster, entrepreneur and futurist Zack Kanter. He offers provocative suggestions about why he thinks the autonomous vehicle movement is a disruptive innovation with the power to reshape the economy in just ten years. Kanter opines, “Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced.”

    Funding and regulation has transformative powers and you can hear all about it on Tuesday, May 19 at a free CALSTART webinar called California Incentive and Clean Transportation Policy Update. And while you are making calendar entries, May 27 is the grand opening of Motiv Power System’s all-electric powertrain manufacturing facility. Everyone’s invited to come to Hayward, CA for the occasion and you can register here. 

    Finally, if working for CALSTART is on your bucket list you must check out the newest job opening for Associate Project Managers. Applications are now being accepted!

    MN Agency Aims to Expand Workplace EV Charging, Midwest Energy News
    http://bit.ly/1FkzdG2

    Tesla Pledges to Meet China Charging Standards, The Wall Street Journal
    http://on.wsj.com/1K5BHZX

    What You Must Know to Protect Your Intellectual Property in China, District Export Council
    http://bit.ly/1A0pG52

    EDI Announces Availability of its New Energy PHEV SUV, Business Wire
    http://bit.ly/1HdMWMz

    How Transit Agencies Are Trying to Attract Millennial Riders, Progressive Railroading
    http://bit.ly/1QJ7MYk

    Bridj, the Uber of Bus Transit Expands to Second Market, Autoblog
    http://aol.it/1bPzjrw

    How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025, CBS
    http://bit.ly/1Feu5kQ

    California Incentive and Clean Transportation Policy Update, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1L23ich

    Motiv Power System’s Grand Opening Celebration, Eventbrite 
    http://bit.ly/1cwXSKz

    CALSTART Associate Project Managers
    http://bit.ly/1dXtSZd


    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Mobility Utility


    Dallas is the epicenter of all things related to clean, efficient vehicles this week complete with a plethora of industry announcements.  First up is a partnership between UPS and Clean Energy that will make the delivery giant the largest commercial truck user of renewable natural gas (RNG). UPS has 2500 medium- and heavy-duty trucks that run on natural gas. Agility Fuel Systems and Cummins are doing their part to advance the natural gas (NG) industry, too. Agility designs and produces NG fuel storage and delivery systems for trucks and buses. Cummins provides diesel and NG engines. Together they aim to grow the NG market and improve the NG vehicle user experience.

    Westport Innovations has also announced they are offering the 2016 F-150 as a dedicated or bi-fuel CNG Westport WiNG Power System vehicle. The vehicle was unveiled at the ACT Expo in Dallas and is expected to be available for order this summer. XL Hybrids announced this week that their XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System has been adapted for the Ford Transit van, the first hybrid electric transit van for the North American market. Their news doesn’t stop there. The company has also announced the achievement of 10 million road miles have been collectively driven in service, delivery and passenger fleets.

    Wrightspeed keeps on innovating, too. The company produces electric powertrains for heavy-duty vehicles (think garbage trucks) and their new cutting edge design is a micro-turbine range extender that is 30% more efficient than any existing turbine powered generator, according to the company. 

    For those wondering about the timeline for ordering and delivering Toyota’s new hydrogen fuel-cell electric car, the Mirai, the details have arrived. Californians are able to place orders for the $58,000 vehicles this summer and they will arrive in eight dealerships in the Golden State beginning in October. The Toyota-Tesla sparring continues as the Globe and Mail picks up on Toyota’s new tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign about what the Mirai runs on. Massachusetts based Nuvera is the provider of the hydrogen.

    In Washington, DC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sent their proposal for ethanol and biodiesel blending requirements for fuel refiners for 2014, 2015 and 2016 to the White House Office of Management and Budget. This is the final step before the proposals can be released for public comment. The final mandates are expected by November. EPA is also out with a new funding announcement. $13.5 million is available in grant funding to help governments and nonprofits switch to cleaner diesel engines. Priority is given to fleets operating at goods-movement facilities in designated poor air quality areas. Funding and technology option are the focal points for CALSTART's upcoming Southern California Green Airport Fleets Workshop. On May 21 California airports and their stakeholders will gather for a hands-on learning event to adress the environmental and energy challenges faced by airports. Register here.

    Who wouldn’t want to drive around in a bright orange zero pollution AIRPod? Shark Tank is the most recent supporter of the concept of an air-powered car as the show awarded Zero Pollution Motors with a $5 million investment. The company anticipates having its first vehicles available later this year with Hawaii slated as the first site for a factory. I was going to close out here with a story about mobility utility where there’s a startup in Germany involving old people, bikes and vegetables (or anything else you want to order). The company encourages people to reduce emissions by shopping locally and to do that they retain seniors to pedal to local stores to fulfill online orders and then deliver the products to the local purchaser. Then, after reading the article I was sucked into the Grist line “Donate and Win a Climate Change Survival Kit.” The pithy writers ask if I’m ready for a climate apocalypse, then they enticingly offer these goodies to the winners: “You too can be prepared. Drought? You’ve now got water. Snowed in with frozen plumbing? You’ll appreciate the ¬snap-on toilet seat! All of this plus my personal pick – a classic harmonica so you can be that broody survivor type!”  Whew, fingers crossed.

    UPS Fleet Expanding RNG Use, Fleet Owner
    http://bit.ly/1P3uzAJ

    Cummins and Agility Partner, STN
    http://bit.ly/1dPF8qn

    Ford to Launch 2016 F-150 With Westport WiNG Power System, Bidness Etc
    http://bit.ly/1cqyk2h

    XL Hybrids Celebrates 10 Million Miles, Fleet Owner
    http://bit.ly/1Jtr9Az

    Wrightspeed Introduces New Fulcrum Turbine Generator, Charged EVs
    http://bit.ly/1JS3fBY

    2016 Toyota Mirai Launching in October, Autoblog
    http://aol.it/1H0WhqR

    Toyota, Tesla Face Off in Battle Over Future Technologies, Globe and Mail
    http://bit.ly/1GRe9So

    EPA Sends Ethanol Proposals for Final Review, The Hill
    http://bit.ly/1FPVaLK

    $13.5 Million in EPA Clean Diesel Grant Funding Available, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1PrbKTd

    Southern California Green Airport Fleets Workshop, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1FRIiF6

    Air Powered Car Receives $5 Million on TV Show Shark Tank, Autoblog
    http://aol.it/1F7Au39

    German Elders Deliver Local Veggies, Grist
    http://bit.ly/1H1ys22

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Fueled By Everything

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis are on the same page. Ban told Vatican officials earlier this week that the world will benefit from the Pope’s leadership on the issue where he’s expected to declare a fight against climate change as a “moral imperative.” California’s Governor Brown is in Los Angeles this morning addressing a conference on climate policy. In advance of that he has issued a new greenhouse gas reduction target for the state which he called the most aggressive of any government in North America. The target is for a 40% reduction below 1990 levels by 2030.

    Eco-conscious Long Beach Transit is in with that and this past Monday they awarded an almost $12 million contract to Los Angeles-based BYD Motors to manufacture 10 battery-powered electric buses and charging systems. Transit officials say the zero-emission buses will be the “cleanest bus we have offered to date.” Batteries have been top of mind for Tesla’s Elon Musk, too, and he’s expected to unveil new residential and utility-scale batteries this week. Calling it “the missing piece” the company has already installed systems in 300 solar homes as well as 11 Walmart stores.

    The ever-growing Loveland, Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids now has an office in the United Kingdom. The manufacturer of emissions-reducing, fuel-efficient hydraulic hybrid motor systems for buses and trucks says this is a strategic move to take advantage of higher fuel prices overseas. The City of Orlando is heading toward green with a goal of cleaning up its entire solid waste fleet within two years. Thanks to Parker Hannifin they have nine hydraulic hybrid refuse trucks in their fleet, expected to save $10,000 per truck in annual fuel savings.

    The industry keeps innovating and Volvo Group Venture Capital has invested in Peloton Technology, developer of a truck platooning system. Volvo Group’s Susan Alt recently presented a video showing a car driver reading a newspaper behind the wheel as the car automatically kept itself in line in a platoon behind a Volvo truck being driven by a professional driver. Chevy has also unveiled a stylish self-driving car called the FNR. GM’s Cadillac brand has shown autonomous driving capability and says the system will be available as an option as early as its 2017 model.  

    This last story is not my fault. No fewer than three people sent this to me, complete with a chuckle. By way of background, Tesla’s Elon Musk has consistently and adamantly pooh-poohed fuel cell vehicles (FCV’s) saying they are a marketing gimmick. It turns out that Toyota’s ambitions in bringing their FCV Mirai to market compelled them to take on Musk by showing that perhaps the Mirai can be fueled by everything. Let me just say that this is a little delightfully daring.

    UN Chief: Climate Fight a ‘moral imperative,’ The Hill
    http://bit.ly/1ERbj4W

    Jerry Brown Issues More Ambitious Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets, Sacramento Bee
    http://bit.ly/1DWbiWF

    Long Beach Transit Picks BYD Motors for Electric Bus Contract, Los Angeles Times
    http://lat.ms/1Ku3ikY

    Tesla Batteries Already Powering Walmart, Charged EV
    http://bit.ly/1JAUNqQ

    Lightning Hybrids Expands to UK, Denver Business Journal
    http://bit.ly/1HRqH03

    City of Orlando Gains Nine Hybrid Refuse Trucks, Government Fleet
    http://bit.ly/1DWmdiV

    Volvo Invests in Platooning Technology, TruckingInfo
    http://bit.ly/1InAXh8

    Chevrolet Unveils Futuristic Self-Driving Concept Car, EV World
    http://bit.ly/1ERangU

    Fueled By Everything, Presented by Toyota Mirai, YouTube
    http://bit.ly/1yRg8bG





    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Pollution-Free Revolution

    “Is commercial trucking about to get its own version of the LEED treatment?” asks GreenBiz. Yep, and that was the big announcement last week at the NAFA I&E as actionable items were laid out to engage fleet managers in reducing average fleet emissions, increasing fuel efficiency, and reducing fuel use per vehicle. The new sustainability accreditation program was announced by NAFA in conjunction with CALSTART. The standard is flexible and can be applied to fleets of all sizes and types.

    Bloomberg has a good feeling news story highlighting such gems as oil demand has flatlined for a decade; fuel efficiency has decreased gasoline demand; EV sales have quintupled in four years; and fuel-cell vehicles are moving into the market. The consensus from analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance is that we’re in an age of competition and a pollution-free revolution is underway.

    Lightning Hybrids is playing a part in the revolution as their new testing results on their hydraulic hybrid drive systems demonstrate significant reductions in NOx and fuel economy improvements up to 18%. Their fleet vehicles include shuttle buses, delivery vehicles and work trucks. XL Hybrids’ fuel-efficient powertrain has won over two new fleet purchasers. Watkins Heating & Cooling in Springboro, Ohio, and Montgomery County, Maryland are the owners of the XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System. Montgomery County converted 10 Ford cargo vans and realizing a 25% increase in MPG.

    Many cities in Europe are trying out battery-electric buses and Amsterdam is all in. The city has announced that their entire fleet will be all electric by 2025. China’s growing demand for clean energy has resulted in new business for Ballard Power Systems, a developer of hydrogen fuel cells. They’ve received an order for fuel cells which will power eights buses in Chinese cities. Fuel cell enthusiasts and innovators are invited to take up the H2 Refuel H-Prize challenge which comes with a $1 million award. The challenge is to deploy an on-site hydrogen generation system using electricity or natural gas, to fuel hydrogen vehicles. The registration deadline is October 22nd. 

    Speaking of winners, just in time for Earth Day, Kelley Blue Book has released its 10 Best Green Cars list. Kudos to CALSTART members Toyota (for both the Prius and the Camry Hybrid), Tesla (Model S), General Motors (Volt) and Ford (C-Max Hybrid) for making the list. There are a lot of Earth Day celebrations taking place today (like many transit agencies offering free rides) but in Scotland where it is election season, a leading scientist called the political debate around climate change trivial. He wins my quote of the day. Sir Brian Hoskins opined, “It’s like the Titanic sailing into waters with icebergs, and yet what we hear is debate in the bar about who is going to buy the drinks.”

    LEED For Fleets? New Standard to Rev Up Greener Commercial Vehicles, GreenBiz
    http://bit.ly/1yBKXBg

    Big Oil is About to Lose Control of the Auto Industry, Bloomberg
    http://bloom.bg/1CS73dR

    Lightning Hybrids Delivers Significant NOx Reductions, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1aSgIKR

    XL Hybrids Names Two More Fleets, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1DFSpu1

    Amsterdam to Electrify Its Entire Bus Fleet, Charged EVs
    http://bit.ly/1DifUqI

    Ballard To Bring Hydrogen Fuel Celsl to China, Hydrogen Fuel News
    http://bit.ly/1bv9xcN

    The 2014-2016 H-Prize Competition, H2refuel
    http://bit.ly/1gOuoqR

    Green Cars Gain Momentum with American Drivers, Money Watch
    http://cbsn.ws/1Piq9mq

    Climate Debate at Trivial Level, The Herald
    http://bit.ly/1QjiG86

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Zero-Emissions Heart

    Fleet managers from the U.S. and Canada are assembled in Orlando, FL this week for the annual National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) conference where a new fleet sustainability program has been launched. NAFA, in conjunction with CALSTART, introduced the new Sustainable Fleet Standard Program which established a framework for fleets to move toward and continue to grow their green fleets.

    With the demand for public transit increasing and the bus technology options expanding, what’s a fleet manager to do? Seeking Alpha provides an overview of the options showing a promising future for both electric and fuel cell technologies going forward, and observing that Plug Power’s fuel cell systems should position them to be a major player in this arena.

    Fleets like FedEx continue to raise the bar through their early adoption of new technologies. Last week U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen joined FedEx team members to test drive the world’s first zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell ground equipment. The delivery company partnered with PlugPower and the U.S. Department of Energy to create 15 hydrogen fuel-cell tractors and a hydrogen fueling station.

    Another fleet paving the way is Metro Transit in Minneapolis which is exploring adding electric buses to its fleet. Toward that end, in May BYD and Proterra will bring their buses to the Twin Cities to show elected officials and the general public how they feel to ride in. Proterra is likely to be showing off many more buses in the near future as they are the recipients of a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC). They will build a new state-of-the-art zero-emission, battery-electric transit bus manufacturing plant in California.

    “For decades, hydrogen has been the Dracula of automotive fuels: Just when you think a stake has been driven through its zero-emissions heart, the technology rises from the grave.” Thank you for that, New York Times, as well as for the analysis of why hydrogen cars are back. The well documented analysis, of course includes the not to be deterred Toyota, which will offer its $58,325 Mirai fuel cell compact this year. Toyota says they have reduced the Mirai’s fuel cell cost by 95% compared with its previous generation car.

    Joerg Ferchau with Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) is watching the Asian market demonstrate huge explosive growth and that’s why his company has announced the availability of an affordable, full-size Chinese plug-in hybrid electric SUV for the area. The zero-emissions hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions provider aims to obtain more certifications in key geographies in Asia. Globally more than 700,000 plug-in vehicles were sold by the end of last year and a big driver is the drop in the cost of batteries.  A recent report found that battery pack costs for EVs declined by 14% annually between 2007 and 2014 meaning leading manufacturers have already reached the price that will give them cost parity with conventional vehicles.

    Of course there are significant markets out there for all kinds of alternative fuels and advanced technologies. Southern California Gas is particularly interested in reaching out to fleet operators to show them the many advantages of converting their trucks to natural gas. Toward that end the company has announced a series of five workshops between May and October to address local and state funding, product availability, and infrastructure location, availability and cost.

    NAFA Pioneering Fleet Sustainability Program, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1H8noRN

    Electric Buses vs. Fuel Cell Buses, Seeking Alpha
    http://bit.ly/1COouMf

    Congressman Cohen Test Drives Zero Emission Hydrogen Tractors, Memphis Business Journal
    http://bit.ly/1OHGAsd

    Metro Transit to Test Drive Electric Buses, Star Tribune
    http://strib.mn/1OCb8ve

    CEC Awards $3 Million to Proterra, Area Development
    http://bit.ly/1COptw3

    Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Return for Another Run, The New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1CO8Hyl

    EDI Announces PHEV SUV for Asian Market, Digital Journal
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2520541

    Electric Car Batteries Just Hit a Key Price Point, Climate Progress
    http://bit.ly/1CPDtG4

    Natural Gas Trucking Workshops, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1H8nfhb






    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Autopia

    Disruptive innovation is shaking up the transportation industry and Uber is a ubiquitous example. A new report is out showing that in a few cities, ride-hailing service Uber tops taxi rides as the ground transportation of choice for business travelers. And talk about disruption, in Columbus, Ohio, some cab drivers have figured out a way to drive their cabs AND be licensed to drive for Uber. In San Francisco, two start-up  companies are offering a high end alternative to public transit. One of them, Leap Transit, carts passengers in style offering leather seats, Wi-Fi, food and drink, all for a $6 fare.  The other company, Chariot, charges $5. City transportation officials acknowledge their own inability to meet the demand.

    Tesla continues to seemingly make news on a daily basis. The company has just announced their new Model S 70D which is an AWD electric sedan and has a 70-kilowatt-hour battery. While the $75,000 price tag may seem like a vehicle only the wealthy can afford, the Tesla team points out that the cost of ownership is much cheaper when you factor in the fuel savings and incentives compared to an internal combustion engine. A new peer-reviewed study further corroborates that by saying the battery packs used by Tesla and Nissan cost as little as $300 per kilowatt-hour of energy in 2014 and are on track to reach $230 per kilowatt-hour in 2018. The cost is falling 8% per year.

    UPS continues to grow their alternative fuel fleet by investing in 1400 CNG trucks and 15 fueling stations. The purchase will include 800 tractors and 600 package cars. The majority of the tractors will be provided by Kenworth and the package cars will be built by Freightliner with Morgan Olson bodies. Fleet operators in Georgia looking to switch to natural gas should check out a series of events that will provide information on how to take advantage of state CNG/LNG tax credits.

    This is fun. Yale is out with an interactive mapping tool called Yale Climate Opinion Maps. The state and local surveys allows users to see the geographic diversity of public opinion on climate change. You can search by State, Congressional District, or County and find out level of policy support, risk perceptions and beliefs.

    Business Travelers are Bypassing the Taxi Queue, Opting for Uber, ABC News 
    http://abcn.ws/1N0WfoS

    Ohio Taxi Drivers Finding Ways to Work for Uber, Too, Autoblog
    http://aol.it/1CoEi8H

    Start-Ups Offer Bay Area Travelers Alternative to Transit, Los Angeles Times
    http://lat.ms/1aHP7gj

    Tesla Boosts Range on Base Model S, PC
    http://bit.ly/1CfWVMK

    Inexpensive Electric Cars May Arrive Sooner Than You Think, MIT Technology Review
    http://bit.ly/1bTLVys

    1,400 CNG Trucks for UPS, 15 CNG Stations, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1P0ozX9

    AFS Hosting Events to Promote Georgia Tax Credits, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1N9FXdE

    Climate Change Communication, Environment Yale
    http://bit.ly/1Ik5Rbg


    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Mapping Pac-Man

    Yesterday was the informal deadline for countries to submit their climate commitments to the post-2020 UN’s climate agreement where talks will be held in Paris at the end of the year. President Obama used the occasion to convey that the U.S. is serious about international climate commitments by targeting emissions reductions of 26-28% by 2025. Part of the strategy involves increasing the fuel economy of vehicles and earlier this week EPA’s Gina McCarthy said the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has started an expedited review of the second round of efficiency rules for the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus sector. This is the final step before it will be released for public comment.

    How does a 50% fuel-efficiency gain on Freightliner’s SuperTruck sound? The truck was 5-years in the development stage and resulted from an ambitious Department of Energy (DOE) challenge. The writer of the story observed “Inside, the thing looks like some kind of IKEA-designed powerboat. Until you turn the lights to “blue mode” and make it look like a space-age nightclub refrigerator.” 

    Peterbilt recently announced that they are offering their Model 579 in liquefied natural gas (LNG) configurations and Raven Transport has responded by adding 115 LNG trucks to its fleet. Fleet Equipment Magazine quotes from CALSTART’s Heavy-duty Truck and Bus Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Roadmap that natural gas supply and a favorable price point are motivators for truck OEMs to offer natural gas options. Cummins and Cummins Westport engines, as well as Kenworth and Volvo are among companies with the latest offerings. 

    Everyone loves a winner and there are three worth showcasing today. Up first is Achates Power, the developer of “radically improved” internal combustion engines. The company received a $14 million award to support the work of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Cummins is their partner on the project which is called the Single Cylinder Advanced Combat Engine Technology Demonstrator. The next winners are Hydrogenics and Siemens. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded $4 million for fuel cell demonstration projects for drayage trucks and for buses. And lastly, ITM Power has gained some pounds (US $4.3M) from the UK Hydrogen Refueling Stations Infrastructure Grants Scheme. The money will be used to build two new stations in London, and the upgrade of four existing ITM stations.

    Stop what you are doing. Right now you can play Pac-Man on Google Maps. All you have to do is go to Google Maps, find somewhere with a lot of roads and click the Pac-Man icon on the bottom left. Voila-an arcade game on your screen in honor of April Fool’s Day. You’re welcome.

    Obama’s Strategy on Climate Change, The New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1Hj7Dps

    White House Reviews Truck Efficiency Rules, The Hill
    http://bit.ly/1Igh74I

    Freightliner SuperTruck More than Doubles Average MPG, Jalopnik
    http://bit.ly/1ytbYRO

    Raven Transport Adding 115 More LNG Trucks, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1IQHAH4

    Heavy-Duty NG Vehicle Roadmap, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1G5daCG

    The Latest in OE Natural Gas Offerings, Fleet Equipment
    http://bit.ly/1EE0vpY

    Achates Power Awarded $14 Million, Benzinga
    http://bit.ly/1MAEVqM

    Hydrogenics Awarded $4.4 Million, StreetInsider
    http://bit.ly/19FbzW8

    ITM Wins Fuel Station Order, The Star
    http://bit.ly/1GgH6u8

    Pac-Man: For April Fools Play Google Maps, The Washington Post
    http://wapo.st/1xxs2qz

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Seeing Green

    The Obama administration announced earlier this week that the President is signing an Executive Order requiring federal agencies to make plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) 20% of their fleet purchases by 2020 and 50% by 2025. The federal fleet has 650,000 vehicles and the expected cost savings by 2025 is expected to be $18 billion.

    BYD in the U.S. is known for electric buses but that could be changing. The company wants to lease 200 BYD e6 EVs to Uber for use by UberX drivers in Chicago. 25 of the BYD cars are already in service. EV World reports that Fiat Chrysler is moving up the time table to bring their first electric-hybrid minivan to the market by the end of the year. The EV-mode range hasn’t been announced. 

    Passenger Transport looks at transit trends and concludes that electric propulsion is gaining market traction. The article gives several examples including the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) which recently received $8.9 million for hydrogen fuel cell buses.  (Click here for the recent press release about FTA funded CALSTART project teams in partnership with SARTA, Sunline Transit, and the San Joaquin Regional Transit District) Siemens and New Flyer are seeing growth in the public transit market as well. Thomas Orberger, with Siemens, observed “Now the issue is to make the technology more commercially accessible….”

    Utah Transit Authority has received FTA funding, too, and they are using it to outfit two of their existing paratransit buses with hybrid-drive systems. Their vehicles spend a lot of time idling and the hybrid-drive systems will eliminate the need for idling, resulting in decreased emissions as well as an increase in fuel savings. 

    CALSTART, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and BYD were among nine projects that received proposed funding from the California Energy Commission. Almost $25 million was awarded for demonstrations of advanced medium-and heavy-duty on-road vehicle technologies. Transportation Power, Hydrogenics and Motiv Power Systems, all CALSTART members, were also successful applicants.

    Thousands of fleet managers will flock to Orlando in mid-April for the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Institute & Expo (I&E). One of the highlights is the formal launch of the industry-leading Sustainable Fleet Standard Program, which NAFA has shaped in collaboration with CALSTART over the last two years. That launch is part of CALSTART’s Sustainability Works for Fleets Track. Check out the program here.

    Obama Says Federal Agencies Must Buy More EVs, PHEVs, Autoblog
    http://aol.it/1OyRdyl

    Uber to test a fleet of Chinese –made BYD EVs in the US, Charged EV Magazine
    http://bit.ly/1BqCjjI

    Chrysler Aiming to Rollout Plug-in Minivan in 2015, EV World
    http://bit.ly/1CaDFT7

    Electric Propulsion Growing in Popularity, Passenger Transport
    http://bit.ly/1BKWyID

    FTA Awards $55M for Low and No Emission Buses, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1xgOmEJ

    UTA Aims to Reduce Emissions on Paratransit Bus, Deseret News
    http://bit.ly/1xyMKqi

    CEC Awards $24.9 Million for Truck Demo Projects, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1FUWb4i

    NAFA’s Sustainable Fleet Standard at 2015 I&E, NAFA
    http://bit.ly/1FUWpso

    NAFA Detailed Program, NAFA
    http://bit.ly/1wKCraU

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Change At High Speed

    The ubiquitous Tesla will dominate industry headlines again as tomorrow the company announces a Model S update that promises to put an end to range anxiety. Curious minds want to know but will have to wait until the press conference tomorrow morning.  Globally, battery-powered and fuel cell buses are turning into rolling computers equipped with many of the technologies as the luxury Tesla sedan. CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg told Fleet Owner to look for zero-emission buses to account for 20% of the global bus market by 2030.

    Hino Trucks is talking market penetration too, claiming that in spite of lower diesel prices last year, their hybrid trucks are selling very well thank you. Hino has sold over 800 of the Class 5 vehicles in the last two years, thanks in part to successful voucher programs in New York and California. There’s nothing like no fee to build demand, at least that’s what NRG eVgo is assuming as they launch a program in California to help wire apartment buildings and workplaces with charge-ready parking for free.  The fine print is that this is a limited time offer for qualified property owners. 

    People in the Sacramento area can now purchase a new renewable diesel fuel made from recycled plant and animal oils. Propel Fuels credits California’s carbon market regulation for attracting the Diesel-High Performance Renewable (HPR), which was launched this morning.  The fuel produces up to 70% less carbon emissions compared to petroleum-based diesel. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is fueling the holiday atmosphere this week as today is National Biodiesel Day. Turns out Rudolph Diesel’s birthday was on this day in 1858 and NBB is celebrating that biodiesel has provided nearly 1.8 billion gallons of the cleaner burning alternative to petroleum diesel. 

    Next week Bristol, England will begin a transit trial by putting into service the first bus in the United Kingdom powered by food and sewage waste.  The bus can transport 40 people and is powered by biomethane gas which produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines. The potential for adding more Bio-Busses is contingent on how successful the trial is. Transit commuters everywhere will enjoy the pixels of commuting energy depicted by Will Gallia who created a data visualization of a day in the life of London’s Tube. Where else can you spend two minutes to watch 3.5 million commuters working their way through one day using the Tube?

    Tesla to Unveil Update on Model S, MarketWatch
    http://on.mktw.net/1DADtQa

    Tesla for the Masses: Electric, Fuel Cell Buses Take Off, National Geographic
    http://bit.ly/1G1clav

    Hybrid Trucks Remain a Vital Part of Fleets’ Green Solutions, Fleet Owner
    http://bit.ly/1bfnnQf

    NRG eVgo Launches Program to Help Renters Charge EVs, Charged EVs
    http://bit.ly/1H1YuVh

    New ‘green diesel’ Rolls Out For Sacramento Motorists, The Sacramento Bee
    http://bit.ly/18HPUwb

    Happy National Biodiesel Day, Domestic Fuel
    http://bit.ly/1CvLW7x

    UK’s First Biomethane Bus to Operate in Bristol, Mass Transit
    http://bit.ly/1GXsUnS

    A Single Day on the London Tube, Condensed Into 2 Minutes, Citylab
    http://bit.ly/1BRva0i


    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Vehicle Enthusiast Twitterpation

    So, that little story this week about the new Apple Watch that the company will sell next month was a bit sidetracked by two investors who really wanted to know if the company plans to buy Tesla. Apple CEO Tim Cook ducked the questions by pivoting to their focus on Car Play, the Apple software being used by several automakers. 

    While Tesla has car enthusiasts everywhere twitterpated, there are several other developments that have excited the imaginations of fleet managers. First up is Efficient Drivetrains Inc (EDI) which has launched a Class 3 utility truck based on their world-first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) which achieves 100% zero emissions during city and highway driving. Lightning Hybrids is talking numbers, too, and theirs are 35 and 30%. Kiessling Transit in Massachusetts has purchased 35 Lightning Hybrids vehicles with hydraulic hybrid systems, marking the largest single order to date for the system. During a year-long pilot, Kiessling realized a 30% increase in fuel efficiency.

    Morgan Olson and Crosspoint Kinetics are reducing emissions and achieving impressive fuel efficiency targets with a lineup of Class 3-7 walk-in delivery vans. The vehicles are equipped with a gasoline-electric powertrain from Crosspoint Kinetics. Morgan Olson makes Class 2-7 walk-in van bodies, cab chassis box truck bodies and cargo van upfitting for North America. 

    “We are pleased to remain the first and only hybrid system manufacturer approved for the transit market in California,” were the happy words from Deborah Gordon of Allison Transmissions upon receiving California Air Resources Board (ARB) certification. The certification is for the model-year 2015 Allison H 40/50 EP hybrid propulsion system paired with the Cummins ISB6.7 and ISL9 diesel-electric hybrid engines for transit buses and coaches.

    Applicants of 11 projects awarded a total of $6 million by the Department of Energy this week are no doubt doing the happy dance. One of the recipients is Clean Fuels Ohio, along with Earth Day Coalition (OH), South Shore Clean Cities (IN), Greater Indiana Clean Cities (IN), Ann Arbor Clean Cities (MI) and Detroit Clean Cities (MI).  Their winning project is called Midwest DRIVES and it is a comprehensive fleet vehicle demo and education program to address deployment barriers.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has some money to give away, too, as they are accepting applications for its Clean Diesel Grant Program. The grants are for projects that re-power or retrofit fleet vehicles to curb emissions; purchase and install idle-reduction technology; or purchase clean alternative-fuel fleet vehicles.

    And, back on that other coast, people might be interested in an upcoming day-long Clean Fleet Transportation Efficiencies Forum on April 6 in Sacramento, CA. CALSTART, CarbonBLU, Clean Cities Sacramento and Clean Cities East Bay are hosting the day-long event, which is being held in conjunction with the Green California Summit and Exposition.  Click here for more information.

    Apple CEO Cook Sidesteps Shareholder Enthusiasm for Tesla, Bloomberg
    http://bloom.bg/1ETiFCl

    EDI Launches PHEV Class 3 Utility Truck, Charged EV Magazine
    http://bit.ly/1HCjeQV

    Lightning Hybrids Bus Tech Draws Customers, The Denver Post
    http://dpo.st/1EuVLB7

    Crosspoint Kinetics, Morgan Olson Combine on Electric Hybrid Walk-in Van, FleetOwner
    http://bit.ly/1xcXcOv

    2015 Allison/Cummins Hybrid Offering Nets California Approval, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1EXCj02

    DOE Awarding $6 Million to 11 Projects, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1E5C6nA

    Energy Department Awards $500,000 for AFV Fleet Demos, Clean Fuels Ohio
    http://bit.ly/1EXCmsI

    PA Offers Diesel Emission Reduction Grants, Truckinginfo
    http://bit.ly/1xcXhSf

    Clean Fleet Forum Slated for Sacramento in April, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1GrMiJt

    Clean Transportation Efficiencies Forum, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1MrLdDK



    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Fierce Energy

    How has Silicon Valley taken center stage at the Geneva International Motor Show this week?  It turns out all of the talk about Apple and Google getting into the business has made automakers jittery that the car industry could be in line for a technology shift that could result in new competitors getting a share of the market, with some pointing to Tesla as a prime example. 

    Inside EVs was curious about just how big Tesla’s Model S growth has been and to determine that they have put together a graph of their deliveries from 2012 to 2014. 57,000 is the number of total global Tesla deliveries by the end of last year. In their 2014 Shareholder Letter they confirmed they had received almost 20,000 reservations for the Model X, according to Evannex which also shows an infographic of the large number of accolades and awards the company has received. 

    Tesla co-founder Ian Wright is a fan of electric powertrains but he contends that trucks are “where it’s at” if you want to realize significant cost savings.  Wrightspeed’s range-extended electric vehicle powertrain has caught the attention of FedEx. In addition, Wright points out that you can save $35k in fuel and $20k in maintenance when their technology is applied to refuse trucks.  Motiv is demonstrating significant cost savings with all-electric garbage trucks and the company has just announced that they are offering a number of electric trucks, vans, and buses based on the chassis. Rather than assembling vehicles from the ground up they are using a flexible off-the-shelf approach. Motiv is also an award-winning company having secured the Popular Science 2014 Best of What’s New Award in the Green Tech category.

    Green Car Congress reports that UQM Technologies has received its first fuel cell compressor module purchase order from Ballard Power Systems. The compressor modular assemblies will be used in Ballard’s hydrogen powered fuel cell buses. And, Oberon Fuels is no doubt celebrating as the California Department of Food and Agriculture has approved dimethyl ether for use as a vehicle fuel.  Volvo Trucks is also a fan of the fuel because of its diesel like performance, environmental benefits and price advantages for customers. 

    Claude Masters with Florida Power & Light (FP&L) told an audience in Indianapolis yesterday about the variety of electric and hybrid trucks in his fleet and how important driver training is. FP&L strongly believes in the potential of EVs to change the way people drive and that’s why earlier in the week the company announced they are a partner in bringing the first-ever EV race to be held in the U.S. The Miami ePrix is part of the FIA Formula E Championship and it will take place in downtown Miami on March 14. 

    Tesla Model S Deliveries Graphed, Inside EVs
    http://bit.ly/1wIef0g

    Tesla Awards and Accolades, A Look Back, Evannex
    http://bit.ly/1B73jaN

    Tesla Co-Founder Says its Electric Trucks, Not Electric Cars, That Matter, The Verge
    http://bit.ly/1GT37he

    Frankenstein Electric Trucks With Ford F59 Chassis, Clean Technica
    http://bit.ly/1CwH5SK

    UQM Receives PO for Fuel Cell Compressor from Ballard, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1NgIFvm

    California Approves DME for Use as Vehicle Fuel, Truckinginfo
    http://bit.ly/1B1IC1n

    Biodiesel, Hybrids, ‘Green’ Strategy Kick Off Work Truck Show,  HDT
    http://bit.ly/1M5RHYJ

    FPL Presenting First-Ever EV Race in the US, Fierce Energy
    http://bit.ly/1BI1O4N



    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Is That A Shift I See In Your Paradigm?

    Clean Disruption should both put a smile on your face and a shift in your paradigm. The new book by Tony Seba posits that the convergence of technological trends (renewable energy, energy storage, EVs and autonomous vehicles) are well under way, is inevitable, and is happening because the new technology is better, and eventually much, much cheaper. 

    Will the industrial age of energy and transportation be over by 2030 as Mr. Seba suggests? CALSTART members in the news exemplify the transformations taking place at this very moment. Last week there was a power-packed meeting in Sacramento where CALSTART hosted the annual Low Carbon Fuels Summit. In advance of the meeting CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel and the Advanced Biofuels Association’s Michael McAdams penned an editorial about it for The Sacramento Bee.  The pace of change was reflected  at the Summit through numerous points including that electric vehicles (EVs) are selling faster than hybrids did when they were at the same point in their production cycle and at this rate they could displace up to 3.3 billion gallons of petroleum per year in California alone.

    Scalable ambitions are being reported daily, too. Pacific Gas & Electric is looking to build out the infrastructure resulting in deployment of 25,000 plug-in vehicle charging stations throughout their Northern and Central California service area. Their service area includes more than 60,000 plug-in vehicles.  

    Significant advances aren’t just happening in the U.S. UQM Technologies recently signed a deal with a South Korean electric vehicle manufacturer, Power Plaza Co., to provide electric motor and controller systems for the rapidly growing Korean 1-ton truck EV market. Back in the U.S., Lightning Hybrids has been awarded a full utility patent for the fourth generation of their hydraulic hybrid system.  Their goal for the new patent was to make the system lighter using more aluminum and having fewer parts.

    Ballard Power Systems is making news today as they have entered into an $80 million deal with Volkswagen Group to transfer certain automotive-related fuel cell intellectual property. Audi and Volkswagen have been showing fuel-cell prototypes in recent months.

    The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced awards to 10 project teams last week to deploy 55 low and no emission fuel cell, battery electric and electric hybrid buses. CALSTART will work with three partner transit agencies totaling nearly $24 million. One of those is the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) which has received $8.9 million to purchase five fuel-cell buses. On the electric bus side, BYD Motors is the beneficiary of a five-year, $3 million corporate income tax credit from the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. BYD will hire 590 employees at two California manufacturing centers.

    CALSTART has assembled two panels representing several of our member companies for the Energy Independence Summit  (EIS 2015), hosted by Transportation Energy Partners, on February 23 in Washington, DC. Presenting speakers represent SARTA, BYD Motors, Ballard Power Systems, Cummins Westport, WAVE, Proterra, Plug Power, Hydrogenics, Toyota North America, and CALSTART. Lightning Hybrids will speak on a panel as well. Participants will also get to hear from FTA’s Acting Administrator, Therese McMillan. A complete agenda for EIS 2015 is available here

    New Book Predicts the Demise of the Oil Economy by 2030, Charged
    http://bit.ly/16SuzPi

    California Should Stay on Track With Standard on Cleaner Fuels, The Sacramento Bee
    http://bit.ly/1KkAl9E

    CALSTART Event Covers Gasoline Prices and Key Policies, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1uEVeuh

    PG& E Seeks $6545 Million to Build 25,000 EV Charging Stations, Green Tech Media
    http://bit.ly/1E9zTss

    UQM Technologies Enters Agreement for Converted Electric Trucks, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/199s2SH

    Lightning Hybrids’ Hydraulic-Hybrid System Patented, Truckinginfo
    http://bit.ly/1Md4rzF

    Audi Buys Patents for Fuel Cell Tech From Ballard Power Systems, Green Car Reports
    http://bit.ly/16TIDs1

    SARTA Lands Federal Grant for Pollution-free Buses, CantonRep.com
    http://bit.ly/1uEUV2u

    Electric Public Transportation Firm Makes Comeback, Los Angeles Times
    http://lat.ms/1K3OJVu

    Energy Independence Summit 2015, TEP
    http://bit.ly/1DhULzN

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • The Green Optimist



    Today’s forecast is sunny with a good outlook for the electric and hybrid truck market, according to Frost & Sullivan. By 2020, they project that globally, the market will reach nearly 83,000 units. The sun is shining brightly for trucks in New York where today the state adopted the strongest safety regulations in the nation for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a vehicle fuel. LNG is a lower cost, cleaner fuel for truckers. 

    The Green Optimistic says VIA Motors’ plug-in-hybrid pickup truck has entered production and the cherry on top is that VIA is an approved vendor for the Drive Clean Chicago voucher program. VIA has one pickup and two different vans on the list. Several CALSTART members are on the list and you can check it out here

    ChargePoint, the nation’s largest charging provider, is in partnership with BMW and Volkswagen to build a network of fast chargers that use a standard plug. The stations will span the east and west coasts. It isn’t clear what the cost will be but the shared goal is to support e-mobility in the U.S.  NRG eVgo shares that vision and they too plan to expand their network of fast chargers from 10 national markets to 25 in the next two years. How did the Midwest suddenly become an EV mecca? Their utility KCP&L announced their plans this week to install 1,001 public electric chargers in Missouri and Kansas. The “Clean Charge Network” will cost about $20 million.

    General Motors believes that customers not only want fuel-efficient vehicles but they also want to buy them from dealers with sustainability street cred. Hence, GM has launched a new Green Dealer Recognition program. Within 24 hours of the program launch 66 dealers signed up. Sustainability is the core of the NAFA Sustainable Fleet Standard Program, too, and CALSTART’s Bill Van Amburg will provide a briefing on the program on April 15 at the NAFA 2015 Institute and Expo in Orlando, FL.

    Most of us don’t have a spare $100k plus to purchase a Tesla Model S but apparently the going rate to sleep in one is $85. Steve Sassman of Arizona has his available via Airbnb. The deal is you sleep in the car while it is parked in his garage and you can use his kitchen, living room and bathroom.  Bring an alarm clock as you’ll need to be out of bed by 8 a.m. so he can get to work.

    Sunny Outlook for Electric, Hybrid Truck Market, Trucking Info
    http://bit.ly/1EPJdCP

    NY Finalizes Rules to Allow LNG Sites, The Journal News
    http://lohud.us/1wB9yhN

    VIA Motors Electric Pick-Up Truck Enters Production, The Green Optimistic
    http://bit.ly/15PFM2y

    Drive Clean Chicago
    http://bit.ly/1yxXpLk

    BMW and VW Team up to Make EV Charger Networks Anyone Can Use, Wired
    http://wrd.cm/1tfsSWH

    NRG eVgo Expanding National Fast Charging Network, Charged EVs
    http://bit.ly/1zYpDp5

    KCP&L to Install 1,001 EV Chargers, Kansascity.com
    http://bit.ly/1BxSpuI

    Sustainability Provides Competitive Edge, GM Dealers Say, Environmental Leader
    http://bit.ly/1CuSmRM

    NAFA Announces Program for 2015 I&E, Fleet Digest
    http://bit.ly/1Eqpr3s

    Man Lists His Tesla Model S as an $85-a-night Airbnb Room, engadget
    http://engt.co/1JPlO5v

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Capture the Rapture

    If you missed the President’ s State of the Union address last night, the topic of climate change received three paragraphs worth of attention. In addition to standing up for science itself, President Obama underscored the threat climate change poses to future generations. The President has been an advocate of electric vehicles (EVs) and late last fall he announced new commitments by 120 businesses to install workplace charging stations. The Christian Science Monitor offers advice on key considerations for establishing a successful program. Anyone wanting to learn more about workplace charging best practices is encouraged to sign up for a Clean Fuels Ohio and CALSTART free webinar on Tuesday, January 27. 

    The good people of Mountain View, California, can now enjoy a free, all electric shuttle ride throughout the City. Many players are making this possible. The California Energy Commission (CEC) funded the buses which were manufactured by Motiv Power Systems. Then Google jumped in to fund the free rides for the City. The four buses are in service as of last week.  

    Massachusetts-based Nuvera develops fuel cell stacks and on-site hydrogen production and dispensing systems. NACCO Materials Handling Group liked what they saw and acquired Nuvera. The NACCO plan is to integrate Nuvera’s fuel cell technology across parts of their lift truck product range. UQM Technologies made an acquisition of a different kind. They’ve been granted a patent for an electric and hybrid electric vehicle motor design using non-rare-earth magnets. The new design gives them an alternate technology reducing their exposure to price and supply volatility of rare earth materials.

    CALSTART is pleased to administer the Drive Clean Chicago voucher program and two member companies have announced that they qualify for funding. Crosspoint Kinetics has a flagship electric hybrid system. Wisconsin-based Odyne Systems manufactures hybrid systems for medium- and heavy-duty work trucks. To qualify for the grants, vehicles must be converted to all-electric or hybrid electric and must operate at least 75% of the time in Chicago.

    Back in California, Wrightspeed is manufacturing electric hybrid powertrains for trucks.  Tesla co-founder Ian Wright is the founder and CEO of Wrightspeed and has announced that his company is relocating to Alameda, California where they’ve moved into the city-owned 110,000-square-foot historic Hangar 41 at the former Alameda Naval Station.

    Anyone who has ever driven or ridden in the Tesla Model S will likely never forget the initial acceleration glee that comes with the maiden voyage. If you haven’t had the chance yet, Autoblog captures the rapture in :43 flat.

    How Far Obama’s Message on Climate Change Has Come, Washington Post
    http://wapo.st/1L0zzBN

    Workplace Electric Car Charging, What Employers Should Know, Christian Science Monitor
    http://bit.ly/1yLSxJ0

    Workplace Charging Webinar, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1xyNxlc

    Four Motiv Shuttle Buses Deployed in Mountain View, CA, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1woVCrb

    NACCO Buys Fuel Cell Provider, MM&D
    http://bit.ly/1CgJBe4

    UQM Granted Patent for Vehicle Motor Design, The Auto Channel
    http://bit.ly/1GvQNqO

    Kinetics Hybrid System Qualifies for Chicago Voucher Program, NGTNews
    http://bit.ly/1L0LorK

    Odyne Approved for Chicago Voucher Program, PR.com
    http://bit.ly/1CQ4zi5

    Tesla Co-Founder Moves San Jose Electric Truck Company to Alameda, Silicon Valley Business Journal
    http://bit.ly/1AO5zks

    Watch Two Women Fall in Love with Tesla Model S, Autoblog 
    http://aol.it/15ajQyP

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. »