• Meet The Future



    CALSTART members continue to dominate industry news. First up is ITM Power which is targeting two distinct segments in the emerging hydrogen fuel market- power-to-gas and clean fuel equipment. Speaking recently at the Michelin Bibendum, ITM CEO Graham Cooley explained how their electrolyzer system can basically get you zero-cost hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Hydrogen infrastructure is a challenge but Toyota is on schedule to commit to the success of the market in Japan and the U.S. Leading up to the Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda announced the name of their new FCV-the Mirai, which means “the future.” The company has already invested in a hydrogen highway in California and has plans to develop infrastructure across five Northeastern states by 2016.

    Inventev, the developer of a hybrid-electric system for commercial trucks, gets to take a bow for winning $25k in seed capital from the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. Dave Stenson, Founder and CEO, is shooting to raise $5 million and anticipates closing on the first $1.5 million by the first quarter of next year. Bravo VIA Motors which has received certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their eREV Van-an extended-range, light-duty electric vehicle. The company has already shipped 23 eREV vans to fleet customers and three more are in transit.

    AmeriPride Services Inc., one of the largest uniform and linen supply companies in North America, is the proud recipient of a fuel-efficient hydraulic hybrid truck. The fleet selected Lightning Hybrids to provide their hybrid systems. Morgan Olson has provided the Route Star walk-in van body. AMP Holding has good fleet news, too, in that a major transportation company has purchased 18 all-electric Workhorse E-100 walk-in vans. The zero-emission vans will be used in the Houston/Galveston area.

    Utilities have been targeted by the White House to commit to spending at least 5% of their fleet acquisition budgets on buying EVs. More than 70 utilities and 60 businesses have also committed to installing workplace charging for employees with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison (SCE) are seeking permission to expand their potential role in owning EV charging infrastructure. Legislator advocates are appealing to the state PUC to lift a ban on investor-owned utilities owning EV charging infrastructure. ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano gives the plan two thumbs up saying “This allowance for choice will increase competition and spur private investment.” The two utilities are seeking permission to build $500 million worth of infrastructure. 

    Want to hear more about the future of the grid and why it matters for transportation? SCE President Pedro Pizarro will join Pasquale Romano and Stephen Berberich, President of the California Independent System Operators at CALSTART’s Annual Meeting and Blue Sky Award Luncheon on Tuesday, December 9th at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles. The program includes a who’s who of key players in the advanced transportation industry. You are invited to register here.

    ITM Power Wants to Make Nearly Free Hydrogen, Autoblog Green
    http://aol.it/1BNel8o

    Will The Mirai Be The Next Prius?, Forbes Life
    http://onforb.es/1ujWDmv

    Inventev Scores Win at Accelerate Michigan Hybrid Truck Technology, DFAN
    http://bit.ly/1xDg5OU

    VIA Motors Begins Deliveries After EPA Certification, Green Car Reports
    http://bit.ly/11tVv5o

    Ameripride Takes Delivery of First Hydraulic Hybrid Truck, Hydraulics & Pneumatics
    http://bit.ly/1xPNPpE

    Fleet to Roll Out All-Electric Walk-In Vans, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/11ijHaW

    Utilities Commit to Buy Electric Vehicles, Detroit Free Press
    http://on.freep.com/1BKVzi3

    California Considers Lifting Ban on Utilities Owning EVSE, ChargedEVs
    http://bit.ly/1vpFOKv

    CALSTART Annual Meeting & Blue Sky Award, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1w7g5lT


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  • Financial Crystal Ball



    The Fisker Karma is back! Fisker has announced a deal with Quantum which will license its plug-in hybrid control software to them. Quantum estimates the licensing agreement and other software development services to be worth in excess of $5 million over the next year.

    New York-based Plug Power is supplying GenDrive fuel cells to food manufacturer and distributor Golden State Foods which is a distributor for Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Arby’s, and Taco Bell, among others. The fuel cells will replace lead-acid batteries and will be used in lift trucks and pallet trucks. Ohio-based Amp Electric Vehicles has an idea. What if online shoppers could get packages delivered through a combination of an electric truck and a delivery drone?  Amp’s hybrid drone-truck delivery system can lower the cost to 2 cents per mile.
     
    Green Tech Automotive has delivered good news to the people of Tunica, Mississippi in the form of a new production facility that is capable of producing large numbers of the company’s upcoming two-seat Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV). Production of the MyCar is expected to begin next month. From NEVs to buses, transportation is going electric. The University of Utah is introducing a new twist with a battery-powered bus that operates on a wireless charging system. This is the first commercial deployment for Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) which calls their system the most powerful and efficient single pad wireless charging system ever deployed by a U.S. company for public transit.

    Chicago has electric buses on the brain, too.  Last week the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)  put into regular service two 40-foot green machines made by New Flyer Industries with the all-electric propulsion system built by Siemens. CTA plans to test the buses for a year before deciding about future purchases. And, in early 2016 Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport will open a travel center that has a convenience store, restaurant, car wash, flight information, Wi-Fi---and wait for it-fast-charging electric stations and alternative fuels. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said of the facility, “Providing better access to alternative fuels at O’Hare provides multiple benefits for the City and the public.”

    What do you think Tesla’s biggest asset is? Share price growth? Sales growth? The Model S sedan? Motley Fool’s Adam Galas has a different focal point along the lines of how they’ve expanded their products and services pointing to their Gigafactory. In addition to cutting battery costs by 30% when they open in 2017, the company is poised to play a big role in energy storage

    While we don’t all have a financial crystal ball, CALSTART is pleased to present one in the form of a powerhouse panel at our upcoming Annual Meeting and Blue Sky Awards Luncheon. “The Outlook for Clean Transportation: A Private Public Investment Partnership” features an industry who’s who. Moderated by Steelhead Industries CEO Andrew Coors, presenters include Puon Penn of Wells Fargo; Ryan Popple, a Partner with Kleiner Perkins; John Rhow of PPA Solutions; and, Janea Scott, Commissioner with the California Energy Commission. The annual meeting takes place in Los Angeles on Tuesday, December 9 and you are one click away from being part of it.

    Quantum Fuel Systems Enters Agreement with Fisker, Autoblog Green
    http://aol.it/1sgRfx2

    Plug Power Supplies Fuel Cells for California Food Distributor, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1x6s84v

    Electric Truck Paired with Drones Offer New Delivery Methodology, Yahoo News
    http://yhoo.it/1xes6Xq

    Green Tech Automotive Opens EV Production Plant in Mississippi, Clean Technica
    http://bit.ly/1twxvbJ

    University of Utah Bus Runs on Electric Charge, The Salt Lake Tribune
    http://bit.ly/1plUAQ0

    All Electric Demo Buses in Service in Chicago, Chicago Tribune
    http://trib.in/1sGuB00

    Alternative Fuel Center to Open at O’Hare, Chicago Sun Times
    http://bit.ly/1x8tCw5

    Tesla Motors Inc.’s Secret Growth Weapon, The Motley Fool
    http://bit.ly/10njWRl

    A New Era for Clean Transportation, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1028VWr

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  • Happiness Guarantee

    In case you missed it, last week California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary Nichols, joined by representatives of eight states, announced that more than 260,000 zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) have been sold. The eight-state ZEV partnership aims to develop incentives to encourage consumers and businesses to buy ZEVs. 

    In the meantime, Tesla’s Elon Musk is taking on the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) Model S buzz kill. In response to Tesla’s news that it will reduce lease payments by up to 25% for the popular Model S as a “happiness guarantee,” the WSJ asserted it as a strategy to lift sagging U.S. sales. Musk took to the tweetosphere to say Tesla’s global sales last month reached a record high and was up 65% year-over-year in North America. One has to wonder if Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, envisioned a day when EV charging could be paid for using the e-commerce business. That day has arrived as ChargePoint is now accepting PayPal for stations that require payment. 

    Thanks to a grant from the California Energy Commission, a new Class 4 vehicle combining Greenkraft’s CNG truck technology and Efficient Drivetrains Inc’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology is soon to be developed. The $900,000 award will demonstrate the fuel economy improvements resulting from a combination of natural gas and hybrid-electric technology. 15-20% fuel economy is what Coca-Cola anticipates from their investment in 140 2014 Chevy Express 3500 vans that have been converted into hybrids using the patented XL Hybrid drive system. Coca-Cola says it will result in a reduction of carbon output by 4,000 tons of CO2. 

    While details about the 2016 Chevy Volt will be released in January at the Detroit Auto Show, General Motors shared news about its second-generation Voltec electric-drive system this morning. The more efficient drivetrain will deliver a longer driving range on battery power, and quicker acceleration. The vehicle will go on sale in the second half of 2015. 

    Biodiesel has many advantages over regular diesel, even in a very low blend, and the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC) has just released a study making that point related to use in urban transit buses. In a peer reviewed study of 10 different transit buses, PM emissions significantly decreased when using B20. The authors recommend that governments look at biodiesel for use in urban and commercial vehicles. 

    Cleaning up dirty old trucks is the focus of a drayage truck event this coming Saturday at the Port of Houston. The Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) will be on hand to provide information about grants and loans to help truck owners replace older vehicles with cleaner new ones. 

    While it really isn’t beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Kenworth is already in a festive mood. As it happens, a special Kenworth T880, all decked out with a fetching decal, will be transporting the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, DC for the annual tree-lighting ceremony. The 88-foot tall white spruce will be cut in Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest today.

    ZEV Sales Exceed 260,000 in US, Inside EVs
    http://bit.ly/1thuOfw

    Tesla: Wall Street Journal Article is Incorrect, Charged
    http://bit.ly/1wDqpDq

    ChargePoint Now Accepts PayPal, Domestic Fuel
    http://bit.ly/1FVLxtK

    Greenkraft, EDI Attain CEC Grant for CNG –Hybrid, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1zJPVM3

    2016 Chevy Volt: Bigger Battery, More Power, Detroit Free Press
    http://on.freep.com/1thFMlg

    XL Hybrids to Convert 140 Delivery Vans for Coca-Cola, GAS2
    http://bit.ly/1Dwrpun

    Using Biodiesel in Transit Buses Could Reduce Emissions, PR Newswire
    http://prn.to/10yQ19L

    Grants Available to Offset Cost of New Drayage Trucks, Fleet Owner
    http://bit.ly/1tDj3jg

    Kenworth to Transport US Capitol Christmas Tree, Fleet Equipment
    http://bit.ly/1DwrDlc



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  • A Spark of Interest

    There’s no state with more zero emission vehicles for sale than California and in large part that’s due to  rules that started in 2012 requiring six automakers, known as “Large Vehicle Makers,”  to sell a specified number of the vehicles. Tomorrow, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold a hearing on proposed changes to that rule for Intermediate Vehicle Makers (IVMs).  The IVMs are concerned that their smaller size and limited resources make it hard to develop battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).  Rest assured, though, that as BEVs continue to gain a foothold, the Golden State will be prepared. The California Building Code, beginning in 2015, requires all new housing and parking lots to be equipped with the conduit and electrical system capacity for EV charging stations.

    Suffering from range anxiety? Researchers from North Carolina have come to the rescue as they have developed new software designed to more precisely gauge how much farther EVs can go before needing a recharge. The software plugs in traffic data that accounts for whether you are on a highway or in a city, weather, road grade and other variables. They report 95% accuracy in some of their studies. 

    Researchers at the University of Delaware are running with the idea that vehicle-to-grid (V2G) can offset the higher upfront cost of EVs, and in particular, they are looking at school buses as the perfect application. They conclude that an average Delaware school district could save $38 million across a whole fleet. In the meantime, the Environmental Protection Agency is offering up to $3 million to replace old school bus engines with more fuel efficient new ones. School buses manufactured in 2006 or earlier are eligible. The deadline is November 17.

    Sparks are flying on the truck side, too. Trucking Info looks at the economics of the electric truck market and how many manufacturers are employing different approaches to get to scale. Brett Gipe with Electric Vehicles International (EVI) observed that while there are a variety of state and local grant programs, we need a single federal program that will work for everyone in the country. CALSTART administers several of the programs including ones for the states of California and New York, as well as the City of Chicago. 

    Ian Wright has delivery and garbage trucks on the brain these days. The co-founder of Tesla Motors has founded Wrightspeed, a startup that designs electric powertrains for medium-and heavy-duty trucks. His move to that market segment is because big trucks burn most of the fuel so the financial incentive exists for fleets to go electric. Yesterday, a Worcester, Massachusetts  transit agency went electric and Governor Patrick hailed the move. The Worcester Regional Transit Authority purchased six Proterra plug-in, all –electric buses.

    Last up is Massachusetts-based XL Hybrids out with the news that their fleet customers have logged 4 million cumulative on-road miles. The developer of hybrid-electric powertrain technology counts Coca-Cola and PepsiCo among their customers. 

    Last week I reminded you about CALSTART’s annual meeting which focuses on pathways for clean technologies. Who better to address that subject than our most recent keynote speaker confirmation-Dr. Cheryl Martin. Martin is the Acting Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), U.S. Department of Energy. The date of the meeting is December 9 at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles. Click here for proof that the agenda represents a who’s who of the clean transportation industry.
     
    CARB Hearing on Softening Zero-Emission Requirements, Transport Evolved
    http://bit.ly/1FCLCT7

    California Building Code to Require All New Construction to be EV Ready, Charged
    http://bit.ly/1wkpckd

    Researchers Take Big-Data Approach to Estimate Range of EVs, Phys.Org
    http://bit.ly/1DACNY7

    How To Make Electric School Buses as Cheap as Diesel, Fast Company
    http://bit.ly/1sxo0Ze

    EPA Offers $3 M to Replace School Bus Engines, The Hill
    http://bit.ly/1tyduo6

    Electric Trucks Generating a Spark of Interest, Trucking Info
    http://bit.ly/1pyUxea

    California HVIP, NYSERDA VIP, Drive Clean Chicago, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/ZNOaNt

    Why This Tesla Motors Co-Founder Loves Electric Garbage Trucks, Xconomy
    http://bit.ly/1uHLsq7

    Governor Patrick Applauds Worcester Bus Fleet for Going Electric, Streetwise
    http://bit.ly/1i0elUh

    XL Hybrids Reaches Hybrid-Electric System Milestone, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1yYqJQA

    A New Era for Clean Transportation, Pathways for Clean Technologies, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1028VWr

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  • Two Buses Better Than One

    The Department of Defense is taking very seriously that climate change is a threat to our national security. Earlier this week the Pentagon released a report which elevates the planning to a call to action for the military to incorporate climate change into strategic planning about high risk regions. The previous military emphasis had been on preparing military installations to adapt to its effects. 

    CALSTART has received approval from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to develop a 60-foot-long articulated bus powered by a hydrogen fuel cell/battery combination electric drive. New Flyer Industries is teaming with fuel cell supplier, Ballard Power Systems, and Siemens, the electric powertrain manufacturer. CALSTART is managing the project which is funded by FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program. Ballard has been busy as they’ve also signed a long-term agreement with Plug Power to provide fuel cell stacks for use in Plug Power’s Gen Drive systems in forklift trucks.

    Buses are taking center stage in Houston this week as the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is hosting their expo there. Cummins is one of the companies showcasing their diverse portfolio of diesel and natural gas engines. And BYD is attracting attention at the show with the reveal of two electric buses. The Lancaster eBus can drive 170+ miles with battery power that lasts up to 24 hours on one charge. They also showed a smaller transit bus from Antelope Valley Transit Authority (ACTA) in California, which arrived in Houston having driven 1,500 zero-emission miles from Los Angeles.

    Kudos to Boston-based XL Hybrids which has received California Air Resources Board (CARB) approval of their aftermarket conversions of gasoline-powered vans into hybrid electric vehicles. Their XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System is on sale now for the first time in California. Speaking of firsts, Tesla introduced a suite of sensors and software giving them a new array of automated driving options. Elon Musk revealed what the Model S ‘D’ stands for. It’s a dual motor, one in the front and one in the back. There are plenty of videos if you want to take the time to see it for yourself.

    If you haven’t booked your trip to Los Angeles on December 9th for A New Era for Clean Transportation: Pathways for Clean Technologies, do it now! This is CALSTART’s annual meeting and awards luncheon and included among the impressive lineup of speakers is EPA’s Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Chris Grundler; Jerry Hirsch, Automotive Business Writer for the Los Angeles Times; and Puon Penn with Wells Fargo Bank and Ryan Popple, a partner with Kleiner Perkins. For the complete agenda, click here.

    It’s Official, US Military Goes All In On Climate Change Adaptation, MSNBC
    http://on.msnbc.com/1o9nXnW

    Battery/Fuel Cell Zero-Emission Bus a North American First, Environment News Service
    http://bit.ly/1nm0oHT

    Ballard, Plug Power Sign Fuel Cell Supply Agreement, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1pcgNdA

    Cummins Showcases Extensive Engine Lineup at APTA, School Transportation News
    http://bit.ly/ZZm0Qe

    You Wait Years for a Battery Powered Bus and Now There are Two, PV Magazine
    http://bit.ly/1wH9pek

    California ARB Clears XL Hybrids for Hybrid Van Conversions, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1oavV09

    Watch Tesla Unveil Model S D Trim, Autobloggreen
    http://aol.it/11nNL5h

    CALSTART Annual Meeting December 9, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1w7g5lT

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  • Baconomics

    First up-news for optimism. InsideEVs is reporting that plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) made up the highest percentage ever tallied of total EVs sold in the US. While the overall percentage for last month is .85%, it is 20% higher than the percentage sold one year ago. Hopefully EV sales will eventually mirror Toyota’s success with hybrids. The company has now sold over 7 million units, and is committed to their hybrid drivetrain technology saying it is far from reaching its peak, as some industry analysts have implied. 

    Volvo is talking real fuel efficiency as the company has unleashed a high-performance, 2-liter, triple-turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with an impressive 450 hp. The High Performance Drive E Powertrain Concept is one of the most advanced 4-cylinder engines in terms of emissions and fuel consumption.

    The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) top Administrator is talking fuel efficiency, too, and encouraging input on Phase 2 of the medium-and heavy-duty truck regulations. Addressing the American Trucking Association, Gina McCarthy touted the fuel efficiency gains that have been made by the nation’s trucking fleet. Two short weeks ago, EPA’s Karl Simon addressed attendees of CALSTART’s High-Efficiency Truck User’s Forum and Phase 2 rules were on his mind as well. He said they are in the process of doing the rule now and the proposal will be out in March. In the interim, he implored the audience to provide comments. Simon’s presentation, along with those of other HTUF speakers, is now available on CALSTART’s website.

    Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office director has said that they are poised to make their first loans in more than three years. The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program makes loans for fuel-saving technologies. It is unclear who the loan recipients will be but the focus has been on suppliers and there is interest in lighter weight vehicles. 

    There’s a new jet fuel made from sugar cane called farnesane, and when mixed with regular jet fuel, airlines around the globe are testing it as a way to meet their ambitious goals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Amyris, a California-based biotech firm, has developed farnesane in a joint venture with Total. Amyris has a plant in Sao Paulo with a production capacity of 50 million liters a year.

    Passions run high for bacon, motorcycles, and film so what’s an advertising creative team to do? The clever folks at Hormel Foods enlisted BBDO Minneapolis ad agency to add sizzle to San Diego’s International Bacon Film Festival this past August. To promote the event, Hormel teamed up with Bio-Blend Fuels to create a motorcycle that runs on bacon grease. Well, not pure bacon grease. The biofuel also included paraffin hydroxide and methanol. From Minnesota to California the bio-fueled bike attracted a lot of attention as it made its way to the film festival. If you can’t get enough of this, you can see the documentary at Driven by Bacon. .

    EVs Reach Highest Percentage of US Auto Sales to Date, Huffington Post
    http://huff.to/1vW57iJ

    Toyota Has Now Sold Over 7 Million Hybrids, Transport Evolved
    http://bit.ly/1BShPkB

    Volvo Unveils High-Performance Drive-E Engine, The Car Guide
    http://bit.ly/1Ev5yXA

    EPA Chief Hails Fuel Efficiency Rules for Trucks, KPBS
    http://bit.ly/1CVul5l

    HTUF Presentations
    http://bit.ly/1BSzUiA

    U.S. Planning First Auto Retooling Loans Since 2011, The Detroit News
    http://bit.ly/1uZocDZ

    Airlines Fly the Skies on a Sugar High, The New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1CVuzJO

    A Motorcycle Fueled by Bacon, Fast Company
    http://bit.ly/1qiOk5g

    Driven by Bacon
    http://bit.ly/1oC4o54

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  • Money Talks

    Participants in NAFA’s Spring I&E event in Minneapolis learned all about the new Sustainable Fleet Standard Program tool, launched with CALSTART. The first wave of testing is now complete with the second phase beginning this month. CALSTART is compiling feedback and expects to have a first status update by the middle of the month. The program intention is to pioneer a movement in the fleet community that emphasizes the benefits and importance of sustainability.

    There’s no one technology answer but University of Michigan professor and former senior fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund, John DeCicco, recently posed a question about whether intelligent cars can reach sustainability goals faster than electric vehicles. DeCicco argues for the benefits of connected and automated transportation systems while others question why you have to choose just one.

    And what about that next generation Chevy Volt? Stay tuned as GM has launched a teaser campaign with photos of the 2016 Volt. The photo features swirly camouflage and enthusiasts will have to wait for the real thing to be unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show to see what the automaker has come up with. Toyota is offering an inside look at their new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, too. The Toyota FCV is similar to their hybrid vehicles but the gasoline engine is gone and has been replaced with a fuel cell. The vehicle is expected to be released in the US in the summer of 2015.

    Two of CALSTART’s newest members have made the news. GreenTech Automotive is a U.S.-based manufacturer of energy-efficient, all-electric vehicles. Ninety-four investors have contributed $47 million in an equity round. The company recently completed an assembly plant in Mississippi and expects to begin production by the end of the year. New York-based Plug Power is talking money, too, and in their case, the manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells for power forklifts, refrigerated trucks, and other equipment in the material handling industry, is going to offer financing packages to customers.

    CALSTART received word this week that a longtime industry veteran, Richard Lowenthal, is retiring from ChargePoint. Richard is the founder and CTO. CALSTART’s President and CEO commented on the retirement saying, “Richard has been the tip of the Silicon Valley spear, leading the way into the next generation of a networked, smart charging sector.” Kudos to an industry hero.

    NAFA Completes Beta Test for Sustainable Fleet Tool, Autosphere
    http://bit.ly/1ozEBrx

    Would Intelligent Cars Get us Green Quicker than Electric Cars? Green Car Reports
    http://bit.ly/1uBsUrp

    GM Teases Next Chevy Volt in Camo, Gas2
    http://bit.ly/1ruJHeA

    Toyota’s New Hydrogen Car, Motley Fool
    http://bit.ly/1rCibJy

    GreenTech Automotive Reports $47 Million Raise in SEC Filing, Automotive News
    http://bit.ly/1vxuMAe

    Plug Power Expects to Boost Revenue With new Financing Package Deal, Albany Business Review
    http://bit.ly/1mQyALF

    Richard Lowenthal, ChargePoint
    http://bit.ly/1ruJYOv


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  • High-Efficiency Tough

    California’s Governor Jerry Brown has been busy this week, having signed several bills to advance the clean transportation market in the state. One initiative is to make electric vehicles more affordable for low-income residents. The aim is to have one million zero-emission and near-zero-emission vehicles on the state’s roads by 2023. Additionally, the Governor signed a bill authored by Senators Lara and Pavley that creates the California Clean Truck, Bus, and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program, a move lauded by CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel. 

    Southern California Edison (SCE) is thinking big too. The utility announced yesterday the largest battery project in North America and one of the largest battery storage projects in the world. As the industry searches for how to make a business case for energy storage, SCE’s demonstration is a $53.5 million project housed in a 6300 square foot building. “Thanks to advances in battery technology, storage is beginning to look like a real feasible solution,” said Doug Kim, SCE’s Director of Advanced Technologies.

    Natural gas production is booming in the United States and the fueling infrastructure to support it as a transportation fuel has a lot of catch up to do to make it viable. Argonne National Laboratory announced this week a new tool to help local and state governments measure the economic benefits of building new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations. Westport Innovations has unveiled the first generation of its new, proprietary enhanced spark-ignited (ESI) natural gas system. It is designed to provide vehicle and engine OEMs with a cost competitive, downsized solution. It targets Class 6 and 7 trucks as well as applications for use in automotive and non-automotive applications.

    Phase 2 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) rules will be out in March. The rules will govern trailers, more trucks and new testing procedures but it has yet to be determined what will be included in the proposed rules. Participants in CALSTART’s High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum in Chicago this week heard about the rules first hand from Karl Simon, Director, Transportation and Climate Division at EPA. He implored attendees to offer ideas, opportunities and important things EPA needs to hear to make the rules work for industry, observing, “We have a long track record of changing things based on information we hear.”

    If you weren’t able to join CALSTART in Chicago, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a nice snapshot of what happened there. From the array of people to the very exciting range of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the Ride-and-Drive, it was a provocative meeting. Check out the photographic snapshot here.


    Governor Brown Signs Into Law Measures to Boost Electric Cars, New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1rogEI5

    CALSTART Applauds Governor Brown, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1rogEb4

    SCE Bets Big on Lithium Ion for the Nation’s Largest Energy Storage Project, Silicon Beat
    http://bit.ly/1BaH5lU

    New Tool Predicts Economic Impacts of NG Stations, Phys.org
    http://bit.ly/1t0b7UT

    Westport Has a New NG Technology for OEMs, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1rw9z8U

    EPA’s Phase 2 GHG Rules Still Unknown, Truckinginfo
    http://bit.ly/1vitdW0

    HTUF In Review, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1ysHHay

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  • Number One Disrupter


    The Union of Concerned Scientists is out with an update to their 2012 report on electric vehicles (EVs) which showed lackluster results in how clean they are. Yesterday they reported new data documenting that in 60% of the U.S., EVs are responsible for fewer heat-trapping global warming emissions per mile than even the most efficient hybrids. States that don’t rely heavily on coal for power generation are faring best in reducing transportation-related pollution

    EVs are doing well on college campuses, too, according to ChargePoint, an EV charging station provider. Growth is up 35% over last year. The University of California at Davis has the most with 38, followed by Towson University in Maryland, with 36.

    CALSTART’s newest member, Green Tech Automotive, has completed a factory in Mississippi for the manufacture of small electric vehicles. The company is prepping two models for production by the end of 2014. One is a neighborhood-electric vehicle and the other is a G2 battery-electric sedan.

    BYD and Proterra are both making inroads in the U.S. electric public transit market. The latter is out with news that they’ve selected Toshiba’s Rapid Recharge SCiB battery for their next generation of buses. BYD is building its own batteries. 

    “Global conquest,” “coolest kid in class,” “environmental status symbol,” “the first great American auto baron in almost a century.”  Could Elon Musk be finding it difficult to deal with the adulation of his fans? Vanity Fair is the latest to herald the Tesla Motors icon by naming him the number 1 “disrupter” on their annual list. Tesla is working on a mass-market vehicle, the Model 3.

    Bimbo Bakeries, the largest bakery company in the U.S. has recently added 16 natural gas trucks for its California trucking fleet, and they’ve converted 81 delivery trucks to CNG thanks to a Pennsylvania alternative fuels grant. Natural gas is gaining a lot of traction in the commercial truck fleet market but what about passenger vehicles? For a decade the CNG fueled Honda Civic has provided the choice for consumers and now Chevrolet is ready to launch a dual-fuel Impala, creating CNG passenger car competition. 

    There’s a lot happening in the Windy City where Motiv Power Systems has delivered the first of 20 quiet and clean electric garbage trucks. The trucks, purchased by the City of Chicago, are estimated to reduce costs to just 10-cents per mile (compared to 80-cents with standard diesel), and offsets 55 barrels of petroleum and 23 tons of carbon dioxide, per truck, annually. 

    Attendees of the 2014 High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum will get to take the Motiv all-electric refuse truck for a spin at the national meeting being held next week at Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago.  This is the last day to register for the meeting which features keynote speakers Karl Simon, Director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) transportation and climate division, and David Friedman, Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Click here to register and be part of the process for making change happen in the high-efficiency truck and bus arena.


    EVs are Cleaner but Still Not a Magic Bullet, New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1meb0rT

    ChargePoint Shows Increase in Campus EV Charging, Domestic Fuel
    http://bit.ly/1uDKglL

    Green Tech Auto Restarting Production Later This Year, Autoblog Green
    http://aol.it/1wpHYGm

    Toshiba to Provide Fast-Charging Batteries for Proterra, CleanTechnica
    http://bit.ly/1qY5LN1

    Elon Musk-Vanity Fair’s Number One Disrupter, Autoblog Green
    http://aol.it/1u7Vdd5

    Bimbo Bakeries Adds Leased CNG Trucks, Trucking Info
    http://bit.ly/1teTC79

    Honda, Chevrolet Give Natural Gas Push, Los Angeles Times
    http://lat.ms/1nFIc6N

    Motiv Delivers First Electric Garbage Truck to Chicago, Gas 2.0
    http://bit.ly/1ygWbKl

    Leading EPA and NHTSA Officials to Keynote HTUF, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1r9o56b

    HTUF Last Day to Register
    http://htuf2014.org/

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  • Flight Fisticuffs

    Auto sales figures for August are out and the top automakers reported unexpectedly strong sales with General Motors, Toyota, Ford and Chrysler performing well. Analysts attribute the results to low gas prices and heavy discounts resulting in a sales pace not seen since 2006. Just like sales, American driving levels are at a high not seen in six years. Vehicle-miles-traveled were at the highest level for any June since 2010. The estimates were released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and were used by Transportation Secretary Foxx to call for more investment in highway spending programs. 

    Between 2000 and 2012, Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province in China, implemented new environmental policies and regulations to curb air pollution. A new study documents the resulting health and economic benefits which cut health costs in half.  The Chinese government is expected to announce a new policy soon that would invest $16 billion to grow the electric vehicle (EV) market and the development of charging infrastructure. This could be good news for Tesla which has targeted China as part of their future growth.

    California EV owners will benefit from the passage of AB-2565, which was sent to Governor Brown earlier this week. The law requires landlords of rental properties to conditionally allow tenants to install charging stations, thereby potentially increasing adoption rates. Meanwhile, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is holding a hearing on October 23 to possibly modify the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation. Adjustments were initially requested by Volvo and four other intermediate volume manufacturers (IVMs) to allow them time to come into the advanced technology vehicle market.

    Fueling your vehicle with farm waste is being called by some the next new era in clean ethanol. Today, a $275 million factory opened in Emmertsburg, Iowa, the first of several to open this year to produce large-scale cellulosic ethanol. There’s also good news for heavy-duty applications in that Oberon Fuels has been given EPA approval for inclusion under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Their biogas-based DME resulted in a 68% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to diesel. 

    Calling all New York propane vehicle enthusiasts. The New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA) is administering a rebate program allowing residents to apply for a $5,000 incentive program to apply toward the purchase or conversion of a propane autogas vehicle. There’s a one-time rebate per resident/fleet and the program ends December 31, 2014.

    I can’t resist the growing number of stories about recliner rage on airplanes. On Monday, a flight fight from New York to Florida between a person resting her head on the tray table and a person wanting to recline while she knitted resulted in an emergency landing. Next up-possibly cell phone use on aircraft. Imagine the in-flight fisticuffs. 

    U.S. Auto Sales Strong, Led by Ford, Chrysler, MSN Money
    http://on-msn.com/1Bbyy3T

    US Driving Level Highest in Six Years, Trucking Info
    http://bit.ly/1un44Ji

    Chinese Air Pollution Regulations Have Halved Health Costs, Eurek Alert
    http://bit.ly/1rgCrRS

    China May Throw $16B Behind EV Growth & Infrastructure, Silicon Valley Business Journal
    http://bit.ly/1u0Ngby

    California Giving EV Owners Right to Install Charging Stations, Examiner.com
    http://exm.nr/1pJ6aU5

    CARB Considers ZEV Regulations, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1nwYIpJ

    Fueling Your Car With Farm Waste, Fortune
    http://bit.ly/1qodLqr

    Oberon DME Receives First Biogas Approval Under the RFS, Oberon Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1ttGPiF

    New Propane Autogas VIP Launched in NY, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1lI0IQK

    Recliner Rage Forces Another Flight to Land, Politico
    http://politi.co/1pISrNg



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  • Rickety Bridges & Global Warming

    And then there’s that climate change problem. The New York Times managed to get a copy of a U.N. draft report on climate change that was supposed to come out in November. The takeaway is that 75% of the fossil fuels must stay right where they are, in the ground, to avoid devastation from rising sea levels, severe drought and mass extinction of plant and animal life. Political stasis has been the trademark of climate change discussions and Obama administration climate negotiators are working on a sweeping global agreement to get nations to reduce emissions through a climate accord instead of a treaty. Constitutionally, a treaty requires support from a two-thirds majority of the Senate, which is unlikely.

    The World Wildlife Fund in the UK is getting a lot of attention from a provocative Twitpic they posted that illustrates why ignoring global warming is like driving across a rickety bridge. Check it out.

    Why in the world would General Motors get behind bike sharing? GM’s Director of Sustainability says it’s not such a stretch. The manufacturer has a 330 acre technical center with 61 buildings and a bike share solution allows employees to use a smart phone app to borrow a bike.

    Volvo Buses is doing their part in Europe to reduce emissions as they launch their Volvo 7900 electric-hybrid full-size bus. They have a number of public transportation fleets in Europe that will be rolling out the new model. Volvo says that compared to a conventional diesel bus, they are seeing reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75%. In Washington State, King County Metro Transit has inked a new deal with bus maker Proterra that could be the biggest piece of business in their history. The agency has purchased two of the battery-powered, zero-emission buses and if all goes as planned they may buy up to 200 more over five years.

    Richard Battersby had buses on his mind yesterday as he shared information with viewers of the School Transportation News webinar network. Battersby is the Executive Director of the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition and the fleet manager for the City of Oakland. He shared tips for where to look to find funding for school buses and for getting rid of older diesel vehicles.  You can watch the webinar here.

    It’s time to start planning for September and if you are interested in energy storage you won’t want to miss the Energy Storage North America Conference in San Jose, California. On September 30, CALSTART’s very own Research Director, Dr. Jasna Tomic, will lead a workshop on developments in electric vehicle grid integration. There’s even a discount code for $50 off. When you register, enter “WORKSHOP50.”

    Speaking of discounts, CALSTART members save $50 on the registration fee for the High Efficiency Truck Users Forum National Meeting when you register by this Friday, August 29 (non-members save money too but the fee is a bit higher). Karl Simon, Director, Transportation and Climate Division for EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality is one of the featured speakers. Additionally, industry thought leaders will share ideas on how to identify and address barriers to the adoption of high-efficiency trucks and buses. The meeting takes place September 22-24 at the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago. Register now!

    U.N. Draft Report Lists Unchecked Emissions’ Risks, Newsweek
    http://bit.ly/1mSbezV

    Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty, The New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1mRrBg7

    WWF UK, Twitpic
    http://bit.ly/1mSbsXJ

    GM Brings Bike Sharing to Technical Center, CBS
    http://cbsloc.al/1pe0iSC

    Volvo Buses Introducing Hybrid-Electric Transit Bus, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1q58lQU

    Seattle Deal Could Lead to Proterra Expansion, Greenville News
    http://grnol.co/1vRCHXQ

    STN Webinar Focuses on Techniques for Obtaining Funding, School Transportation News
    http://bit.ly/1phOhMb

    Energy Storage North America
    http://bit.ly/1qKReQy

    HTUF 2014 National Meeting, CALSTART
    http://bit.ly/1rAajeF
    http://www.htuf2014.org/


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  • Networking

    Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced plans this week to eventually require vehicle-to vehicle communications to be installed in all cars and trucks. The technology uses a radio signal to continually transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, and speed, and alerts drivers to an impending collision. The technology is being tested in Ann Arbor, MI where 3,000 volunteers are part of a pilot to test their networked vehicles in order to provide detailed data. 

    While Google has been experimenting with its own driverless cars, they’ve also purchased four battery electric shuttle buses from Motiv Power Systems.  The buses will be used to provide a free community shuttle service in Mountain View, California, where Google is headquartered. In nearby Gilroy, school children are breathing easier thanks to a new, clean electric bus that’s been added to the Gilroy Unified School District fleet. Adomani converted a 2007 Blue Bird All American school bus from diesel to electric. The district has installed solar panels to power its charging station, making the bus capable of emission-free rides.

    General Motors recently offered a glimpse of what lies ahead for their marketing of the Volt. Understanding that many Volt owners are evangelical about their vehicles, GM plans to harness that enthusiasm by letting them share the message. The Volt has the highest customer satisfaction scores of any vehicle GM has ever sold. 

    What is the future of urban transportation? The BBC suggests that perhaps it is the old becoming new again in the form of cargo bikes. The bikes are being touted as a way to deal with urban-congestion and air quality issues. DHL recently replaced 33 trucks with 33 cargo bikes. UPS is also testing its own electric-assisted delivery bikes in a few European cities. Click here to see what their sporty bike looks like.

    For the long haul, vocational fleets and truck operators continue to hop on the natural gas bandwagon. Kenworth Truck Company is expanding their natural gas (NG) portfolio with the new T880 which can run on either compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas. Volvo Trucks is embracing natural gas, too, by introducing, in Europe, a new monofuel version of the Volvo FE. The Volvo FE CNG is designed for operations with short driving cycles.

    CALSTART has had the pleasure of working with the Northeast Ohio-based Stark Area Regional Transit Authority, to secure $5.5 million in federal funding. The money will be used to add two fuel cell buses to their fleet, which transit authority President and CEO Kirt Conrad says will represent the state’s lone fuel-cell driven means of transportation.

    Such clever people. Doniece Sandoval of San Francisco saw a problem in need of a solution and that’s when she decided she needed a bus. With more than 7,000 homeless people in her city, she set out to find a way to provide reliable hygiene services for them. Armed with tenacity and a vision she was able to take a 1993 Muni bus from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and turn it into a mobile showering service. The shower suites were open for business last week.

    New Era in Safety When Cars Talk to One Another, The New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1pUCxhf

    Four Motiv e-Buses as Google Shuttles, Fleets & Fuels
    http://bit.ly/1kY881z

    Adomani EV School Bus Approved for Use in California, Autobloggreen
    http://aol.it/1ljxRSL

    GM to Revamp Volt Marketing Efforts, Charged
    http://bit.ly/1BGljJO

    Cargo Bikes, Built For the Short Haul, BBC
    http://bbc.in/1rhIMP8

    Kenworth Continues to Expand Its Heavy-Duty NG Portfolio, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1z6XlTR

    Volvo Trucks Introduces New Monofuel NG Version of FE, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1qtFKAN

    Ohio to Test Fuel Cells for Public Transit, Government Technology
    http://bit.ly/1v1AgnT

    A Bus and a Shower, Grist
    http://bit.ly/1BujYWi

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  • Next Energy Revolution


    Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are all pining for Tesla to open their “gigafactory” (massive battery factory) in their states. The $5-billion factory could mean 6,500 jobs, which has California considering easing some of its decades-old environmental mandates and possibly giving some sizeable tax breaks. The plant should be open by 2017. When it comes to electric vs. fuel cells, Toyota is betting on the latter. Yesterday, speaking at the JP Morgan Auto Conference in New York, Toyota’s senior vice president Bob Carter said, “…we see hydrogen fuel cells as being the no-compromise, primary-option vehicles for the next 100 years.” The manufacturer has invested $7.2 million to support the maintenance and operation of hydrogen fueling stations for their fuel cell sedan which in the US will start in California and then spread to the East Coast. Meanwhile, on the transit side, California’s Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) ran a marathon range test over a 24-hour period with their new BYD electric bus. The test results were so successful that ATA’s Board Chair said that this is proof that BYD’s bus “…can be a transit work horse like its diesel counterpart.” 

    Automotive News, observing suppliers consolidating into large corporations with major global footprints, is taking a moment to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs succeeding in gaining auto industry traction. One of the showcased companies is Achates Power which wants to license its opposed-piston two-stroke engines to automakers in search of significant fuel efficiency gains. With $90 million in investment capital, the company is hiring engineers from Detroit, as well as Asia and Europe. They are acquiring equipment, testing, publishing data in scientific journals and sharing their findings with the industry. There’s also some serious innovation being tested at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles where, under the auspices of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Siemens will install a 1-mile catenary system consisting of overhead electrical lines that supply trucks with electric power. Siemens and the Volvo Group are developing a demonstration vehicle for the project. This is the first step in evaluating the potential success of a zero-emission cargo movement system

    What will be the next energy revolution? Based on results from a rail testing center in Colorado, BNSF Railway is in a pilot program to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power their locomotives. The financial benefits could be enormous given that fuel is their second-largest operating expense and accounts for one-third of its operating costs. With natural gas for trucks making inroads across the United States, lessons learned from developing gas-engines for heavy trucks is applicable to the locomotive sector allowing the technology to develop faster. 

    When you think of Copenhagen, you think of bikes. That’s because more than 50% of residents bike to work. What could make the Danish façade crack as its citizens erupt in smiles? Their newest citizen-pleasing infrastructure, that’s what. A new road called Cycle Snake is an elevated cyclist roadway over a harbor, allowing cyclists to bypass a crowded waterfront shopping area. A Danish designer said it best, “It tickles all your senses.” 

    California May Waive Environmental Rules for Tesla Battery Factory, Los Angeles Times
    http://lat.ms/1oHu77U

    Bullish Toyota Admits Hydrogen Won’t be Cheap, Ecomento
    http://bit.ly/Y54Pvm

    BYD Electric Bus Logs 746 Miles in 24h Period, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1l3fUYm

    In Era of Giant Suppliers, Startups are Winning Auto Business, Automotive News
    http://bit.ly/1oDBDAO

    Truck Electrification Systems To Be Tested at Ports, Trucking Info
    http://bit.ly/1p6raT4

    Next Energy Revolution Will be on Roads and Railroads, Reuters
    http://reut.rs/VlYZDX

    Copenhagen’s New Bike Skyway Makes Commuting Look Fun, Wired
    http://wrd.cm/1lIX7fD

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  • If I Had a Million Dollars


    While Congress temporarily managed to avoid a national transportation crisis by approving a 10-month transportation program extension, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is fully aware that this is no long-term solution. That’s why you are cordially invited to join him at 11 Eastern Time today for a National Town Hall Meeting to discuss long term infrastructure needs. You can register here.

    How do they do it? Last year, the five largest oil companies averaged earnings of $177,000 per minute. Taxpayers for Common Sense is out with a report that documents special tax code provisions that resulted in the twenty largest oil and gas companies paying 11.7% in taxes from 2009-2013 compared to the statutory corporate tax rate of 35%. The American Petroleum Institute responded that the oil and gas industry gets zero subsidies. The report says what they do get is a tax advantage not available to other U.S. taxpayers, allowing them to defer “more of their federal income taxes than they actually paid during the last five years.”

    Kudos to General Motors for winning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Plus. Of the 12 models tested, the Volt was the only one with an optional forward collision warning system. Longmont, Colorado’s UQM Technologies is winning customers in Europe where the first all-electric mini bus has been approved by the Hungarian National Transportation Authority. UQM PowerPhase electric motor and controller systems are being used to power the bus. 

    Time Warner Cable (TWC) is the newest member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities’ National Clean Fleet Partnership. TWC has a “Go Green” initiative which aims to reduce their 2012 carbon intensity by 15% by the end of 2014. UPS has overachieved and is now raising the bar on their carbon dioxide emissions goal. The delivery giant reached a 2016 goal to reduce emissions by 10% three years early. Their new target is 20% by 2020. To do that, they are going to use even more alternatively powered vehicles. The company fleet includes 3,600 such vehicles today, including 250 that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). They expect to add another 1,000 this year.

    For those of you interested in energy storage, the Energy Storage North America conference in San Jose is something worth checking out. Organizers say that this is the convergence of transportation, distributed, and utility-scale applications. One for sure not to miss workshop is on September 30, led by CALSTART’s very own Research Director Jasna Tomic. The topic is Exciting New Developments in Electric Vehicle Grid Integration

    Having a million dollars just could be a reality thanks to Google. They are offering the cash prize to a team who can design a smaller, high power density inverter, with an eye toward improving electric vehicles by reducing the size of the inverters. Teams need to register by September 30, 2014. 

    Town Hall Registration
    http://bit.ly/1lxfgNr

    DOT to Host Town Hall on Highway Funding, FleetOwner
    http://bit.ly/1pXgIdl

    Big Oil Companies Pay an Absurdly Low Tax Rate, Think Progress
    http://bit.ly/1s4PuHF

    Chevy Volt Is Insurance Group’s Top Safety Pick, CNN Money
    http://cnnmon.ie/1s4Vv4G

    UQM Technologies Broadens European Customer Base, The Auto Channel
    http://bit.ly/1sfBIyE

    Time Warner Cable Fleet Joins Clean Cities Program, Multichannel News
    http://bit.ly/1npSVRC

    UPS Sets 20% Carbon Emission Reduction Goal, Bloomberg
    http://bloom.bg/1svstLN

    New Developments in EV Grid Integration, ESNA 2014
    http://bit.ly/1iHaZFO

    Want $1 Million From Google? Design Improved EV Part, Christian Science Monitor
    http://bit.ly/1saazx1



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  • Next Drive


    Motiv Power Systems, which designs and builds an electric Powertrain Control System for commercial truck and bus builders, has raised $7.3 million in growth capital from investors. The lead funder is Magness Investment Group of Colorado. The timing was particularly nice given that California’s Kings Canyon Unified School District is about to receive their second Motiv-equipped electric school bus

    Growth is a theme for Quantum Fuel Systems, too. Their natural gas storage systems have been well received lately with $600,000 in purchase orders in recent weeks from the Wheeltime Network.  Wheeltime is made up of 18 member networks with 180 installation and service locations globally. Quantum has been the exclusive CNG systems supplier to the network for aftermarket conversions. Westport Innovations is out with new natural gas fueling options. Their newly expanded vehicle lineup includes the 2015 Ford Transit van and cutaway as dedicated CNG Westport WiNG Power System vehicles. Frito-Lay’s diverse fleet includes natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and Trillium CNG is working with them to design, build, operate and maintain stations for its fleet of heavy-duty tractor-trailers. The latest CNG fueling station has been opened by Trillium in Charlotte, NC. 

    Calling all BMW i3 drivers in California. NRG eVgo, provider of fast charging sites, has partnered with BMW on its new ChargeNow DC Fast program by expanding access to their EV charging network. BMW i3 drivers can now access no cost 30 minute DC fast charging at equipped locations through 2015. For grins, if you want to see a BMW i3 in action in Austria, scroll down in this article to see Romanian rally driver Vali Porcisteanu, hop out of his car to demonstrate the vehicle’s new driverless parking capability.  The $1,000 optional extra allows the car to park itself without driver interference.

    So, what will they think of next? Rebecca Hough, CEO and Co-Founder of Evatran is making major strides as the first company in the world to make wireless charging available to EV drivers. The company is now out with news that the technology will soon be available on the Cadillac ELR. Stephen Colbert is dreaming of wireless charging, talk of which is how he ended a recent show featuring none other than Tesla, PayPal, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.  From technology that will allow you to name your car and mass market electric vehicles, to opening up its patents to competitors allowing any other vehicle company to use Tesla technology, Musk shares it all while an enamored Colbert takes in the future unfolding before his eyes.


    Motiv Power Systems Gains Funding, School Transportation News
    http://bit.ly/1pFzYvK

    Quantum Announces Expanding Orders, CNN Money
    http://cnnmon.ie/1rPrFn7

    Westport Expands 2015 CNG Lineup, NGTNews
    http://bit.ly/1ttadFw

    Trillium CNG Opens Latest NG Fueling Station, Truckinginfo
    http://bit.ly/1nIzpEM

    NRG eVgo Partners with BMW on Fast Charge Network, EV World
    http://bit.ly/1pFArhv

    BMW i3 Parks Itself, autoevolution
    http://bit.ly/1k7w3eF

    Cadillac ELR to Get Plugless Wireless Charging Tech, Electric Car Reports
    http://bit.ly/1zviEAy

    Stephen Colbert Interviews Elon Musk, The Colbert Report
    http://on.cc.com/1zvjbm3

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  • Traction

    President Obama has climate change on his mind and today he’ll announce a series of initiatives that range from protecting the electricity supply to a variety of measures to manage impacts of rising sea levels. Yesterday, the President pressed Congress to provide more funding for transportation infrastructure, as well as to finance the Highway Trust Fund. The fund is at risk of running out of money unless Congress acts. 

    China has a new vehicle initiative mandating that 30% of government vehicle purchases have to be electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids, or fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). The measure is for purchases between now and 2016 and the requirement will be continued at a higher ratio when local provinces will also need to comply. 

    China-based electric vehicle maker BYD has announced that they are building their first factory in Brazil for electric buses. Slated to open in 2015, the maximum capacity for their first year will be 1,000 electric buses. And, in California, Foothill Transit is getting two battery-electric buses from Proterra. The 40-foot electric buses should be in service by December. Proterra’s zero emission vehicles are made in America and the company is based in Greenville, South Carolina.

    It’s time to start tucking away $35,000 as Tesla is out with news that the name of their new all-electric vehicle is Model 3 and it will go on sale in 2017. The vehicle will have a range of 200 miles and will be 20% smaller than the Model S. The 2015 Chevy Volt has an upgraded battery pack from 16.5 kilowatt-hours to 17.1 kilowatt hours. There also may be a slight improvement in overall EV range.

    For five years running California has ranked number one in an index of clean-tech activity in the U.S. Renewable energy, electric vehicles, and other emerging technologies investments and effective policy levers put the state atop the U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index for 2014. The report tracks clean-tech activities in all 50 states and the 50 largest metro areas. The other states to make the top 10 include Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, New York, New Mexico, Washington, Illinois, Vermont and Connecticut. 

    White House Unveils Climate Change Initiatives, The New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1mUIsBo

    Obama to Push for Transportation Funds, Inside Nova
    http://bit.ly/1oYvaUD

    China Requires 30% of State Cars Use Alternative Energy, Bloomberg
    http://bloom.bg/1rj9u6q

    BYD Building Factory in Brazil, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1qHgRDE

    Foothill Transit Company Buying Electric Buses, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1oInnrb

    Tesla Motors Officially Confirms Model 3 EVs Will Go on Sale in 2017, Forbes
    http://onforb.es/1qfhk43

    2015 Chevrolet Volt, Green Car Reports
    http://bit.ly/1oInGlH

    Clean Tech Leadership Index Ranks States and Cities, TriplePundit
    http://bit.ly/1mUJ9uz


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  • Transport Evolved

    The sixth US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue is taking place and the two countries have agreed to collaborate on climate change. Included among the six new eco-partnerships is one between Shanghai Municipal Transportation and the Port of Los Angeles. Underscoring the need to clean the air, Coca-Cola has decided to offer China-based expatriate employees an environmental hardship allowance of 15% on top of their base pay because of the hazardous air pollution there. Alternative fuel vehicles make up close to 10% of Coca-Cola’s heavy-duty truck holdings.

    Alameda County in California is not only CALSTART’s newest member but they are also one of 10 governments and agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area that have united to buy 90 electric vehicles (EVs) making it one of the largest single government purchases of all-electric vehicles in the country. The purchased vehicles include the Ford Focus and Nissan Leaf. 

    The Environmental Protection Agency has added a new twist to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by allowing renewable electricity to be made from certain biomass sources if it is used to power EVs. Enthusiasts believe this will create a new business model for EV charging infrastructure.

    Volvo North America announced yesterday that their redesigned 2015 Volvo XC90 SUV will be offered in a plug-in hybrid version. This will be the company’s first plug-in hybrid when it launches in the U.S. market next year. And, it will be the world’s first mid-size, luxury, seven-seat plug-in hybrid to go on sale.

    Toyota has garnered much attention with their plans to sell a mass-market fuel cell vehicle in Japan and the US in the near term. The bet that it will be a key technology over the next few decades hinges in part on fueling infrastructure. Making it work in California is key and Sandia National Lab is out with a study showing the state may be further ahead than it thinks. In an exam of 70 commercial gas stations in the state, they found that 14 can accept hydrogen fuel and another 17 could possibly accept it with property expansions. Sandia’s Hydrogen Program Manager Daniel Dedrick sums it up by saying the findings in the report will accelerate the deployment of hydrogen systems.

    Now that you’ve read to the very end, here’s an upcoming funding announcement tidbit for you to digest. The Department of Transportation has a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, and their next solicitation opens next Monday. One topic in particular, might be of interest and that is “Using Alternative Energy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Production in the Transportation Sector.” You can register here for a public webinar on July 29.
     
    Nations Sign Pacts on Climate Change, China Daily
    http://bit.ly/1ojogGj

    Coca-Cola Offers Expats China Pollution Hazard Pay, Financial Review
    http://bit.ly/1mz7R3o

    Bay Area Governments Make Big EV Buy, The Washington Post
    http://wapo.st/1jcXCCQ

    In New Twist, RFS Could Boost EVs, E&E Publishing
    http://bit.ly/1rSvKGS

    Volvo’s High-End Performance Plug-In Hybrid, Edmunds
    http://edmu.in/1mJ5dcW

    Japan Automakers Lead Fuel Cell Drive, ABS CBN
    http://bit.ly/1jYmc4Y

    California Can Broaden Hydrogen Network, Domestic Fuel
    http://bit.ly/1k5wsc9

    Small Business Innovation Research Funding, Volpe
    http://1.usa.gov/1lhBQgY

    SBIR Solicitation Preproposal Conference, Volpe
    http://bit.ly/1nerkHp


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  • Supply Chain Headache

    While the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling dominated news early this week, energy, farm and trade groups are focused on the “other” Court decision. The Supreme Court also ruled that they will not consider a challenge to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The rule that requires fuel producers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products over the entire life cycle of the fuel, is viewed by biofuel industry representatives as discriminating against out-of-state commerce, specifically, that the state law places unconstitutional burdens on out-of-state fuel producers. 

    CALSTART, Efficient Drivetrains, the California Energy Commission and Greenkraft are collaborating to develop a Class 4 commercial vehicle that pairs CNG with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology. The research goal, in part, is to show which duty cycles and applications for MD CNG-PHEV systems yield the greatest benefits. On the light-duty side, Volvo has announced plans to fully embrace PHEVs by offering a plug-in hybrid version of every model in its lineup. 

    Ever had a supply-chain headache? Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids did and in stepped Andrew Coors, who became CEO of Steelhead Composites to meet the demand for pressure vessels for hybrids and other products. Based in Golden, CO, the company makes light weight, high pressure cylinders for CNG, industrial gas storage and transportation, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. 

    Fuel cell transit buses have paid off for Ballard Power Systems and New Flyer Industries as they were recently awarded the Canadian Urban Transit Association’s (CUTA) 2014 Corporate Leadership Innovation Award for the Whistler Fuel Cell Bus Project. The project involved 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses in regular service for five years, successfully logging 2.5 million miles. Transit accolades have also been conferred upon the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) for their outstanding public transit system. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) called UTA a role model for other public transit agencies. 

    A new report has been released saying that Fortune 500 companies are saving hundreds of millions of dollars annually through investments in green technologies. PepsiCo, General Motors and UPS are among the many listed. UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn points to their fleet of more than 3,000 AFVs that run on LNG, CNG, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid and even chicken waste to lower their energy costs and make them more competitive in the global climate.

    What do Arkansas, California, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina have in common? Money! While they aren’t the only states offering funding and incentives for clean transportation, they are highlighted by Fleet Owner in a robust list of grant opportunities

    Supreme Court Lets CA’s Low Carbon Fuel Rules Stand, Truckinginfo
    http://bit.ly/1ooq2sG

    EDI Partners With Greenkraft, Reuters
    http://reut.rs/1z8fljt

    Confirmed: Volvo to Offer Plug-In Hybrid Option on All Models, Plugincars
    http://bit.ly/1vu93Gi

    Steelhead Composites Featured, CompanyWeek
    http://bit.ly/1sXrlE5

    Fuel Cell Transit Bus Initiative Receives Industry Accolades, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/TD4FbJ

    UTA Honored As Nation’s Best Transit System, Salt Lake Tribune
    http://bit.ly/1lSRLkJ

    Renewable Energy Saves Fortune 500 Companies Over $1 Billion, Clean Technica
    http://bit.ly/1meZCeo

    UPS Sees Its Shipping Future in Green Technologies, The Street
    http://bit.ly/1o1Ykil

    Cash for Clearing The Air, FleetOwner
    http://bit.ly/1lzsvM8


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  • Taking a Spin

    Money talks and a trio of bipartisan powerhouses have shared their findings from a study called Risky Business, which is designed to apply risk assessment to climate change.  Led by former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, a leading climate policy advocate, their conclusion is that the financial consequences of inaction are punctuated by the reality that future risks are directly tied to present decisions. Creating cleaner technology pathways is one solution to climate challenges that the Illinois Clean Energy Fund addresses. The $4.6 million revolving equity fund was announced by the Clean Energy Trust as an initiative to help clean energy startups, including those focused on next-generation transportation, create new jobs that lead to a sustainable future.

    New automotive technology is making major strides with Toyota doing their part to usher in the fuel-cell era. Japan’s Prime Minister announced the automaker’s strategy yesterday, including plans to sell their fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) to the mass market in Japan by the end of March, 2015. Seventeen years ago the company established market dominance with the Prius hybrid, and their betting they can do it again with FCVs. Toyota is joined by Ford and Honda in topping Best Global Green Brands 2014 list of best green business practices. The winners are ranked based both on market perception, and actual environmental performance.

    Federal fuel economy standards for 2014 appear to be working, according to a new study by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). Their findings include that of the 29 all-new 2014 vehicles, 18 meet or exceed 2015 standards with some meeting 2020 fuel efficiency requirements. The authors give credit to a combination of regulations and greater consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. CFA, from an earlier survey of 1,000 people, found that consumers expect their next car to get at least 30 mpg.

    Electric vehicles (EVs) rank high in both fuel efficiency and low emissions, topics that dominated the conversation on Ira Flatow’s Science Friday last week. Jeff Allen with Drive Oregon was one of two featured guests focusing on the power of electric drive to clean transportation. The other was Chris Hoffman, CEO of Ryno Motors who has a one-wheeled electric motorcycle. You can join 10,000 others who helped his video go viral on YouTube.

    Based on last week’s announcement from Harley-Davidson about their new electric motorcycle prototype, the excitement surrounding Project LiveWire has gone viral, too. LiveWire is generating buzz as it has embarked on a tour starting with dealerships along Route 66 so they can get feedback on the electric chopper concept from fans and customers. A broader rollout in the U.S., Canada and Europe will take place in 2015.

    Facing Climate Change, Climate Progress
    http://bit.ly/1qwj2KW

    Fund Created to Help Launch Green Energy Businesses in Illinois, Chicago Tribune
    http://trib.in/1ryy82x

    Japan Moves to Fast-Track Cars Powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells, New York Times
    http://nyti.ms/1pjw41j

    Ford, Toyota and Honda Top Best Global Green Brands, 24/7 Wall Street
    http://bit.ly/1o3sN2d

    54.5 MPG? Automakers Are on Track, Edmunds.com
    http://edmu.in/1o3sOn3

    Reinventing How City Dwellers Get Around, Science Friday
    http://bit.ly/1yO6gfA

    Taking a Spin, Digital Trends
    http://bit.ly/1jOBKbn

    A Ride to Remember, The Verge
    http://bit.ly/1iC5lKk


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  • Dump the Pump

    Who is saving 700+ million gallons of fuel and cost savings of $2.5 billion over the lifetime of a vehicle? Chrysler gets the nod for some green bragging rights. Their TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission is now in more than one million vehicles globally and the manufacturer has a cherry on top claiming more than six million metric tons of CO2 emissions reductions. Lightning Hybrids is primed for some emissions reduction green street cred, too. They’ve just released preliminary results from extensive emissions testing on their hydraulic hybrid systems, showing up to a 90% decrease in NOX, and up to 16% in CO2 emissions.

    NGI’s Daily provides many examples of ways natural gas for transportation is gaining traction this month. Scroll down to news about member company Parker Hannifin, which has a new compressed natural gas (CNG) Autocar E3 trash truck using their brake-saving RunWise hydraulic hybrid drive. There are more than 100 that have been sold to refuse operators. Miami-Dade County, FL is getting on the CNG bandwagon, too, as they issued a new RFP for bids to develop a CNG program for Miami-Dade Transit (MDT). One of their goals is to transition 300 transit buses to CNG and develop refueling stations.

    Massachusetts is acting on their commitment to make zero-emission vehicle adoption a reality. They have announced the launch of their electric vehicle (EV) rebate program allowing up to $2,500 at the point of sale. Their aim is to see 300,000 EVs on their roads by 2025. A123 Systems is doing their part to make sure batteries for vehicles have the best technology that can result in faster charges and discharges. The battery maker has purchased technology from Leyden Energy with an anticipated outcome of having some of the most powerful batteries available. 

    US Hybrid gets to play in Hawaii as they have been awarded a contract funded by the State of Hawaii and Office of Naval Research to deliver its H2Ride Fuel Cell Plug-In Shuttle Bus. The 25-passenger bus will be deployed by the County of Hawaii Mass Transit Agency (MTA) early in 2015. 

    The city of Berkeley, California is eager to dump the pump. The city is making progress toward requiring warning stickers on gas pumps letting people know that CO2 emissions contribute to global warming. Modeled on warnings on cigarette packaging, one councilmember wants to remind citizens that there are greenhouse gas impacts and alternatives do exist. In case you missed it, it’s the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 9th annual national “Dump the Pump Day.” This year 135 transit agencies are participating to lure drivers out of their cars and onto buses. From scavenger hunts on train and bus routes in Atlanta and Greensboro to free rides in more than 20 cities the goal is to raise awareness of the environmental, financial and health benefits of choosing public transportation over driving. 

    Chrysler Says Its 8-Speed Transmissions Will Save 700 Million Gallons, Autoblog Green
    http://aol.it/1phvLj8

    Lightning Hybrids Releases Initial Emissions Results, Lightning Hybrids Blog
    http://bit.ly/SWbq8e
     
    CNG, LNG Transportation Fuel Markets Get Boost, NGI’s Daily
    http://bit.ly/1rbLW2F

    County Issues Major CNG RFP, NGT News
    http://bit.ly/1lCnFU7

    Massachusetts EV Rebate Program Now Online, TorqueNews
    http://bit.ly/1nRdf1C

    A123 Systems Buys Battery Tech, Crain’s Detroit Business
    http://bit.ly/1pMsSdR

    US Hybrid Awarded Fuel Cell Contract, Green Car Congress
    http://bit.ly/1nmyQ07

    The City of Berkeley Considers Gas Pump Climate Change Stickers, Los Angeles Times
    http://lat.ms/1qqCQ4D

    More Americans Dumping the Pump for Public Transportation, StreetsBlog USA
    http://bit.ly/1lCwQnJ


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