Question of the Month: What are the new credit allocations that were established under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)’s Alternative Fuel Transportation Program (Program) earlier this year? How can I help spread the word on these new Energy Policy Act (EPAct) compliance pathways?
Answer: DOE issued a final rule on March 21, 2014, that establishes credit levels for additional means by which covered state and alternative fuel provider fleets operating under the Program’s Standard Compliance option may earn credits. These credits may be used toward compliance with a fleet’s alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) acquisition requirements. DOE promulgated the rule pursuant Congress’ direction, set forth in Section 133 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
The new credit allocations address the acquisition of various types of electric drive vehicles and allow covered fleets to earn credits under Standard Compliance for some vehicles that do not meet the EPAct 1992 definition of an AFV. Newly eligible vehicles include the following (with their credit allocations):
Medium- and heavy-duty HEVs are also eligible for one-half credit after a fleet has met its light-duty AFV acquisition requirements.
Acquiring the electric drive vehicles noted above is not the only new way to earn credits under EPAct Standard Compliance. Fleets may now earn credits for investments of their own funds (not grant funds or other monetary awards) in qualified alternative fuel infrastructure. For every $25,000 invested, a covered fleet may earn one credit, with a limit of five credits available per fleet per model year for private infrastructure investment, and ten credits per fleet per model year for public infrastructure investment.
Fleets may also earn credits for investments in alternative fuel non-road equipment and/or emerging technologies associated with the Section 133-identified vehicles. The credits for non-road equipment are similar to infrastructure – one credit for every $25,000 invested and a maximum of five credits may be earned per fleet per model year. Emerging technologies investments will earn a covered fleet two credits for the initial investment of $50,000 and one credit for every $25,000 invested thereafter, with a limit of five credits per fleet per model year.
Fleets may begin taking advantage of these new credit allocations for their efforts undertaken in model year 2014 and future model years.
How Can You Spread the Word?
Are you aware of any covered utility or state fleets that are building new fueling infrastructure?
Do you have an EPAct covered fleet stakeholder that needs an extra push to buy or lease HEVs?
Do you or your stakeholders have questions regarding EPAct compliance?
Note that covered fleets are currently compiling their Program reports for model year 2014 (September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014) activities, which are due by December 31, 2014.
For more information, refer to the following resources:
For more information on how this may impact your fleet or community, contact:
Business Development Director
Clean Energy Coalition is excited to announce that ArborBike, Ann Arbor’s bike share program, is now live with six active locations. For a complete station list, visit ArborBike.org.
ArborBike will help residents, students, commuters, and visitors in Ann Arbor get around the area. The highly anticipated program went live Thursday, September 25th with the roll out of 40+ bikes. It’s clear that the program is in high demand; over 145 memberships have already been purchased and 210 trips have been taken.
ArborBike offers users several membership options including a daily pass ($6), monthly access ($9.99), and an annual membership ($65). Once registered, members can checkout a bike, ride, and return the bike to any of the stations. Memberships can be purchased online at ArborBike.org or at any of the kiosk locations. The current stations will be open through the fall and into early winter, weather permitting.
Currently, 40+ bikes and 6 kiosks are installed. A full deployment of all 14 locations and 125 bikes will take place in April 2015.
Thank you to our sponsors for making this launch a success! ArborBike sponsors include:
Information about sponsoring ArborBike stations, bikes, and memberships may be found on-line or in our sponsorship packet. Contact Heather Seyfarth at firstname.lastname@example.org for details about these and other opportunities. Also download the ArborBike Sponsorship Packet for more information.
Additionally, we would like to thank our 53 volunteers who came out at the end of August to assemble 44 bikes. Volunteers included community organizations such as Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC), the Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition, and Circle K, a Kiwanis-affiliated volunteer student organization at the University of Michigan. This remarkable display of support was a clear sign that the community is interested and supportive of the program.
Clean Energy Coalition manages and operates the ArborBike program. If you have any questions regarding the program or how to sign-up, please email info@ArborBike.org.
On September 10, Clean Energy Coalition hosted its second annual clean fuel policy luncheon in Lansing. The event focused on creating a climate of political support for clean fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. Speakers from Clean Energy Coalition, Schupan & Sons Inc., and the City of Auburn Hills were joined by industry experts and advocates to discuss the importance of supporting this growing, domestically-supportive market through legislation. The event was part of Clean Energy Coalition’s on-going Michigan Fuel Forward project, which aims to identify and eliminate common barriers to the use of clean fuels. Over 70 legislators and staff attended what turned out to be an overwhelmingly successful event.
Chris Kolb of the Michigan Environmental Council kicked off the meeting, with welcoming remarks coming shortly thereafter from Senator Kowall and Representative Driskell. Josh Rego of Clean Energy Coalition then took the stage, discussing trends in the clean fuel vehicle market, including the anticipated 524% rise in clean fuel vehicles on the road and the broad economic impact of supporting the deployment of these technologies in Michigan. Allison Skinner, also with Clean Energy Coalition, discussed a report recently released by the organization titled “Alternative Fuels: A State Policy Analysis”. The report outlines the piecemeal approach to alternative fuel policies being used by states across the country, identifies which policies tend to be associated with higher rates of clean vehicle use, and highlights the extensive work that needs to be done by Midwestern states to catch up to the support being shown in other states. Anchoring the event was Chris Milani with Schupan & Sons, Inc. Mr. Milani described the benefit of clean fuels in their ongoing fleet operations, and the role federal policies played in allowing them to pursue clean, domestically-produced fuels.
The event was followed by a panel discussion, where speakers were joined by Ron Melchert, Director of Public Works at the City of Auburn Hills to answer questions from legislators and staff. The event was also covered by WILX in Lansing in this news segment. From here, Clean Energy Coalition will continue to work with legislators and other key organizations to create political support for clean fuels here in Michigan.
For more information on clean fuels or clean fuel policy, please contact:
Ann Arbor Area Clean Cities Coordinator
(734) 585-5720 x25
They did it! Clean Energy Coalition’s team of four crossed the finish line on September 9th after riding their bicycles for four days and 300 miles from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago, Illinois as part of a multi-day charitable bicycling event called Climate Ride. Not only did these individuals put in countless training hours this past summer in preparation, but they also fundraised a total of $13,831 from 224 donations for Clean Energy Coalition, a beneficiary of the event.
While bicycling 10+ hours each day, our riders were able to enjoy the amazing scenery and unique gems the Midwest has to offer. They also had the chance to network with 110+ leaders and activists in the field as well as hear from expert speakers each night on topics ranging from sustainable food choice, the health of the Great Lakes, and Chicago petcoke. With so many amazing experiences to choose from, we wanted to know what their favorite part was. Here’s what we found out:
Overall, the riders couldn’t stress enough the impact of their Climate Ride experience. When asked if they would do Climate Ride again, we heard “in a heartbeat.” Since Climate Ride offers multiple trips – California North Coast, NYC-DC, in addition to the Midwest ride – we may just see these riders in another part of the country.
If you’re interested in giving our riders a pat on the back as well as supporting Clean Energy Coalition’s work, donations can still be accepted online until the end of the year.
To learn more about their experience or about how to take part in Climate Ride, please contact:
Nicole Ver Kuilen
734-585-5720 ext. 37
Clean Energy Coalition seeks energetic and committed Part-time Bike Share Technicians to support ArborBike, the newly created Ann Arbor bike share program. Bike share technicians will work closely with the public, the ArborBike team, and other Clean Energy Coalition staff.
Please see the linked position description for details and information on how to apply.
DATE: SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
TIME: 12:00 PM EST
There will be an estimated 22 million alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) on US roads by 2020. This means that AFV sales will increase by 7.3% each year for the next 25 years. Dealerships that thrive in this new automotive paradigm will be those that have the knowledge and competency to sell these cleaner, more efficient vehicles. Clean Energy Coalition invites dealerships and vehicle sales professionals to a half-hour seminar on tips for selling alternative fuel vehicles. Speakers from ASG Renaissance will discuss why it is critical that all vehicle salespeople know how to sell electric, compressed natural gas, propane, and other alternative fuel vehicles. Clean Energy Coalition staff will highlight important vehicle and fuel information.
To register for the webinar, click here or visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/789012103107905794
In July 2014, Clean Energy Coalition completed an exhaustive review of state-level alternative fuel policy across the United States. This research provides a valuable look at various policies adopted throughout the United States, and how these policies might relate to the number of AFVs and alternative fueling infrastructure in each state. By comparing the strength of relationship between certain policies and AFVs per capita, we can determine which types of policies might be more effective at promoting the proliferation of AFVs and the use of alternative fuels. The research began by categorizing each of over 900 state policies based on fuel, policy mechanism, offering body, and targeted market. The research then examined correlations between different types of policy and the number of AFVs in each state.
The paper finds that there are three important distinctions that impact AFV policy: the origination of the policy (whether it is a state, local, or utility policy), the target of the policy (who is affected by the policy), and the type of policy mechanism (e.g., financial incentive, or a fee/tax policy). For example, this research suggests that states with more laws and incentives that originate at the local or utility level are more likely to have a higher number of AFVs per capita. This indicates that decision makers should encourage the use of local policy to promote AFVs, and work with utilities or the state’s public service commission to promote the use of alternative fuels and AFVs. Although most current policy is targeted toward the commercial sector (especially so for grants and rebates), states that have more laws and incentives targeted to the residential sector are more likely to have a higher number of AFVs per capita. Ultimately, the paper identifies three main incentive mechanisms that have the strongest correlations with AFV deployment.
To read the full text of the paper, visit the Clean Energy Coalition website here.
For more information, please contact:
734-585-5720 ext. 16
In August, Michigan Fuel Forward project lead and Clean Energy Coalition Program Supervisor, Heather Seyfarth, spoke to a room packed full of Michigan planners about the importance of incorporating alternative fuels into long-range transportation planning.
This year’s MTPA conference focused on innovative planning for an uncertain future, which is a principal benefit of a diversified fueling landscape. Heather discussed how the challenge for transportation planners will be to effectively plan for a shift in the number of alternative fuel vehicles on the road, enabling communities to capitalize on the many community benefits that AFV’s have to offer, including economic development, public relations, and environmental quality.
Ultimately, the session provided an overview of AFVs, explored the status of AFV adoption in the state, and discussed the steps that planners can take to both prepare for and encourage the use of AFVs in their community.
For more information, please contact:
734-585-5720 ext. 21
The Michigan Fuel Forward project team is currently putting the finishing touches on 14 fleet-specific petroleum reduction plans to assist project partners in reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the project, each partner was asked to provide information on the fleet’s goals and data on fleet operations. Using its Fuel Forward® approach, Clean Energy Coalition then analyzed this data to determine specific quantitative recommendations detailing how each fleet can cost-effectively switch to alternative fuels. These results are outlined in detail in each plan, allowing fleet partners to see the conditions under which alternative fuels make financial sense.
Each plan contains numerous other recommendations as well, ranging from idle reduction strategies to efficient driving tips. These recommendations were either based on goals specifically identified by the fleet, or are additional low-cost, high-impact strategies for fuel use reduction. The plans include a method for tracking progress towards each outlined goal, a map of local alternative fuel infrastructure, and additional resources related to each recommendation.
Plans will be delivered to each fleet partner starting as early as next week.
For more information on Clean Energy Coalition’s fleet-specific petroleum reduction plans, please contact:
734-585-5720 ext. 25
It has been a long time since the last project update. Over the last several months, the team here has been quite busy. In January, the second meeting between the project’s fleet partners was held in Dearborn. Each fleet was presented with a customized baseline report outlining the characteristics of their organization’s fuel use. The meeting concluded with a goal setting exercise, during which each fleet was encouraged to identify their goals and obstacles in the foreseeable future.
The second meeting of the policy taskforce was held later that month. The meeting began by highlighting work that had been done based on previous input from taskforce members, including the development of an infographic highlighting Michigan’s support for alternative fuels relative to other midwestern states, and a guide to alternative fuel road signage that includes recommendations for improvement. The taskforce then shared ideas and thoughts about targeted next steps for the group, including focusing on supporting alternative fuels through statewide legislation.
Since then, the project team has taken this information and worked hard to develop both content and events that reflect the input of project stakeholders. For starters, each fleet partner will be receiving a customized petroleum reduction plan in the next few weeks. These plans, described in greater detail below, combine qualitative and quantitative recommendations to address the fleet’s specific goals and concerns as they relate to fuel use reduction.
This fall, the team will host another event in Lansing aimed at making the case for the state-level support of alternative fuels. On September 10, representatives from the clean fuels industry will gather with legislators to discuss the importance of creating a political environment conducive to the development and deployment of clean fuel vehicles and infrastructure. Please register for the event here.
If you have information you’d like to share on your progress towards deploying clean fuels or fuel reduction strategies, please let us know so we can highlight your success in the next project update. Thank you for your continued commitment to this project!
– Joshua Rego, Project Manager
734-585-5720 ext. 25