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What’s New

ArborBike officially launches in Ann Arbor
October 14, 2014

ArborBikeMadisonandState

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 heather@cec-mi.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.

 

Making the Case for Clean Fuels
October 14, 2014
ChrisMilani2
Above: Chris Milani, Vice President of Operations and Logistics at Schupan & Sons Inc., speaking at the event on September 10 on the importance of legislative support for clean fuels.

 

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:

Josh Rego
Ann Arbor Area Clean Cities Coordinator
(734) 585-5720 x25
josh@cec-mi.org

They Did It! A Climate Ride Success
October 14, 2014

climateride

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:

  • “The inspiring people I met on the ride and their causes.”Rebecca Filbey, Program Supervisor at Clean Energy Coalition, recalls some of the individual people who left a mark on her during the ride. “There was Kyle from Chicago, a bicycle commuter and advocate, as well as Rachel, a graphic designer who works for Adventure Cycling Association in Montana. Rachel had an inspiring personal story about how cycling transformed her mom’s life and she even wrote a fun piece after the ride on how she is impressed with the Midwest. Dick also had a great story about how he turned his retirement plan into a climate advocacy campaign. It was amazing to be around this group for four days and hear so many unique stories. ”
  • “Fascinating discussions during the Climate Ride Café”Nicole Ver Kuilen, Proposal Coordinator, says her favorite part was the evening program on Night 2, called the Climate Ride Cafe. “There were eight tables with different topics facilitated by a rider-expert to generate new ideas and discussion. From Who Killed the Electric Car to Bicycle Friendly Communities as well as Food Farms and Climate Change, conversations and ideas were shared that really made me think differently about my work.”
  • “The Midwest’s unique gems”Bonnie Bona, Project Manager, recalls touring through Michigan wine country, countless lighthouses, and breathtaking views of farms and the Chicago skyline. “We had nightly bonfires – even on the beach of Lake Michigan – and took dips in the lake to cool off. With ice cream stops and fantastic breweries packed into the agenda, the Climate Ride organizing team did a fantastic job laying out all the stops and making it an incredibly meaningful experience.”
  • “Texts, tweets, and calls from my supporters.”Heather Croteau, Clean Cities Intern and ArborBike Technician, loved the many forms of communication she received on the ride from her supporters. “I enjoyed posting pictures online and hearing various ‘Go Heather, Go!’ chants in return. Those kind words got me up some of the tough hills and through the fourth day. I truly appreciate the support my friends and family gave me.”

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
Proposal Coordinator
nicole@cec-mi.org
734-585-5720 ext. 37

 

Clean Energy Coalition Seeks Part-time Bike Share Technicians
September 9, 2014

 

We’re hiring!

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.

Free Webinar: Selling Alternative Fuel Vehicles
August 26, 2014

EV-charge

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

Alternative Fuels: A State Policy Analysis
August 26, 2014

policylandscapepaper

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:

Allison Skinner
Project Associate
allison@cec-mi.org
734-585-5720 ext. 16

Michigan Transportation Planning Association (MTPA) Conference
August 26, 2014

MTPA

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:

Heather Seyfarth
Program Supervisor
heather@cec-mi.org
734-585-5720 ext. 21

Petroleum Reduction Plans
August 26, 2014

City planning, emissions, incentive, sign

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:

Josh Rego
Project Manager
josh@cec-mi.org
734-585-5720 ext. 25

Michigan Fuel Forward – August Update
August 26, 2014

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
josh@cec-mi.org
734-585-5720 ext. 25

 

ArborBike Set to Launch in September
August 8, 2014

ArborBike - group shot copy

Clean Energy Coalition has officially set an installation and launch schedule for ArborBike, the upcoming bike share program for Ann Arbor. Installation will occur in the first weeks of September, after site preparation is completed, and following a brief testing period, the program will open up to the public. The initial launch will include 10 of 14 originally planned stations; work to resolve conflicts with the remaining four station locations will continue through the fall and winter, and full installation is planned for the spring. Weather permitting, the 2014 season could last as long as December 19, the last day of student exams at the University of Michigan. After that, all bikes and stations will be removed and stored for the winter.

Those who are interested in joining ArborBike should sign up for the mailing list at www.arborbike.org/join-now.html to receive instant notification when memberships are available. Though we are not accepting sign-ups yet, we have set the following membership options and prices:

  • Annual Membership: $65 – This membership is active for 12 consecutive months, and it may carry over from one season to the next. It includes an ArborBike Membership Card for quick bike access, so you can skip the kiosk!
  • Monthly Auto-renewing Membership: $9.99 – This option allows members to try ArborBike for a shorter time and pay on a monthly basis.
  • 24-hour Membership: $6 – The 24-hour pass is perfect for visitors and recreational use of ArborBike.

Membership discounts will be available for groups of 15 or more, for non-profit organizations, and for students. Additional details can be found online or by emailing info@arborbike.org. For more details about installation plans, please see the August 1 article by Ryan Stanton at www.mlive.com, which describes recent developments and lists the stations scheduled for September installation.

In preparation for system launch in September, the ArborBike team has a few other items to announce. First, keep an eye out for the ArborBike van around town. This vehicle, wrapped in ArborBike blue and green, will “rebalance” or shuffle bikes from full stations to empty ones. Rebalancing will ensure availability of bikes throughout the system, even during heavy commutes. Also, on Wednesday, August 27th, we are asking the community to come out and help us assemble ArborBikes! We are ordering approximately 75 bikes for the initial launch, and we are going to have an assembly event prior to station installation. If you are interested in volunteering to help assemble the bikes please visit our United Way Volunteer Page. Finally, system launch means we need additional help to operate the program. We will announce an opportunity soon to assist ArborBike with tasks like rebalancing, maintenance, customer service, and outreach. This information will also be distributed via our mailing list and social media outlets.

Have any more questions on ArborBike or how to become a member? Please contact:

Nick Helmholdt
ArborBike Operations Manager
nick@cec-mi.org
734.585.5720 x13


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