Just weeks after pledging to launch a lineup of electric trucks by 2021, Daimler Trucks North America said it would begin testing 20 fully electric heavy- and medium-duty Freightliner models at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach this year.
The multiyear, $31.3-million project provides early insights into the kinds of electric trucks Daimler is planning — their range and intended use.
It also shows that Daimler Trucks intends to remain at the front of the pack as most of its competitors prepare to launch electric models of their own. The company’s Freightliner brand is the top-selling heavy-duty truck in the U.S.
There’s a second aim as well — the program will help demonstrate how electric trucks can help reduce harmful diesel emissions.
Communities near the two ports and along truck routes between the ports and Southern California warehousing and distribution centers are among the worst in the nation for polluted air and related respiratory diseases, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
The project’s co-sponsor, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, provided almost half the financing as part of its clean air program. The two port facilities are the largest freight ports in the U.S. and generate almost 30,000 truck trips per day. Most of those trucks are diesel.
For its part, Daimler designed the project to gather real-world data to assist in the development of its upcoming line of e-trucks.
The project also is designed to demonstrate the viability of heavy-duty electric trucks.
Daimler is providing $15.6 million, the air quality district is contributing $13.2 million, each of the ports is providing $1 million and the EPA $500,000.
The company’s commitment to electric trucks underscores a huge shift in the industry as governments around the globe push to reduce emissions from trucks, cars and stationary sources such as power plants.
The German company is one of the largest truck makers in the world and owns the Freightliner, Western Star, Mitsubishi Fuso and Sprinter brands.
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced on July 18 its new Zero Now Financing program. The company said the program “makes the cost of purchasing a new natural gas heavy-duty truck equipped with the cleanest engine in the world equal to the price or even lower than that of the same truck equipped with a diesel engine.”
In addition, trucks financed or purchased via Zero Now Financing program will be able to purchase natural gas fuel at a fixed price “significantly discounted to diesel” for the term of the financing/lease through a unique hedging program.
If the trucks financed also qualify for grants that are offered in certain states, the cost could be considerably less than a diesel truck, stated Clean Energy Fuels.
The new natural gas trucks will be powered by the Cummins Westport ISX12N engine that has been certified by California Air Resources Board CARB and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at 0.02 g-NOx/bhp-hr and tested at 0.01 g-NOx/bhp-hr. Clean Energy Fuels said that is at least 90% lower NOx emissions than current EPA NOx standards, “making it the cleanest engine available today.”
“The Zero Now Financing program levels the financial playing field by removing the price differential of a natural gas truck versus a diesel truck. This combination will give fleets a considerable sustainability advantage, which could result in winning more business,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO, Clean Energy. “The goal is to significantly reduce the environmental impact of heavy-duty trucking and widen the adoption of natural gas as a clean, American-made fuel to move America’s goods around the country.”
Clean Energy Fuels already makes its Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG) available at many of its public stations and said it will work with fleets to provide it wherever possible. The company said that Redeem allows customers to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 70% vs. diesel. Redeem is the cleanest fuel for trucking today, according to Clean Energy Fuels, with some RNG sources even reducing GHG emissions by over 100%.
Clean Energy is launching Zero Now Financing with $100 million in credit support from its new strategic partner Total S.A., a global energy firm. Also, Clean Energy said it is partnering with “multiple well-known financial institutions to make the process as seamless as possible.”
The program extends to trucks built by a variety of manufacturers, operating on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquified natural gas (LNG) and that are equipped with the new Cummins Westport ISX12N engine. The Zero Now Financing offer will include a five-year engine coverage option on the ISX12.
Clean Energy operates a fueling network of over 100 public stations strategically located around the U.S. and Canada that accommodate Class 8 tractors and plans to add more to meet demand.
Interest in using solar panels for auxiliary power is growing among fleet operators as main truck batteries are often no longer able to meet the power needs of today’s trucks due to new idle-reduction legislation and increased driver comfort demands.
NACFE recently released a Confidence Report on the use of solar technology on both tractors and trailers to help fleets determine if solar panels make sense in their application.
Participate in this webinar to gain insight into how fleets can evaluate if solar panels are a good investment, as well as the many benefits solar energy can offer, including:
• Minimizing engine idling while parked, providing fuel economy
• Supporting battery HVAC systems and hotel loads without batteries
• Reducing the expense and inconvenience of jump-starts and unplanned downtime
• Increasing driver retention by powering computers, cell phones, microwaves, etc.
• Supporting liftgate, telematics and reefer operations
According to a new report by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), propane autogas school bus registrations in the U.S. have increased by a whopping 700% in the last five years.
The report says school buses powered by propane autogas are transporting approximately 928,000 students every day at more than 840 public and private school districts in 48 states. For the report, PERC used vehicle registration data from IHS Polk.
Propane autogas school bus adoption continues to rise across the country, according to the new data: The number of school buses powered by propane autogas in operation at the end of the first quarter of this year was more than 15,200 nationwide. In 2017 alone, approximately 90 new school districts and bus contractors transitioned to propane school buses for the first time.
Building upon its previous commitments to compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling, UPS has announced plans to build an additional five CNG fueling stations and add more than 700 new CNG vehicles, including 400 semi-tractors and 330 terminal trucks.
This $130 million investment in CNG capacity for 2018 builds on prior UPS investments of $100 million in 2016 and $90 million in 2017. In total, from 2008 through 2018, UPS says it will have invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations.
“We strongly believe further investment in our natural gas fleet is a key element to help us achieve our long-term goals for reducing our CO2 emissions,” states Carlton Rose, president of global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS. “We demonstrated the effectiveness of natural gas vehicles and fuel in 2017 by using 77 million total gallon equivalents in our ground fleet. UPS is a catalyst for wide-scale adoption of natural gas vehicles.”
LG&E and KU has installed their 9th level 2 electric vehicle charger!! The charger is located at 201 Main Street in Elizabethtown, KY. With two dedicated parking spots, drivers of plug-in electric vehicles can get a charge while enjoying downtown Elizabethtown.
The commitment to installing charging stations is an example of LG&E and KU’s dedication to support environmental sustainability in our communities. LG&E and KU has committed to install 20 public EV charging stations across the state. To date, nine stations have been installed. There are five chargers installed in LG&E’s territory and four installed in KU territory.
Other locations are being determined to best serve electric vehicle drivers in the region. These will be in public access areas, such as street parking, parking lots and outdoor areas.
KCFC Executive Director was honored to speak at the Waste Management Grand Opening of the $30 million renewable natural gas facility in June. Waste Management’s new state-of-the-art technology at its Outer Loop Recycling and Disposal Facility, turning waste disposed at the site into usable, renewable energy. This innovative infrastructure will capture methane produced by the landfill and convert it to pipeline quality natural gas.
“The Outer Loop facility accepts approximately one million tons of waste a year from area businesses and homes. This project closes the loop. This new facility will produce enough pipeline-quality natural gas each day to fuel 800 of our CNG (compressed natural gas) collection vehicles across North America or power up to 14,000 homes a day,” Wells said.
“We are proud to play an important role in making Louisville more sustainable for today’s residents and for generations to come,” said Waste Management Area Vice President Tim Wells. “We are grateful for Mayor Fischer’s sustainability efforts and thank Louisville for being a good partner to us.”
“The people of Louisville share Waste Management’s deep commitment to sustainability,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “We need more companies to follow their example, and invest in renewable energy solutions that will make our community better.”
This is not Waste Management’s first sustainability project in Louisville. The company has also invested $30 million converting its entire fleet of local collection diesel trucks to a compressed natural gas fueled fleet; helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air and noise pollution.
“Waste Management, by converting its fleet, has reduced its use of conventional fuel by millions of gallons. That has translated to thousands of tons of greenhouses gases that were not emitted because of the company’s remarkable efforts,” Carpenter said. “This new project with its state of the art technology allows Waste Management to have an even bigger impact on reducing those emissions.”
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EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in competitive grant funding for the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. The Program is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas.
Proposal packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) no later than June 12, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) to be considered for funding.
The Electrify America program through the Volkswagen Settlement has begun installing DC fast chargers. While they have not indicated exact locations, the program has indicated that they plan to install DC fast chargers in Kentucky. The settlement required VW to invest $2 billion ($800 million in California and $1.2 billion for the remainder of the U.S.) to promote the use of zero emissions vehicle technology across the country. The funds created the Electrify America program. Over a ten year period ending 2027, Electrify America will invest the $2 billion. The funds will be invested over four 30 month cycles.
The Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition’s Green Fleets of the Bluegrass Program reduced gallons of conventional fuel used in 2017 by over 16.2 million GGEs. In 2017 the program had its largest level of participation in program history. The combined sustainability efforts in 2017 of the participating fleets led to a reduction of greenhouse gas emitted by over 123,000 tons of GHGs. KCFC hosted the seventh annual Green Fleets of the Bluegrass Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 23rd in Louisville.
Fleets Recognized with Leadership Awards
Lextran – Greenest Transit Fleet
M & M Cartage – Greenest Freight Fleet
Mercer Transportation – Greenest Corporate Fleet
UPS – Greenest On-Road/Off-Road Combination Fleet
Waste Management – Greenest Refuse Fleet
City of Somerset – Greenest Municipal Government Fleet
Crittenden County Board of Education – Greenest Public School Fleet
Kentucky Division of Fleet Management – Greenest State Government Fleet
Other Fleets Recognized
Bourbon County Schools
City of London
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Transit Authority of River City
Other Program Participants
Allen County Schools
Bath County Schools
DoubleTree by Hilton Cincinnati Airport
Hardin County Schools
Jefferson County Public Schools
LaRue County Schools
Lexington Fayette Urban County Government
Louisville Metro Government
Metropolitan Sewer District
Murray State University
Nicholas County Schools
Standard Sales Company
Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky
Trimble County Schools
University of Louisville