Possible Trump Visit to Iowa Ethanol Mill Signals E15 Win

President Donald Trump is considering visiting an ethanol refinery in Iowa in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, a signal that the administration will fulfill a pledge to permit the year-round sale of high-ethanol gasoline sought by corn farmers in the state.

Iowa Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, as well as Governor Kim Reynolds, will be invited, according to four people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing the private deliberations.

Last fall, Trump visited Iowa and delivered a victory to corn farmers and biofuel producers when he said he signed a memo telling the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift summertime fueling restrictions on E15 gasoline, which contains 15% ethanol. The corn-based fuel currently accounts for 10% of U.S. gasoline consumption and higher blends are restricted during the summer months in some areas.

Leading Fleet Wins with Biodiesel

Ruan Transportation Management Systems has never stopped innovating, which is fitting for one of America’s most storied trucking companies.

John Ruan started the company in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1932 with one truck. Today, it is an asset-based 3PL with a diverse offering of services, over 300 locations nationwide and a fleet that travels 350 million miles a year.

As the company continues to evolve, Ruan recognizes the importance of environmental sustainability to the trucking industry’s future.

“Ruan wants to help reduce emissions,” says Steve Larsen, the company’s Director of Procurement and Fuel. “We are also very customer-focused, and a lot of our customers have sustainability goals, and we want to support them by being a cleaner supplier.”

Electrify America Launches App, Alters Charging Prices

Electrify America has launched its first-ever app, designed to allow users to manage an entire electric vehicle (EV) charging session on their phone.

Available for both Android and iPhone, the app allows customers to locate a charging station, pay for a charge and track a charging session. Once a charging session is complete, the app will provide a receipt.

The company also is introducing two charging membership plans: Electrify America Pass and Electrify America Pass+. In addition, Electrify America will be changing its introductory charging cost pricing, currently at 30 to 35 cents per-minute, and will implement a roughly 20% reduction on those prices, depending on regions and local utility rates. There will be three power levels for pricing: 0 – 75 kW; 76 kW – 125 kW; and 126 kW to 350 kW.

Renewable natural gas on-road fuel use reaches historic high

Washington, DC– Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) has announced that 32 percent of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in calendar year 2018 was renewable natural gas (RNG).

Captured above ground from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill or food waste, RNG – or biomethane – produces net carbon-neutral and even net carbon-negative results when fueling on-road vehicles like short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles.  RNG fuel in 2018 had an EER-adjusted carbon intensity as low as -303.30 according to the California Air Resources Board.  By comparison, California’s electricity grid rated between 25.0 and 38.95.[1]

Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577 percent, displacing over seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).  NGVAmerica and the RNG Coalition report that in 2018 a total of 645 million gasoline gallon equivalent of natural gas was used as a motor fuel.  Of that, more than 204 million gasoline gallon equivalent was renewable.[2]

“Proven and affordable natural gas vehicle technology is over 90 percent cleaner than federal EPA nitrogen oxide emission standards,” said Dan Gage, President of NGVAmerica.  “And when those American-made heavy-duty trucks and buses are fueled with renewable natural gas, they are up to 125 percent cleaner than the cleanest diesel technology in terms of carbon emissions.  RNG-fueled vehicles are the most immediate and cost-effective heavy-duty option when seeking to combat climate change.”

ROUSH Brings Low-Emission Engine to Blue Bird CNG Bus

ROUSH CleanTech is now offering a new 0.02 ultra-low-NOx option for Blue Bird Vision compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses.

The partners say school districts and transportation contractors can now purchase CNG-fueled buses that are 90% cleaner than the national emissions standard, opening more opportunities for funding that supports reduced emissions.

“Our customers want bus innovations that are environmentally friendly and allow them to access emissions-based grant funding, and the Blue Bird Vision CNG bus delivers,” states Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “This is a huge step for Blue Bird and the school bus industry as we continue to be the first to bring the newest and cleanest engine technology into our lineup of buses.”

ROUSH CleanTech developed the technology using Ford’s 6.8L V10 engine. According to the company, it is the first high-volume-production CNG Type C school bus engine certified to the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) optional low nitrogen oxide emissions standard of 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour.

EVgo Procures 100% Renewables for Electric Vehicle Charging Network

EVgo has contracted for 100% renewable energy to power its customers’ vehicles, becoming the first electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the U.S. to do so, the company claims.

EVgo contracts with its energy suppliers and renewable energy certificate (REC) partners to ensure that each gigawatt-hour delivered on its fast-charging network financially supports an operating renewable energy generator in the U.S.

Across the country, EVgo is buying a combination of Green-e certified wind and solar energy through its electricity suppliers and REC partners. In California, EVgo is currently procuring 100% solar RECs from California and intends to purchase bundled renewable energy from its partners as they become certified through the California Air Resources Board’s Renewable Energy Pathways program.

New Flyer Launches Autonomous Technology Program for Buses

This program includes the development and deployment of technology for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and automated vehicles (AVs), with a guiding principle focused on public safety.

To ensure safe interaction among transit operators, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and interaction of buses, New Flyer will leverage the Internet of Things (an extension of internet connectivity to physical devices and everyday objects) to build connectivity in sharing public roadways. Secondary benefits of New Flyer’s program include operational efficiency, productivity and energy reduction.

PowerUp by Trillium: New EV Charging Approach for Fleets

Trillium, a provider of alternative fuel systems and renewable fuels, has debuted PowerUP by Trillium, a program designed to serve electric vehicle fleets with predictable and cost-effective electricity pricing for EV charging.

PowerUP by Trillium uses a mix of power supply technology ranging from solar panels and on-site generation using RNG, to energy storage and power supplied from the local electric utility.

“The paradigm for EV recharging has always been to charge your vehicle using the electric utility, but PowerUP by Trillium changes that standard,” says Bill Zobel, general manager of business development and marketing for Trillium. “Our newest refueling solution puts fleets in control of their power supply and gives them the option to choose which sources of power to draw from, adding certainty to electric costs while enhancing the reliability and sustainability of their power supply over the long term.”

New Initiative Helps Fleets Evaluate Alternative Fuels

This new collaboration will support organizations – including transit agencies, refuse operations, trucking carriers, delivery fleets, school districts and municipalities – in evaluating the real-world economic and environmental benefits of advanced transportation technologies: e.g., battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, natural gas, propane, renewable fuel, and autonomous and connected technologies.

The LAZER Initiative aims to help commercial fleet operators and their suppliers validate the economic, environmental and operational impacts of advanced technology platforms and alternative fuel powertrains on a full life-cycle basis.

Nikola Rolls Out Trucks for Zero-Emissions Future

Nikola Motor Co. CEO Trevor Milton, 28 months after unveiling a prototype Class 8 sleeper, presented to about 2,000 attendees and a global audience watching online two heavy-duty trucks and three other specialty vehicles he said are ready to spark a zero-emissions future.

The heavy-duty trucks that drove out from behind the curtains one at a time, amid swirling lights and loud music as people put their cellphones on video, were the stars of the event.

As a bright red Nikola Two day cab took center stage, Milton said, “This is a real truck. This is a real [hydrogen] fuel cell,” seeming to speak to those who doubted the emerging truck maker would ever get this far.

Nikola introduced a hydrogen fuel cell Class 8 prototype Dec. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City, its former headquarters. It is now based in Phoenix.

The day after the presentations here, Nikola offered the public a first look at the trucks as well as two zero-emissions power sport vehicles and another one designed for special forces operations, which included the ability to be operated remotely like a drone.

“We want to transform everything about the transportation industry. With Nikola’s vision, the world will be cleaner, safer and healthier,” Milton said.