Alternative Fuel Vehicle Projects Receive Fresh Injection Of Funding


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing approximately $11 million in 20 new projects that focus on planning, training and infrastructure development related to alternative fuel vehicles.

Administered through the DOE's Clean Cities initiative, the projects will concentrate on providing technical and safety training for fleet operators, technicians and others, as well as on improving the permitting and vehicle procurement processes. The projects will also aid fleets in integrating strategies that will help them reduce the usage of diesel fuel and gasoline. Supporting natural gas, propane autogas and electric vehicles is the primary target.

The new projects include the following:

CALIFORNIA: California Fleets and Workplace Alternative Fuels Project. A statewide effort to develop best practices for permitting alt-fuel vehicle refueling infrastructure; collaborate with colleges on first-responder training; promote workplace EV charging; and work with fleets to implement petroleum reduction strategies. Funding: $1 million. Project lead: Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

COLORADO: Refuel Colorado, A Roadmap to Increase Alternative Fuel Use. This project is aimed at adding alternative fuel vehicles to state purchasing agreements; train and deploy “energy coaches” who will work directly with fleets to assess and implement opportunities for alternative fuel vehicle use; conduct an audit of the state fleet to identify options for alt-fuel vehicle use; and create a stakeholder-driven policy and regulatory roadmap for alternative fuels in the state. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: Colorado Energy Office.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Advancing Alternative Fuel Markets Adoption and Growth. Stakeholders in D.C., Maryland and northern Virginia will develop recommendations for uniform fire and building codes for alternative fueling infrastructure; establish signage for each alternative fuel that is uniform across the project region; conduct workshops and webinars to disseminate information to fleets; and provide a platform for sharing of best practices among vehicle users and potential users. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition.

FLORIDA: Advancing Alternative Fuel Markets in Florida. This project will develop model codes, ordinances, purchasing guidelines and incentives; conduct safety and training programs for first responders, service technicians, mechanics, code officials, fleet managers and key decision makers; and develop a strategic plan for the coordinated deployment of alternative fueling infrastructure across the state. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: Univ. of Central Florida.

GEORGIA: The Southeast Regional Alternative Fuels Market Initiatives Program. Stakeholders in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee will provide first responder and vehicle maintenance technician training; develop alternative fuels “readiness workbooks” to guide alt-fuel vehicle deployment readiness; assist municipalities with alt-fuel vehicle readiness; and create and provide procurement policies and incentive models. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: Center for Transportation and the Environment.

ILLINOIS: The Lake Michigan Corridor Alternative Fuel Implementation Initiative. This project, which includes southeastern Wisconsin, greater Chicago and northern Indiana, will work to make existing municipal fueling stations available to other fleets; create vehicle conversion inspection criteria; and train and educate fuel retailers, first responders, vehicle mechanics, code officials, measurement agencies and fleet operators. Funding: $764,266. Project lead: Gas Technology Institute.

MAINE: Removing Barriers, Implementing Policies and Advancing Alternative Fuels Markets in New England. Project activities for this multi-state effort include harmonizing alternative fuel vehicle permitting, regulations and safety protocols between among New England states; evaluating regulations that inhibit the use of alternative fuels; and coordinating standards for fuel quality assessment and labeling. Funding: $725,703. Project lead: Greater Portland Council of Governments.

MICHIGAN: Michigan Fuel Forward. Stakeholders will work with a wide range of partners to convene an alt-fuel task force; include alternative fuels in regional and state transportation plans; recommend changes to codes, regulations and permitting; develop alternative fuel signage; help public and private fleets evaluate alt-fuel options; and partner with community colleges to train Michigan's first responders, mechanics and electricians. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: Clean Energy Coalition.

MINNESOTA: Accelerating Alternatives for Minnesota Drivers. The project will provide safety and technical assistance and training related to fueling infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles; establish the Minnesota Natural Gas Vehicle Workgroup and create a strategic plan for statewide natural gas vehicle implementation; establish a Minnesota green fleet recognition program; and create the website as an online resource for EV users and potential EV users in Minnesota. Funding: $248,788. Project lead: American Lung Association in Minnesota.

MISSOURI: Mid-America Collaborative for Alternative Fuels Implementation. The project will focus on diversifying transportation fuel options in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. These efforts include developing an alternative fuel policy model; recommending an alt-fuel vehicle procurement policy and best practices “toolbox”; safety and operations training for first responders, fleet managers, code officials, fire marshals and key decision makers; vocational training at local colleges and technical schools; and establishing a Green Fleet Technical Assistance and Certification program. Funding: $815,000. Project lead: Metropolitan Energy Center.

NEW MEXICO: Advancing New Mexico's Alternative Fuels. Stakeholders will work with the governor's office and other entities to address alternative fuel vehicle road signage issues; provide recommendations to streamline alternative fuel infrastructure construction regulations, including zoning, codes and permitting restrictions; help fleets across the state develop petroleum reduction plans; and expand compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane autogas vehicle safety and training initiatives. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Energy Conservation and Management Division.

NORTH CAROLINA: Alternative Fuel Implementation Team (AFIT) for North Carolina. The project will develop petroleum reduction toolkits for fleets; collaborate with neighboring states on uniform road signage to indicate alternative fuel availability; and disseminate best practices among potential fleets and alternative fuel vehicle users by hosting a Southeastern alternative fuels symposium. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: North Carolina State University, North Carolina Solar Center.

OHIO: Fast Track to Ohio AFV Adoption. The project will streamline local and state processes for alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) procurement; incorporate alt-fuel vehicles into local Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs); create a CNG cylinder tracking system and renewable natural gas credit purchase system; deliver technical and safety workshops on various fuels; and expand the Ohio Green Fleets program and the Ohio Natural Gas Vehicle and Propane Partnerships. Funding: $499,918. Project lead: Clean Fuels Ohio.

OKLAHOMA: I-40 Collaboration of Clean Cities. This Arkansas/Oklahoma partnership will recommend building codes to accommodate alternative fueling stations; create a guide for building CNG and propane autogas alternative fueling infrastructure and EV charging stations; and develop and conduct training programs regarding alternative fuel vehicle conversions, equipment safety and fueling infrastructure inspection. Funding: $750,000. Project lead: INCOG Tulsa Area Clean Cities.

PENNSYLVANIA: Pennsylvania Partnership for Promoting Natural Gas Vehicles. The project will provide education and outreach to municipal and school district decision-makers to encourage the procurement and retrofitting of natural gas-fueled school buses and solid waste collection vehicles and develop a strategic plan for natural gas vehicle (NGV) and infrastructure inspection training. Funding: $319,038, Project lead: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

TEXAS: Central Texas Fuel Independence Project. The initiative will expand an interagency agreement to include alternative fueling infrastructure procurement; deliver electricity and NGV safety training; host electric vehicle and natural gas workshops to educate potential fleet users in the Austin and San Antonio region; and hold training seminars regarding multi-family housing and workplace electric vehicle charging. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: City of Austin and Austin Energy.

TEXAS: Recipe for Fueling Diversity in the Energy Capitol of the World. The project will work to expand access to natural gas, propane and biodiesel transportation fuels across the eight-county Houston-Galveston area. Key activities of the project include conducting an assessment of current alternative fueling infrastructure in the region and creating a plan for increasing the future infrastructure to meet demand; incorporating planning for alternative fuel vehicles into the Transportation Improvement Program and State Implementation Plan; and creating a program with the region's community colleges to train fleet managers and mechanics, first responders, and permitting and code officials. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: Houston-Galveston Area Council.

TEXAS: Moving North Texas Forward by Addressing Alternative Fuel Barriers. The project will focus on educating policy-makers; updating the State Implementation Plan (SIP); creating an alternative fuel vehicle parking program; holding fuel-specific deployment workshops and first responder training; educating fleet managers, decision makers, businesses and schools about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles; and developing a fleet recognition program. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: North Central Texas Council of Governments.

VIRGINIA: Unlocking Private Sector Financing for Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure. This initiative will produce state energy planning guidelines to support alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure use; produce a technical reference manual for utilities and policy makers to evaluate EV charging; and provide outreach to state energy officials regarding the benefits of alternative fuel use. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: National Association of State Energy Officials.

WISCONSIN: Forwarding Wisconsin's Fuel Choice. The project will expand highway road signage to include available alternative fueling stations; work with the Wisconsin Technical College System to offer training for first responders, public safety officers, and permitting officials; and assist public fleets in developing and implementing petroleum reduction strategies and policies. Funding: $500,000. Project lead: Wisconsin Department of Administration and the State Energy Office.

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