ACT Expo 2018

Special to Fleets & Fuels

Roush: VW Monies Should Back Propane

November 2, 2017 in Opinion, Propane, propane autogas, Special to Fleets & Fuels, VW Settlement by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘Propane Autogas Makes Sense for VW Settlement Funding’

Special to Fleets & Fuels by Roush CleanTech VP Todd Mouw

States will soon have access to a windfall of funds from the Volkswagen settlement, which includes a $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust. These are funds that transit agencies, school districts and other businesses could potentially use to purchase propane autogas-fueled vehicles.

Reducing NOx is the Goal

The goal of the Environmental Mitigation Trust is to cost-effectively reduce smog-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the transportation sector. NOx are reactive gases that pollute the air, contribute to acid rain and can trigger health problems. Over the next 10 years, the trust will fund environmental mitigation projects that specifically reduce emissions of NOx.

All manner of vehicles run on propane autogas. The Volkwagen settlement, notes Roush CleanTech, could make for many more of them.

How does this affect purchasing decisions? Eligible projects for the Environmental Mitigation Trust include class 4-8 bus and class 4-7 medium-duty truck replacement. (VW’s settlement funding will be used to buy back or modify vehicles.)

Propane autogas-fueled transit shuttles, such as the Ford E-350/450 cutaway, and school buses, like the Blue Bird Vision Propane, would be eligible for this funding. Propane autogas is naturally lower in NOx and other toxic pollutants, like greenhouse gases and carbon monoxide, than diesel and gasoline.

Know the Latest on VW Funding

Earlier this year, Wilmington Trust was appointed as the trustee to oversee the administration of the Volkswagen settlement funds. The trustee effective date was established on October 2. Now, each state has 60 days from that date to determine and choose a beneficiary.

The beneficiary is the state-level government entity responsible for developing and awarding its state’s funds. They are state energy offices, environmental protection departments, etc.

Roush CleanTech VP Todd Mouw

Each state will receive a set amount of funding based on the number of affected vehicles sold in the state. State amounts vary from $8 million to $400 million. Refer to the state-by-state listing to see how much your state will receive.

Some states have already selected a beneficiary. You can find the current list on the VW Settlement Clearinghouse site. Once selected, the state beneficiary has 90 days to produce a draft plan for how the funds will be allocated. After the state files its mitigation plan, it must be made public for 30 days for comment. Then, the state’s plan will be sent to the trustee for approval.

Get Involved

If the state allocates funding toward propane autogas vehicles, funds from the Environmental Mitigation Trust could be available early next year. Learn who your state’s beneficiary is and talk with them about your organizations’ propane fleet goals. Be sure to comment during the public input period to make sure your voice is heard. Organizations will need to be prepared to adopt NOx-reducing propane vehicles once the money is released if they want to tap into the funding.

Todd Mouw is vice president of sales and marketing for Roush CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology. Mouw has served as president of the NTEA Green Truck Association. Reach him at [email protected] or 800.59.ROUSH. To learn more, visit

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Source: Roush CleanTech with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

The VW Settlement: Securing Funding

February 18, 2017 in money available, Special to Fleets & Fuels by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘A Boon for Fleets, Fuel Providers, Vehicle Makers, Technology’

Special to Fleets & Fuels by Joe Annotti

The Volkswagen Settlement:
Identifying, Influencing, and Securing Funds

Volkswagen is near to finalizing the last of three settlements, amounting to $21.8 billion in penalties, which resulted from the German automaker’s use of “defect devices” in their 2.0 and 3.0 liter diesel vehicles. While the majority of these funds will address civil claims, at least $2.7 billion will be directed to the Environmental Mitigation Trust, which will fund state-level clean transportation grant programs. These funds present the greatest opportunity for fleets and equipment owners to purchase new trucks, buses, vessels, locomotives, and other non-road equipment.

This article was originally published in this month’s issue of Fleet Owner.

This article was originally published in this month’s issue of Fleet Owner.

Though the funds will be a boon for fleets, fuel providers, vehicle makers, technology developers, questions still abound – How will the states distribute the funds? What types of projects will be eligible? When will the funding be available?

The following are funding priorities that will likely be seen across the nation:

  • States may first look to fund government and municipal fleets. The reason for that is simple: grants for these fleets can cover up to 100% of the cost of a new clean diesel or alternative fuel vehicle.
  • To help with administration of the funds, states may choose to funnel the VW funds into existing grant programs (e.g., the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan or Pennsylvania’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant Program) rather than establish new VW-specific grant programs.
  • States may focus their funds in specific counties, rather than fund statewide projects, in order to more directly address NOx emissions. This will be especially true in states with ozone nonattainment areas.
  • States may allocate up to 15% of their VW funds to light-duty zero emission vehicle (ZEV) supply equipment, which includes equipment for both electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

These trends are not set in stone, however. Each state is required to solicit feedback from stakeholders on their funding priorities. Thus, now is the time to get in front of state agencies and advocate for funding.

Hurdles to Be Cleared

There are still a number of hurdles that have to be cleared – the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board must designate the Trustee, who will be responsible for managing the $2.7 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust. Then each state must select its Beneficiary, which is the state-level agency that will design the grant programs that will distribute the settlement funds.

Joe Annotti, senior ascociate at GNA

Joe Annotti, senior ascociate at GNA

That timeline could stretch through summer, therefore it is expected the first rounds of grant funding will open in Fall 2017. But this extended timeline has not stopped the wheels from turning – states are beginning to engage with stakeholders and agencies are choosing what types of projects to fund first.

A Very Large Opportunity

Fuel providers, vehicle makers, technology developers, and others who are taking a “wait and see” approach are at risk of missing out on the biggest and best opportunity thus far – making your voices known to these agencies to make sure your fuels, vehicles, equipment, and charging technologies are included in each state’s list of eligible projects.

As to how much applicants can expect to receive per vehicle, there isn’t a clear answer yet. It’s ultimately up to each state to decide. That’s why companies who hope for funding should start now to work with state agencies. This is especially important because states will decide how much funding may be available for each type of vehicle or equipment.

The Time to Act Is Now

The bottom line? The time to act is now. Fuel providers, fleet managers, OEMs, and technology providers should review its strategic priorities and geographies. By looking into where your fleet wants to go and then building relationships with state agencies, you can set the groundwork for advancing your company’s goals and, ultimately, gaining access to the Volkswagen settlement funds.

Lastly, VW funds are finite – the financial boon from this emissions scandal can only go so far. However, federal and state grant opportunities will continue to exist in this space as agency leadership remains dedicated to alternative fuel and advanced technology projects. Therefore, engagement and collaboration with these state agencies will reap substantial benefits in the long run.

New York City-based Joe Annotti manages GNA’s Funding 360 program, which provides grant tracking, application, and reporting assistance for air-quality focused incentive opportunities. The Funding 360 Program has successfully won more than $350 million on behalf of clients at a success rate of 92%. Previously Joe worked at the U.S. EPA where he was responsible for the financial, environmental, and health benefits data created by $500 million in DERA/Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants.

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Source: GNA & Fleet Owner with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Opinion: Out with the Cost-Share!

November 18, 2016 in Opinion, Special to Fleets & Fuels, trucking by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Match Requirements Are Effectively Crippling Small Business Innovation:
‘The Only Hope of Moving Forward Is More Severe Government Regulations’

Cost-share requirements allowing companies access to advanced vehicle development funding pose a financial burden that make it unlikely for smaller firms to survive, let along bring cleaner and more efficient vehicles to market. So argues advanced heavy duty vehicles veteran Tom Bartley, who has made his opinion known to Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District, which handles much of the state’s funding for low-emission, high-efficiency vehicles, notably from CARB and the CEC: the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.


Keeping the Greens Green Greener

June 24, 2016 in EVs, Special to Fleets & Fuels by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘Tennessee State Parks’ Golf Course Equipment Is Kicking Gas’

Special to Fleets & Fuels by Chad Kimes, Tennessee Office of Sustainable Practices

Tennessee State Parks golf courses are replacing gasoline-powered equipment with electric options, decreasing emissions, and reducing wildlife-disturbing noise. Purchase of the equipment was funded by the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant and includes greens and approach mowers, bunker rakes, greens rollers, and utility vehicles. Purchased equipment was manufactured by Jacobsen, Smithco, Tru Turf, Toro Workman, and Club Car.

Propane Autogas in Kingsport, Tenn.

August 4, 2015 in Alternative Fuels, Propane, propane autogas, Special to Fleets & Fuels by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘Pumped for Propane,’ City Boasts Largest Bi-Fuel Fleet in the State

By Chad Kimes, Tennessee Office of Sustainable Practices

A city established as a center of river commerce and transportation, Kingsport continues its legacy of transportation through innovative use of alternative fuels.

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