ACT News 2017

CARB/California Air Resources Board

Amp Claims Lowest CI Rating Ever By Far

September 28, 2017 in Biomethane, certifications, milestones, NGVs, trucking by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Dairy-Derived RNG Fuel Cleaner than Electricity
As the Company Opens New Office in Los Angeles
And Pledges 100% RNG to All Its CNG Customers

Amp Americas said yesterday that its RNG/renewable natural gas operation at Indiana’s Fair Oaks Farms is the first dairy-derived, waste-to-vehicle fuel pathway certified by California’s Air Resources Board – chalking up a CI/carbon Intensity score of negative 254.94 gCO2e/MJ, “which is the lowest ever issued by CARB.”
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VW’s $200mm EVSE Plan Gets CARB Nod

July 28, 2017 in Companies, EVs, EVSE, Infrastructure, investments by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Cal Agency Gives the OK for First $200 Million of $800 Million
For EV Charging in California by VW’s Electrify America Unit

Volkswagen got the go-ahead from California yesterday to invest $200 million on electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the state. The automaker’s Electrify America unit will place high-speed chargers along highways, invest in EVSE/electric vehicle supply equipment in disadvantaged communities, and promote electric transportation through outreach and a new “Green City” initiative.

Sacramento is to be the first of the Green Cities, with EV chargers there followed by Fresno, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego. EVSE is be placed in “community locations, multi-family dwellings, commercial and retail locations, workplaces and municipal parking lots and garages,” says the California Air Resources Board.


Overview of ‘Cycle 1’ of VW-Electrify America’s EVSE plan for California

Electrify America has pledged to establish a network of more than 2,500 EV chargers at more than 450 EVSE sites nationally during the first phase, with about 240 of them in 38 states other than California.

The company has “discussed partnerships and interoperability” with EVSE providers including EVgo, Greenlots and SemaConnect.

$800 Million over Ten Years in California

So-called “Cycle 1” for California is the “first of four plans by VW to invest $800 million over ten years in zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, public outreach, and access to these ultra-clean vehicles for residents of disadvantaged communities,” states yesterday’s CARB release.

The $2 billion EVSE investment comes in the wake of Volkswagen’s installation of software, beginning in 2009, to mislead regulators on the emissions of its diesel vehicles.

That software, CARB says, caused VW’s “2009-2016 diesel passenger cars to spew up to 40 times the allowed amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx) into the atmosphere.”

‘Tenacious Technicians’

“The tenacious efforts of CARB technicians forced the company to admit the use of the so-called ‘defeat device’ in those cars in 2015,” the agency said yesterday. “VW has paid out more than $15 billion in claims and penalties for using those defeat devices,” CARB said.

“This ZEV investment is one of multiple pieces to mitigate the environmental harm caused by VW’s actions.”

Click image or here for VW-Electrify America’s EVSE plan summary.

“Volkswagen can now move forward with its ambitious plan to help bring electric vehicle technology to corners of California ignored in earlier efforts,” said CARB chair Mary Nichols.

Settlement with California and the Feds

“This will help the state as a whole,” she said, “and especially some of our disadvantaged and underserved communities, to shift to the cleanest vehicles on the market.”

CARB noted too that the $800 million ZEV investment commitment for California is part of an agreement by Volkswagen with CARB, the U.S. EPA, and the California and U.S. Departments of Justice “that combines mitigation and penalties to fully resolve all of the environmental harm from VW’s actions.”

Among the planned Cycle 1 outlays for California EVSE are

• $75 million for highway fast-charging (implanting chargers up to 350 kilowatts);

• $45 million for “community charging,” including multi-family feelings and workplaces;

• $44 million for Green City initiatives; and

• $20 million for public education and EV awareness.


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Source: CARB with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Motiv Power for Sacramento Schools

May 16, 2017 in Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Trans Tech Vehicles Distributed by First Priority GreenFleet

Motiv Power Systems and partners are talking up a project to field 13 battery-electric Type A school buses with two school districts as part of the California Air Resources Board’s Sacramento Regional Zero-Emission School Bus Deployment Project.
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LCFS, for Most Part, Survives Challenge

April 21, 2017 in Biofuels, litigation by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Court Orders CARB to Address Analytical Deficiencies,
Meanwhile the Program Continues for Most Clean Fuels

LCFS, California’s complicated low carbon fuel standard, has survived mostly intact the latest court ruling in favor of the plaintiff, South Dakota-based ethanol producer Poet, LLC, in an ongoing legal challenge. Once again, the court is requiring the California Air Resources Board to address deficiencies in its environmental analysis. But industry observers are pleased that the court has allowed the bulk of LCFS implementation to continue in the interim.


The bottom line for alt fuel suppliers? They can continue to earn their credits, at least for now.

Poet, LLC biorefinery for cellulosic ethanol in Emmetsburg, Iowa

The LCFS requires fuel providers to gradually reduce the CI/carbon intensity of their fuels by 10% by 2020. It is one of California’s suite of greenhouse gas-fighting policies.

‘The LCFS Has Spurred Innovation’

Since its adoption, the LCFS has spurred innovation and investment in renewable natural gas, biogas, biodiesel, ethanol, and electricity to power both heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles.

Through the third quarter of 2016, according to CARB data, the LCFS has delivered roughly 23 million metric tons of carbon reductions,.

The legal battle dates back to 2011, when the LCFS first went into effect. Poet claimed CARB improperly followed procedures of CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, when it first adopted the rule in 2009. This case is known in legal circles as Poet I.

Changing Baselines

After several rounds of legal review, and to remedy the claim, CARB re-adopted the LCFS in 2015 along with the separate, related Alternative Diesel Fuels regulation. A lower court accepted CARB’s remedy and dismissed the case, but Poet appealed, claiming CARB used the wrong baseline for considering NOx impacts associated with increased biodiesel consumption as a result of the regulation. When CARB re-adopted the regulation, it chose a 2014 baseline, instead of the original 2009 baseline.

The latest decision on April 10 from the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District directs CARB to redo its CEQA analysis – again – to address whether the LCFS “is likely to have caused an increase in NOx emissions in the past and is likely to cause an increase in NOx emissions in the future.”

Diesel Frozen 

The court left unchanged provisions of the gasoline component of the LCFS, but froze the diesel component to 2017 levels until CARB can present its fix. That means, CI levels of gasoline will continue to ratchet down each year on the schedule established when CARB re-adopted the rule in 2015, while diesel CI reductions are frozen at 2017 levels until the case is resolved.

In a prepared statement, CARB responded: “We are pleased that the Court left the core provisions of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard intact, along with all of the Alternative Diesel Fuels regulation, recognizing their overall environmental benefits. Although we disagree with some aspects of the opinion, which we are still reviewing, CARB anticipates acting expeditiously to address the court’s ruling, and to move forward as appropriate with these important programs.”

‘The Court Did Not Close the Door to Biodiesel’

In its response to the decision, the National Biodiesel Board released the following statement: “While we continue to review and do not necessarily agree with the Court’s findings of a violation, it is positive the court recognized the environmental and public health benefits of biodiesel. We are pleased the court did not close the door to biodiesel under the LCFS and appreciate the ongoing efforts of the California Air Resources Board.”

Poet president and COO Jeff Lautt released the following statement:

“We appreciate that the court recognized that state regulations must be based on solid science to deliver cleaner, more affordable options at the pump. This is now the second time the court has ruled that the California Air Resources Board has not followed the law in implementing the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. We look forward to working with state officials to bring this program in line with the latest science.

Poet Says It Wants ‘Full Range of Renewable Options’

“Homegrown ethanol is America’s most abundant low-carbon fuel, and we must ensure that all renewable energy producers can compete on a level playing field against imported energy and fossil fuels. This is especially true given USDA’s recent research demonstrating ethanol has 43% lower greenhouse emissions than gasoline. This decision will require regulators to sit down, take a look at the science and finally get this right so there is a full range of renewable options available to California drivers who care deeply about their health and their climate.

“Poet is committed to working with other biofuel producers to deliver the best selection of homegrown fuels to California drivers, including biodiesel, Midwest ethanol, renewable diesel, and cellulosic ethanol. Poet supports an LCFS that’s based on sound science and allows all renewable fuel access to the market to improve California’s health and environment.”

‘Poet II’ Still Pending

CARB says it hopes to complete the new CEQA review this year, so the program could be fully back on track by early 2018, barring further complications.

Meanwhile, a separate case, known as Poet II, presents a parallel challenge to CARB’s 2015 re-adoption, with many of the same issues. A hearing in that case is slated for late July. The uncertainty presented by the continuing legal challenges creates difficulty for alternative fuel providers who rely on market certainty to guide long-term investment decisions.

Special to Fleets & Fuels

 

 

SunLine H2 Buses, Hydrogenics H2

April 21, 2017 in Electric Drive, event, Fleet Order, fuel cells, Hydrogen, Infrastructure, milestones, money awarded, transit by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

$12.5 Million for Five Hydrogen Fuel Cell New Flyers
With Hydrogenics Stacks and Hydrogen Supply Gear

Timed for Earth Day tomorrow, SunLine Transit Agency is today celebrating the award of a $12.5 million California Climate Investments grant for five zero-emission, New Flyer transit buses, with onboard fuel cell stacks and new renewable hydrogen generating and dispensing gear from Hydrogenics.
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BYD Battery Trucks for Bay Area Goodwill

April 10, 2017 in delivery vehicles, EVs, EVSE, Fleet Order, refuse by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Ten Class 6 Delivery Vehicles and a Class 8 Refuse Truck

SF Goodwill and partners including vehicle supplier BYD said today that the charitable organization will deploy 11 all-battery electric trucks in the San Francisco Bay Area, covering Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.
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CARB Stands By Its Clean Car Standards

March 28, 2017 in EVs, milestones, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Agency Moving Ahead with GHG Rules and ZEV Program

California is sticking to its guns when it comes to clean vehicles, as the California Air Resources Board has voted unanimously to continue with its vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards and zero-emission vehicle program for cars and light trucks sold in the state, through 2025.


CARB’s Mary Nichols

“The action ensures that California and 12 other states that follow its vehicle regulations, together accounting for a third of the U.S. auto market, will move forward greenhouse gas emission standards adopted in the 2012 process involving the federal government, California and the automakers,” states a release.

CARB also voted to support the expansion of the zero-emission vehicle marketplace before 2025, “calling for redoubling current efforts underway to support market growth and paving the way for new regulations to rapidly increase the number of zero-emission vehicles required to be sold in California after 2025.”

“Today ARB affirmed the technical reviews done by our own and EPA staff, as well as the work of independent analysts,” CARB Chair Mary Nichols says in an agency announcement.

“We invite the global industry to bring us their best cars and trucks and take advantage of the willingness of our leaders to provide a broad range of incentives to help make these vehicles affordable.

“And we also invite them to come sit down with us if they have specific concerns about implementation of the existing regulations that can be addressed without weakening the impact overall. The program,” she said, “is delivering cleaner cars that save consumers money and are fun to drive.”

CARB also voted to pursue policies to support more than 4 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2030, and established a goal to continue reducing average fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles by 4% to %5 per year between 2025 and 2030.


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Source: CARB with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

 

Peterbilt NZ Trucks Can Get HVIP Bucks

March 24, 2017 in Biomethane, CNG, LNG, money available, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Models 520 & 320 with CWI’s ISL G Near Zero Engine
Eligible for Hybrid & Zero-Emission Incentive Money

Peterbilt Model 520 and 320 trucks powered by Cummins Westport’s 8.9-liter ISL G Near Zero natural gas engine have been granted eligibility for the California Air Resources Board’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, known as HVIP, the manufacturer reports.
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Cal Floats ZEV Plan and Utilities Step Up

January 24, 2017 in EVs, utilities by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Vehicles, Cap-and-Trade Are Key as California Air Resources Board
Floats Aggressive Plan to Slash GHG Emissions by 40% Below 1990’s
By 2030 – ‘the Most Ambitious Target in North America,’ Agency Says

Utilities were quick to get onboard last week as the California Air Resources Board released its proposed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 – “the most ambitious target in North America.”
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Near Zero Engine Coming for Refuse

August 23, 2016 in Biomethane, CNG, Game Changer, money awarded, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Fleet Operators to Be Able to Order This Year
As Peterbilt and Autocar Are First to the Fore

Operators of compressed natural gas-fueled refuse trucks are being reassured that OEMs will offer vehicles with the super-low NOx Near Zero version of the Cummins Westport ISL G in time for their traditional fourth-quarter ordering cycle.
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California Needs to Plug-in – Seriously

August 5, 2016 in Opinion by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Sustainable Transportation Requires More REAL Support for Industry:
Politicians Posture, But ‘the Industry Sees Something Entirely Different’

Special to Fleets & Fuels by Urvi Nagrani,
Marketing & Business Development Director, Motiv Power Systems

If you read the news you might think California cares about the environment. Governor Jerry Brown has both a Zero-Emission Vehicle Action Plan and a Sustainable Freight Plan. Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León spearheaded work on SB 350, a landmark climate bill last year. California’s leadership on environmental causes was recognized last year with Governor Brown’s high profile talks with the Pope on climate leadership.
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