Cadillac ELR Leaves Detroit Smart Grid Ready

PrintThe LA Auto Show is taking place this week and the new Cadillac ELR will have some unique new features. The vehicle will leave Detroit, Michigan smart grid ready by using the extended range electric vehicle (EV) technology. Combined with OnStar’s could-based connection, the ELR will be able to communicate with the electric grid and potentially save energy.

ELR owners will have access to the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App, which in addition to allowing drivers to check their vehicle’s operating systems and send remote commands, gives them access to EV specific functions. The EV-tailored app shows owners their vehicle’s current state of charge, electric range, electric miles driven and eMPG, or equivalency of electric miles per gallon.

The RemoteLink Mobile App also will allow ELR owners to control and schedule vehicle charging, including an option to charge during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lowest. In addition to the RemoteLink app available today, OnStar is an enabler for solutions that may benefit drivers in the future.

“While RemoteLink is really our first Smart Grid service to be available for consumers, the same connection we use to enable the app’s EV functions can be used to open the door for more energy cost and load control benefits,” said Russ Eling, manager, Smart Grid and EV Services, General Motors.

OnStar has four unique Smart Grid APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, that utilities and third-party companies can work with to develop real-world solutions for the 2014-Cadillac-ELR-018-mediumELR including demand response, time-of-Use rates, charging data, and aggregated services.

An example of an aggregated service solution would be charging with renewable energy. A regional transmission organization would send OnStar a signal letting it know that renewable energy is available on the electric grid. OnStar then uses this signal to manage the charging of one or multiple EVs in order to utilize the available renewable energy.

OnStar recently partnered with TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. using Demand Response to aid with TimberRock’s ability to store and charge with solar energy.

Report: EV Charging Won’t Overload Grid

According to a recent PSR Analytics report that measured Summer 2013 vehicle charging in the nation’s highest residential concentration of electric cars, electric vehicle (EV) owners are charging their cars much less during hot summer afternoons than most behavioral models predict. The analysis, conduced by Pecan Street Research Institute, found that not only is charging behavior is much more diverse than has been predicted, but represents a much more manageable energy load and may be highly elastic to time-of-use pricing and similar tools.

If such findings are confirmed by other research, it could significantly increase utility industry estimates on the number of EVs the electric grid could handle without triggering disruptions or requiring major system upgrades.

PSR-EV-Report-Distribution-Graph-1024x332Pecan Street’s EV research trial in Austin, Texas has what appears to be the highest U.S. concentration of electric vehicles, including over 50 in a single half-square mile neighborhood. The institute’s data-intensive research trials (currently in three states) has produced the world’s largest research database of residential energy use according to the company.

“EVs represent the largest new electric load to appear in homes in a generation,” said the report’s lead author, Pecan Street CEO Brewster McCracken. “We still have a lot of consumer research ahead of us, but these findings suggest that this new load is not only manageable, but movable.”

Summer afternoon charging has emerged as a point of focus for utilities, particularly for those serving large cities where clusters of EVs have started to appear in some neighborhoods. The concern among utilities is that homeowners with EVs will all charge upon arriving home in the afternoon, and that such charging would occur during the peak demand hours on summer afternoons. During those periods, electric grids in many parts of the world are stressed due primarily to air conditioning loads coming on as people arrive home. Continue reading

Consumers Like ‘Green’ Car Options

According to a new survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), consumers like ‘green’ car options as long as green means money. Consumers want to see more alternative-fueled vehicles emerge over the next decade, and are willing to consider purchasing one of these vehicles.

Three in five (62%) consumers want to see more hybrid-electric vehicles over the next decade, two in five (43%) want to see more battery electric vehicles and one in three want to see more fuel cell (34%), natural gas, (31%) or flex fuel vehicles (30%), according to the nationwide survey conducted in partnership with Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC.

Consumers don’t simply want to see more alternative-fueled vehicle options — they are quite willing to consider buying them within the decade. Three in four (74%) would consider buying a hybrid electric, and three in five would consider purchasing a flex fuel (62%), fuel cell (58%) or battery electric vehicle (58%). Half of consumers would consider a natural gas powered vehicle (53%).

A relatively small 38% of all consumers would consider buying a diesel fuel-powered vehicle over the next decade. However, consumer willingness to consider diesel vehicles has significantly increaserapid-charging-station-tennessee-gas-station_100364801_md since May 2013. Only 31 percent of consumers who plan to purchase a vehicle in the next two years said that they would consider a diesel vehicle in May, whereas 50 percent of those consumers today are likely to consider a diesel vehicle.

Interestingly, consumers who say they are open to purchasing these “green” vehicles are heavily motivated by an economic incentive. Two in three consumers say the switch to an alternative fuel would be driven primarily by economic enticements, rather than environmentalism. Economic factors such as increased fuel efficiency or tax breaks are more important than environmental factors for those considering diesel, flex fuel, hybrid electric, propane, fuel cell, natural gas and battery electric vehicles (79%, 75%, 73%, 71%, 68%, 67%, 65%, respectively).

“This consumer survey reinforces what we have long thought: consumers are willing to embrace new fuels and vehicles but it must make sense for them financially,” said NACS Vice President of Government Relations John Eichberger. “Consumers are just as wary as fuels retailers about moving toward future fuels if they don’t have financial certainty.”

Next week, the Fuels Institute, of which NACS is a founding organization, will release “Tomorrow’s Vehicles,” a report looking at the vehicle market in 2023. In addition, every month, NACS conducts a nationwide survey to measure consumer perceptions about gas prices and how they relate to broader economic conditions. Earlier this week, NACS released its latest consumer sentiment survey that found that recent gas price decreases have helped lead to an increase in consumer optimism.

Industrial, Commercial, to Dominate EV Market

According to a new report from IDTechEx, over the next decade, the largest global electric vehicle (EV) value sector will be industrial and commercial for land, water and air – accounting for nearly 50 percent of the total hybrid and pure electric vehicle business. “Industrial and Commercial Hybrid & Pure Electric Vehicles 2013-2023: Forecasts, Opportunities, Players,” finds that the EV industry is expected to grow five-fold to over $300 billion in 2024.

The report find that those EVs not bought primarily on up-front price, such as buses and military vehicles and the heavy lifting or pushing vehicles such as forklifts and earthmovers, will continue to dominate. These customers are companies and governments primarily EV Reportconcerned about the total cost of ownership and performance. Less important are private individuals with concerns about up-front price when they buy smaller or lighter duty EV vehicles or electric bikes.

In addition, the EV market will grow with consumers also buying leisure boats, light aircraft with this category to dominate about 35 percent of the EV business to 2024. Military e-vehicles, land, water and airborne will be most of the remaining value market in 2024 and, as with industrial and commercial ones, they are not bought primarily on up-front price.

Dr. Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx said, “Manufacturers of industrial and commercial electric vehicles and their parts/services tend to be profitable whereas those making personal electric bikes and cars report most losses and bankruptcies. That said there are far too many manufacturers of light industrial and commercial e-vehicles. Their profitability can be improved even further by mergers and a shakeout of those that are neither niche nor volume players, as happened in the heavy lifting, pulling or pushing industrial and commercial sector with electric forklifts, ten years ago.”

The report shows that within the on-road types, buses are particularly important vehicles primarily due to the massive program of the Chinese government followed by electric vans and delivery trucks, conventional electric cars and special designs used as taxis and converted golf cars converted as people movers in airports, theme parks and hotel grounds. Finally, the report finds that indoor forklifts will continue to be the main subsector of industrial and commercial vehicles but with largest growth from relatively new applications such as agriculture, mining, utility and construction vehicles and outdoor forklifts.

Alt Fuel Finder? Yep, There’s an App for That

appFinding the right place to fill up on alternative fuels might be as close as your iPhone. The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a new, free mobile application for DOE’s Clean Cities program that helps users find a place to top off their tanks, whether it’s electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, e85 Ethanol, propane or hydrogen.

The Alternative Fueling Station Locator App, now available through Apple’s App Store, allows iPhone users to select an alternative fuel and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Users can view the locations on a map or as a list containing station addresses, phone numbers and hours of operation.

“If you drive an electric vehicle, for example, you can now use your iPhone to easily identify, contact and navigate to the charging station that is most convenient to you,” NREL Project Manager Trish Cozart said. “Generally, people don’t search for a station while they are sitting at a computer; they need this information while they are out and about, which makes a mobile application the ideal means to deliver it.”

“The number of alternative fuel vehicles on the road has been increasing steadily over the last two decades,” Cozart said. “Drivers and fleets have an unprecedented array of options to cut or eliminate petroleum use, and this new app serves as one more tool to make that easier.”

The app draws information from Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), which contains a database of information for more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations throughout the country.

Report: U.S. Military to Rely on Electric Vehicles

According to a new report, “Alternative Drive Vehicles for Military Applications,” the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is expected to increase its purchases of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the next few years. The move is part of the military’s efforts to operate vehicles that do not run on fossil fuels. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, the DOD will acquire more than 92,400 EVs for non-tactical purposes from 2013 to 2020.

AdvancedTransportationTechnologies_Icon“In remote theaters of operations, the cost of moving fuels to forward military locations can be a multiple of the cost of the fuel itself,” said Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research. “The military’s approach to reducing fossil fuel consumption from non-tactical operations includes acquiring increasing numbers of vehicles powered by ethanol blend and biodiesel blend fuels; but the majority of the investment will go toward HEVs and PEVs.”

The report highlights one particular area of focus for the military market, and that is the development of microgrids in tandem with vehicle-to-grid (V2G)-enabled PEVs. Microgrids can enable bases in both tactical and non-tactical operations to utilize energy generation sources more efficiently and to operate independently of conditions on the grid. V2G-enabled PEVs used solely in non-tactical applications provide an additional layer of energy support and storage that can assist islanding microgrids and balance distributed energy generation resources by providing power from the vehicles’ battery packs to buildings.

The report examines the market for alternative drive vehicles for both tactical and non-tactical military fleets. Market drivers and barriers are analyzed in detail, and key industry players are profiled. Market forecasts for vehicles and fuel consumption, along with fuel cost savings, extend through 2020.

Greenlots Selected to Manage EV Charging Network

BC Hydro has selected Greenlots to manage a provincial network of DC Fast Chargers in Canada. The company will use its SKY network management solution and initial rollout Greenloots SKY network managementincludes 13 DC Fast Chargers supplied by ABB and Eaton. By utilizing Greenlots’ SKY platform, BC Hydro says it will be leveraging an open standards platform that ensures best-in-class services for site hosts such as access control and pricing, while enabling multiple payment options for EV drivers, all without requiring a subscription to utilize the charge station.

“The deployment of Canada’s first Fast Charger network is a key enabler for the adoption of electric vehicles in B.C. [British Columbia]. The installation of more charging locations with faster charging rates will allow greater freedom for EV owners and enable inter-urban travel. The network is also running on an open standards platform that ensures flexibility for future growth and for changes in technology,” said Kip Morison, chief technology officer with BC Hydro. “The deployment of this infrastructure brings British Columbia to the forefront of EV adoption in North America.”

The DC Fast Charger Project, announced in January 2013, was funded by the provincial government under the Clean Energy Vehicle Program to provide electric vehicle owners across British Columbia with an accessible network of charging options. To date, 13 B.C. communities have agreed to serve as site hosts and charging station operators for the DC Fast Chargers.

The Clean Energy Vehicle Program includes the Community Charging Infrastructure Fund, which supported 452 Level 2 charging station installations in public locations throughout B.C., the CEV for BC Point of Sale Incentive Program which has provided 659 vehicle incentives to date; upgrades to hydrogen fuelling infrastructure; the LiveSmart Residential Charging Station Rebate Program which has supported 190 residential charging stations; and 125 Level 2 charging station installations in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings by March 31, 2014.

BC-Hydro-DC-Fast-ChargerBased on Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), the open communications platform that has become an industry standard in Europe and is gaining significant traction in North America, SKY allows site hosts the flexibility to mix and match hardware and software vendors to suit their specific needs, while providing full access to programs and the ability to monitor charging station activity. The DC Fast Chargers running on SKY allow drivers to charge their cars, free from subscription-based issues, and offer payment options for credit cards via mobile apps, RFID cards, pay-by-phone or card swipe.

“British Columbia experiences the highest discrepancy between gasoline and electricity prices in North America, which provides a favorable environment for high EV adoption rates,” added Brett Hauser, President of Greenlots. “Having seen the inherent risks associated with deploying proprietary communication protocols in other countries, BC Hydro has selected SKY to manage the provincial charge station network because of the robust functionality and open standards architecture. BCH can provide best in class services to site hosts and EV drivers today, while ensuring that the provincial charger network will scale well into the future.”

New Agreement to Bring EV’s to the Road

There is a new multi-state cooperative agreement to put more than three million battery-electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles on U.S. roads. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA), joined representatives american lung association susan griffinfrom California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont to announce an agreement to promote the accelerated adoption of zero emissions passenger cars, trucks and transit buses in these states.

“Efforts to provide consumers with new, more efficient and gasoline-free transportation options are welcome and needed,” said Mark Cooper, Director of Research for CFA, who took part in the public announcement of the new agreement.

The Zero Emissions Vehicle Program: Clean Cars States Lead in Innovation, a new paper released today by CFA, explains that Zero Emissions Vehicle policy coupled with efforts to reduce barriers to clean vehicle adoption will accelerate the growth of the national market for the latest zero emissions vehicles. Based on years of polling data, the paper explains, that is exactly what American consumers want.

“The key role that California and the Clean Cars states played in accelerating the deployment of hybrids in the past decade underscores the importance of leadership in energy innovation,” said Cooper. Continue reading

ChargePoint Invests for Massive EV Adoption

ChargePoint has teamed up with Key Equipment Finance, one of the nation’s largest bank-held equipment finance companies and an affiliate of KeyCorp, to spur mass electric vehicle (EV) adoption throughout the country. The two companies have launched a $100 million lease-to-own program for EV charging stations that will give small and medium sized companies and municipalities the opportunity to install EV chargers at no upfront cost. According to ChargePoint, this is the first comprehensive, turn-key program that allows for pay-as-you-go financing of charging stations, installation costs, operational services and warranty.

charge-point-stationThe new initiative known as The Net+ Purchase Plan can provide a net positive cash flow for companies or public entities depending on charging usage.

“Through this program, companies and municipalities can now offer their workforce EV charging for no more than the price of a couple of cups of coffee per day,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint. “By providing EV charging to workers, employers are essentially giving their employees a raise of up to 5% as a result of reduced fuel costs. In addition, companies increase productivity, allow their employees HOV lane access, and support important sustainability and environmental policies. This is a win-win-win for employers, employees, and our communities.”

ChargePoint says the program is the first large scale financing solution offered in the EV market to address a known barrier to EV adoption. Fashioned after the success in the solar industry, the innovative purchasing program should drive adoption by significantly lowering up front installation costs.

“We are thrilled to partner with ChargePoint to offer flexible financing options to companies and municipalities interested in installing EV charging stations,” said Tim Duerr, senior vice president of business development at Key Equipment Finance. “This program makes it much easier for municipalities and businesses with budget or cash-flow constraints across the U.S. to cover both the hard and soft costs associated with EV chargers, and we look forward to seeing this program grow as more organizations realize how cost-effective and beneficial EV chargers can be.”

Electric Vehicles Sales Continue to Surge

PluginDay1Sales of electric vehicles continue to surge. During the recent 3rd annual National Plug In Day, the Sierra Club touted the accelerated growth in the market.

“Americans are finding out how liberating it can be to drive electric. We noticed a significant increase in electric vehicle sales following the last National Plug In Day, and the numbers keep rising,” said Plug In America president Richard Kelly. “More EVs are hitting the pavement, and they are selling. We’ve gone from 345 electric vehicles sold in December 2010 to 18,000 by December 2011 to 70,000 by the end of 2012. Last month American consumers bought more than 11,000 EVs, doubling EV sales from the previous month. To date, more than 130,000 EVs have been sold in the U.S. since late 2010 – with sales effectively growing by about 200% a year.”

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Today automakers are competing on innovation and efficiency, America has cut its oil use by 10 percent in the past eight years, and EVs are a big part of that success,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director. “National Plug In Day is our chance to take our electric cars on a victory lap. Sales are exploding, plug-in technology is beating gasoline-powered cars while saving Americans money on gas and reducing pollution.”

National Plug In Day, celebrated Sept. 28-29, is a cooperative venture between Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association to demonstrate the advantages of electric vehicles to prospective buyers.

U of Cali Riverside Installs EV Charging Stations

evchargerThe University of California, Riverside has installed eight electric vehicle charging stations as part of the College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology’s (CE-CERT) “New Grid” project. The new charging units have “level one” and “level two” charging capability and are located in parking lots 1, 6, 15 and 30. Four additional “level two” chargers are located at the CE-CERT parking lot at 1084 Columbia Avenue in Riverside. The on-campus units are overseen by the UCR Office of Transportation and Parking Services and are part of the Chargepoint network.

According to Irma Henderson, alternative transportation program manager in Transportation and Parking Services, drivers will need to have a valid parking permit to use the space, though any permit that is valid for that time of day will be allowed, regardless of the lot that the stations are in.

“For example, the station in Lot 1 is located in the red spaces, but a person with a blue permit can park there as long as they are participating in an active charging session,” Henderson said.

The cost to charge a vehicle will be $1 per hour for the first four hours, then $3 per hour thereafter.

Henderson said that UCR-affiliated individuals will be able to enter a special code into the system that will provide a $1 per hour discount at the campus charging stations, making the service free for the first four hours.

The “New Grid” project is a two-year smart grid deployment supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The project involves a number of public and private partners and will include, solar arrays, advanced battery storage, vehicle charging stations, an electric trolley, and a grid management system to utilize renewable energy to charge electric vehicles efficiently. As part of the program, 13 additional charging stations are being installed throughout the City of Riverside.

Chevrolet Funds Plug-In EV Chargers

Two of the most popular State Parks in Southern California – Leo Carrillo State Beach and Malibu Creek State Park – now have free electric vehicle (EV) charging for plug-in electric vehicle owners. The EV charging stations were made possible through Chevrolet’s EcoAd advertising with CBS EcoMedia Inc. The two, 240 volt, chargers can accommodate up to four plug-in electric vehicles. The units were installed at the two parks by EcoMedia’s nonprofit partner, Adopt A Charger. Chevy’s funding will provide free charging and service and maintenance for the charging stations for three full years.

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 11.38.43 AMA ribbon-cutting celebration was held in front of the Malibu Creek State Park Administration Building. The ribbon-cutting celebration was hosted by Craig Sap, California State Parks Superintendent for the Los Angeles District; Chevrolet Group Manager, Western Region Communications, Dave Barthmuss; Kitty Adams, Executive Director, Adopt A Charger, Inc.; and CBS EcoMedia President and Founder, Paul Polizzotto. Special guests included Alexandra Paul, Co-Founder, Plug-In-America, a Chevy Volt owner; along with several other Chevy Volt and Chevy Spark EV drivers and other interested plug-in car enthusiasts.

Chevy brought out two Chevy Volts and a new Spark EV for test drives and several attendees had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the battery-powered vehicles.

“Electric vehicles are catching on and we’re proud that the Chevy Volt is the number one selling plug-in vehicle in the country,” said Dave Barthmuss, Chevrolet’s Western Region Group Manager. “These new chargers will allow EV drivers to enjoy trips out to Southern California beaches without range anxiety. Installing EV charging stations at destination locations like Malibu Creek State Beach, where vehicles will sit for several hours, is a perfect example of the kind of infrastructure that will help grow the EV market.”

California State Parks recreational activities and outdoor experiences draw approximately 85 million visitors each year –an increasing number of who drive plug-in vehicles. Installation of EV charging stations is part of the “Cool Parks” initiative by California State Parks that responds to the pressing challenges of climate change and seeks to educate park visitors, and motivate the broader public to be part of the solution. By “adopting” these chargers, GM becomes a Proud Partner of the California State Parks.

7-Eleven Has Success with EV Charging Stations

7-Eleven is the first fuel retailer in the New York City area to offer fast charging services for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. Green Charge Networks (GCN) energy storage solutions worked with 7-Eleven as well as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and several utility companies to leverage local solar generation and energy storage. This enables them to use high-powered electric equipment, including EV fast chargers, while avoiding or creating peak energy times and high energy prices.

Green Charge Networks logo.pjg“Even when the New York City electric grid experienced an all-time peak on July 19 during the recent heat wave, the GreenStation allowed for EV fast charging while reducing peak demand by 56 percent,” said Vic Shao, Green Charge Networks’ CEO.

Green Charge Networks’ energy storage system, GreenStation, manages the power consumption at the 5820 Francis Lewis Boulevard 7-Eleven location in Flushing, N.Y. It monitors the store’s load on a second-by-second basis and counteracts peaks and valleys by discharging and charging from an internal ion battery bank.

“Convenience retailing in today’s world increasingly requires the use of high-powered electrical devices, including foodservice equipment and EV fast chargers,” adds Tom Brennan, 7-Eleven’s vice president of infrastructure services. “Meeting our customers changing needs while keeping demand charges and thus our electricity costs in check is a very attractive value proposition for us.”

According to CGN, the GreenStation enables industrial and commercial ratepayers to manage power consumption and rising demand charges. The root technology is a stochastic controller with sophisticated software that flattens the power load curve during peak consumption periods.

Are Electric Cars Really Green?

IMAGITRENDSAccording to two recent articles published in IEEE Spectrum, electric vehicles (EVs) may not be so “green”. The first report, Unclean at Any Speed, describes how the subsidies for electric cars may cause more harm than good after considering full electric vehicle lifecycles. It advocates directing EV subsidies toward initiatives such as emissions testing, bicycle infrastructure, public transit and land-use changes.

The second article, coined by Ozzie Zehner, is a response to electric car proponents published in the same journal, and describes how the high cost of electric cars and solar cells exposes the substantial amount of fossil fuels that their manufacturing employs.

Zehner, is a visiting scholar at the University of California – Berkeley and the author of Green Illusions. He once built an electric hybrid car of his own, but is now more cautious about promoting costly high-tech strategies. “Stating that an electric car is clean is like saying that a light bulb is clean. Light bulbs don’t produce exhaust, but it doesn’t mean we IMAGITRENDScan use them with zero emissions. The same holds true for electric cars,” said Zehner in an NPR interview Monday.

In his article, Zehner identifies a price tag predicament. “The cost of manufactured goods ultimately boils down to two things: natural resource extraction, and profit,” explains Zehner. “Extraction is largely based on fossil-fuel inputs. Generally speaking, if a supposedly green machine costs more than its conventional rival, then more resources had to be claimed to make it possible.”

He indicates that pricey green technologies, including solar cells and electric cars, likely require more fossil fuel and produce more carbon dioxide than their conventional counterparts. Zehner warns that even if electric car costs come down, “we will have invested billions of dollars to maintain an otherwise unsustainable transportation infrastructure.”

Zehner remarks that researchers could instead “measure the virtues of electric cars against those of walkable neighborhoods, and the costs of generating more energy against the savings from using less.” He admits these may not seem comparable at first but that “in a world of 7 billion people living in increasingly precarious times, these are the tough questions that matter.”

Refuel Colorado Fleets

Refuel Colorado Fleets, a pilot project to boost the use of alternative fuel vehicles in public and private sector fleets, has announced a new pilot program for several Colorado communities. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant to the Colorado Energy Office. Counties selected for the year-long pilot are Routt, Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, Adams, Garfield, Mesa, Montezuma and La Plata. A is funding the project.

Energy coaches employed by four community-based nonprofits will help business and government fleet owners work together with auto dealers, fuel providers, business leaders and local governments in the nine counties to pursue or expand use of alternative fuels. The program is aimed at accelerating the deployment of alternative fuels, reducing Refuel Colorado Fleets logopetroleum imports and increasing fuel cost efficiency in public and private sector vehicle fleets. Alternative fuels being considered include compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), propane, biofuels and plug-in electric vehicles.

“The Refuel Colorado Fleets energy coaches will support the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles,” said Jeff Ackermann, director of the Colorado Energy Office. “Each community will determine what makes sense for them, be that electric, natural gas, propane, or other vehicle types. Each of these provides economic and environmental benefits, making this an exciting project.”

Energy coaching will be done by Northern Colorado Clean Cities, Denver Metro Clean Cities, Garfield Clean Energy and Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency. The pilot project is being led by CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region, a Carbondale nonprofit with expertise in alternative fuel vehicle technology, energy coaching and community engagement.

“Colorado has built a strong reputation as a leader in renewable energy and other innovative industries,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. “Refuel Colorado Fleets’ work on these projects in counties across the state only enhances that reputation. “There is great promise in alternative fuel vehicles and these types of programs help proliferate their use and allow communities to see how best to implement proven green technologies.”

In the coming weeks, energy coaches will work with businesses and local governments in the nine counties to analyze their fleets, including miles driven and age, vehicle type and purpose, to determine the optimal alternative fuel to focus on.