YTCEC Blog

“Technological Tour de Force”

Can the high distinction of “Best Overall Car” from Consumer Reports really belong to a vehicle with no emissions? Why, yes, yes it can. The revolutionary Tesla Model S has received global praise and according to Consumer Reports’ test rating, “it outscores every other car.” Continue reading

Posted in Vehicles |

Idling Revealed

Each year, cars, trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles in the US waste an enormous amount of fuel running their engines while their vehicles are stationary. Also known as idling, this act effectively reduces vehicle fuel efficiency to 0 mpg and nationwide, wastes 6 billion gallons of gasoline equivalent annually (Alternative Fuels Data Center). That’s enough gas to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools, or if you were to use it to fuel a 2014 Honda Civic, you could drive it to the moon and back half a million times. More pragmatically, however, 6 billion gallons of fuel can also be represented monetarily as $21 billion.

But who is to blame for wasting all that fuel? Buses and tractor-trailers certainly contribute, but of those 6 billion gallons of wasted fuel, passenger vehicles, that you and I drive, are responsible for roughly half. Collectively, owners of passenger vehicles are throwing away more than $10 billion each year, not to mention, needlessly emitting harmful NOX, particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide that lead to air quality concerns and increased incidences of smog, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. With regard to human health, the CO2 emissions are more benign, but in terms of global health, they have larger implications through the propagation of climate change.

To combat this wasteful action, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase energy security and sustainability, the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program has been working hard to reduce idling. In 2012, Clean Cities saved roughly 30.5 million gallons of gasoline equivalent. At $3.50/gal, that’s about $107 million and enough energy to drive a 2014 Honda Civic across the US more than 417,000 times.

While this seems like, and is in fact, an improvement, it is humbling to note that 30.5 million gallons represents only 0.5% of all the fuel wasted in the previous year. That’s a sad slice of pie.

 wasted_saved_fuel

So, what more can be done? Recent research at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, determined that idling for more than 10 seconds consumes more gasoline and emits more exhaust than turning off your engine and restarting it. Also, the DOE Clean Cities program reassures us that turning on and off your vehicle more frequently won’t wear out your starter. Many of these misconceptions are relics of older vehicles with finicky engines and carburetors that had to be warmed and were easily subject to flooding, but today’s high tech vehicles will undoubtedly restart. So, tap into that unused $10 billion and turn your vehicle off as you wait to pick up a friend or run in to grab your coffee.

 

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Question of the Month

Question of the Month: What are the new credit allocations that were established under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)’s Alternative Fuel Transportation Program (Program) earlier this year? How can I help spread the word on these new Energy Policy Act (EPAct) compliance pathways?

Answer: DOE issued a final rule on March 21, 2014, that establishes credit levels for additional means by which covered state and alternative fuel provider fleets operating under the Program’s Standard Compliance(http://www.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/epact/state_standard_compliance.html) option may earn credits. These credits may be used toward compliance with a fleet’s alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) acquisition requirements. DOE promulgated the rule pursuant Congress’ direction, set forth in Section 133 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. 

Vehicles
The new credit allocations address the acquisition of various types of electric drive vehicles and allow covered fleets to earn credits under Standard Compliance for some vehicles that do not meet the EPAct 1992 definition of an AFV. Newly eligible vehicles include the following (with their credit allocations):

  • Certain hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) – one-half credit
  • Plug-in electric vehicles – one-half credit
  • Fuel cell electric vehicles – one-half credit
  • Neighborhood electric vehicles – one-fourth credit

Medium- and heavy-duty HEVs are also eligible for one-half credit after a fleet has met its light-duty AFV acquisition requirements.

Infrastructure
Acquiring the electric drive vehicles noted above is not the only new way to earn credits under EPAct Standard Compliance. Fleets may now earn credits for investments of their own funds (not grant funds or other monetary awards) in qualified alternative fuel infrastructure. For every $25,000 invested, a covered fleet may earn one credit, with a limit of five credits available per fleet per model year for private infrastructure investment, and ten credits per fleet per model year for public infrastructure investment.

Other Investments

Fleets may also earn credits for investments in alternative fuel non-road equipment and/or emerging technologies associated with the Section 133-identified vehicles. The credits for non-road equipment are similar to infrastructure – one credit for every $25,000 invested and a maximum of five credits may be earned per fleet per model year. Emerging technologies investments will earn a covered fleet two credits for the initial investment of $50,000 and one credit for every $25,000 invested thereafter, with a limit of five credits per fleet per model year.

Fleets may begin taking advantage of these new credit allocations for their efforts undertaken in model year 2014 and future model years.

How Can You Spread the Word?

Are you aware of any covered utility or state fleets that are building new fueling infrastructure?

  • Inform them they can earn EPAct credits.

Do you have an EPAct covered fleet stakeholder that needs an extra push to buy or lease HEVs?

  • Let them know that certain HEVs are now eligible for EPAct credits.

Do you or your stakeholders have questions regarding EPAct compliance?

Note that covered fleets are currently compiling their Program reports for model year 2014 (September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014) activities, which are due by December 31, 2014.

For more information, refer to the following resources:

Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team

technicalresponse@icfi.com

800-254-6735

Posted in Uncategorized |

Alternative Vehicle and Fuel Curriculum Development

Request for Proposals

Wyoming Alternative Fuels in Transportation

Curriculum Development

Background:

Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition’s (YTCEC) mission is to displace the use of petroleum in the regional transportation sector, improve air quality through reduced harmful exhaust emissions, and increase energy security and sustainability. This is accomplished primarily through the promotion of alternative fuels and vehicles, integrated transportation systems, and conservation strategies and technologies that benefit the public interest by reducing energy consumption, particularly of petroleum-based fuels.  We are located in Jackson, Wyoming, but serving the Greater Yellowstone Area.

Wyoming Alternative Fuels in Transportation Training:

Wyoming Alternative Fuels in Transportation Training is a program of Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition.  This program is funded in part through an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Education Grant.  The program is designed to serve as a model for increasing energy literacy and providing students and community members the information necessary to critically think and evaluate alternative fuels and strategies with the best application in various situations.

The program has two goals: (1) create an alternative transportation fuel and vehicle technologies curriculum for school and community programs and (2) facilitate a statewide workshop series educating teachers (formal and informal), non-profit leaders, and community leaders about air pollution reduction through alternative transportation fuels, vehicle technologies, and strategies (example: idle-reduction campaign) and train these participants to lead programs in their respective schools and communities.

Purpose of the Program: To advance the quality and consistency of teaching about alternative transportation fuels and vehicle technologies in schools and informal community education.  The curriculum will provide teachers (formal and informal), non-profit leaders, and community leaders access to activities and lesson plans adaptable to the environmental context of their respective communities.

Expected Final Product Description: The final product will be a pilot-tested and user-friendly curriculum targeted at students, grades 3-6, 6-8, 9-12 and adult learners.  The curriculum should include an instructor manual, diagrams, games, and a student manual. The instructor and student manuals should include an introduction and chapters covering biodiesel, ethanol, propane, compressed natural gas, electricity, idle-reduction, and technologies and resources.  The instructor manual should include a syllabus and directions for activities and lesson plans. The curriculum materials should address issues relevant to Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain west.

The curriculum must be compliant with the Next Generation Science Standards and list which performance expectations are met. http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards.

The curriculum will refer to content and resources provided by the following:

The National Alternative Fuels Training Center – Petroleum Reduction Technologies                        http://www.naftc.wvu.edu/cleancitieslearningprogram/petroleumreduction

US Department of Energy – Alternative Fuels Data Center

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/

Contractor is required to provide a hard copy and an electronic copy of all documents.

Outcomes: To provide teachers (formal and informal), non-profit leaders, students, and community members the basic knowledge of available alternative fuels and vehicle technologies, provide them with the information necessary to make informed transportation decisions in their every day lives and provide them the tools necessary to be an environmentally literate citizen capable of organizing alternative transportation initiatives in their school or community.

Award Information:

  • Total Project Funding and Number of Awards:
    • One award with funding not to exceed $9,400.00 available upon completion of project deliverables.
      • Travel expenses included in award amount.
      • Timeframe for Completion of Project
        • Start Date: November 18th, 2013
        • End Date: February  24th, 2013

Project Activities: Contractor must be available to meet in person with Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition staff upon project initiation and provide bi-weekly meetings until completion date of curriculum, February 24th, 2013.  Minimum one in-person meeting.

Proposal Requirements:  Please provide a resume, sample lesson plan, budget, project timeline for curriculum deliverable completion and contact information for two references. Sample lesson plan should be specific to electric vehicles.

For content and resources, refer to: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity.html

Selection Criteria:

  • Award can be made to schools, colleges, universities, not-for-profit organizations, agencies, or individuals.
  • Business entities must be able to provide DUNS number to receive contract award.
  • Demonstration of relevant curriculum development experience
  • Review of references
  • Sample lesson plan
    • Must adhere to Next Generation Science Standards
    • Completeness
    • Age-Appropriate Content
    • Completeness of budget and timeline
    • Preference given to those located regionally, although does not exclude those not regionally located

Proposal deadline: Monday, November 11th.

To inquire about this RFP please contact Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition, Program Coordinator Alicia Cox at Alicia@ytcleanenergy.org or (810) 955-5811.

Please submit proposals in PDF and Word format to Alicia@ytcleanenergy.org with the subject line: Proposal: WAFT Curriculum Developer Contract


 

 

 

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Drive an AFV in the Mountains? We Need Your Input!

Alternative Mountain Driving Guide-01Do you live in a mountain town? Do you live in Jackson, perhaps? Have you ever been intrigued by hybrids, electric vehicles, and other alternative fuel options but been afraid that it would not suit your rough and tumble mountain lifestyle?

YTCEC is working on a guide to help you choose an alternative fuel vehicle that will fit into your unique lifestyle. Whether it’s driving over the pass everyday, up steep, icy roads, or just cruising around the valley, we want to help you find a way to fit green driving into your life without compromising your vehicle performance.

In order to create this guide, we are trying to collect personal stories from people who currently drive alternative fuel vehicles in mountain towns. 

If you personally drive an alternative fuel vehicle, we would love if you could fill out our survey! It’s pretty quick and will help us figure out what kind of cars drive well in mountain towns, and what kinds don’t.

Survey Link

Posted in Uncategorized |

Tesla Model S Drives Over Teton Pass!

It has recently come to our attention that there is a Tesla in the Jackson area! The owner’s nephew, Ted Kidd, took it for a ride over Teton Pass and documented the entire trip.

This trip is a great example of regenerative breaking and how mountain driving can work in favor of electric vehicles’ range.

First, what is regenerative braking?

regenerative-brake-diagram

If you are coasting down hill in a vehicle, your wheels accumulate a large amount of kinetic energy.  As you get going too fast, and need to brake, all of that kinetic energy is lost as heat to the atmosphere.   In electric vehicles or hybrids, the electric motor runs backwards to brake the car when you press on the brake pedal.  As the motor runs backwards, it acts as an electric generator, and produces electricity that goes straight to the car’s battery.  So every time a hybrid or electric vehicle brakes, it is essentially charging its own battery.

The following pictures are of the dashboard on the Tesla as it drives from Jackson, WY to Victor, ID and back. It is a perfect illustration of how regenerative braking works.

 

1The Tesla starts out in Wilson with 263 miles of electric power.

3Right as the climb begins, the Tesla has 245 miles of range.

 

4

At the top of the pass, the Tesla has 220 miles of range left. Going up the steep incline decreased the efficiency of the motor and it lost 25 miles of range over a 6 mile driving period.

 

5The drive down from the top of the pass to Victor was 10 miles, but did not decrease the range at all.  In fact, driving and braking 10 miles down the pass added 5 miles of range to the Tesla, bringing it back up to 225.

6After driving around Idaho for a while, they headed back up the pass with 179 miles of range.

 

7Following the long, steep climb up the Idaho side of Teton Pass, there was 149 miles of range remaining by the time they reached the top.

 

8And the back down into Wilson added 10 miles back onto the range due to the regenerative braking! Ending range: 157.

 

Driving an electric or hybrid vehicle up steep mountain passes can decrease the efficiency because you are not driving ‘ideally’.  However, this Tesla trip shows that the effects of regenerative braking negate some of the less than ideal effects of driving up a steep grade.  Overall, the Tesla traveled 110 miles and only lost 14 miles off the “ideal” range.

Now, let’s bring more electric cars to mountain towns!

For more information about electric vehicles and charging visit our vehicles and fuels pages.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Greater Yellowstone Electric Vehicle Working Group

Are you interested in purchasing an electric vehicle?  Would you like to see more in our region?  Do you want to be a part of creating a unique regional electric vehicle infrastructure?

If you answered yes to any of these questions or are just interested in transportation in general, we encourage you to attend the first in person meeting of the Greater Yellowstone Electric Vehicle Working Group.

This meeting will take place at the Teton County Library on September 24th from 10:00am-2:00pm.  Please RSVP here as we will be offering a complimentary lunch.

The purpose of the working group is to create a plan to introduce electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations into our region with cohesion and simplicity.  We’re drawing upon the successes other Clean Cities Coalitions have found through this process.  By positioning ourselves at the front of the electric vehicle trend, our region will be situated to embrace this new technology and serve the needs of our communities and the millions of visitors we host each year.  For information about electric vehicle in our region, please read the previous blog post, it has all sorts of information.  Please don’t hesitat to email us with any questions.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Guest Shot: We’re Charging Ahead for Clean Energy

 Jackson Hole News and Guide 8/21/13 Guest Shot

On Aug. 5 the Jackson Town Council voted to approve the installation of five electric vehicle charging stations in public parking lots around the core of Jackson.  The Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition and the Jackson Hole Energy Sustainability Project commend the mayor and council for their leadership and commitment to energy conservation and environmental stewardship. Nationally there are 8,010 public and private charging stations, yet in Wyoming there is only one available to the public.  The five charging stations will literally put Jackson on the map in Wyoming and throughout the region as being a leader in promoting cleaner, more diverse transportation options.

There is a common misconception that electric vehicles simply replace oil with coal in terms of fuel use.  However, it’s not that straightforward.  How an electric vehicle is supplied ”fuel” depends on where and how your community receives its power.  Lower Valley Energy, our local utility provider, purchases all of Jackson’s electricity through Bonneville Power Administration, which is 84 percent hydropower, while the national average grid is 49 percent coal.  Due to Jackson’s clean grid there is a 60 percent reduction in fuel-source emissions per mile when comparing an electric vehicle with a conventional petroleum-powered vehicle.  In addition, all of the town of Jackson’s operations run on 100 percent certified green power from Lower Valley’s Strawberry Creek hydro facility.  As if that wasn’t enough green, four of the five approved EV stations are located in parking lots where the power will be offset by large solar installations. The kilowatt capabilities of the solar arrays at these public lots will be enough for 15 average vehicle charging events per day.

Fuel source emissions are only half of the equation. If you live or drive your electric vehicle somewhere outside of Jackson, rest assured, the Union of Concerned Scientists recently completed a study that concluded, ”There are no areas of the country where electric vehicles have higher global warming emissions than the average new gasoline vehicle.” This conclusion is a result of electric vehicles’ energy efficiencies.  An electric motor converts 75 to 80 percent of the chemical energy from the batteries to power the wheels.  An internal combustion engine converts only 20 percent of the energy stored in gasoline.

Electric vehicles also help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  The United States imports nearly half of the oil we consume each year, two-thirds of which is consumed by transportation.  Electric vehicles derive all their energy from electricity, which is a domestic source of fuel.  While there is no perfect fuel, adding electric vehicle charging in Jackson sends us along the right path of more diverse and cleaner fueling options.

Approximately 120,000 electric vehicles are on U.S. roads today, and the adoption of electric vehicles continues to outpace early sales of hybrid vehicles.  According to Forbes magazine, “Recent news from the U.S. on that front (electric vehicles) is somewhat encouraging: Sales of EV s for the first half of 2013 reached 41,447, according to AUTOS.aol.com, over twice the rate of sales in 2012.  Thirteen models of plug-ins now populate our roads, and more are coming.”

In light of the trend, the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition is convening a regional electric vehicle infrastructure working group.  There is a need to adapt to the coming technology, and Jackson is leading the way in this region.

The Jackson charging stations should be installed and functional by this winter.  We look forward to coordinating our marketing efforts with local rental car companies and the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce to get the word out that people can charge their cars in Jackson.

The Jackson Hole Energy Sustainability Project was proud to loan Jackson the funds for the five charging stations out of the 2010 specific purpose excise tax monies for energy efficiency.  Being innovative as well as conservatively minded are values we care about in Jackson.  The leadership demonstrated by the Town Council shows that we are moving forward as a community while taking care of this special place.

Both our organizations are proud to work closely with the town of Jackson and the community to provide information and cleaner transportation. We are always available to discuss this issue.

Shelley Simonton, is executive director of the Jackson Hole Energy Sustainability Project.   Alicia Cox is program coordinator for the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Big Green Bus Update

We just got word that the Big Green Bus has broken down and is stuck in LA! They aren’t going to make it to the People’s Market this week. We are disappointed, but still want to make the most out of the day we planned for them.

Therefore, we will still be at the People’s Market this Wednesday from 4-7 PM to talk to you about what we have been up to and hear what you have to say!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized |

A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON SUSTAINBILITY: BIOFUEL POWERED BUS PARKS IN JACKSON

Dartmouth College’s Big Green Bus Returns to Jackson.

Next week, the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition, The Murie Center, and Teton Science Schools will be welcoming this year’s Big Green Bus Crew as they return to Jackson on their 2013 summer tour.

People +Bus in front of tetons

The 2011 Big Green Bus Crew in the Tetons!

Phil Cameron, executive director of Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition, hosted The Big Green Bus in Jackson Hole for the first time 3 years ago, and they have been coming back ever since.  Cameron says, “the partnership between the Big Green Bus and the Coalition is a seamless fit as the Bus’s journey exemplifies the Coalition’s mission in action: reducing petroleum use in the transportation sector through the use of alternative fuels.”

 

Biofuel-ing the bus

The students fill the bus with B100 Biodeisel

The Bus, which runs entirely on 100% Biodiesel, will be at the People’s Market on August 14th. With the use of solar panels installed on the roof of the bus, they will power the sound system at the market.   While in Jackson, they have the opportunity to observe the role sustainability plays in a unique community surrounded by some of our country’s most precious treasures. The students will ride the iconic Jackson Hole tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain with JHMR sustainability coordinator Jon Bishop, tour a National Historic Landmark – The Murie Center, and participate in Teton Science School’s Pura Vida workshops.

For nine consecutive summers, Dartmouth students have taken the Big Green Bus on a cross-country road trip in search of a sustainable future. This year’s 12,000-mile journey began on June 13 and will include with stops in 27 cities.

At each stop, the Big Green Bus crew works with local groups to host fun, interactive events that spark conversation and inspire community action on environmental issues.

 Complete with solar panels, a recycling and compost station, and an engine that runs on bio-diesel, the Bus exemplifies innovative ways to live sustainably.

Follow the Bus this summer at www.thebiggreenbus.org.

This year’s tour is made possible by donations from: Greyhound, Caesars Entertainment, EBay, Annie’s, Silver Bullet Water Treatment Corporation, Roth Brothers, Apache Corporation, Spain Agency, King Arthur Flour, Dartmouth Office of Sustainability, Thayer School of Engineering, Clif Bar, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, IceStone, Rosedale Products, American By-Products, LL Bean, Playbck Clothing, VantagePoint Capital Partners, and Capital Wraps

 

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