Coordinator's Corner

Since the last newsletter in August, the Alamo Area Clean Cities Coalition has been busy with a few big events, including the Clean Cities National Conference, the Texas Energy Summit, and Drive Electric Day (featured below). 

Drive Electric Day – San Antonio featured over a dozen electric cars in a variety of makes and models, including a 2017 Tesla Model X straight from the dealership! Owners gave over 25 test drives and shared their unique experience with researching, purchasing and maintaining an EV.   

Chris Langston attended the event and rode in a Tesla Model S and BMW i3 REx. Chris explained, “The best part of the event was being able to interact with local EV owners. Being able to talk, question, and ride along with an EV owner far exceeds anything you can get from talking with a car salesman. You know you are getting straightforward answers and not a sales pitch.” 

Happy holidays and we'll see you again in 2018!

Drive Electric Day
Drive Electric Day, 2017 at the Pearl Brewery

Clean Cities Updates

Nonattainment Designation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not issue a nonattainment designation on October 1, 2017. On September 27, Governor Abbott sent a letter to the EPA requesting that the agency avoid designations due to pending lawsuits, transported ozone and the impact on military installations in the Alamo area. 

Volkswagen Settlement
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was announced as the lead administrator of Environmental Mitigation Trust funds for the state, comprising approximately $209 million for emissions reduction projects. TCEQ is currently accepting public comment on funding priorities. Email recommendations to VWsettle@tceq.texas.gov

EV Tax Credit
The tax bill retains the Plug In Electric Vehicle Tax Credit, which provides a maximum tax credit of $7,500 towards the purchase of an electric vehicle. 

Alternative Fuel Corridors
The Texas Department of Transportation submitted the second round of nominations for Alternative Fuel Corridors through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). View maps of alternative fuel corridors nationwide on the FHWA website

EV Corridor Map
2016 EV Corridor Map, FHWA

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Alternative Fueling Facilities Program (TERP) - DEADLINE: January 16, 2018
The AFFP program offers grants for the construction or expansion of alternative fuel fueling stations within the Clean Transportation Zone. Eligible alternative fuels include natural gas, biodiesel, hydrogen, methanol, propane, or electric charging. Projects are eligible for up to 50% of the costs, not to exceed $600,000. 

Rebate Grants (TERP) - DEADLINE: February 13, 2018
The Rebate Grants program is a simplified first-come, first-served grant program to repower or replace diesel heavy-duty vehicles and/or non-road equipment. Funding amounts are decided according to the emissions source (on-road or non-road), and activity life (5 year or 7 year) of the eligible vehicle. 

IC Bus
The IC Bus grant program will offer qualifying school districts throughout the United States and Canada $5,000 in grants per newly purchased propane-powered CE Series school bus. This grant can be used towards items such as buying additional buses, investing in new technology, hiring additional drivers, infrastructure updates to maintenance facilities, among other uses that the school districts prioritizes. 

Texas LoanSTAR
The Texas LoanSTAR (Saving Taxes and Resources) Revolving Loan Program finances energy-related, cost-reduction retrofits of facilities supported by the state, public school districts, public colleges and universities, and public hospital taxing districts. Borrowers receive low-interest loans to help pay for these efforts. Applicants repay the loans from the energy cost savings realized by the projects. 

Upcoming Events

TCAWG: Volkswagen Workshop - January 17, 2017
The Texas Clean Air Working Group (TCAWG) will be hosting a workshop on the Volkswagen Settlement. TCAWG will be seeking industry input on funding priorities. 

Event Details:

  • Date: January 17, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Location: Texas State Capitol Auditorium 

National Biodiesel Conference and Expo - January 22-25, 2018
The Biodiesel Conference and Expo, held in Fort Worth, Texas, provides updates on the biodiesel industry. This year's anniversary gala will honor the accomplishments of the first 25 years of biodiesel and also focus on what’s next, examining where we are and where we want to go.

The Work Truck Show / Green Truck Summit - March 6-9, 2018
Registration is open for both The Work Truck Show, North America's largest work truck event, and the concurrent Green Truck Summit, the industry’s premier conference on clean energy innovations for commercial vehicles. The event is held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Energy Independence Summit - February 11-14, 2018

The Energy Independence Summit, hosted by Transportation Energy Partners, brings together Clean Cities Coalitions and transportation energy leaders together to network and build partnerships with each other, and with key leaders in the Administration and Congress. The summit is held in Washington D.C. 

Green Transportation Summit and Expo - April 17-19, 2018
The Green Transportation Summit & Expo (GTSE) is the region's premier fleet modernization and alternative fuels event. GTSE boasts the strongest gathering of fleet professionals in the clean fuels industry. The event is held in Tacoma, Washington. 

Recent Publications:

2018 Fuel Economy Guide
This year’s guide, published annually by the Dept. of Energy (DOE) and EPA, provides fuel economy ratings for more than 1,000 light-duty vehicles, along with projected annual fuel costs and other information for prospective purchasers. The guide is designed to help car buyers choose the most fuel-efficient vehicles that fit their needs.

The Barriers to Acceptance of Plug-In Vehicles: 2017 Update
The U.S. DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory report details the findings of a study into the American public's sentiments on plug-in electric vehicles.

Designing a Successful Transportation Project: Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Projects
This U.S. DOE report summarizes project design and administrative considerations for conducting a successful transportation project, based on interviews with nearly 50 Clean Cities coalitions involved in past transportation projects.

What Fleets Need to Know About Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversions, Retrofits, and Repowers
This U.S. DOE report provides guidance on technology options and considerations for fleets pursuing vehicle conversions, retrofits, and repowers. It also provides best practices for selecting and working with project partners, service providers, and reputable vendors.

Clean Cities Spotlight

In August 2017, DFW International Airport awarded Clean Energy a contract for renewable natural gas (RNG). By 2020, they anticipate that half of their CNG consumption will be from a renewable source. The Airport is expecting $1 million in annual operation and maintenance savings, in addition to an annual revenue of $500,000 through renewable energy credits. 

“DFW has a strong commitment to sustainability, and we will continue to look for innovative ways to reduce our emissions, while improving the customer experience,” said Robert Horton, DFW’s Vice President of Environmental Affairs. “Using RNG for our fleet of vehicles will help us reduce our carbon footprint and our operating costs. It makes good business sense.”

DFW Airport
Natural Gas bus at DFW International Airport

For more information:

Lily Lowder, Alamo Area Clean Cities Coordinator
Website: www.aacog.com/cleancities 
Email: llowder@aacog.com
Phone: (210) 362-5277
Fax: (866) 332-3252 C/O Lily Lowder

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