,

Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Resilience

By Brinley Wilson, Utah Clean Cities 

The concepts of emergency resiliency and preparedness are of critical importance to Utah Clean Cities. As a coalition, we believe incorporating biodiesel, electric, natural gas, and propane vehicles into emergency fleets can diversify energy portfolios and create reliant transportation alternatives.

On Wednesday, March 18 at 7:09 AM, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck Magna that could be felt from Logan down to Utah County. Various impacts were seen throughout Utah including approximately 10,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers left without power as of 1:38 PM, March 18, down from approximately 50,000 earlier in the day. The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) was forced to halt FrontRunner trains between Murray and Salt Lake City for two hours and all TRAX service Wednesday morning until further notice.

The Utah Department of Transportation required a temporary closure of the ramp to westbound I-215 at Union Park Boulevard on March 18. The Cottonwood Heights Police tweeted that the closure will last for the next three to seven days until a full assessment can be completed. UDOT’s Spokesperson, John Gleason, said that the closure may not last that long as it is simply a precaution considering inspectors are occupied assessing more than 500 bridges affected by the earthquake.  The recent earthquake is a reminder that the time to adopt advanced fuels is now.

Natural disasters of this scale can impact petroleum pipelines, storage tanks, production and distribution as well as electric and natural gas sectors. In the case of natural disasters and emergencies where conventional fuel supplies are disrupted, alternative fuels can increase emergency resilience and preparedness. To ensure we are prepared for future emergency scenarios, we should accelerate the adoption of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.

In 2019, The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) and the Utah Clean Cities Coalition (UCCC) developed a report that examines how alternative fuels and alternative vehicles can heighten Utah’s emergency resiliency by diversifying their vehicle fleets and be leveraged as an emergency response resource should their state’s transportation fuels sector be disrupted in an emergency.

 The report concluded that diversifying the fuels utilized by a fleet can increase its resilience and stated that the ideal emergency response fleet contains multiple fuel sources including biofuels, electricity, natural gas and propane among others. This is due to the understanding that, if a natural or man-made disaster were to cut off Utah’s major supply of conventional fuels, emergency response teams could turn to fleets that run on alternative fuels to perform necessary services.

 For example, plug-in electric vehicles can be particularly beneficial in an emergency because of their capability to act as generators to power emergency response systems such as communications equipment, traffic lights or fuel pumps.

 Fuel Diversification Report: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has identified that a series of disasters have proved the value of transportation fuel diversity. Should a state of emergency occur, NREL has established a “5-Pronged Approach to Resilience” which includes redundancy, access, storage, resupply and efficiency. All of which aim to achieve increased preparedness regarding alternative vehicles and advanced fuels even before disaster strikes. UCCC partners with NREL to gather data and research that advises future research needs and supports local decision making on alternative fuels, energy-efficient mobility systems and measures that enhance transportation efficiency and reduce transportation energy costs.

Nationwide, alternative fuel vehicles are being considered for emergency and service fleets. Electric vehicles have fewer components, so adopting AFVs means less maintenance and increased response time. Firefighters in Menlo Park, California, recently unveiled the world’s first all-electric fire engine meant to replace a traditional carbon-emitting fire truck. In Utah, the Salt Lake City Fire Department (SLCFD) is considering adding the all-electric fire truck to its fleet which was exhibited at the Sugar House Fire Station this month. The SLCFD is looking to reduce their carbon emissions and contribute to cleaner air. If purchased, the electric fire truck would support the city’s climate and clean air goals of an 80% reduction of Salt Lake City’s community carbon footprint by 2040. 

 The state of Utah currently has two utilities operate 429 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), several municipalities, two transportation providers and six school districts have added AFVs to their fleets, private fleets make up the largest AFV user group and several state and federal agencies have adopted the use of alternative fuels. These are the alternative vehicles and advanced fuels that the state would rely on in the case of an emergency. While this development is promising, Utah is still capable of expanding its emergency resiliency by encouraging the implementation of alternative vehicles and advanced fuels among emergency and service fleets.

To support Utah’s expansion of alternative vehicles and advanced fuels, Utah Clean Cities created the Green Fleet Program to provide resources and specialized training opportunities for businesses, municipalities and organizational fleets to diversify energy portfolios through the adoption of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. The goal of the program is to provide a forum for local businesses, government and the public to collaborate on public policy and programs for alternative fuel used in the state’s transportation sector. The Green Fleet Program works to identify emergency uses of alternative fuel vehicles through (1) recruiting existing fleets, (2) establishing and maintaining a protocol to be followed in an emergency through engagement with local emergency managers and (3) ensure that emergency response teams have access to iREV’s Tracking Tool, a resource to locate alternative fuel dispensing facility. 

Furthermore, Utah has an abundance of alternative fuel resources that can be utilized during an emergency that disrupts the supply of conventional fuels. By establishing and maintaining plans and procedures and collaborating with municipalities to understand the significant role alternative fuel vehicles play, Utah will be better prepared and equipped in the case of natural disasters and state-wide emergencies. 

Want to learn more about the benefits and considerations of incorporating biodiesel, electric, natural gas, and propane vehicles into emergency fleets? NASEO has developed a series of case studies that highlight ways that various alternative fuel vehicles have been used during emergencies:

  1. Biodiesel Fueled Vehicles and Emergency Response
  2. Electric Vehicles and Emergency Response
  3. Natural Gas Vehicles and Emergency Response
  4. Propane Vehicles and Emergency Response

 

  

 

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Federal Alternative Fuel Tax Credits Summary

Please see below for an overview of all the federal alternative fuel tax credits that have been retroactively extended. For the latest information on laws and incentives, we recommend periodically checking the AFDC Laws and Incentives database here as it’s frequently updated.

For an overview of all the federal alternative fuel tax credits that have been retroactively extended, visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) Federal Laws and Incentives page here. All the descriptions with an “updated 12/23/2019,” flag were retroactively extended by Public Law 116-94 (https://www.congress.gov/public-laws/116th-congress). There were 10 alternative fuel tax credit updates, which are listed below.

For guidance on retroactive filing, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Forms and Publications website here or contact the IRS (800-829-1040) or Excise Tax Branch, IRS Office of Chief Counsel at 202-317-6855.

Alternative Fuel Excise Tax Credit

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A tax incentive is available for alternative fuel that is sold for use or used as a fuel to operate a motor vehicle. A tax credit in the amount of $0.50 per gallon is available for the following alternative fuels: natural gas, liquefied hydrogen, propane, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass. For propane and natural gas sold after December 31, 2015, the tax credit is based on the gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). For taxation purposes, one GGE is equal to 5.75 pounds (lbs.) of propane and 5.66 lbs. of compressed natural gas. One DGE is equal to 6.06 lbs. of liquefied natural gas.

For an entity to be eligible to claim the credit they must be liable for reporting and paying the federal excise tax on the sale or use of the fuel in a motor vehicle. Tax exempt entities such as state and local governments that dispense qualified fuel from an on-site fueling station for use in vehicles qualify for the incentive. Eligible entities must be registered with IRS. The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the entity’s alternative fuel tax liability; any excess over this fuel tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2016, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

Fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed through December 31, 2020, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Consumers who purchased qualified residential fueling equipment prior to December 31, 2020, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000. Unused credits that qualify as general business tax credits, as defined by the IRS, may be carried backward one year and carried forward 20 years. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, 26 U.S. Code 30C and 38, and IRS Notice 2007-43)

Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was modified and retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94

An alternative fuel blender that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive on the sale or use of the alternative fuel blend (mixture) for use as a fuel in the blender’s trade or business. The credit is in the amount of $0.50 per gallon of alternative fuel used to produce a mixture containing at least 0.1% gasoline, diesel, or kerosene. Qualified alternative fuels are liquefied hydrogen, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and liquid fuel derived from biomass. The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the blender’s alternative fuel tax liability; any excess over this fuel tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. The tax credit is not allowed if an incentive for the same alternative fuel is also determined under the rules for the ethanol or biodiesel tax credits.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

Biodiesel Income Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2022, by Public Law 116-94.

A taxpayer that delivers pure, unblended biodiesel (B100) into the tank of a vehicle or uses B100 as an on-road fuel in their trade or business may be eligible for an incentive in the amount of $1.00 per gallon of biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, or renewable diesel. If the biodiesel was sold at retail, only the person that sold the fuel and placed it into the tank of the vehicle is eligible for the tax credit. The incentive is allowed as a credit against the taxpayer’s income tax liability. Claims must include a copy of the certificate from the registered biodiesel producer or importer that: identifies the product; specifies the product’s biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, and/or renewable diesel content; confirms that the product is properly registered as a fuel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and confirms that the product meets the requirements of ASTM specification D6751. Renewable diesel is defined as liquid fuel derived from biomass that meets EPA’s fuel registration requirements and ASTM specifications D975 or D396; the definition of renewable diesel does not include any fuel derived from co-processing biomass with a feedstock that is not biomass.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Forms 637 and 8864, which are available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). For information about registering with the EPA, see the EPA Fuels Registration, Reporting, and Compliance Help website. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 40A)

 Biodiesel Mixture Excise Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2022, by Public Law 116-94.

A biodiesel blender that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of $1.00 per gallon of pure biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, or renewable diesel blended with petroleum diesel to produce a mixture containing at least 0.1% diesel fuel. Only blenders that have produced and sold or used the qualified biodiesel mixture as a fuel in their trade or business are eligible for the tax credit. The incentive must first be taken as a credit against the blender’s fuel tax liability; any excess over this tax liability may be claimed as a direct payment from the IRS. Claims must include a copy of the certificate from the registered biodiesel producer or importer that: identifies the product; specifies the product’s biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, and/or renewable diesel content; confirms that the product is properly registered as a fuel with the EPA; and confirms that the product meets the requirements of ASTM specification D6751. Renewable diesel is defined as liquid fuel derived from biomass that meets EPA’s fuel registration requirements and ASTM specifications D975 or D396; the definition of renewable diesel does not include any fuel derived from co-processing biomass with a feedstock that is not biomass.

For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 4136, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 6426)

Fuel Cell Motor Vehicle Tax Credit

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A tax credit of up to $8,000 is available for the purchase of qualified light-duty fuel cell vehicles, depending on the vehicle’s fuel economy. Tax credits are also available for medium- and heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles; credit amounts are based on vehicle weight. Vehicle manufacturers must follow the procedures as published in Notice 2008-33 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-08-33.pdf) to certify to the IRS that a vehicle meets certain requirements to claim the fuel cell vehicle credit. Notice 2008-33 also provides guidance to taxpayers about claiming the credit. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8910, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 30B)

Qualified Two-Wheeled Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A credit is available for the purchase of a new qualified two-wheeled plug-in electric drive vehicle that draws propulsion using a traction battery that has at least 2.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of capacity, uses an external source of energy to recharge the battery, has a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14,000 pounds, is manufactured primarily for use on public roadways, and can drive at least 45 miles per hour. The credit is for 10% of the cost of the qualified vehicle, up to $2,500. For more information about claiming the credit, see the IRS Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit website (https://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Plug-In-Electric-Vehicle-Credit-IRC-30-and-IRC-30D) and IRS Form 8936, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 30D)

Second Generation Biofuel Plant Depreciation Deduction Allowance

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A second generation biofuel production plant placed into service between December 31, 2017, and December 31, 2020, may be eligible for an additional depreciation tax deduction allowance equal to 50% of the adjusted basis of the property. The plant must be solely used to produce second generation biofuel and is only eligible for the depreciation allowance for the first year in operation. Second generation biofuel is defined as liquid fuel produced from any lignocellulosic or hemicellulosic matter that is available on a renewable basis or any cultivated algae, cyanobacteria, or lemna. (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 112-240 and 26 U.S. Code 168)

Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A second generation biofuel producer that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of up to $1.01 per gallon of second generation biofuel that is: sold and used by the purchaser in the purchaser’s trade or business to produce a second generation biofuel mixture; sold and used by the purchaser as a fuel in a trade or business; sold at retail for use as a motor vehicle fuel; used by the producer in a trade or business to produce a second generation biofuel mixture; or used by the producer as a fuel in a trade or business. If the second generation biofuel also qualifies for alcohol fuel tax credits, the credit amount is reduced to $0.46 per gallon for biofuel that is ethanol and $0.41 per gallon if the biofuel is not ethanol. Second generation biofuel is defined as liquid fuel produced from any lignocellulosic or hemicellulosic matter that is available on a renewable basis or any cultivated algae, cyanobacteria, or lemna. To qualify, fuel must also meet the EPA fuel and fuel additive registration requirements. Alcohol with a proof of less than 150, fuel with a water or sediment content of more than 4%, and fuel with an ash content of more than 1% are not considered second generation biofuels. The incentive is allowed as a credit against the producer’s income tax liability. Under current law, only qualified fuel produced in the United States for use in the United States may be eligible. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Forms 637 and 6478, which are available on the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, and 26 U.S. Code 40)

Small Agri-Biodiesel Producer Tax Credit 

NOTE: This incentive originally expired on December 31, 2017, but was retroactively extended through December 31, 2020, by Public Law 116-94.

A small agri-biodiesel producer that is registered with the IRS may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of $0.10 per gallon of agri-biodiesel that is: sold and used by the purchaser in the purchaser’s trade or business to produce an agri-biodiesel and diesel fuel mixture; sold and used by the purchaser as a fuel in a trade or business; sold at retail for use as a motor vehicle fuel; used by the producer in a trade or business to produce an agri-biodiesel and diesel fuel mixture; or used by the producer as a fuel in a trade or business. A small producer is one that has, at all times during the tax year, not more than 60 million gallons of productive capacity of any type of agri-biodiesel. Agri-biodiesel is defined as diesel fuel derived solely from virgin oils, including esters derived from corn, soybeans, sunflower seeds, cottonseeds, canola, crambe, rapeseeds, safflowers, flaxseeds, rice bran, mustard seeds, and camelina, and from animal fats; renewable diesel does not qualify for the credit. The incentive applies only to the first 15 million gallons of agri-biodiesel produced in a tax year is allowed as a credit against the producer’s income tax liability.. For more information, see IRS Publication 510 and IRS Forms 637 and 8864, which are available via the IRS Forms and Publications website (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html). (Reference Public Law 116-94, Public Law 111-312, Section 701; and 26 U.S. Code 40A)

UCC Joins Nationwide Policy Efforts for Clean Fuel, Vehicles & Infrastructure at Energy Independence Summit in Washington, D.C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 5th, 2020.

Utah Clean Cities Executive Director, Tammie Bostick, and Senior Project Manager, Emily Paskett, will join clean transportation leaders from across the nation next week in Washington, D.C. to educate federal policymakers on the need to accelerate America’s adoption of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. Bostick and Paskett will participate in the Energy Independence Summit 2020, the nation’s premier clean transportation policy event, onFebruary 10-12.

While there has been a recent drop in gasoline prices, they remain extremely volatile, and the U.S. continues to send more than $200 billion per year to OPEC and other nations for oil, stated Bostick. According to Bostick, the transition to alternative fuels must support America’s growing economy and secure a healthy future for our communities. 

“We are traveling to Washington D.C. to ensure that our Utah legislative delegates understand that the U.S. and Utah must strategically expand our use of stateside fuels. To stabilize all fuel prices and decrease our reliance on imported oil, we must increase our renewable fuel portfolio and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels in the transportation and energy sector,” she said. “For Utah, the message is clear: we must tackle our serious air quality issues with the goal of zero emissions at the tailpipe.” 

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Utah Business Fleet Saver Accelerates Adoption of Alternative Fuels

Utah-based Fleet Saver LLC (Fleet Saver) has made a strategic acquisition of Utah-based Lancer Auto Group LLC (re-named Lancer Energy) in order to accelerate the adoption of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, including those running on renewable natural gas (RNG), in the western United States. 

From 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, the public and media were invited to attend the official opening and ribbon cutting for FleetSaver. This event was hosted by Utah Clean Cities, Lancer Group & FleetSaver, and located at 111 East Broadway, Suite 150, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

Lancer Energy performs EPA-certified conversions of light-duty vehicles, medium-duty vehicles, and Class 6-8 trucks. It also installs and services equipment at CNG fueling stations. The acquisition combines the technical expertise of Lancer Energy with the distribution expertise of Fleet Saver. The acquisition will enable Fleet Saver to better serve its fleet customers in the western United States, while allowing Lancer Energy to expand its footprint to service areas outside of Utah.

Scott Brandeberry, Vice President of Lancer Energy said, “CNG is seeing a resurgence due to its low-cost and ideal fit for heavy-duty trucking and transportation.  The introduction of RNG into the region will only accelerate the adoption of CNG/RNG to reduce emissions and improve our air quality. Both companies are dedicated to outstanding customer service and the advancement of CNG and RNG technology. With the addition of Fleet Saver, we become a one-stop shop for all of your CNG/RNG needs”.  

With a new corporate office in downtown Salt Lake City and satellite facilities being opened in Phoenix and Las Vegas in 2020, the combined companies are poised to growth and develop CNG and RNG in those respective markets.

Utah Clean Cities is a leader in the state and region with advanced and alternative fuels and vehicles for over 25 years. According to Tammie Bostick, Executive Director at Utah Clean Cities, the addition of renewable biofuels, such as RNG, to Utah’s advanced fuel portfolio adds solutions today to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels. 

“Adding RNG to existing gas infrastructure and fueling stations is similar to adding renewable electricity to the grid,” said Bostick. “It provides the opportunity for fleets to have clean, state-side, local fuel.  This is in part achieved by using anaerobic digesters at landfills to capture and use generated methane energy to support the fuel needed in our large transportation system of fleet vehicles. This biogas can be used to generate both electricity and transportation fuels.  It’s an excellent model for our energy demands and clean air initiatives here in Utah.”

 

 

 

About Utah Clean Cities: 

The mission of the Utah Clean Cities Coalition is to advance the energy, economic, and environmental security of the United States by supporting local decisions to adopt practices that reduce the use of petroleum in the transportation sector. Working closely with the Department of Energy’s Technology Integration Program, federal and state government, as well as our local stakeholders, we leverage our resources to bring funding into Utah to support the development and deployment of advanced fuel infrastructure and vehicles with an emphasis on renewable energies and technologies. We are committed to expanding transportation modeling by offering consultation services to access proven, state-of-the-art technological vehicles and equipment with proven return on investment for smart mobility fleets. We are here to support actionable steps to meet the challenges of our carbon-constrained world, to meet state and federal mandates, and implement sound business practices to tackle the serious nonattainment conditions in our state. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Fleet Saver & Lancer Energy:

Fleet Saver is an industrial fleet fueling company providing superior cost savings and reduced environmental impact through the promotion of compressed natural gas (CNG) and renewable natural gas (RNG). Fleet Saver provides below-market CNG fueling services through a series of services stations in the Wasatch front and major freight corridors in the western United States.  Fleet Saver helps fleet managers significantly lower fuel costs by utilizing CNG as their main fuel source. Fleet Saver offers fixed-fuel pricing for up to five years in addition to financing programs to support the upgrades of fleet vehicles to CNG engines and equipment. Lancer Energy is recognized as a leader in the advanced fuels industry. With 25 years of experience in natural gas vehicles, and with the addition of CNG station sales, installation and maintenance, it has become the go-to company for CNG in Utah and surrounding states. Lancer Group is a longtime stakeholder of the vehicle technology integration and education non-profit Utah Clean Cities and is a Green Fleet Member in the state and region.

Utah Clean Cities partners with the Office of Energy Development

Utah Clean Cities organized an event in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development to engage an interest in clean transportation.

FuelsFix– Poster November 20, 2019
utah clean cities executive director

Utah Clean Cities organized an event in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development to engage an interest in clean transportation.

Utah Leaders and organizations gathered on Nov 4, 2019, in celebration of the 11th Year Anniversary and Annual Declaration of the Governor’s Partnership for Advanced Fuels and Infrastructure. This event represents the next step in understanding proven business models for fleets and sustainable strategies for clean transportation in Utah.

Utah Clean Cities organized the event in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development to engage a wide variety of stakeholders, private and public partnerships, communities, and leaders on a common platform to better understand cost effective and measurable impact solutions to emissions. The goal? To boost the overall economy and benefit the transportation sector by offering cleaner transportation alternatives statewide.

speaking at utah clean cities event

The Governor’s Declaration includes information regarding the integration of low – and zero-emissions transportation options and calls for continued expansion of infrastructure for Alternative Fuels. The declaration notes the emerging portfolio of advanced fueled vehicles, both public and private, including fuels produced from Utah-sourced agricultural and municipal wastes, electric, propane, compressed natural gas, ethanol and biodiesel.

“Alternative fuels continue to play a critical role in Utah’s economic and environmental success,” said Gary R. Herbert, Governor of Utah.  “With my Office of Energy Development and its key partners, we have worked together to realize significant strides in diversifying our fuels and infrastructure to provide greater transportation options to Utahns while also achieving greater air quality, economic opportunity and energy security.”

The Annual Declaration for Alternative Fuels in Utah began in 2008 and has since drawn local and national interest. This year’s Declaration was read by Laura Nelson, the Governor’s energy advisor, and outlined several key successes realized to date, including the ever-growing infrastructure expansion in Utah, the eight-state agreement to advance an electric vehicle corridor across the West, and the creation of an emergency response database and fleet acquisition plan.  In total, 941 stations across Utah offer alternative fuels, including CNG, RNG, LNG, autogas and electric charging, many along its most frequented corridors – I-15, I-80 and I-70.

declaration at utah clean cities event

Tammy Bostick, center, UCC, listens as Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor, reads the Declaration of Alternative Fuel Awareness Month. During the event Nelson unveiled the iREV Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Emergency Plans report produced in partnership with OED, UCC, and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).  The report examines how alternative fuel vehicles can bolster Utah’s resilience, and be leveraged as an emergency response resource in the event of a disruption to the state’s transportation fuels sector.  Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.“As we continue to deliver on Utah’s Energy Action Plan to 2020, we are proud to unveil the new iREV report, in partnership with UCC and NASEO, to strengthen our state’s energy resilience and emergency planning through greater collaboration, education and adoption of alternative fuels, which remain a vital player in Utah’s overall economic and environmental strategy,” said Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. “Through new online tools and fuller partnerships, we anticipate our strategic planning will realize ever-greater safety, infrastructure, and investment opportunities as we look to meet the demands of the future.”

Other event speakers included Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities; Carolyn Gonot, UTA, and David Christenson, SELECT. As a key highlight, Utah Clean Cities announced its commitment to advance two DOE cooperative agreements to support advanced vehicle projects, namely the East Zions National Park Electric Vehicle Shuttle System Plan and Supporting a Strong EV Market in the Intermountain West. OED provided support letters for these UCC grants, which will include the development and deployment of a small-scale EV shuttle system at Zions that will increase connectivity across Southern Utah and act as a national model, and the driving of a multi stakeholder engagement project to strengthen the EV market and rural infrastructure across the region.  The projects are expected to generate more than three million in revenue for the state over the next three years.

teslas at utah clean cities event

Ramiro Floras checks out a trio of Teslas following a press conference during a press conference at the Capitol marking the 11th anniversary of November being declared Alternative Fuel Awareness Month in Utah. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

“The entire Intermountain West Region will benefit from this project which supports consumer education, stakeholder engagement, and urban and rural infrastructure development of electric vehicle charging through the expansion of alternative fuel corridors,” said Tammie Bostick, executive director of Utah Clean Cities.

Other transportation stakeholders spoke on their commitment to delivering on Utah’s alternative fuel future, including Dominion Energy on the advancement of H.B. 107 which expands the Sustainable Transportation Plan Act to include a large-scale natural gas utility, and UTA which has reduced its emissions by more than half by diversifying their fleet since 2008, with a long-term goal of evenly providing of CNG, electric and hybrid fuels.

“Dominion Energy is proud to deliver clean, reliable energy to homes, businesses, industry and alternative-energy automobiles,” said Craig Wagstaff, Dominion Energy Senior Vice President and General Manager – Western Division. “We are excited about our partnerships – which are expanding – with producers of renewable natural gas (RNG) to provide carbon-negative sources of fuel for natural gas vehicles and homes. Dominion Energy’s goal is to become the nation’s leader when it comes to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy.”

manager of project development for the Utah Transit Authority

Hal Johnson, manager of project development for the Utah Transit Authority, gives Carolyn Gonot, UTA’s executive director, a rundown of the energy consumption on one of the company’s electric buses following a press conference at the Capitol marking the 11th anniversary of November being declared Alternative Fuel Awareness Month in Utah. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

UTA currently operates 54 electric-hybrid buses, 47 CNG buses, and 3 electric buses. With the implementation of new technology, UTA has reduced emissions by more than 75% from our past bus fleet (2008) to our current fleet today (2019),” said Carolyn Gonot, UTA Executive Director. “Those who choose to ride UTA’s bus system save an average of 18.7 grams/trip of air pollution. As UTA continues to incorporate clean technologies and people choose to ride transit the air pollution savings per trip will only continue to increase.”

In recent years, several municipalities have committed to diversifying their fleets, including Salt Lake City, St. George, Sandy City, Park City, and now the gateway community of Kanab.  In 2017, Park City became the first municipality in Utah to operate a zero-emission, all-electric bus system. Additionally, the Salt Lake City International Airport is working to integrate alternative fuels to its fleet, including RNG (renewable natural gas) and electric.  Lastly, adoption among the private-sector continues to rise, with initiatives within companies such as Geneva Rock, a construction business based in Orem, Packsize, a sustainable packaging company, and refuse haulers ACE Recycling and Disposal and Momentum Waste Management.

“The world of fleet fuels has been very exciting over the last 10 years,” said Matt Stalsberg, general manager of ACE.  “Our consumption needs have forced us to look at alternative fuels, and our ethics have inspired us to choose what fuels we think would benefit our environment.  Fueling technology is the driving force that tells us what we can afford versus what we may want for the environment. Manufacturer’s need incentives, to embrace new technology research, this will help people like me afford a fleet that I can be proud of.”

utah clean cities trucks

Lastly, Utah continues to be at the forefront of emerging electriciation opportunities through research conducted at Utah State University’s Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center (SELECT) — a diverse network of faculty, students, key industry members and stakeholders are pursuing research activities that enable technologies and engineered systems in electrified transportation.

“Our collaboration activities have allowed us to grow from what began as five university partners and a dozen faculty members to 13 core and affiliated university members with more than 40 researchers with globally recognized expertise across sectors in the electric transportation ecosystem,” said David M. Christensen, SELECT Executive Director. “We are proud to have an aggressive and competitive research enterprise at Utah State University, including the Electric Vehicle & Roadway Research and Test Track Facility.”

Gov. Herbert Celebrates Alternative Fuels Awareness Month

The Governor’s Office of Energy Development and other groups came together Monday at the Utah State Capitol to voice support for the state moving forward with development of cleaner forms of energy and celebrate Utah’s 11th Alternative Fuels Awareness month.

“It is important to diversify transportation fuels, build transportation infrastructure and a fleet of alternative fuel vehicles in order to reduce air pollution and improve air quality, and to save energy and preserve national resources,” reads Gov. Gary Herbert’s declaration.

Dr. Laura Nelson, executive director of the Office of Energy Development, presented a report examining how alternative fuel vehicles can “strengthen our state’s energy resilience and emergency planning through greater collaboration, education and adoption of alternative fuels.”

The proposals and advancements announced Monday are part of Utah’s Energy Action Plan to 2020, an effort by the governor’s office that, in part, aims to address the state’s poor air quality and inversion along the Wasatch Front.

In Utah and Salt Lake counties, air quality in the winter can reach “unhealthy” and “hazardous” levels on the Air Quality Index.

Several “green” vehicles were parked outside the capitol steps and showcased for the public, including a zero-emission natural gas-powered Ford Explorer designed by ReFuel Energy Partners, a New Flyer Industries all-electric transit bus, a duel-fuel service truck and a natural gas-powered Ace Recycling and Disposal dump truck.

In 2016, Utah ranked as the 8th highest state in electric car sales, with almost 1% of new car sales being of electric vehicles, according to a “Clean Energy Momentum” report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Utah Transit Authority executive director Carolyn Gonot said that the public transit company currently operates 54 electric-hybrid buses, three fully electric buses and 47 powered by natural gas. She added that UTA has reduced emissions from its bus fleet by more than three quarters since 2008.

“As UTA continues to incorporate clean technologies and people choose to ride transit, the air pollution savings per trip will only continue to increase,” Gonot said.

The Utah Clean Cities Coalition, a group that works with local leaders to reduce the use of petroleum in the transportation sector, announced that it would advance two United States Department of Energy clean vehicle projects, one that would transition Zion National Park shuttles from propane-powered to electricity-powered and another that would support electric vehicle markets throughout the rural Intermountain West.

The two initiatives are projected to generate over $3 million in revenue for the state over the next three years, according to a Utah Clean Cities Coalition press release.

Another way the state can achieve greater air quality is through providing consumers with sustainable fuel options. Nelson from the Office of Energy Development said that said there are currently 941 gas stations in the state that offer alternative fuels or electric charging stations.

Dr. David M. Christensen, executive director of Utah State University’s Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center, which partners with out-of-state colleges to research sustainable vehicle options, spoke about the center’s growth since its formation in 2016.

“What began as five university partners and a dozen faculty members (has expanded) to 13 core and affiliated university members with more than 40 researchers with globally recognized expertise across sectors in the electric transportation ecosystem,” Christensen said.

The accumulation of these initiatives will contribute to Utah’s “economic and environmental success,” Herbert said in his declaration.

Connor Richards covers government, the environment and south Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at crichards@heraldextra.com and 801-344-2599.

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Governor Advances Clean Transportation in Utah

Utah Leaders and organizations gathered on Nov 4, 2019, in celebration of the 11th Year Anniversary and Annual Declaration of the Governor’s Partnership for Advanced Fuels and Infrastructure. This event represents the next step in understanding proven business models for fleets and sustainable strategies for clean transportation in Utah.

Utah Clean Cities organized the event in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development to engage a wide variety of stakeholders, private and public partnerships, communities, and leaders on a common platform to better understand cost effective and measurable impact solutions to emissions. The goal? To boost the overall economy and benefit the transportation sector by offering cleaner transportation alternatives statewide.

Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities Executive Director. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

The Governor’s Declaration includes information regarding the integration of low – and zero-emissions transportation options and calls for continued expansion of infrastructure for Alternative Fuels. The declaration notes the emerging portfolio of advanced fueled vehicles, both public and private, including fuels produced from Utah-sourced agricultural and municipal wastes, electric, propane, compressed natural gas, ethanol and biodiesel. 

“Alternative fuels continue to play a critical role in Utah’s economic and environmental success,” said Gary R. Herbert, Governor of Utah.  “With my Office of Energy Development and its key partners, we have worked together to realize significant strides in diversifying our fuels and infrastructure to provide greater transportation options to Utahns while also achieving greater air quality, economic opportunity and energy security.”

The Annual Declaration for Alternative Fuels in Utah began in 2008 and has since drawn local and national interest. This year’s Declaration was read by Laura Nelson, the Governor’s energy advisor, and outlined several key successes realized to date, including the ever-growing infrastructure expansion in Utah, the eight-state agreement to advance an electric vehicle corridor across the West, and the creation of an emergency response database and fleet acquisition plan.  In total, 941 stations across Utah offer alternative fuels, including CNG, RNG, LNG, autogas and electric charging, many along its most frequented corridors – I-15, I-80 and I-70. 

Tammy Bostick, center, UCC, listens as Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor, reads the Declaration of Alternative Fuel Awareness Month. During the event Nelson unveiled the iREV Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Emergency Plans report produced in partnership with OED, UCC, and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).  The report examines how alternative fuel vehicles can bolster Utah’s resilience, and be leveraged as an emergency response resource in the event of a disruption to the state’s transportation fuels sector.  Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.“As we continue to deliver on Utah’s Energy Action Plan to 2020, we are proud to unveil the new iREV report, in partnership with UCC and NASEO, to strengthen our state’s energy resilience and emergency planning through greater collaboration, education and adoption of alternative fuels, which remain a vital player in Utah’s overall economic and environmental strategy,” said Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. “Through new online tools and fuller partnerships, we anticipate our strategic planning will realize ever-greater safety, infrastructure, and investment opportunities as we look to meet the demands of the future.” 

Other event speakers included Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities; Carolyn Gonot, UTA, and David Christenson, SELECT. As a key highlight, Utah Clean Cities announced its commitment to advance two DOE cooperative agreements to support advanced vehicle projects, namely the East Zions National Park Electric Vehicle Shuttle System Plan and Supporting a Strong EV Market in the Intermountain West. OED provided support letters for these UCC grants, which will include the development and deployment of a small-scale EV shuttle system at Zions that will increase connectivity across Southern Utah and act as a national model, and the driving of a multi stakeholder engagement project to strengthen the EV market and rural infrastructure across the region.  The projects are expected to generate more than three million in revenue for the state over the next three years. 

Ramiro Floras checks out a trio of Teslas following a press conference during a press conference at the Capitol marking the 11th anniversary of November being declared Alternative Fuel Awareness Month in Utah. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

“The entire Intermountain West Region will benefit from this project which supports consumer education, stakeholder engagement, and urban and rural infrastructure development of electric vehicle charging through the expansion of alternative fuel corridors,” said Tammie Bostick, executive director of Utah Clean Cities.

Other transportation stakeholders spoke on their commitment to delivering on Utah’s alternative fuel future, including Dominion Energy on the advancement of H.B. 107 which expands the Sustainable Transportation Plan Act to include a large-scale natural gas utility, and UTA which has reduced its emissions by more than half by diversifying their fleet since 2008, with a long-term goal of evenly providing of CNG, electric and hybrid fuels. 

“Dominion Energy is proud to deliver clean, reliable energy to homes, businesses, industry and alternative-energy automobiles,” said Craig Wagstaff, Dominion Energy Senior Vice President and General Manager – Western Division. “We are excited about our partnerships – which are expanding – with producers of renewable natural gas (RNG) to provide carbon-negative sources of fuel for natural gas vehicles and homes. Dominion Energy’s goal is to become the nation’s leader when it comes to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy.”  

Hal Johnson, manager of project development for the Utah Transit Authority, gives Carolyn Gonot, UTA’s executive director, a rundown of the energy consumption on one of the company’s electric buses following a press conference at the Capitol marking the 11th anniversary of November being declared Alternative Fuel Awareness Month in Utah. Photo By Colter Peterson, KSL.

UTA currently operates 54 electric-hybrid buses, 47 CNG buses, and 3 electric buses. With the implementation of new technology, UTA has reduced emissions by more than 75% from our past bus fleet (2008) to our current fleet today (2019),” said Carolyn Gonot, UTA Executive Director. “Those who choose to ride UTA’s bus system save an average of 18.7 grams/trip of air pollution. As UTA continues to incorporate clean technologies and people choose to ride transit the air pollution savings per trip will only continue to increase.”

In recent years, several municipalities have committed to diversifying their fleets, including Salt Lake City, St. George, Sandy City, Park City, and now the gateway community of Kanab.  In 2017, Park City became the first municipality in Utah to operate a zero-emission, all-electric bus system. Additionally, the Salt Lake City International Airport is working to integrate alternative fuels to its fleet, including RNG (renewable natural gas) and electric.  Lastly, adoption among the private-sector continues to rise, with initiatives within companies such as Geneva Rock, a construction business based in Orem, Packsize, a sustainable packaging company, and refuse haulers ACE Recycling and Disposal and Momentum Waste Management. 

“The world of fleet fuels has been very exciting over the last 10 years,” said Matt Stalsberg, general manager of ACE.  “Our consumption needs have forced us to look at alternative fuels, and our ethics have inspired us to choose what fuels we think would benefit our environment.  Fueling technology is the driving force that tells us what we can afford versus what we may want for the environment. Manufacturer’s need incentives, to embrace new technology research, this will help people like me afford a fleet that I can be proud of.”

Lastly, Utah continues to be at the forefront of emerging electriciation opportunities through research conducted at Utah State University’s Sustainable Electrified Transportation Center (SELECT) — a diverse network of faculty, students, key industry members and stakeholders are pursuing research activities that enable technologies and engineered systems in electrified transportation.

“Our collaboration activities have allowed us to grow from what began as five university partners and a dozen faculty members to 13 core and affiliated university members with more than 40 researchers with globally recognized expertise across sectors in the electric transportation ecosystem,” said David M. Christensen, SELECT Executive Director. “We are proud to have an aggressive and competitive research enterprise at Utah State University, including the Electric Vehicle & Roadway Research and Test Track Facility.”