Just this month, EPA released its Ozone NAAQS and the Austin region is the largest metro area in the country to be designated as meeting all EPA air quality standards. The area met the standard by the slimmest of margins, so to keep in attainment we need to continue to focus on improving our air quality by reducing emissions from transportation.
November 15, 2017
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced today at the Airports Going Green 2017 conference, that host airport Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport awarded Clean Energy a renewable natural gas (RNG) fueling contract for the airport’s vehicle fleet.
November 13, 2017
Prospective EV purchasers have to feel confident that they can obtain the electricity needed to power their vehicles as easily – and potentially as quickly – as they can now fuel their conventional vehicles.
Looking at the issue from that perspective, a potential, and very practical, solution for such range anxiety becomes clear. Convenience stores – which are often practically synonymous with gasoline stations – exist in every community.
This month we interviewed Kris Bailey, the Chief Operating Officer of Electric Cab of North America. Kris joined Electric Cab of Austin in 2011 as the COO. He is the COO and co-founder of Electric Cab of North America which began operating in 2016 as a first/last mile solution company.
What service does Electric Cab of North America provide?
We focus on an industry known as Micro-Transit. We use electric vehicles to solve the first/last mile problem with public transportation. We firmly believe that the way to increase ridership on rail lines and bus systems is by making public transportation more accessible.
What locations work best for your first/mile last mile service?
We look to provide service that complements public transportation. Transit agencies and cities are our target customers. Large developments or areas with poor connectivity to public transportation are also where we focus. Our aim is to eliminate food and transit deserts one area at a time.
How is this product important to businesses and individuals? How will they benefit from using it?
Increased mobility in an area goes hand in hand with economic development. When people can move around easily, they can easily visit more places. This increases visits to businesses, creating more jobs and making an area more attractive to visit. All of this travel in our electric cabs – keeping Austin’s air clean and reducing traffic!
Where is Electric Cab of North America Operating?
We operate an on-demand urban mobility solution in downtown Austin 7 nights per week. People can easily move among all of the downtown districts (West 6th, Warehouse District, East 6th and Rainey Street, West Campus, SoCo, etc…). Instead of having to choose which district, you can visit all of them! We have also partnered with the Domain Northside to provide free shuttles through their development. We can connect the department stores to the condos to the restaurants. Again, with increased mobility, people frequent more businesses.
Where else do you operate – or plan to?
We are looking to connect this district to the Kramer Lane light rail stop as well. There is no public parking around that rail station, and it is in an industrial area. Within a 1mile radius, there are a lot of appealing destinations, such as the Domain Northside, with Whole Foods and all of the stores in addition to housing. There is also an Austin Community College Campus within a mile of that rail station. Can we increase ridership on the public transit system by providing accessibility to a rail stop? I think so.
We have been working in the St. Louis area for several years and launched Kirkwood, Missouri in late October. We have created a model that can be replicated and scaled to any city in the United States and are actively growing our company.
Our partnerships are what make us strong. We have partnered with Polaris, the manufacturer of our electric vehicles. They are firmly committed to providing high quality and reliable vehicles.
We have also partnered with United Rentals, which has given us the ability to launch a city from any of their 900+ branch locations throughout North America. For future projects we have partnered with 5D Robotics, a company focused on precise positioning that will enable autonomous vehicles to function better in the future. And we’ve partnered with Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance to develop project ideas to submit to potential funders.
Contact Kris Bailey at:
Nissan has participating dealers on the Texas Buy Board (Gunn Nissan in San Antonio) and Houston Galveston Area Council Cooperative Buy Contract (Mossy Nissan in Houston). Orders are currently being accepted for LEAF fleet orders now for those wanting to secure delivery in March, April 2018. Nissan is also offering a purchase option which combines corporate Nissan’s LEAF fleet incentive with a portion of the federal EV tax credit for commercial and government fleets.
We interviewed Andrew Lewis, Renewable Energy Group (REG)’s new Regional Sales Representative for Texas. He brings to his customers many years of experience in the fleet and fuel industry.
REG is headquartered in Ames, Iowa, with a significant presence throughout Texas. In addition to production facilities in Houston and New Boston, REG can distribute fuel from terminal locations in the Houston, Caddo Mills and Ft. Worth areas.
What does REG produce?
REG is North America’s largest producer of biodiesel, a renewable fuel that can directly replace diesel fuel with no engine modifications. REG has 14 active bio-refineries nationwide, including over 50 million gallons of biodiesel production in Houston and New Boston, Texas. REG is one of the only producers of renewable hydrocarbon diesel, a renewable fuel with the same specifications as diesel fuel. In 2016 alone, REG produced over 550 million gallons of biomass-based diesel.
How do Fleets benefit from using biodiesel?
Fleets using biodiesel see a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, biodiesel increases lubricity, with a 2% inclusion of biodiesel doubling the amount of lubricity in the finished fuel blend. Biodiesel has higher cetane which improves engine performance. In Texas, biodiesel is exempt from state fuel tax and can reduce fleets’ overall fuel costs.
Petroleum Wholesale of Houston, owns Sun Mart Convenience Stores and has been selling biodiesel blended fuel since 2013, with 95% of their locations now offering biodiesel. They started by offering B10 and gradually increased to offering B20 blends. The Texas state incentive and price advantage of biodiesel over traditional diesel has helped them improve fuel margins. Their biggest concern in switching to biodiesel was availability of product. With its strong network, REG provides a stable supply and steady pricing. “It’s about economics, and there are some very good incentives out there to utilize biodiesel,” said John Cook, President and CEO of Petroleum Wholesale. “Basically, all of our competitors started bringing it in. So, it didn’t take us long to realize we needed to get into it to stay competitive. There’s no downside to biodiesel and a lot of advantages to it.”
For more information about biodiesel or REG:
Andrew Lewis | Regional Sales Representative
REG-Renewable Energy Group | Houston, TX
(M) 515-509-3708 (O) 888-734-8686
andrew.lewis@REGI.com | www.REGI.com