• info@lonestarcfa.org

: Category One

Member Spotlight: Henna Chevrolet Isuzu

Ronnie Max Oldham –
Commercial and Fleet Sales Consultant

How are you and Henna involved with alternative fuel vehicles?
I work with commercial and fleet accounts, building relationships and selling them medium-duty work trucks and vans from Izuzu and Chevrolet, which has a variety of AFV offerings.
You’ve been involved with Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance and other Clean Cities coalitions for a long time – how did you initially get involved?
I owned a company called CleanFuel CNG Conversions which upfitted vehicles to run on compressed natural gas and propane.  I was responsible for all aspects of management of this startup, including hiring, training, motivation and supervision of numerous employees and contractors, as well as sourcing and procurement of equipment and system components. In this position I also made direct sales of engine conversion services to large fleet and government accounts in various states.  I have about 10 years of experience with CNG, LPG and plug-in hybrid systems.  Through this company, I worked with Clean Cities Coalitions and propane and natural gas associations across a number of states.

Since you designed and installed onboard fuel storage and delivery systems, were you required to hold certifications and if so what?
Yes, I am: CSA Certified Fuel System Inspector, ASE F-1 Certified, Texas Railroad Commission CNG Certified
Anything else we should know?

Here’s one of my favorite inspirational quotes:

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Ronnie Max can be reached at ‭(512) 289-9799‬ and max.oldham@henna.com.

LSCFA st Work: School Bus Fleet Managers’ Round Table

With a lunch sponsorship from Roush Clean Tech and Rush Bus Centers and along with our hosts, Leander ISD, we continued our series of Fleet Manager Round Tables on June 18th when multiple fleets came together to discuss common issues and successes with alt fuel school buses.

School bus fleet mechanics and administrators from Austin, Eanes, Georgetown and Lockhart ISDs joined representatives from Lone Star Clean Fuels, state agencies and vendors at the Leander ISD Support Services Facility.  Most of the attending fleets were fans of propane school buses and are increasing their usage of them.  The only drawbacks mentioned were the size of the fuel tanks which are currently maxed out at 100 gallons due to space limitations for the tank and distance challenges for schools with really long bus routes that can’t be completed on one tank of fuel. On the plus side, the buses burn cleaner, and there are multiple sources of grant funds for alt fuel buses. Contact Tom Hopkins with Roush Cleantech at tom.hopkins@roush.com or (734)679-5704 or Craig Horinka, Rush Bus Centers at horinkac@rushenterprises.com for more information about alt fuel school buses.

The group toured the Leander ISD bus facility and received a
demonstration of driver fueling protocol.

Our hosts in Leander currently operate 78 propane buses, have plans to acquire even more and were happy to show off their operation.  Their refueling infrastructure of 16,000 gallons will soon be expanded to 34,000 total gallons.  They estimate their 2017 fuel savings with propane at $250,000 and expect that to increase with planned expansions in the fleet.

Air Quality focus is on Transit:  Electric Cab of North America

It’s Ozone Season in Central Texas – transit is highlighted as a means to reduce emissions and keep our area in compliance with federal standards.  As of 2017 Central Texas’s value for ozone was 69 parts per billion (ppb) while the federal standard limit is 70 ppb   With only 1 ppb away from our limit and a long, hot summer ahead of us, AFVs are helping us keep our air clean.  Vehicular emissions are responsible for a large share of Austin’s ozone and mass transit can help reduce vehicle miles traveled.

Pecan Street Inc. was awarded $1M from DOE’s Vehicle Technology Program in 2017 to implement the Electric Last Mile (ELM) Project. Pecan Street and Capital Metro, along with Electric Cab of North America, Austin Transportation Department, and Austin Energy have deployed Electric Cab’s low-speed electric shuttle circulators in two Austin neighborhoods.  Another pilot route will launch in June in the Mueller community, connecting residents with major transit stops, retail, and medical facilities.

The project’s goal is to double the use of public transportation in each of the three pilot neighborhoods using Electric Cab’s all-electric, zero emissions, fleet of low-speed vehicles to further reduce transportation emissions.

Have you used one of these cabs?  If so, please share your input by taking a 5-minute survey here.  Those who take the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Click here for information on this project.

Heavy-duty Electric Vehicle Workshop

On June 21st Elizabeth presented on Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance and Clean Cities resources at a Heavy-duty Electric Vehicle Workshop held at the Texas Conference of Urban Counties.  As electric vehicle funding is anticipated to be available from the VW Emissions Mitigation Settlement, the purpose of the meeting was to identify and understand the issues and opportunities around Heavy Duty Electric Vehicles to develop information for front-line utilities and fleet managers related to funding projects, electric power demands and purchasing HD EV and the associated infrastructure to ensure successful deployment.  The role and resources of the Texas Clean Cities Coalitions with EVs and AFVs in general were also highlighted.  If this is something you would be interested in attending in the future, please contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@lonestarcfa.org.

National Clean Cities Funding for FY 2018

The President recently signed the FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, which funds the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year.  The bill increases funding for two key programs that support alternative fuels and vehicles: the Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities program and the U.S. EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Grants. The FY 2018 omnibus bill includes $37.8 million for deployment through the DOE Clean Cities program, a $3.8 million increase over last year’s funding. The Clean Cities program provides critical technical and financial support for the nation’s nearly 90 Clean Cities coalitions, which are leading the charge in promoting clean transportation solutions in communities across the country.
“This is a tremendous victory for Transportation Energy Partners (TEP) and our many partners in the clean transportation industry,” remarked TEP President Sam Spofforth. “It clearly shows the continuing bipartisan support in Congress for clean energy programs.”
Now the focus shifts to funding for Fiscal Year 2019. The Trump Administration’s FY 2019 budget requests a 72 percent cut to the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and elimination of the Clean Cities program. As usual, it will ultimately be up to Congress to determine funding levels and the fate of these important programs for next year.

Alternative Fueling Station Locator Overhaul Boasts Improved User Interface

March 19, 2018

It’s official—The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Station Locator has undergone a major makeover. Constant improvement is at the site’s core, which is why the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Office is always striving to make the AFDC’s tools easier to use and the data more accessible. The updated Station Locator offers new features and an improved user interface built on the same reliable, comprehensive, and fuel-neutral data that our partners have come to trust.

Some of the notable new features include a sleek look and feel, simplifying the user experience, as well as a bigger map populated with consistent circle icons for each station location and updated colors representing each fuel type. Users will also notice a larger and more detailed view of specific station information.

On the Station Locator home page, there are now two tabs at the top of the map: Find Public Stations and Analyze and Download Data.

The Find Public Stations tab allows users to search for public stations at a specific location, with the option to search for all fuels or just one. The total number of stations that fit the search criteria can be found in the upper right.

The search defaults to public stations and the following fuel-specific criteria:

  • Level 2 and DC fast charging electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)
  • Propane stations with vehicle-specific fueling services (i.e., “primary” stations)
  • Hydrogen stations with full public access (i.e., “retail” stations)

The Map a Route feature, also available on the Find Public Station tab, shows specified fuel types available along a route between two locations. It also displays search results on the right, sorted by distance from the search location.

The Analyze and Download Data tab allows users to refine their search using filters, broken out into three categories: Location, Fuel, and Station.

To search by Location, users can enter a state or a specific address and limit results within a certain mile radius. To search by Fuel, users can filter by a single fuel or multiple fuel types, and conduct fuel-specific searches, including the following:

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG): fill type, vehicle accessibility, and fill pressure
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): vehicle accessibility
  • EVSE: charging levels, connector types, and networks
  • Ethanol (E85): stations that also offer mid-level ethanol blends
  • Propane: stations with limited vehicle-specific fueling capabilities (i.e., “secondary” stations)
  • Hydrogen: stations with limited public access (i.e., “nonretail” stations)

The Station options allow users to filter for public and/or private stations, planned stations, and by owner type and payment methods. All results display on the right, including counts, filters, and options to download the results or see the results on a map.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) collects and confirms alternative fueling station data through a number of industry sources. To submit a new station for inclusion in the Station Locator, visit the online webform. For multiple station additions or updates, email technicalresponse@icf.com.

The new Station Locator still includes an embed functionality so users can include the tool within their own websites. If you already have the Station Locator embedded on your website, replacing the code with the new version of the embed code is recommended.

Continue to monitor the U.S. Station Locator for new features, including an alternative fuel corridor planning tool.