The Missouri EV Collaborative held its second spring meeting on April 17th at City Hall in Columbia, MO. There was plenty of discussion among municipal fleet and Clean Cities representatives from Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. The VW Settlement, clean fuel corridors and the nuts and bolts of EV charging were all hot topics.

Above – Transit Manager Drew Brooks Lays Out The Layout Of An EV Bus

The really fun part, though, came at the end of the day, when attendees headed out for a test ride on one of nine all-electric transit buses run by the city’s transit authority. GoCOMO now operates nine battery-powered buses, with four more ordered. The bus, California-built but designed by China’s BYD, provided a remarkably quiet ride around town as Parking & Transit Manager Drew Brooks talked about tech, testing and transitioning to EV bus service.

The City runs the buses under a lease-to-own agreement as part of GoCOMO’s budget. Along with local funding, a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration is helping to cover the cost of electrical upgrades, consulting and three of the four EV buses still on order. The cost difference between all-electric buses and conventional models is still substantial, though EV prices are falling. This means that ROI in through fuel savings is very much a long-term proposition. However, there’s one area where the electric buses paid for themselves immediately – maintenance. Normal quarterly maintenance for a diesel bus runs in the neighborhood of $1,300. But an EV bus, without fuel or oil; in fact, lacking nearly all of the moving, greasy parts found in a diesel bus – runs about $300 per maintenance check.

According to Brooks, BYD’s support team engaged well before a single wheel turned in mid-Missouri. Along with background information on local weather and passenger counts, route mapping was vital to the rollout.   This included special attention to the maximum grades on each route. This information was then programmed into the computer on each bus before delivery to cut the odds of running out of juice. Although different drivers can and do make a difference with how many miles a given bus can run between charges, range hasn’t really been a serious issue.

Above – Drew takes questions on the road; on right, KCMO Sustainability Coordinator Gerry Shechter.

One notable physical difference during our drive around town – the lack of noise, something that’s made the EV buses popular among riders. Drew stood up front, taking questions in a voice just slightly louder than normal conversational tone, something that would be impossible in a diesel bus. There may have been 75 horses tied to each rear axle, but you couldn’t really tell from the passenger seat.

Join the Mid-America NAFA chapter on May 16, 2018 for a very informative session that you won’t want to miss. As seen at the 2018 NTEA Work Truck Show Fleet Technical Congress, the guest speaker is Mr. Jeff Burns, Attorney at Dollar Burns & Becker, LC. Mr. Burns is arguably one of the most respected truck crash litigators in the nation. When he is not litigating cases, he is actively educating the public and working for rule changes, stronger laws and stricter enforcement. 

Mr. Burns, a strong advocate for safety, strives to help companies see the light, and help them realize that there can actually be a remarkable return on investment when companies institute and strengthen safety programs. Burns says there is less litigation and drivers actually stay with companies longer when they see stronger safety rules as a genuine commitment that helps protect them.

Since today’s commercial vehicles generate a significant amount of data that fleet managers are increasingly using to help manage and improve productivity, Mr. Burns will explain how active and passive data collected on your vehicles can impact you and may be discoverable in the case of an accident or inquiry.

Please mark your calendars for this “must attend” Mid- America chapter NAFA event and click here to RSVP today!

WHEN: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
LOCATION: Joe’s BBQ, 180 Room, 11944 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062
AGENDA: 10:30 am — Registration; 11:00 am — Presentation followed by Lunch
COST: $30 (cash or check payable to NAFA) Credit cards accepted at the door—just bring your card to the meeting.

Please R.S.V.P. by Friday, May 11, 2018. You can register online by clicking here. Due to attendance guarantees, those registrants who are unable to attend or cancel by May 11, 2018 will be billed.

NAFA May 16, 2018 Meeting Notice

TIME CHANGE. To bring you all the latest developments, we are starting at 9:00 a.m.

Clean, alternative fuels are the future of school district transportation. Propane, natural gas and electric vehicle options are becoming mainstream, and Kansas City districts are already committing to these alternatives to diesel buses. Alternative fuels give school districts a new approach to long-term substantial fuel savings, while protecting students from the risks of diesel emissions.

What: 2017 School Fleet Alternative Fuels Summit

When: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Where: Blue Springs School District’s Bartow Administrative Center, 1801 Northwest Vesper Street, Blue Springs, MO

Who: School district fleet managers, superintendents and district purchasing professionals.

Guest speakers will cover the latest in alt-fuel technology, reports from districts already using alternative fuels, information on financing alt fuel projects, and a tour of the Blue Springs District’s compressed natural gas fueling and fleet facilities. Lunch is included as part of the program. See full tentative agenda.

Register for this free event.

Contact David Albrecht at MEC with any questions.

Join us at one of four events in Kansas this September and October to learn about the Volkswagen Settlement and what it means to fleets in the state of Kansas. At each event, we’ll provide the latest information, a forum for discussion, and give you tools to participate in decision-making for the state’s plan for its $15 million share of the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust.

September 6: Salina, KS

hosted by Salina Area Chamber of Commerce and 24/7 Travel Stores

Sept 6, 2017, 10:30a. – 12:30p. Lunch will be served

120 W. Ash, Salina, KS 67402-0586

Register for Salina, Sept 6

 

September 7: Garden City, KS

hosted by Finney County Economic Development Corporation and Clean Energy Business Council

Sept 7, 2017, 1:00p – 3:00p

City Administration Center, 301 N. 8th St, Garden City, KS

Register for Garden City, Sept 7

 

September 13: Topeka, KS

hosted by Clean Energy Business Council

Sept 13, 2017, 1:00p – 2:30 p

Address tba

Register for Topeka, Sept 13

 

October 3: Wichita, KS

hosted by Wichita State University

Oct 3, 2017, 1:30p – 3:00p

WSU Old Town, 238 N. Mead Wichita, KS 67202 (Directions & Parking Info: http://communityengagementinstitute.org/Documents/WSUOldTownMapandParkingDirections.pdf)

Register for Wichita, Oct 3

 

The forums are being presented by Central Kansas Clean Cities in cooperation with Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Climate + Energy Project.

If you can’t make it in person, send us feedback on how your fleet might use settlement funds.

Settlement Information

Partial Consent Decree for 2.0 Liter Subject Vehicles

$2.7 billion was allocated to states, tribes, and certain territories based on impacted VW vehicles in their jurisdictions

  • The funds support projects that reduce NOx emissions
  • Similar to EPA’s Clean Diesel program
  • Kansas 2.0L allocation: $14,791,372

Second Partial Consent Decree for 3.0 Liter Subject Vehicles

  • $225 million adds to each state’s Environmental Mitigation Trust.
  • Kansas 3.0L allocation: $870,860

For more information about the settlement in Missouri, Kansas or nationwide, visit our Volkswagen Settlement page.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Air Pollution Control Program is expecting to receive a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant funding comes from a federal program called the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). The funding for this program is not part of the Volkswagen Settlement. Details about the process for awarding Volkswagen funds are still forthcoming.

The department has run numerous DERA grant programs in the past nine years. This year, like the last two years, the department plans to use the grant to fund a clean diesel early school bus replacement program in Missouri.

Owners of diesel school buses stationed and operating in Missouri are eligible to apply for funding. If selected, awardees will receive up to 25% of the cost of the new school bus(es) with a maximum award of $18,000 per bus, and applicants may apply for two school buses. The newly purchased bus(es) must replace a bus(es) that is currently in use and has an engine model year within the range of 1995 – 2006. The new buses must be “early” replacements, meaning they are not already planned for replacement and would not be replaced if not for this funding opportunity.

A Request for Applications (RFA) is posted on the Departments Webpage: http://dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp/cleandieselprogram.htm, along with a fill-in-the-blank application form.   This RFA is open to both public and private school bus owners/operators in Missouri.

The deadline to submit applications is August 31, 2017.

The Department will review all applications received for eligibility, and will select awardees through a random drawing ensuring that all eligible applicants have an equal chance to receive funding through this opportunity.

Please visit the webpage listed above and download the RFA and the Application Form.

If you have any questions about this funding opportunity for early school bus replacements in Missouri, please feel free to contact Mark Leath at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; (573) 526-5503.

 

JOB DESCRIPTION:  Internship supporting energy-related programs for Metropolitan Energy Center, specifically for the Kansas City Regional and the Central Kansas Clean Cities Coalitions. We will consider the intern’s program interests […]

Because of its NOx emissions cheating, Volkswagen is being held responsible for both recalling diesel vehicles that have violated US emissions standards and paying penalties issued by the EPA. Penalty funds will be used to increase investments in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) deployments and projects that offset the NOx emissions that were produced by the substandard vehicles.

Here are links to White Papers on Recommendations for Kansas’ VW Settlement Program and Recommendations for Missouri’s VW Settlement Program.

More information coming soon.