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Section 127(s) of Title 23 of the United States Code, as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 (PL 116-6), increases the weight limit for natural gas vehicles operating on the interstate Highway System by an extra 2,000 lbs. This increases the limit from 80,000 lbs to 82,000 lbs.

Federal Highway Administration issued a departmental memorandum providing further guidance for this weight allowance.

FHWA Guidance includes the following:

  1. State authorities must allow the additional weight on the Interstate Highway System.
  2. State authorities must provide reasonable access to the Interstate.
  3. Weight allowance applies beyond the Gross Vehicle Weight (extends to single axel, tandem axel and bridge weight formulas limits).
  4. Weight allowance must be taken in addition to other weight allowances.

Follow this link below to access the full PDF provided by NVGAmerica. https://www.ngvamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NGV-Weight-Allowance-Guidance.pdf

Events

National Drive Electric Week ICT is in person this year! Join us at Towne East Square on Saturday, October 2nd from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Come and see us on Rock Road just north of Kellogg/US 54.

Bring your EV and meet other owners. Share your experience. Talk to owners to see why they love their vehicles.  Ask them questions about performance or comfort or anything you’d like to know.

Wichita Transit Director Michael Tann has confirmed his attendance and he will bring one of the city’s Electric Buses! Pedego Wichita is bringing e-bikes to test! Other e-bike owners will also attend!! Ride over on yours to show it off! We are also expecting a 2021 First Edition Mustang Mach-E to come!

We are sure you already know but there are no 2022 EVs in Wichita due to that ongoing chip shortage but we will have plenty of current EVs and their owners you can meet and talk with and see what their cars look like inside plus ask them questions!

Before sitting in anyone’s car, we require all those who get inside to wear a mask. If you don’t feel you can do that, please do not sit inside any vehicles.

Thank you to Sara Schmidtke of Simon Properties for allowing us to use their space!

Hosted by Society of Alternative Resources

The Lawrence Electric Vehicle Showcase will be 8 am – 3 pm, Saturday, September 25, 2021,  in the parking lot on the east side of South Park. We are partnering with the Rev It Up Hot Rod Show & Street Festival.

There will be many makes and models of electric vehicles (EVs) on display – Nissan, Tesla, Volkswagon, Chevrolet, and others. The public can talk with EV owners about the advantages of driving an EV. The electric vehicle showcase will also feature a variety of electric bicycles and electric scooters. A new addition this year will be large commercial electric vehicles including an electric bus from GreenPower Motor Company, and an electric terminal truck from Orange EV.

This local event, organized by the Sustainability Action Network, is one of more than 189 community events being celebrated across the country during National Drive Electric Week, from September 25 to October 3, 2021. The Lawrence event is sponsored by Crown VW-Toyota, GreenPower Motors, and Orange EV.

Electric vehicles are smooth and quiet, with high torque and instant acceleration. Driving on electricity is about five times cheaper than fueling with gasoline, and maintenance is cheaper too. Because they get 100mpg equivalent or better, EVs are one the most effective ways that motor vehicles can reduce petroleum use and cut air pollution.

The U.S. transportation sector now produces more climate-warming emissions than does the electric generation sector.  Plug-in EVs are zero-carbon when charged with renewable energy and even if charged by coal-fired electricity, the greater efficiency of EVs means lower carbon emissions. EVs get 100mpg equivalent or better, and the driving range of various models ranges from 200 miles to 520 miles for the new Tesla Model S Plaid.

All attendees and volunteers are required to wear face masks whenever they are within six feet of another person at all National Drive Electric Week 2021 events. Please see this information about how to improve how your mask protects you. For more information, see the in-person event safety requirements.

Join us for a FREE workshop to learn more about biodiesel and how it works in today’s diesel engines.

Changes in vehicles and fuels require changes in service

Vehicles, equipment and fuels have changed significantly in recent years. Alternative fuels are becoming increasingly more available in the marketplace. National, state and organizational goals to reduce vehicle emissions and increase use of domestic and renewable fuels have resulted in new pollution control equipment, reduced sulfur levels in fuel, and increased use of biodiesel. Mechanics and technicians in the vehicle and equipment industries need the most current information on fuel and vehicle changes and to better understand how biodiesel operates in today’s vehicles and equipment.

The goal of this workshop is to educate diesel mechanics, automotive technicians and other automotive industry professionals with the most up-to-date knowledge on biodiesel, allowing them to accurately diagnose fuel-related issues, answer customer questions about fuel, and provide recommendations about proper fuel handling and use best practices.

This workshop is targeted at fleet mechanics, diesel technicians, diesel technology students and others who work on diesel engines. Participants should have basic diesel engine experience.

After completing a workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Describe and compare the characteristics of petroleum diesel and biodiesel
    • Explain how the fuels work together to power vehicles and equipment
    • Match biodiesel blends with compatible vehicles and equipment
    • Accurately identify fuel-related issues
    • Provide recommendations for preventing fuel-related issues through best management practices

MEG Corp is an ASE-accredited Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE) provider. ASE Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered for those that meet the requirements for this training. Please indicate when registering if you are interested in ASE CEU credits. Requirements for CEUs are as follows:

    • Take a pretest before the workshop
    • Take a posttest after the workshop
    • Complete a workshop evaluation
    • Complete a survey provided 30 days after the workshop

Participants receiving 80% or higher on the posttest receive a certificate of completion with corresponding CEUs. Participants receiving lower than 80% receive a certificate of attendance.

The workshop will be presented by Hoon Ge of MEG Corp.

In order to provide adequate opportunity for attendees to ask questions, workshop size will be limited. Register today to reserve your spot!

 

 

Hoon Ge, president and founder of MEG Corp, is a chemical engineer with more than 35 years experience in the fuel industry including refining, additive formulation and alternative fuels. MEG Corp conducts educational seminars for students, farmers, mechanics, fleets and the fuel industry throughout the Midwest to provide the latest information on renewable and petroleum fuels.

 

MEG Corp is an industry leader in fuel consulting and testing services, providing technical support to fuel industries and end users. MEG Corp staff have more than 90 years combined experience in traditional and alternative fuels. MEG Corp has been providing diesel/biodiesel and gasoline/ethanol training throughout the Midwest since 2008 and conducts more than 100 events per year to educate current and future transportation industry professionals.

 

This workshop is being offered for free thanks in part to funding from the Kansas Soybean Commission.

 24Travel Stores and Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) are proud to announce the installation of two retail DC fast chargers at a ribbon cutting scheduled for May 6 at the McPherson, Kansas, Travel StoreWhen it comes to alternative fuels in Kansas, 247 Travel Stores is making its mark as a leader in the state. As electric vehicle usage steadily climbs in Kansas, strides must be made to incorporate robust DC fast charging infrastructure that will properly support the growing wave of drivers.  

“It is time to welcome EV drivers to our facilities.” 

Mark Augustine, President of Triplett, Inc., which owns 24-7 Travel Stores, has been studying the evolution of the electric vehicle. “Through grant funding made possible by Metro Energy, it was time to take this research to the marketplace,” he says. “Just like many other changes we experience in our business, we update our facilities as the transportation market evolves; it is time to welcome EV drivers to our facilities. 

The McPherson location features two 100kW DC fast chargers, with both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors. It is the first EV fast charging owned and operated by an independent fuel retailer in Kansas.  

“The McPherson charging stations fill a key fueling gap for EVs along the I-135 corridor, connecting Wichita to I-70,” says Tami Alexander, Senior Program Coordinator with MEC’s Central Kansas Clean Cities Coalition, who worked with 24-7 Travel Stores on the project. 

The public is encouraged to join 24-7 Travel Stores and MEC at a ribbon cutting event Thursday, May 6 at 1PM for the new charging stations, at 2203 East Kansas Ave, McPherson, Kansas. We will be joined by Kansas Department of Transportation and others to commemorate this important charging stop in central Kansas 

Through a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, MEC reduced Triplett’s cost to purchase and install the EV chargers. 24/7 Travel Stores boasts new biodiesel offerings since July 2020, also supported by these grant funds. 

About 24/7 Travel Stores 

In 1963, when the interstate system made its way across the State, 24-7 Travel Stores opened. Our business model has evolved in those 58 years from two-bay service stations to convenience stores with auto service to travel centers with amenities to attract the traveling public. Whave experienced many changes in our business to keep our facilities relevant as the transportation market evolves. Now is the time to welcome EV drivers to our facilities. Triplett, Inc., owns 24-7 Travel Stores (24-7Stores.com). 

Come and join us to learn about Electric Vehicles and enjoy some delicious wine at a one-of-a-kind earth-friendly winery in our area. There will be live music and free wine tastings for those who show an EV key. Jowler Creek is the first certified sustainable vineyard and winery in the state. The winery has a Tesla destination charger and a Level 2 charger.

Learn about Electric Vehicles and see how you can save the Earth and your wallet! Numerous EVs will be on display by their owners and info will be available along with some cool freebies and a possible raffle.

Social distancing and masks are required.

Visit the Drive Electric Earth Day event page to register to attend, share your experience and/or show your EV, or find out more on this event and other Drive Electric Earth Day events around the country.

Come and join us to learn about Electric Vehicles from current owners and see how you can save the Earth and your wallet! Numerous Evs will be on display and info will be available along with some cool freebies and a raffle to win a diecast Tesla Model 3.

Look for us near the Electrify America charging stations in the Target parking area.

Social distancing and masks are required.

Visit the Drive Electric Earth Day event page to register to attend, share your experience, show your EV or to find out more about this event and other Drive Electric Earth Day events around the country.

Starting early April 2021, university and high school students across the planet, along with civil society, faith organizations and businesses, will tune into 100 events in fifty countries to discuss regional climate solutions, energy justice, and a Green Recovery. This global event is organized by Bard College and its many partners.

On Wednesday, April 7 at 6 pm CT, join professionals from Kansas State University, MEC, Climate + Energy Project, and other individuals and organizations for the Kansas event. MEC staff members Kelly Gilbert and Justice Horn are scheduled to participate as panelists. During the online program we’ll discuss how together, we can solve climate change by 2030.

Climate change may have contributed to the cold spell last February when the supply of electric power was not sufficient to meet demand. This occurrence prompted many to call for Kansas to develop a climate and energy plan that includes resilience and proper preparation for cold weather. The online event, Solve Climate by 2030 by Developing a Kansas Climate and Energy Plan, will feature presentations followed by a panel discussion addressing this issue.

The event is free and open to the public.

A Pre-Proposal meeting to review the Request for Proposals (RFP) for Alternative Fuel Deployments in Kansas and Missouri will be held on January 19, 2021, at 10:00AM CST. During this meeting, MEC staff will conduct a walk-through of the RFP document. The meeting will be conducted online only; attendees should register for this meeting to receive join credentials or to receive a recording after the event:

 

For information on the RFP, please visit the RFP page on our website.

A key part of reducing emissions is by cleaning up the transportation sector. In this webinar, learn about how you can reduce your current vehicle’s emissions–no matter where you live–while saving money at the tank. Our panel discusses the value of low- and mid-blend ethanol and its benefits for your vehicle, its emissions, and your fuel costs. Join Urban Air Initiative’s Kim Trinchet and Jump Start’s Phil Near as they educate our audience on low- and mid-blend ethanol grades like E10, E15, E20, and E30. Explore why ethanol is great for your car, the environment and your wallet. We know that we need to do our part by reducing fossil fuel use and improving air quality. We can start right now!

Join us on Wednesday, January 27th at 10 am CST to discuss the benefits of low- and mid-blend ethanol. If you aren’t able to join us, register below to receive the recording after the event.

Our Speakers

Phil Near, Three G Energy and Jump Start Stores Inc. – Near formed Three G in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of petroleum industry leadership, convenience store expertise, and executive management experience to the company. Near has both led and served a number of organizations to include: President of Crescent Oil, Kansas Petroleum Marketers Association President, Kansas Petroleum Markers Association Board of Directors, Kansas Highway Advisory Commission, Conoco National Jobber Advisory Board, Phillips National Jobber Advisory Board, Commerce Bank Board, Leadership Kansas Class, Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board of Directors.

Currently serving as president of both Three G Energy and of Jump Start Stores Inc., Near’s focus remains on utilizing cutting edge technology. Providing customers cost-efficient and quality fueling options across the marketplace.

Kim Trinchet is the Communications Manager at Urban Air Initiative (UAI), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving air quality and protecting public health by reducing vehicle emissions through increased use of biofuels. Kim spends much of her time educating industry stakeholders and the public about the emissions, cost and engine benefits of biofuels.  

Prior to joining UAI in 2014, Kim spent 11 years in local news as a reporter and digital content manager. She remains involved in the local community as a member of the Junior League of Wichita and a contributor for Wichita Mom. Kim has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Illinois State University.

 

Tami Alexander joined Metropolitan Energy Center in August 2017 to support the ethanol and biodiesel projects in Kansas. She is the Program Coordinator for the Central Kansas Clean Cities Coalition, managing event coordination, outreach, customer relationship management, program support, research writing, and content development.

In addition to her work at MEC, Tami has several years of facility and non-profit management experience where she introduced sustainability measures to organization practices. She has Bachelor‘s degrees in Mathematics-Statistics and Geology and a Master’s in Environmental Science all from Wichita State University.

 

This event has passed but you can access the slides at the link below.

Cleaner Driving with Cleaner Fuel-Ethanol Webinar Slides

The Kansas Biodiesel Consortium will hold its annual workshop on Wednesday, January 6th, 9:00 am – 11:30 am. This year the event will be virtual. Join us from wherever you are to learn about the Sustainability of the Biodiesel Industry. We’ll look at how biodiesel is both financially and environmentally sustainable. Good for the planet and good for your wallet! All speaker sessions will be followed by an open Q&A with attendees. We’ll finish out the morning with a roundtable discussion about the biodiesel industry. Hear from producers, users and retailers about the benefits of biodiesel. The event is free, but you must register to receive the link. Click the registration button below to join us virtually on January 6th.

Workshop Topics

  • Jim & Andy Barta from Hutchinson Salt will speak about using biodiesel in their mining equipment
  • Jill Johnston with Cargill Biodiesel will discuss the co-products of biodiesel production which improve financial & environmental sustainability
  • Colin Huwyler from Optimus Technologies will share about the fleet experience from B100 biodiesel users
  • Ted Augustine from 24/7 Travel Stores will give his perspective as a fuel retailer offering a biodiesel blend
  • Roundtable Discussion: What does the biodiesel industry need to be environmentally & economically sustainable?

Miss this event?

Click to view the Event Recording.