Summer 2019
CACC Board Member Launches EV Subscription Pilot Program
Erica Tsypin Leads Team at Exelon Startup: Steer
Erica is the co-founder and chief operating officer of  Steer  a startup that offers consumers the best variety of all-electric, plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles via a month-to-month, hassle-free subscription service. Steer recently launched in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area, but Erica says the future plan is to expand to other markets.

“We started Steer because we’re clearly seeing a revolution in transportation surrounding mobility and electrification,” Erica says. “Ideally we want to live in a world where we can walk down the sidewalk with our kids without breathing tailpipe emissions or hearing noise pollution. Helping more people conveniently access and drive electric cars is our way of making this future a reality.”

Steer offers members the widest variety of electric cars on the market – everything from the Chevy Bolt EV to Toyota Prius Prime in their practical package to Tesla, Jaguar and Porsche models in their premium packages. A Steer subscription is month-to-month without long-term contracts and includes everything a driver needs to hit the road – insurance, maintenance and repair costs, a personal concierge who will assist with charging and, best of all, swaps – where customers can request a different vehicle to fit their driving needs, delivered directly to the member’s doorstep. Everything is managed simply through the Steer app.

The team at Steer is encouraged by fast early growth and extremely positive customer feedback. Erica’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Sonya Harbaugh shares, “Our research reveals that 70 percent of consumers interested in Steer have little-to-no experience with EVs. This means that Steer has the potential to have a big impact in our communities as we switch more people to clean fuel vehicles.” 

“Everything else in your life is on-demand, tailored to fit your life, and, of course, available through an app — so why shouldn’t your car be too? Steer is our way to start the revolution,” Erica added.

Steer is backed by Exelon, a Fortune 100 company and the nation’s largest provider of clean energy. Stay tuned for more from Erica and the team at Steer.

To learn more, visit .

A Bus That Emits Only Water? You Better Believe it!
Ohio Transit Authority Showcases Hydrogen Bus in Chicago
The eighth annual Green Drives Conference and Expo once again showcased the alternative fuel transportation solutions that are driving America and the world toward a zero-emissions future. The conference, held on the Naperville campus of Northern Illinois University on May 16, was sponsored by Chicago Area Clean Cities.

Green Drives gave public officials, transportation fleet managers, businesspeople, and clean-tech professionals a close-up look at vehicles fueled by ethanol, batteries, and compressed natural gas. “I believe this was the largest number of vehicles we’ve had at the event since we began holding it at NIU Naperville,” said Coalition Chair John Walton.

According to Walton, a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell-powered (HFC) bus brought to the conference by Kirt Conrad, CEO of Canton, Ohio’s Stark Area Regional Transportation Authority (SARTA) was one of the stars of the show. The stop in the Chicago area was part of a nationwide tour SARTA is conducting to highlight the advantages HFCs offer over other types of alternative fuels.

Those advantages, Conrad explained, include much longer range than battery-powered buses and cleaner operation than vehicles running on CNG. “An HFC bus can go up to 220 miles before refueling which takes just a few minutes,” he said. “Battery-powered buses can’t travel nearly that far before they have to be taken out of service and recharged which can take over an hour. That makes HFCs far more practical and cost-effective for use in revenue service.”

Conrad also said HFCs are the best choice for transit agencies that are striving to go “green.”

“While CNG and hybrid-electric buses are cleaner than diesel-powered vehicles, they still pump considerable amounts of hydrocarbons into the air,” he said. “Our HFC buses are truly emissions-free. The only thing that comes out of their tailpipes is water. And, believe it or not, it’s totally safe to drink.”

SARTA’s confidence in fuel cell technology is underscored by the fact that the Authority will soon own and operate one of the largest fleets of HFC-powered vehicles in the world. “Within the next year we’ll have 12 full-size buses and four paratransit vans in service,” Conrad said. “We’re proud of the role we’re playing in driving the development and deployment of zero-emission fuels and pleased to offer our riders the opportunity to participate in the green energy revolution that is sweeping the nation.”

To see a segment about the bus at Green Drives, please visit NCTV17 News .

To learn more about how fuel cell vehicles work, visit  SARTA’s website .
Member Spotlight
Energetics Drivetrains Products Capture, Conserve, Reuse Energy 
Energetics Drivetrains is a provider of electric and hybrid drivetrains for class 2-7 commercial vehicles. Energetics first joined CACC in 2015 and participated in several ride and drives, events and meetings.
The company is headquartered in the Indianapolis area, near the Cummins distributor that launched the technology. The Kinetic Hybrid technology was purchased by Cummins Crosspoint in 2012, but was sold off to Energetics when Cummins purchased the independent distributor serving the Midwest.

The Kinetic Hybrid system works like a wind-up car in that it captures and saves up the energy normally lost as heat in conventional braking systems, and then re-uses that energy to propel a vehicle upon acceleration, when vehicles are typically most inefficient. The system is designed to work between zero and 30 miles per hour to boost the vehicle, saving fuel by assisting the engine during acceleration.  

Since the energy used to accelerate comes from the vehicle’s momentum during slowdowns, turns, and stops, there is no off-board charging infrastructure required. Application of this technology works well in urban environments where the majority of the route is on local streets and thoroughfares. The system can be retrofit onto existing vehicles as well new vehicles from various OEMs. 

Energetics and its predecessor have been involved in several Clean Cities organizations and support their objectives to partner with local stakeholders, communities, municipalities, government and industry in order to improve quality of life and health while promoting a multitude of transportation options and approaches to meet various local community needs.  

“We are delighted to get back to collaborating with the Chicago Area Clean Cities organization and look forward to again working with such a broad spectrum of organizations and individuals towards a common goal of improving air quality and conserving our precious natural resources,” said, John McNichols, a product director with Energetics Drivetrains.

Energetics Drivetrains works to continually improve the Kinetic Hybrid’s operational efficiency for top fleet ROI and recently rolled out new products in the Battery EV space, including a Battery EV Transit that the company showcased at Green Drives.

The Kinetic Hybrid system is listed as an approved option for the Drive Clean Chicago incentive program, awaiting the potential restart of the program. The Kinetic Hybrid is also approved for Public Transit funding through the FTA and is on several state and local contracts. Energetics uses local installation and service centers to provide a quick and effective response to our Chicago users and fleets.  

Learn more at   

Upcoming Events
Final Chance to RSVP for 'The Truth About Biodiesel'

Learn How to Save Fuel, Reduce Emissions with Biodiesel July 17

This Wednesday, Chicago Area Clean Cities, the B20 Club , and the Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza will host a program about the benefits of biodiesel-blended fuels as an alternative to traditional diesel fuels.

The program will be hosted at the Greater Chicago I-55 Truck Plaza and includes a site tour with details on the truck stop’s biodiesel fuel procurement process, fuel quality maintenance program, and onsite blending procedures. It's free to attend and lunch will be provided. The event features a panel discussion with the Chicago Park District, National Biodiesel Board and Optimus Technologies about a bi-fuel system that allows the Park District to operate two refuse haulers on 100 percent biodiesel year-round.

Any fleet that registers to attend is eligible for free diesel tank testing and a follow-up cleaning session (if needed). All attendees also will be eligible to win a YETI 20 cooler as a door prize. To register, visit Truck Stop Coffee Talk .
Save 25% on Tickets to Our Annual Golf Outing, Register TODAY!
September 5, 2019
Get your tickets for this year's Golf Outing by July 31 and SAVE 25%.

Sponsorship opportunities also are available. This is a great chance to network, have some fun in the sun, gain exposure for your organization, and also to showcase your support of Clean Cities.

The action-packed day on Sept. 5 will kick off with a free Clean Vehicle Seminar on “Electric Trucks, Funding and Incentives, and How to Get Your Facility Ready.” 

The morning seminar will be followed by a fun afternoon of golf and a reception immediately following.

To get discounted tickets and view sponsor levels, please visit Clean Air !
We appreciate the support of our coalition sponsors!
Chicago Area Clean Cities