Centralina Updates | Oct/Nov 2020
Highlights
We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you enjoy the holiday!
News & Updates
Level 2 EV Charging RFP & Webinar Announcements
State Hosting Webinar for Level 2 Charging Projects to be Funded by VW Settlement

RALEIGH - The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will begin accepting proposals in January for Level 2 charging projects to be funded by Phase 1 of the NC Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program. DEQ allocated 25% of the Phase 1 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure allocation, or approximately $1.1 million, to Level 2 charging infrastructure projects.
A webinar will be held on December 11, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. for interested stakeholders and applicants. During this webinar, staff will show applicants how to request access to the DAQ Grants Management System and answer questions regarding the Request for Proposals. DAQ encourages anyone interested in applying for a rebate voucher to attend this webinar.
This Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Level 2 ZEV Charging Infrastructure Program will assist interested parties in applying for funds using a first-come, first-served rebate process to install ZEV Level 2 charging infrastructure, as described in the North Carolina VW Mitigation Plans until all funds are exhausted. The primary goal is to increase use of ZEVs in place of gas-powered cars to mitigate nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and greenhouse gas emissions in the state. 
NCDEQ anticipates awarding a total of approximately $1.1 million towards Level 2 charging infrastructure projects in Phase 1. Rebate applications will be prioritized by the urban-suburban/rural split described in the NC VW Mitigation Plan, with about 68% of the funds allocated for urban and suburban counties, and a minimum of 32% allocated for rural counties.
Those interested in attending the webinar must register by December 9, 2020 through the registration form.
For additional information and documents regarding the RFP, please visit: https://deq.nc.gov/volkswagen-settlement/level-2
NC VW Settlement Phase 1 Awards Announced!
On July 29th, the NC DEQ announced the Phase 1 Awards of North Carolina's beneficiary mitigation plan from the VW Settlement. The plan involves investing in five different programs with an overall goal of reducing harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions significantly across the state. The five programs include the school bus replacement, transit bus replacement, clean heavy-duty-on-road equipment, clean heavy-duty off-road equipment, and the Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure programs.  

Centralina is pleased to see eight (8) of our nine (9) counties awarded funding for new, lower-polluting vehicles during Phase 1. Between Lincoln, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Iredell, Rowan, Cabarrus, Union, and Anson counties, a total of 43 new vehicles will be funded, including six (6) new electric school and transit buses. These new vehicles will reduce NOx emissions by approximately 7.8 annual tons throughout the lifetimes of the vehicles in the greater Charlotte region. 

Centralina staff co-hosted regional workshops for preparation and assisted in applications to garner up to a total of $6,5141,633 in awarded funds. Additionally, four (4) of our nine (9) counties were awarded a total of six (6) electric vehicle chargers from the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program which awarded a total of roughly $403,261. 

Congratulations to each of the settlement awardees! Centralina continues to be your fleet or municipality’s resource for assistance for applications in Phase 2 when announced. The Level 2 Charging request for proposals will be released on January 21st, so stayed connected with Centralina, or visit https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-and-air-quality/volkswagen-settlement for more information. 
NC Governor Signs EV Medium- and Heavy-duty MOU
Mid-July, fifteen states plus DC committed to achieving 100% tailpipe pollution-free electric trucks and buses by 2050. These states account for 35% of the nations' medium and heavy-duty fleets, making this the largest-ever state partnership to slash vehicle pollution. North Carolina is the only Southeast MOU signatory, reflecting Governor Roy Cooper’s climate and clean energy leadership. Want to know more? Our partners at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy wrote an informative blog post, available here: https://cleanenergy.org/blog/north-carolina-joins-the-largest-ever-state-partnership-to-slash-vehicle-pollution/
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy City Clean Energy Scorecard
In 2019, US cities made significant advances in efficiency and renewable energy The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) continues to document the progression of U.S. cities’ efforts to obtain a clean, energy-efficient future. ACEEE’s City Clean Energy Scorecard is a yearly accountability tracker of the progress of clean energy in cities across the country. Released in early October, the 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard shows the commitment to clean energy efforts with the expansion of policies and programs across the nation.  
The report scores 100 U.S. cities on five policy areas:  
  • Local government operations 
  • Community-wide initiatives  
  • Building policies 
  • Energy and water utilities 
  • Transportation policies  
 _________________________________________________________________________
Cities can earn up to a total of 100 points within the five policy areas. Local government operations are given 10 points, community-wide initiatives and energy and water utilities are allocated 15 points each, and transportation policies and building policies are assigned 30 points each.  
Charlotte, NC ranks 65th out of the 100 cities in the report which is an increase in nine rankings from the 2019 report. Other NC cities included in the report rank at 55 (Raleigh, NC), 83 (Winston-Salem, NC), and 89 (Greensboro, NC).  
Even though Charlotte increased its rank by 9 points in a year, there are still substantial opportunities for improvement. The report includes a segment for strategies to advance clean energy no matter the ranking for a city. The ACEEE recommends that cities in the middle rankings (#34 through #66) build on earlier success while prioritizing new sectors. More specifically, they suggest managing energy performance, partner with energy and water utilities, adopt clean energy policies for new buildings, and use sustainable transportation planning to decrease transportation energy.  
Transportation is the largest emitter of GHGs, replacing the power sector in the United States. Transportation holds responsibility for 28% of energy use in the United States. Transportation policy points (30) are broken down as follows in the Figure 35:   
Transportation policies are evaluated on the following breakdown in each subcategory:  
Sustainable transportation - presence of sustainable transit plan, codified VMT/GHG targets, the severity of these targets, and progress made towards these targets 
Location efficiency - presence of zoning codes that promote location efficiency, the removal or reduction of minimum parking requirements, and incentives to encourage the creation of mixed-use, compact communities 
Mode shift - modal share targets and progress toward them, complete streets policies, and car-bicycle sharing 
Public transit - transit funding and access to transit services  
Efficient vehicles- efficient vehicle purchase incentives, vehicle charging infrastructure incentives, EV charging locations, and renewable charging infrastructure incentives 
Freight system - a stand-alone sustainable freight plan or a freight mobility plan with multiple strategies to increase efficiency that includes incentives for multimodal freight, clean vehicle technology standards, low-emission zones, and urban consolidation centers 
Equitable transportation - low-income housing around transit, low-income access to high-quality transit, and subsidized access to efficient transportation options 
Congestion pricing – congestion pricing mechanisms within transportation plans 
In the last category, cities are surveyed on whether there is clean, efficient transportation for low-income communities. Cities can earn points for having low-income housing around transit, low-income access to high-quality transit, and subsidized access to efficient transportation options.   
The report gives a summary of all five policy areas and what can be done in each of these areas to improve clean energy initiatives. It is important to note that all cities can still strive for energy efficiency, even those in the top five. The 2020 Clean Cities scorecard serves as a resource for cities to track clean energy progress while examining best practices and examples to draw from.   
The full report can be viewed here: https://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/u2008.pdf.  
Funding Opportunities
Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines (GRADE) is now accepting applications through 1/15/2020


Rebates for 25% - 50% of the cost to replace heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment operating in the Charlotte region are currently available. Applicants can request funding to purchase new, less polluting fuel technology such as electric, diesel, alternative fuel (LPG, CNG, LNG) and hybrid electric.
 Examples of eligible projects include:
Airport GSE Box trucks Bulldozers Compactors Dump trucks
Excavators Forklifts Grinders Pavers Roll-off trucks
Rollers Scrapers Semi-trucks Tractors Wheel loaders
AND MORE
Access project guidelines and the one-page application at www.GRADEplus.net
Upcoming Events
Showing Car Dealerships the Demand for EVs in the Charlotte Region
The City of Charlotte, Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, Forth, and the National Resources Defense Council are collaborating to bring more plug-in vehicle inventory to Charlotte. We are working to convince dealerships in the Charlotte area to keep plug-in vehicles on their lots while at the same time we just finished holding educational events for consumers about EVs. We hosted three webinars and continue promoting them through partner newsletters and social media. Duke Energy and many local community organizations have partnered with us to promote the program as well. This educational campaign will run through the end of November.

If you are interested in learning more about electric vehicles and missed your chance to attend the recent EV 101 or Ask An Owner webinar we've got you covered! The recordings are available on YouTube and the links can be found below. 
EV 101 webinar Learn about the basics and benefits of electric vehicle ownership 
 
Ask An EV Owner 11/12 featured EV drivers include Jess Montgomery, Andrew Diamond, and Crystal Marie McDaniels
 
Ask An EV Owner 11/19 featured EV drivers include Barbara Randolph, Andrew Diamond, and Crystal Marie McDaniels

Centralina and Forth partnered with dealerships in the Charlotte area to increase electric vehicle availability. This means that Planet Mitsubishi, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet, and the Charlotte-Mathews Tesla showcase will have electric vehicles charged and ready for test drives through the end of November. Taking a test drive at one of the dealerships above will qualify you for a $100 visa gift card. You must email a photo or selfie of yourself and the EV that you drove to csoriano@centralina.org to qualify for the visa gift card.
If you know of anyone who is interested in learning more about electric vehicles, please pass along this opportunity to them!
2021 Core Stakeholder Meeting Dates-Coming Soon!
Thank you for attending our November meeting and follow-up information will be sent out shortly. For more information or to be involved, contact Carina Soriano at csoriano@centralina.org or 704-688-7035.
Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference 2020
The 4th annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference has gone virtual! The SFT Conference will now be a series of webinars held from July until December. Make sure you don't miss a variety of topics, from gaseous fuel trends to idle reduction!
The conference provides an opportunity for fleets and transportation professionals to experience the latest vehicle technology, tools, and resources designed to increase efficiency and reduce emissions.
Upcoming Webinars
Electrify Your Medium & Heavy Duty Fleet
In case you missed the NC Clean Cities Coalitions Electrification Series earlier this year, plan to catch this webinar by Central Kansas Clean Cities to catch up. Join us on Tuesday, December 8th from 1:00-2:30 pm CST as we learn about vehicle options, how current companies have converted their fleets to electric, the benefits of switching, and any roadblocks our presenters have encountered along the way.
Rural Hometown EVSE Planning
Join the Louisiana Clean Fuels Coalition on Wed. Dec. 9th from 2-4pm CST for a discussion on preparing your hometown for EVs. This conversation is aimed at rural communities may need a little extra assistance in planning for tomorrow. In this webinar, experts from electric co-ops, regulated utilities, EVSE experts and Clean Cities coalitions will share case studies and best practices to help you avoid the pitfalls that can impede rural plans for effective and equitable charging infrastructure that meets citizens needs today and tomorrow.
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