San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center : Aug./Oct. Newsletter

Welcome to the August-October 2017 San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center Newsletter. With funding from the California Energy Commission, CALSTART opened the Center with the goal to accelerate the use of clean vehicles and fuels and help the region more quickly meet air quality targets.

Officials from Fresno State and area government agencies gathered Sept. 12 to announce the opening of a Transportation Institute at the university. Dr. Aly Tawfik (far right) will serve as founding director. (Photo by Fresno State)   

New Transportation Institute Opens at Fresno State as Collaborative Endeavor    

The opening of a new Transportation Institute was announced at a Sept. 12 reception in the Henry Madden Library on the Fresno State campus. The Fresno Council of Governments Policy Board last year approved nearly $3 million from the Measure C New Technology Reserve Program to fund the Institute, with the Fresno County Transportation Authority Board giving final approval in December.

The Transportation Institute will open this fall as a collaboration between the 15 cities within the Fresno COG, the Fresno County Transportation Authority and Fresno State’s Lyles College of Engineering, Craig School of Business and College of Social Sciences. Dr. Aly Tawfik, assistant professor of civil engineering at Fresno State, will serve as the founding director.

Dr. Tawfik noted the unique challenges faced by the region, including poor air quality, increased traffic and a "transportation landscape that is experiencing a revolution." Funding will not only support students and faculty researchers as they address topics such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, safety, energy, congestion and advanced transportation technologies, but also enable them to seek federal and state transportation grants. CALSTART's SJV Clean Transportation Center will collaborate with the Institute on projects as well, such as a transportation summit planned for early next year.

Measure C is Fresno County's half-cent sales tax for transportation. Through the Technology New Reserve Program, with $10 million available in this first cycle of funding for advanced transit and transportation new technologies. It is expected that up to $30 million will be made available through 2027, according to information on the Fresno COG website. (For details on other projects funded, to go page 4 of the linked document.)

Several AT&T vehicles fueled up during a tour of the CNG station at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, where a CNG Listen and Learn session was conducted July 19 (top). The trucking fleet at Frito-Lay's Kern plant has been converting to CNG to decrease emissions and save on fuel costs (bottom).     

Plan to Attend CNG Listen and Learn Scheduled for Nov. 3 at Harris Ranch   

Those who missed the first CNG Listen and Learn session in July at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) in Bakersfield will want to plan to attend another session set for Nov. 3 at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. The session is planned for the morning, followed by lunch. To register, email

Organized by the SJV Clean Transportation Center and the San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities Coalition with support from SoCalGas, the sessions are intended to provide information on funding programs and new technologies and get feedback to help these efforts be more successful.

The July session featured a presentation by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) on their Prop 1B and Truck Voucher Program (TVP) funding for truck replacements. Prop 1B applications were due at the end of July, and the District reports the program has been fully subscribed. The November session will feature more details on TVP funding, which is set to be discussed by the SJVAPCD Board at its October meeting.

Information on the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) for the purchase of approved low-NOx natural gas engines will be presented, along with renewable natural gas (RNG) as fuel for these engines. More details from Cummins Westport will be available on its new "Near Zero" heavy-duty natural gas engines available in 2018. 

Those attending the KCSOS session toured the KCSOS CNG station, which recently underwent a significant upgrade. The station is open to the public and fuels the district's fleet of more than 60 buses, along with numerous public and private fleets. In addition to revenue from CNG fuel sales, the district earns valuable credits that enable money to be put into the classroom, noted Scott Fieber, KCSOS Energy Conservation Supervisor. SoCalGas is looking to identify additional sites in the Valley to locate CNG stations.     

The LiveSmart Fair in Bakersfield was the Valley's only official EV event during National Drive Electric Week, Sept. 9-16. A total of 123 Best.Drive.EVer test drives were recorded, surpassing numbers from several events in the Los Angeles and Bay areas that week.   

Best.Drive.EVer Promotes EV Experience  

The San Joaquin Valley's only official National Drive Electric Week event was Sept. 16 in Bakersfield, hosted at Urner's and also organized by Project Clean Air, the San Joaquin Valley Electric Vehicle Partnership and EV Perks. The 2017 National Drive Electric Week annual celebration of electric vehicles was a huge success, with 276 events and including all 50 states for the first time ever.

The LiveSmart Fair featured EV test drives with vehicles provided by BMW of Bakersfield, Three-Way Chevrolet, FIAT of Bakersfield, Jim Burke Ford, Bakersfield Hyundai and Bill Wright Toyota. Staff from the California and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District rebate programs provided information about how Valley residents may get up to $13,500 in incentives and rebates on an EV.

A total of 123 test drives were recorded during the four-hour event, far exceeding the number at similar events that week in Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Redding and East Palo Alto. More than 50 percent of the Bakersfield EV test drivers had no previous experience with electric cars. Prior to the drive, 86 percent had a very or somewhat positive perception of electric cars, increasing to 96 percent after the drive. Test drive participants also received a free taco lunch. 

In addition to demonstrations of energy-saving appliances from Urner's, community groups offered activities for kids, free health screenings and information on how to live smart. EV owners brought their vehicles and shared personal insights in the EV Perks Zone. GreenPower's zero-emission electric bus was a huge hit, giving rides and providing information about its new manufacturing plant in nearby Porterville. 

Another Best.Drive.EVer. ride-and-drive event was on Oct. 8 at the Apple Festival in Tehachapi, wrapping up Rideshare Week. (Look for more details in our next issue.) Sponsors for the two events include Best.Drive.EVer., Commute Kern, Edison International (Southern California Edison), PG&E, the Valley Air District, the Rose Foundation, EIG Solar and Sunpower by Quality Home Services. 

CALSTART to Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Online registration closes this Friday, Oct. 13, for CALSTART's 25th Anniversary Symposium. The two-day event will begin the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and continue through Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Pasadena Convention Center.

CALSTART’s 25th Anniversary Symposium connects jobs, transportation and the environment in developing strategies to meet 2030 targets. Preeminent policymakers and industry leaders will explore pathways to create a clean transportation future.

Mary D. Nichols 2Wednesday's keynote lunch speaker will be Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and nonprofit service to advocating for the environment and public health.

For an agenda, speaker information or to register, go to
Director's Message
By Joseph Oldham

In this issue of the CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center Newsletter we have information about recent and upcoming events, plus a report on a new organization at Fresno State University, and finally a notice about an upcoming survey so you can let us know how we are doing in providing you information about clean transportation options.

We soon will be shifting to a monthly Newsletter format where special funding and event information email blasts will come out as needed to better inform our subscribers. We think this new format will do a better job of helping to keep you informed in the rapidly changing world of clean transportation technology. In addition, stay tuned for a survey that will be coming out to you that will help us refine our Newsletter service even further.

Congratulations to CSU Fresno on the opening of their new Transportation Institute. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is partnering with the new Institute on several projects, including a new clean transportation summit being tentatively scheduled for March 2018.  Watch for more details on this event in future editions of the SJVCTC Newsletter.

We told you in the last edition that we were going to be hosting another CNG Listen and Learn session focused on natural gas engines for trucks and buses in the fall. We now have this event scheduled for Nov. 3 at Harris Ranch in Coalinga. These events are just some of the ways the CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center works to keep you informed of new opportunities to improve your business while at the same time helping to improve our Valley air quality.

If you are not able to make the Nov. 3 event at Harris Ranch, stay tuned for another Listen and Learn event later in November in Fresno. But you might want go to both since who can pass up a chance to have a great lunch at Harris Ranch on us!

Also, you may be interested in reading about the National Drive Electric Week event in Bakersfield on Sept. 16. It was the only event of this type for the National Drive Electric Week celebration conducted in the San Joaquin Valley, and the turnout statistics look impressive.

Finally, don’t forget to register by this Friday, Oct. 13, for the CALSTART 25th Anniversary Celebration in Pasadena on Oct. 24-25. This promises to be a great event, and we are planning some interesting panel discussions and speakers!

So stay tuned for our new monthly format for the Newsletter and remember that together, we can make our Valley air quality better and ensure a healthy future for our children!!

“The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is a joint project between CALSTART and the California Energy Commission (CEC). It is funded through a grant from the CEC with the mission to assist residents and businesses in the San Joaquin Valley deploy cleaner transportation options to help improve air quality and promote economic prosperity. For more information about CALSTART, visit”

Looking for Grant Information?

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District offers a variety of grants and incentive programs for public agencies, residents, businesses and technology. Interested parties should apply early since incentives typically are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A complete list of current incentive programs is available on the Air District website.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) administers grant programs funded through various sources, including the Cap-and-Trade program. A complete list of the various funding programs is available on the
ARB website.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) also administers grant programs for transportation technology. Go to the 
CEC website for information.

Various Federal agencies offer grants and incentives for transportation technology each year. All Federal agencies use the website for submitting and receiving grant applications. 

Newsletter Survey: Please Give Us Your Feedback  

In a few days, you should receive a survey from us. Please take a few minutes to give your feedback in a brief 10-question survey evaluating the SJV Clean Transportation Center Newsletter.

The results of the survey will help us determine what you have liked in the past and what we should cover in the future. We appreciate your input and ideas to help us improve the Newsletter as we transition to a monthly format to provide you with the types of articles and other information you prefer most.