on display at the CALSTART 25th Anniversary included New
Flyer's Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric bus (left) and the
prototype AEOS truck from Cummins, a Class 7 heavy-duty tractor
cab with an all-electric range of 100 miles. Cummins expects
the truck to be available in 2019 for urban delivery and
short-haul trips, with longer-range engine options available
Celebrates 25th Anniversary
hundred policymakers and industry leaders gathered in Pasadena
Oct. 24 and 25 for CALSTART's 25th Anniversary Symposium.
"Connecting Transportation, Jobs and the Environment"
was the theme, with a focus on developing strategies to meet
goals set for 2030 and beyond. The first day of the event was
conducted on the Caltech campus, with the second day continuing
at the Pasadena Convention Center.
CALSTART now has more than 180 member companies and
organizations. During the event, Blue Sky Awards were presented
to individuals, organizations and companies that have made
outstanding contributions to clean air, climate change and the
clean transportation technologies industry. The Legacy Award
was presented to Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air
Resources Board. Other Blue Sky Award recipients included
California Governor Jerry Brown, New York Governor Andrew
Cuomo, U.S. Congressman Ken Calvert (42nd District), UPS and
Tesla. In addition to transforming the public image of electric
cars, it was noted that Tesla now is the state's largest
One of the highlights of the first day was a presentation on
zero-emission aircraft. San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation
Center Director Joseph Oldham, who also is a pilot, talked
about CALSTART's Sustainable Aviation Project, which will be
the first flight training program using electric aircraft in
the U.S. Read more about this exciting
Valley-based project, where work has begun installing chargers
at municipal airports in the communities of Reedley and Mendota
as well as at the Fresno Chandler Executive Airport and Fresno
Yosemite International Airport.
The second day featured panel discussions on topics such as
building market demand, new technologies in both light-duty and
heavy-duty vehicles, and accelerating change in looking to the
future. Quotes from some of the event presentations are
highlighted at right.
Freightliner low-NOx natural gas truck,when fueled with
renewable natural gas (RNG), boasts of actually being cleaner
than electric technology.
Listen and Learn Session Nov. 3 at Harris Ranch Draws Range of
agriculture and school fleets to clean vehicle manufacturers
and fuel suppliers, a diverse group of attendees came to Harris
Ranch in Coalinga on Nov. 3 for the second CNG Listen and Learn
Session. Organized by the San Joaquin Valley Clean
Transportation Center and the SJV Clean Cities Coalition with
support from SoCalGas, the sessions are intended to provide
information on funding programs and new technologies in addition
to getting feedback to help these efforts be more
CALSTART Senior Vice President Bill Van Amburg provided an
update on the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher
Incentive Program (HVIP). A point-of-sale discount, HVIP
funding may be combined with other incentives and is available
for retrofits and new electric, hybrid, fuel cell or low-NOx
natural gas (NG) engines in Class 2-8 fleet vehicles.
Van Amburg highlighted funding amounts and some of the eligible
vehicles. A complete list of vehicles and other details are on
the HVIP website. He noted
that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Fiscal Year
2017-18 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives
proposes allocating more than $180 million for HVIP and also
would increase many of the funding amounts. CARB's Board will
finalize details at its Dec. 14 meeting.
Even though Cummins and Tesla recently unveiled
electric semi trucks, these vehicles still are in the early
stages of development. In the heavy-duty market today, natural
gas is a proven technology that offers both fuel economy and
low emissions. The 11.9-Liter Cummins Westport "Near Zero"
NOx natural gas engine, which will be available in 2018,
will have 90 percent lower emissions than the current NOx
standard. Van Amburg noted that the use of renewable natural
gas (RNG) in low-NOx NG engines is required for HVIP funding.
Josh Arreola of A-1 Alternative Fuel Systems talked about CNG
conversions, which their company has specialized in since 1995,
along with LNG and LPG conversions, from their downtown Fresno
location and a second production facility in Elkhart, Indiana.
He explained the basic components of a CNG system, the
conversion process, Ford and GM platforms, and reasons to use
CNG, including reduced emissions and relatively stable prices.
A-1 also offers CNG training classes.
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
representatives Stephanie Hitchman and Jeannine Tackett gave
information on their funding programs. These include Prop 1B,
which closed to applications at the end of July and the most
recent round of funding currently is being awarded, and the
Truck Voucher Program, the guidelines for which currently are
being developed by District staff.
SJVCTC Director Joseph Oldham also addressed the stability of
CNG prices, particularly now that diesel is subject to fuel
taxes. "Businesses today need stability, and natural gas
can be a real value," he said.
Presentations from the November meeting, as well as those from
the session in July, are available online. SoCalGas is looking to
identify additional sites in the Central Valley to locate CNG
Future employees, shown with the company's FF 91 prototype
vehicle, gathered in Hanford at the site of its new EV
manufacturing plant, selected in part for its location between
the top markets of Los Angeles and San Francisco (top). Those
attending the South San Joaquin Valley Industrial Summit
flocked to see the EV550 double-decker electric bus from
GreenPower, which will be building their buses in Porterville
Future, GreenPower Bring EV Manufacturing to the San Joaquin
Motor Company Inc. broke ground in June on a manufacturing
plant in Porterville, where it will build zero-emission,
electric transit and school buses. And now Faraday Future has
leased a site in Hanford to serve as the company's new
manufacturing home for its FF 91, with the hope of bringing the
luxury EV to market by the end of 2018.
GreenPower President Brendan Riley and Faraday Future's Leonel
Leal, Senior Manager of Manufacturing Engineering, were keynote
speakers at the inaugural South San Joaquin Valley Industrial
Summit, which was Oct. 26 at the Southern California Edison
Energy Education Center in Tulare.
A San Joaquin Valley native, Leal began his career at Toyota
and then went to Tesla, where he was part of the team that
brought the Model S from concept to production. In a
presentation titled "Reshaping of an Industry," Leal
compared the manure problem created by horse-drawn carriages
during the early 1900s to the problem of carbon dioxide and
other emissions created by internal combustion engines today.
"When we deal with huge, messy problems, we forget it
requires creativity" to find solutions, he said. "It
is not a question of if, but when, clean mobility will take
over," Leal added, noting that "California leads in
clean mobility innovation in the world." Leal then was
joined by several other Faraday Future executives in a panel
Prior to his appointment as GreenPower's President, Riley was a
vice president for BYD Motors, taking an instrumental role in
setting up the company's two California manufacturing
facilities to assemble electric buses and their batteries.
"Present and Future of the Green Transportation
Industry" was the topic of Riley's keynote address.
"Electricity is the fuel of the future," said Riley,
noting that electricity generation in the U.S. and worldwide is
"All transit agencies in California are considering or
will buy zero-emission, battery electric buses," said
Riley, adding that electric buses provide the lowest cost of
ownership in addition to being quiet, safer and emission free.
(Read more about the company and its buses in the May-July 2017 issue of the
The Industrial Summit also featured a number of breakout
sessions on topics that included energy strategies, advanced
technologies, robotics, state incentives and talent pipeline