SJV Clean Transportation Update!

Welcome to the November 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.

Vehicles 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 later. 

CALSTART Celebrates 25th Anniversary    

Several 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 manufacturing employer. 

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. 

This Freightliner low-NOx natural gas truck,when fueled with renewable natural gas (RNG), boasts of actually being cleaner than electric technology.  

CNG Listen and Learn Session Nov. 3 at Harris Ranch Draws Range of Attendees

From 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 successful.

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 stations.  

Faraday 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 (bottom).    

Faraday Future, GreenPower Bring EV Manufacturing to the San Joaquin Valley 

GreenPower 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 discussion.

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 increasing steadily.

"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 SJVCTC Newsletter.) 

The Industrial Summit also featured a number of breakout sessions on topics that included energy strategies, advanced technologies, robotics, state incentives and talent pipeline issues.  
CALSTART Board Chair Karen Hamberg (left) and President and CEO John Boesel honored California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols with the Blue Sky Legacy Award during the 25th Anniversary Symposium. Nichols has dedicated her career to advocating for the environment and public health

What Industry Leaders are Saying 

"We had a vision that California could play a role in the future."
John Boesel - President and CEO, CALSTART

"No one is focused on low-income, impacted communities the way we are in California."
Hector De La Torre - Board Member, CARB

"This is an incredibly exciting time for the transportation industry."
Marcel Porras - Chief Sustainability Officer, LA Dept. of Transportation

"Heavy duty is very different than light duty. We are still on a multi-fuel pathway."
Karen Hamberg - VP, Strategy, Westport Fuel Systems, and CALSTART Board Chair

"Electric cars within the next decade will be less expensive than those with internal combustion engines."
Mary Nichols - Chair, CARB

"Passenger cars are bought with the heart; commercial vehicles are bought with the head."
Julie Furber - Executive Director, Electrification Business, Cummins

"Natural gas has worked well for us.... Renewable natural gas is going to be an even better story."
Scott Phillippi - Senior Director of Maintenance & Engineering, International Operations, UPS

"CNG technology has been demonstrated for years.... Now low-NOx engines with RNG fuel gets us to better than zero."
Michelle Sim - Clean Transportation Manager, SoCalGas
"The way we design, build and purchase cars is going to change. We are at an incredible inflection point in the auto industry."
Leonel Leal - Senior Manager of Manufacturing Engineering, Faraday Future

"When people think about the San Joaquin Valley, they don't think of it as a manufacturing mecca. This is an ideal place to set up shop."
Brendan Riley - President, GreenPower Motor Company Inc. 

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 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
CARB website.

The California Energy Commission 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  

If you haven't done so already, 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. Click here to go to the survey.

EVs Made EZ Workshop
Jan. 23, 2018
9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
PG&E's Stockton Energy Education Center
3136 Boeing Way
Get the latest information on electric vehicles and charging stations, along with incentive funding. Registration cost is $20. Lunch will be provided.
Go to Eventbrite to register.

Second San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit
March 13-14, 2018
Save Mart Center in Fresno
This event will be free to attend and feature speakers, exhibitors, vehicle displays and ride-and-drive opportunities. Look for more details in the next issue.

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

Copyright © 2017 by CALSTART, All rights reserved.

Contact Us
Joseph Oldham, Director
San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center
Address: 510 W. Kearney Blvd., Fresno, CA 93706
Phone: (559) 797-6034