SJV Clean Transportation Center: April Newsletter

Welcome to the April 2018 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 in order to help the region more quickly meet air quality targets.

SJV Clean Transportation Summit Drives Theme of Clean Air & A Healthy Economy 

The 2018 San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Summit – hosted by the Fresno State Transportation Institute and CALSTART, in partnership with Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED) and Project Clean Air – was successful in bringing awareness of the necessity of transforming transportation to promote a healthier San Joaquin Valley.
More than 200 attendees participated in the two-day event in Fresno March 14-15, featuring 30 vendors at the forefront of revolutionizing the clean transportation industry. Vehicle displays and ride-and-drive demonstrations were located throughout the Save Mart Center parking lots, highlighting the latest electric and natural gas vehicles for commercial and personal use.
Eight breakout sessions explored air quality and transportation issues in the San Joaquin Valley, as well as opportunities for progressing toward cleaner transportation. Sessions focused on converting to natural gas from diesel fuel, the impact of California High-Speed Rail on the region, the challenge of and solutions to connecting rural cities to major urban areas, and other timely topics.
The event concluded with the Funders Forum, where representatives from the Fresno Council of Governments, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, California Transportation Commission, Center for Sustainable Energy and CALSTART provided an overview of more than $220 million in funding available to the Valley for clean air projects. The goal of the funding is to continue to progress toward clean energy transformation that promotes healthier living conditions and increased economic activity for our region.
More information about the Summit, including coverage from Fresno's KSEE television station and links to presentations, is available on the SJV Clean Transportation Center website.

Valley Air District Board Approves New Funding for Truck Replacement Program  

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) gave the region's trucking fleets a major boost when its Governing Board on March 15 approved a new funding program to replace diesel trucks with new zero-emission electric or near-zero compressed natural gas engines.

Formerly known as the Truck Voucher Program (TVP), it now simply will be called the Truck Replacement Program, SJVAPCD Strategies and Incentives Manager Todd DeYoung told those attending the Funders Forum at the SJV Clean Transportation Summit, speaking just hours after the Governing Board voted on the program changes.

Several speakers at the Summit noted that an incentive of $70,000 or more per truck is needed to make it economically feasible for fleets to convert from diesel engines to the new near-zero, low-NOx engines now available from Cummins Westport and sold by numerous manufacturers. New funding levels will range from $100,000 for these new CNG engines to $200,000 for an all-electric truck (see graphic above for details). Heavy-duty diesel trucks are the single largest contributor of NOx emissions in the Valley.

Rather than requiring 2010 and newer diesel trucks to be destroyed, said DeYoung, the Air District is creating a trade-up feature for those trucks to be used by smaller fleets and agricultural operations, which then would destroy and older, higher-polluting truck. For fleet expansion when no existing vehicle is being retired, a grant of $20,000 would be available per truck.

DeYoung said the $20,000 grant could be combined with funding from the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), which is administered by CALSTART. Visit the
HVIP website for more information. View the Governing Board presentation for more details on the Truck Replacement Program.

A total of 525 test drives were conducted in Fresno during Electrify America's Drive and Discover Tour March 5-7 at Fashion Fair Mall – more than any other market, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento. Because of that success, additional tour events are scheduled April 3-4 in Bakersfield and April 7-8 in Stockton.

Electrify America Discover and Drive Tour Coming to Bakersfield, Stockton in April   

Volkswagen's Electrify America Discover and Drive Tour was so successful in Fresno that additional events have been added for Bakersfield and Stockton in early April. The tour showcases electric vehicles (EVs) and charging, with several EVs available to test drive, including the BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and Volkswagen e-Golf, as well as the battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell powered Honda Clarity models.

The tour will be in Bakersfield April 3-4 at Bakersfield Plaza, 4200 California Ave., and in Stockton April 8 at Weberstown Mall, 4950 Pacific Ave., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The tour also will be at the Stockton Tune In and Tune Up event, 1658 South Airport Way, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 7. In Fresno, the three-day event at Fashion Fair Mall had 525 test drives – the most of any of the tour's markets – even though it was on Monday to Wednesday.

"It was clear to all of us that there was significant demand in Fresno, and residents were really interested in learning more about electric cars," said Catherine Teebay, program manager for FORTH, which is conducting the tour as part of Electrify America’s initial $200 million investment in California to increase access to EVs and adoption through brand-neutral education and promotional activities.
Added materials about used EVs in addition to rebates and incentives will be featured. Admission is free and advance registration is not required but can be done online to speed up the sign-in process at the event.

Four new Pipistrel Alpha Electro two-seat electric training airplanes arrived in Fresno in March. The all-electric aircraft are part of a new pilot-training program administered by CALSTART's San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center, with grant funding from the Fresno County Transportation Authority.  

Nation's First Production Electric Aircraft Makes History Taking Flight in Fresno

The San Joaquin Valley now is home to the largest concentration of production electric aircraft in the world! Four Pipistrel Alpha Electro two-seat electric training airplanes were delivered to Fresno Chandler Executive Airport in March. San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center Director Joseph Oldham, who also has been a pilot for more than 40 years, is the innovator behind CALSTART's Sustainable Aviation Project, which will be the nation's first flight training program using electric aircraft.

With slightly more than $1 million in funding from the Fresno County Transportation Authority, the program is a partnership with the cities of Mendota and Reedley that includes $90,000 in training assistance grant funds for youth from disadvantaged communities in Fresno County. The planes will operate at  Fresno Chandler Executive Airport and the municipal airports in Reedley and Mendota.

"Had I not known Joseph and that he could deliver, I would have laughed him out the door," said Nicole Zieba, Reedley's City Manager. She noted that the nation, and even the world, is facing a pilot shortage. This project brings the hope of a high-paying job to youth living in an area that still has high unemployment, she noted. "We are going to change lives," Zieba said.

Oldham piloted one of the Alpha Electro planes on its first flight March 23 from Fresno Chandler Executive Airport. "This truly was a historic event," he said. "It was the first flight of a production electric aircraft in the U.S.!"

Check out this video of that historic flight. To learn more about the project, read the Sustainable Aviation Project Blog or website.

Crimson Renewable Energy, LP, is the state's largest producer of ultra-low carbon biodiesel. The Bakersfield plant's current production level generates emissions and carbon reduction benefits equivalent to taking 53,000 cars off the road. 

Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Helping California Meet Renewable Fuel Standard 

Richard Nelson, Ph.D., representing the National Biodiesel Board, and Daniel Burns from the Renewable Energy Group, Inc., (REG) spoke to a group of diesel fleet operators in Bakersfield. The March 21 breakfast meeting was hosted by Wholesale Fuels, Inc., to help inform the group about what is in the diesel fuel they are using.

Diesel fuel often contains up to 5 percent biodiesel. Looking at the bill of lading, not just the invoice, will show what is in the fuel, the presenters advised. B20, up to 20 percent biodiesel, up to B100, or pure biodiesel, are available. California requires biodiesel to have a NOx mitigant such as CATANOX or VESTA, Nelson noted. The presenters also cautioned that diesel storage tanks should be cleaned before storing since biodiesel breaks down accumulated sediments and may lead to clogged fuel filters.

In addition to being North America's largest producer of biodiesel, REG produces Renewable Hydrocarbon Diesel (RHD) and offers blends of both products to maximize the benefits of both fuels. As a 100 percent hydrocarbon product, RHD can be blended with biodiesel and petroleum diesel. It qualifies for various state biofuel tax incentives.

Norm Ueunten of Crimson Renewable Energy, LP, located in Bakersfield, also attended the meeting. Crimson is the largest producer of ultra-low carbon biodiesel in California and distributes biodiesel to the wholesale market in the Western U.S. The California Energy Commission (CEC) in January awarded a $4.4 million grant to Crimson from the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program to design and operate an advanced commercial scale refinery that converts low-value feedstocks such as trap grease, inedible animal fats and soap stocks into biodiesel fuel. Crimson previously received CEC funding to upgrade its plant.

The U.S. implemented the Renewable Fuels Standard in 2007 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels. California has expanded on these efforts with the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program. 
Quotes from the SJV Clean Transportation Summit March 14-15

"CALSTART's membership now includes more than 185 global companies. We bring the resources of all of these companies to the Valley as partners to reduce emissions."
John Boesel
President and CEO, CALSTART

"The transportation sector emits 80 percent of the region's smog and nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gasses. The largest contributor is heavy-duty diesel trucks.... Natural gas trucks are clean, abundant, affordable and available now."
Michelle Sim
Southern California Gas Co.

"Zero is better than .02. But it isn't when it's not available for the vehicles you need. We don't want to wait a decade."
Tom Jordan
San Joaquin Valley Air  Pollution Control District

"The fuel of the future has arrived. RNG is the most environmentally friendly and most cost-effective fuel for the movement of heavy-duty transportation vehicles."
Anthony Tarabini
Biorem Energy

"We will not get to cleaner air by regulation alone. Incentives play a key role."
Todd DeYoung
San Joaquin Valley Air  Pollution Control District

"At the end of the day, if we make some change, then it will have all been worthwhile."
Joseph Oldham
San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center

SJVCTC Newsletter Ceasing Publication

With the California Energy Commission grant that has provided funding for the San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center (SJVCTC) ending soon, this will be the last issue of our SJVCTC Newsletter.

The CALSTART offices in Fresno and Stockton will remain open as we continue to work on projects with other funding sources. Please check our website for future news and information updates. 

News Briefs


Several utilities, including PG&E and Southern California Edison, are offering their customers an additional $10,000 incentive on the purchase of a BMW i3 or i3s for a limited time.

The deadline is April 30 for SCE customers, while PG&E customers have until May 31 to take advantage of this program. Both utility programs only are available for vehicle purchases, not leases. 

This incentive is in addition to the federal tax credit and
California and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District rebates that together amount to $13,000 or more, depending on income and eligibility. Residential EV owners also may qualify for rebate of $450 from SCE and $500 from PG&E.      


The Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) recently announced that the Public Fleet Pilot Project now is part of the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). New funding levels also were announced, with public fleets in disadvantaged area census (DAC) tracts eligible for higher rebate amounts when purchasing light-duty vehicles.

Since 2014, more than 620 electric vehicles statewide have received substantial rebates through the Public Fleet Pilot Project, which is funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and administered by CSE.

As part of the CVRP public fleet incentives, all public fleets now can apply for multiple rebates in a single online application. Public agencies are eligible for up to 30 rebates annually. Public fleets also can reserve rebates up to six months prior to vehicle delivery and up to 18 months after delivery. 

Plug-in hybrid EVs are eligible for the standard CVRP rebate of $1,500 per vehicle, and those in DACs are eligible for an increased rebate of $3,500. Battery or range-extended vehicles are eligible for a rebate of $2,500, increasing to $4,500 for vehicles domiciled in a DAC. Another change to the public fleet program is that zero-emission motorcycles no longer are being funded. Fuel-cell vehicles are eligible for a $5,000 rebate and $7,000 in a DAC location. For more information or to check the map of DAC locations, visit CSE's public fleets website

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected California-based Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) as the electric drivetrain provider for a $4.4-million DOE program that aims to accelerate the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles. With matching funds from other public and private entities, total program funding exceeds $9 million. 
School buses continue to be the largest mass transit segment in the country, carrying twice the number of passengers as the entire U.S. transit and rail segments.
As part of the program, EDI will supply its EDI PowerDrive 7000ev electric drivetrain and its EDI Power2E exportable power solution to a leading school bus OEM to develop a fleet of electric buses with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) capabilities.
The bus offers more than 100 miles of range, delivers power performance equivalent to its diesel counterpart, and requires no change to driver behavior. EDI already has collaborated with several OEMs to electrify buses.


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will have a One-Stop Diesel Truck Event on Tuesday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 South P Street, in Bakersfield. One-on-one assistance will be available. See the One-Stop Truck Event website for information or to register,  

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 (CARB) administers grant programs funded through various sources, including the cap-and-trade program. A list of the various funding programs is available on the
CARB 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. Federal agencies use the website for submitting grant applications. 

“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 © 2018 by CALSTART, All rights reserved.

Contact Us
Joseph Oldham, Director     Thomas Paddon, Regional Project Manager
San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center
Fresno Address: 510 W. Kearney Blvd., Fresno, CA 93706
Fresno Phone: (559) 797-6034
Stockton Address: 5000 S. Airport Way, Suite #208, Stockton, CA 95206
Stockton Phone: (626) 744-5637
Email: and

Newsletter Editor: Brenda Turner, Project Clean Air