The Value of Working Together for Clean Air

The Texas Clean Air Working Group (TCAWG) has been instrumental in bringing together the various concerned entities (state officials, business leaders, local government officials, environmental groups, scientists and others) and merging their diverse opinions into a unified voice on the importance of taking timely steps to improve air quality for the people of Texas.

The Texas Clean Air Working group worked very closely with the Legislature in 2001 to establish the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) and again in 2003 to ensure full funding for TERP after some of the original funding was struck down by the courts. TCAWG is committed to working with state leaders and the Texas Legislature to fully implement the TERP program to clean the air in the nonattainment and near-nonattainment areas of the state.

Over the years, TCAWG has also worked with the legislature to implement and improve the Low-Income Repair and Replacement Assistance Program (LIRAP), which included Local Initiatives Program (LIP) that provided matching funds for TERP-like programs on the local level. Over the last several sessions, TCAWG has worked to ensure some level of funding for TERP and LIRAP during a time of substantial budget cuts.

What is the Texas Clean Air Working Group?

It is a group of various concerned entities (state officials, business leaders, local government officials, environmental groups, scientists and others) in large population centers of the state and surrounding areas who have committed to work together to improve air quality all over the state of Texas.

When did the Texas Clean Air Working Group (TCAWG) start?

The Texas Clean Air Working Group has worked closely with the Texas Legislature since 2001 to establish the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), implementation of the Low-Income Repair and Replacement Assistance Program (LIRAP) and ensuring that these programs continue to be funded and remain in compliance with the federal Clean Air Act.

How can you get involved with the Texas Clean Air Working Group?

Interested parties may contact Windy Johnson to find out more information about our work group. This page will list any upcoming events or meetings pertaining to the Texas Clean Air Working Group (TCAWG).

TCEQ Draft Volkswagen Settlement Plan Published

Comments are due by October 8th


Heavy Duty Electric Vehicle (HD EV) Meeting Notes – June 21, 2018

(Please let Lori, Windy or Tod know if you have corrections or additions to these notes.)

Please find agenda and links to presentations here

Steve Dayton (TCEQ):
  • VW Trust draft plan still “a few weeks” away
  • Plan will be out for comment for 60-90 days, will hold hearings in major cities, then will develop final plan with comments and their responses (similar to rulemaking)
  • The program will open in mid to late Fall
  • New website
  • Some attendees inferred that the charging infrastructure funding may approach the 15% cap
  • Noted eligibility for EV infra along with the EV projects in the other eligible mitigation action categories
Danny Smith (UPS):
  • 110,000 vehicles in U.S.  7,806 Alt Fuels vehicles in U.S. (9100 worldwide).
    • 12 EVs in Houston.
    • Include all fuel types: propane, CNG, LNG, HEV, Hydraulic Hybrid, H2 fuel cell
  • Goal to have 25% of all purchases to be Alt Fuel
  • Going to be using a lot of AFVs in Middle East
  • New contract with Tesla for 125 Class 8 tractors (18 wheelers).
  • EVs run 25-50 mile routes.

Darryl Spencer (DART):

  • DART has a fleet of 700, mostly CNG vehicles.
  • DART will deploy 7 battery electric vehicles July 2
    • $971,000 per vehicle
    • 4 charging stations @ $810,000 + $700,000 installation
  • Bus has 30-mile range, will run a 14-mile loop route with 19 stops (D-link FREE service downtown circulator)
  • Sited charging stations co-located with Dallas Heliport so had to negotiate ILA with Dallas (at Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center)
  • Will assign all buses to one site but training 80 mechanics and 200 operators
  • Have 2 500 kW on-route chargers, plus 2 depot-based chargers for redundancy
Clayton Stice (ERCOT):
  • Reviewed the 2018 LTSA. By 2033, anticipated 18,500-megawatt impact to grid at midnight
Ken Kelly (NREL):
  • NREL’s Fleet DNA is a database of vehicle duty cycle data, etc. and can be used to mine for EV applications.
  • Completed Recovery Act demonstration project with FritoLay, Coke on Smith EVs
  • Consistent observations that HD EVs are more efficient than either diesel or natural gas (fuel needs per mile)
    • Can use Fleet DNA to find comparable fleet for own interests – but recommend working directly with NRELQ’s: how does a fleet get a systems analysis with the alternatives scenarios?
Cameron Freburg (Austin Energy):
  • See slide 5
  • Considering redundancy (battery storage, natural gas or diesel generators) if relying on utility to provide your transportation fuel
  • Load growth/revenue opportunity BUT not temperature based like everything else so opportunity to develop rates to help stabilize load distribution (??? Phrased right) – working with Cap Metro to identify how they might be able to ID charging to be scheduled, etc.
  • See slide 6 – for utility, the charging type matters – have to account for variation in load (500kW, happens in minutes vs 50 kW, happens overnight) as well as on-route vs depot-based
  • Utility would recommend software-enabling controls on charging rates, scheduling, etc.
  • Site planning – site size/blank space is the limiting factor for how much infra can be added which is the limiting factor for how many buses can be electrified
  • CapMetro:
    • Early utility involvement critical, they are forecasting a 4-year process to transition entire fleet
Discussion/Input from Fleet Managers – Lessons Learned:
  • UPS: Tip is to use network optimization to determine right technology application – 25-50 mile route is their rule for EV delivery vehicles
  • Shelley Whitworth posed question at parts availability challenge (few vendors = long downtime due to parts – is this still a challenge?)
    • Rob Borowski (Cap Metro): in last couple years started to see mainstream manufacturers hit market strong with products which will help with parts issues
    • Steph (Transpower): has been an issue but expect to start resolving quickly
  • Bill (Hunt Power & TexETRA): asked which states should be used as good examples for infrastructure deployment – for large vehicle public charging infrastructure
    • Danny:Dallas and Fort Worth have been very cooperative in State of Tx
  • IKEA:looking to convert all of last-mile delivery fleet – but….
    • Biggest challenge is structure – they don’t own any of delivery fleet so working with third party, then they work with independent contractors to get THEM to purchase the EVs – so need to convince them of benefits, assure them that they will have maintenance and charging support, etc. considering whether IKEA can purchase/install the infrastructure at their warehouses to serve their independent contractors
    • Focusing on hubs in big cities – hubs with 50-80 vehicles
    • Policy question:charger interoperability
  • Question about battery performance issues – warm weather still a concern?
    • Mike Saxton:not a problem anymore, have in-service vehicles across the country
    • NREL: do need to be aware of temp, but lots of sophisticated thermal management strategies and tools to assist; also, the battery chemistry makes a difference in terms of the influence of temp
    • DART:have dual cooling loop (liquid cooling loop w/coolant and another one) so seems to be well-thought out by the manufacturers; has 6-year warranty, Toshiba;
    • Transpower:they’re looking at 3-year warranties max; looking to take lessons from LD side but LD has much longer route, different duty cycle than HD
    • Tod: what questions should fleet managers ask:
      • What is the battery thermal management strategy? What is battery warranty? What is expected degradation over time?  How has it been tested & validated?
    • Question about flood vulnerability and charger locations:
      • DART and Cap Metro: regardless of fuel type, have a risk, so take mitigating steps and have multiple locations as needed
    • Mike Saxton (Orange EV): if looking at small numbers, one type, much easier than mixed use because each different use increases uncertainties and complicates the modeling; can start with a couple yard trucks with 240-V charging to start collecting data off the telematics to apply to drayage trucks; most market is at sites where there are only 2-3 trucks per site anyway, so negligible addition to site load and relatively simple application to get started.  Most important is to get started to collect the data and start getting people trained
    • Interstate Highway Electrification Institute (????) – are any fleets looking at doing battery swaps, etc.?
      • Port of Long Beach has automated system for battery swapping at automated terminal but with battery and charging improvements, swapping model not expected to be the solution for most fleets.
    • Freedom CNG:considering adding electric charging at their stations
    • North American Council for Freight Efficiency – recent report on electric trucks and where they make sense

Next Steps:

  • All attendees: Consider questions that utilities or fleets would want/need to ask of each other and submit those to Tod/Lori/Windy.  Here are a few possible questions/variables as a starting point:
    • A fleet manager should consider:
      • Related to the vehicle/route:
        • What is the battery thermal management strategy? What is battery warranty? What is expected degradation over time?  How has it been tested & validated?
        • What type of chargers? (what type of needs for the application – on-route vs depot-based, how fast does the vehicle need to be recharged, how frequently will charging events happen? What time of day does charging need to happen? (Vehicle departure time?) To determine the total kWh needed, what state of charge is the vehicle anticipated to be when starting charge?)
        • Software-enabling controls on charging rates, scheduling, etc.?
      • Related to the electric utility (including the charging information above):
        • What is the maximum load that the EVs will need if all charging at full power? (Utility will need to know this)
        • How much time is needed for additional infrastructure/power supply to be provided?
        • Redundancy needs for charging?
        • What is “grand plan” for EV deployment – is this the start of a fleet-wide strategy? Or only putting a few EVs in a niche application?
        • Primary vs. secondary metering
        • What are the utility costs (new infrastructure? Demand charges?)
          • Rate Options
          • Time-of-use rates
          • Demand response incentives
  • Including the above information, the utility should also find out from fleet managers or determine:
    • What is the maximum additional load you need for these EVs?
      • Redundancy provided by utility, if any?
      • Transformer sizes?
    • Software-enabling controls on charging rates, scheduling, demand response, etc.?
    • What is the “Grand plan” for this customer – is this the start of a fleet-wide strategy?Or only putting EVs in niche applications?
  • Tod/Lori/Elizabeth/Shelley (Clean Cities):
    • Plan a follow-up workshop/meeting for later in the fall
    • Develop guides/resources/handouts for fleet managers & for utilities:
      • Vehicle available
      • Benefits and Risks of HD EV
      • Information Fleet managers need
      • Information Utility (and REPs) need
  • Parking Lot Issues to be Revisited in the Future:
    • Vehicle-to-grid issues
    • Demand and Energy Charges
    • REP pricing

VW Settlement Meeting
January 17, 2018
11:00am – 4:30pm
Note delayed start time at 11:00 AM due to inclement weather.
Texas Capitol Auditorium, E1.004

Meeting Agenda:

A PDF copy of the agenda is available here.


Below are the presentations reviewed during this meeting.

  1. Natural Gas Vehicles for America – Volkswagen Settlement State Update
  2. TCEQ – Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Update and Milestones 
  3. Environmental Defense Fund – VW Environmental Mitigation Trust
  4. Alamo Area Council of Governments – Clean Cities Coordination
  5. Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance – AVF Technology Availability Update

Comments from the VW Settlement Meeting

John Hinesley from Meritor
Tom “Smitty” Smity from Public Citizen
Joshua Goldman from TransPower
Cyrus Reed from Sierra Club

Volkswagen Settlement Information

In 2016, courts determined that Volkswagen had violated the Clean Air Act by deliberately selling diesel vehicles equipped with technologies that tricked emissions testing. These vehicles violated federal emissions requirements, polluting up to 40 times as much as regulations allowed. The ruling resulted in a settlement totaling $14.7B.

June 26, 2017 Volkswagen Settlement Workshop Materials

Emission Reductions Options – Adrian Shelley, Public Citizen

Driving Technology – Lara Cottingham, City of Houston

Fleets for the Future – Lori Clark, NCTCOG

NCTCOG Fleet Resources Handout

Hidden Costs of Emissions – Andrew Hoekzema, ACOG

Settlement Overview – Elena Craft, EDF

VISION VW Funds – Tom Smith

Please answer the following questions to help TCAWG determine priorities for future Legislative Sessions.

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