Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses: An Introduction to Electric School Buses: Module 1 (Text Version)
This is a text version of the video for Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses: An Introduction to Electric School Buses: Module 1.
Abby Brown: Hello, and welcome to Part One of the "Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses" series, where we'll provide an introduction to electric school buses. So, Part One of the "Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses" series, an Introduction to Electric School Buses, consists of two modules. Module One, which is the module we are talking about today, provides an introduction to the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office Clean Cities Coalition Network. And we'll discuss how Clean Cities coalitions can assist school districts in learning about electric school buses, and how they can provide technical assistance throughout the project. In Module Two, which will be after this one, we will introduce electric buses, including the current electric school bus market in the US, their pros and cons, and also, key challenges to be aware of.
All right, so let's dive into Module One of the Electric School Bus Introduction, where we'll talk about Clean Cities and Technical Assistance.
Clean Cities coalitions employ a portfolio of strategics to advance affordable domestic transportation fuels and energy-saving technologies. Specifically, coalitions evaluate transportation needs and energy choices, to determine the most impactful and cost-effective vehicle options, fuels, technologies, and best practices that make sense for specific stakeholder applications. They also support the shift to domestic energy sources, through the use of alternative and renewable fuels such as natural gas, propane, hydrogen, electricity, ethanol, and biodiesel. Coalitions help to improve fuel efficiency through state-of-the-art technologies and strategies, and they seek to reduce harmful emissions through idle reduction and other fuel-saving technologies and practices. And finally, coalitions demonstrate and assess new mobility choices that maximize the return on investment for mobility systems in terms of time, cost, energy, and, of course, opportunity.
So, more than 80% of the U.S. population lives inside Clean Cities coalition boundaries. An active and diverse network of nearly 18,000 stakeholders, including government agencies, industry representatives, community organizations and businesses work through Clean Cities to exchange information and resources. For context, about 39% of these stakeholders come from the private sector, while the other 61% represent the public sector. And through Clean Cities coalition collective efforts, we are transforming local and regional transportation markets. Across the country, local coalitions serve as the foundation of this network, by working in communities to increase energy savings from efficiency projects, measured in gasoline gallon equivalents, and increase resiliency through fuel diversity with alternative fuels. Each coalition is led by an on-the-ground Clean Cities coordinator, who tailors projects and activities to capitalize on the unique opportunities in their region. And coordinators serve as both educators and problem-solvers for their stakeholders. Coalitions are also locally based, with access to national resources.
And now, I'll turn it over to John, to talk a little bit more about Clean Cities technical assistance.
John Gonzales: Thanks, Abby. Yeah, just a little bit of follow-on with what Abby was talking about as far as, Clean Cities is a voluntary program, and coalitions do draw on local stakeholders from the private and public sectors. As Abby had mentioned, there's about 18,000 stakeholders nationwide; 39% of those represent the private sector, and about 61% of those represent the public sector. It's an active network of government agencies, industry representatives, committee organizations and businesses that work through Clean Cities, to exchange information and resources. It's a diverse form of partnerships that can make Clean Cities coalitions unique and successful. Through our collective efforts, we are transforming local and regional transportation markets, through these Clean Cities programs.
DOE provides a variety of technical service problem-solving assistance to help you through all sorts of information, to make sure that your next alternative fuel project, whether it be electric school buses or any other fuel that is an alternative fuel, goes through smoothly. And it's in this event that, if you hit some bumps in the road, technical assistance can help you identify these root causes or these problems, help correct any of these issues, or at least work with you to help correct them, and get your project back on track. The Technical Response Service, or TRS, is a rapid-response data and information service available to stakeholders and others with questions about DOE's vehicle technology portfolio items. They can respond to simple or challenging questions related to alternative fuels or advanced vehicles. They can be reached at this link here, or the phone number that you see on this slide.
Also, if you have some more complex issues, Tiger Teams can help you, as well. This team of industry experts is available for technical problem solving related to vehicle and infrastructure development. Applicants must already have tried to solve the problem by using local resources. We highly encourage this. But if you can't, reach out to Tiger Teams to provide more assistance, at any point in this project or this product lifecycle, including the concept development or execution or operation. We also help with maintenance and also closure. So feel free to contact the Tiger Team's program to help if you do run into a little bit more of a challenging need.
Clean Cities coalitions provide the assistance, information, and resources to successfully plan and execute an AFV and fueling infrastructure project, whether that is providing technical assistance or on-the-ground project support, making connections through the vehicle technology office, funding opportunities, or facilitating local and national partnerships. These activities, combined with the access to the information, technical assistance, funding, and project planning really makes Clean Cities your go-to for a successful project.
Now back to Abby.
Abby Brown: Great. Thanks, John. Now, I'm going to talk a little bit about the Alternative Fuels Data Center. So, the Alternative Fuels Data Center, or the AFDC, collects, analyzes, and distributes data used to evaluate alternative fuels and vehicles. This website houses an extensive collection of information, data, and tools related to every technology and fuel in the Clean Cities portfolio. And that, of course, includes biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane, as shown here on this slide. And on the AFDC, you can find details about each fuel, and that includes basics such as production and distribution specifications, and research and development. But it also includes things like benefits and considerations, station locations and infrastructure development, vehicle availability, emissions, maintenance and safety, laws and incentives, and, of course, fuel pricing on a local, regional, and national level.
So, who uses the AFDC? The information, data, and tools on the AFDC help a variety of transportation decision-makers evaluate affordable options to meet their energy and economic goals. And while the target audience varies depending on the resource, examples of transportation stakeholders include fleet managers, local planners, fueling station and charging infrastructure providers, electric utilities, and, of course, Clean Cities coalitions. And more than 3 million people visit the AFDC each year, and view more than 12 million pages. The datasets for stations, laws and incentives, and vehicles are available through data downloads and APIs, also called application programming interfaces. And through these outlets, the alternative fueling station locator provides data for more than 25 million station searches, every year.
The AFDC offers a large collection of helpful tools. These calculators, interactive maps, and data searches can assist fleets and transportation decision-makers in their efforts to implement alternative fuels. And we'll discuss these tools throughout the series, but please poke around on this page, if you haven't done so recently, and just take a peek at the types of resources that we can provide.
So, to recap what we just learned, I'd like to go over the key takeaways from this module, specifically, Clean Cities are your local experts. So, Clean Cities coalitions can provide the assistance, information, and resources to successfully plan and execute alternative fuel vehicle and fueling infrastructure projects. So, please reach out to your Clean Cities and your local Clean Cities coalition for assistance. Also, as John mentioned, technical and problem-solving assistance is at your fingertips. So, remember that you can contact the technical response service or the Tiger Teams for help with your project. And lastly, remember to visit the AFDC. This website houses an extensive collection of information, data, and tools related to every technology and fuel in the Clean Cities portfolio, and use the AFDC to find details about each fuel. And also, remember that there are a wide variety of tools and resources available on the AFDC Tools page.
So, thank you for listening. That concludes Module One of Part One of the "Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses" series, an Introduction to Electric School Buses. To complete the modules in Part One of this series, continue on to listen to Module Two, where we will introduce electric buses, including the current electric school bus market in the US, pros and cons, and, of course, key challenges to be aware of.
And if you're wondering where you can find all of these school bus resources, you can find the content for the "Flipping the Switch on Electric School Buses" series, including each part of the series and the associated modules, as well as handouts with a summary of information and links to all of the resources mentioned today, on the Alternative Fuels Data Center's Electric School Bus page.