“So governmental agency, 100 percent of the cost could be covered through the mitigation trust and if you’re a private entity still eligible for funding through the mitigation trust, but only 75 percent of your costs would actually be covered,” said Shawn Seals with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Registration is open for our May dealer and customer training workshops. We now offer separate propane autogas vehicle workshops: one for our school bus customers and one for our commercial customers. This means more specialized training on the vehicles you service.
AAA Mid-Atlantic also recently added the first of its kind Ford 2017 F-650 propane powered flatbed to the auto club’s Philadelphia area fleet. This propane-fueled truck has the equivalent horsepower, torque and towing capacity of gasoline versions of the same model. Before arriving in Philadelphia, the new flatbed was featured in last month’s National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) truck show.
ROUSH CleanTech will begin offering a 35-gallon propane autogas fuel tank for medium-duty trucks such as the Ford F-450 and F-550, the Livonia, Mich.-based vehicle modifier has announced.
4.19.2017 — ROUSH CleanTech will reveal its newest propane autogas tank option at this weekend’s NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo in Nashville. The 35-usable gallon, single-saddle propane autogas tank for the Ford F-450 / F-550 is passenger-side mounted allowing it the versatility to fit in a variety of body applications.
Urbana city schools may add more propane-fueled buses to their fleet in the near future with the hopes of saving money due to cheaper fuel and maintenance costs.
VW: Updated Timeline & Canada Update
As we updated you in last month’s newsletter, Wilmington Trust has been appointed as the trustee that will oversee the administration of the Volkswagen Settlement funds. Now, we are waiting for the Trustee Effective Date to take effect, which could happen at any time. That will kick off the next actions from the states where they will choose their beneficiaries and then draft their mitigation plans.
Each state has 60 days to determine who their beneficiary will be, so if the Trustee Effective Date takes place by the end of April, then beneficiaries will be named by the end of June. Once they have been named, it’s important for you to reach out to your state’s beneficiary and introduce yourself (if you haven’t already done so). You can find a list of potential beneficiaries that we have compiled online here. Once the beneficiaries are in place, they will have 90 days (which would bring us to the end of September) to produce a draft plan for how they will use the funds.
Once draft plans are published, you will have 30 days to respond to the proposed program for your state and comment whether you feel they are using the funds adequately. Written responses are imperative at this stage to drive any changes to the final state plans. We will be coordinating with you on the responses in late September or October, so we keep our messaging consistent.
If you have any questions about the progress your state has made or next steps, please reach out to Chelsea Uphaus at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-466-6710 to discuss.
UPDATED U.S. TIMELINE:
Update: Canadian Settlement
It sounds like the Volkswagen settlement in Canada will be handled differently than how it’s being done in the U.S. We have heard that the only available funds will be for consumers to buy back / replace their non-compliant vehicles. There will be no NOx mitigation funds available in Canada.
Clean Cities Media Coverage Helps Promote Alt Fuel Transportation
Across the United States, Clean Cities Coalitions are working to reduce the nation’s reliance on petroleum in transportation. Clean Cities offers many benefits, such as funding and alt fuel events for dealers to promote their propane-fueled buses. When appropriate, many Clean Cities reps will involve the media to promote these opportunities, and get the news publicized.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program advances the nation’s economic, environmental and energy security by supporting local actions to cut petroleum use in transportation. Clean Cities has saved more than 8.5 billion gallons of petroleum since its inception in 1993.
There are nearly 100 local coalitions working to cut petroleum use in communities across the country. Each coalition is led by a coordinator, who tailors projects and activities to capitalize on the unique opportunities in their communities.
Clean Cities regularly promotes the deployment of propane school buses that have obtained funding through them. They also hold their own events, like Chicago Area Clean Cities’ Green Drives Conference & Expo, or partner with other events to promote alt fuel vehicles, such as the Dallas/Ft. Worth Clean Cities’ partnership with Earth Day Texas to include display vehicles.
If you’re interested in joining your local coalition, other benefits include public recognition for progress in reducing petroleum consumption and assistance with media outreach. And, they’re just a great source for information on alt fuels, including the Volkswagen settlement.
Here are some press coverage examples of Clean Cities projects:
Florida Transportation Systems
Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition Recognizes BCPS as an Alternative Fuel Champion: http://www.browardschools.com/News-And-Events/News/Southeast-Florida-Clean-Cities-Coalition-Recognize?feed=news#.WO5dGo61vuN
Tampa Bay Clean Cities to Host National Alt-Fuel Vehicle Event: http://ngtnews.com/tampa-bay-clean-cities-host-national-alt-fuel-vehicle-event
Yancey Bus Sales
Dekalb School District Honored for Propane Bus Deployment: http://wane.com/2016/01/21/dekalb-school-district-honored-for-propane-bus-deployment/
East Chicago Students to Benefit from Propane School Buses: http://chicagocrusader.com/east-chicago-students-benefit-propane-school-buses/
Anderson Bus Sales
MotorWeek’s Clean Cities Success Story on Boston Public Schools: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pySUGjvG_G8
Contact your local Clean Cities Coalition to learn more.
Dealer Spotlight: Florida Transportation Systems
Dealer Spotlight: Florida Transportation Systems
Interviewee: Chris Rustman
Title: Owner / President
Q. What has made you successful with alternative fuels?
A. At Florida Transportation Systems, Ross Rayner, Steve Murphy and the team have been very successful in selling alternative fueled buses by using several sales tactics that focus on the customer experience.
First, we lend demo alt fuels buses to interested districts. We encourage transportation managers to put the demo bus into its regular operation. Don’t treat it any differently! We even put their lettering on the side along with route numbers so no one knows it’s a demo by just looking at the bus. Then, they put the bus into service on a regular route. See if the kids, or parents, notice any difference. The drivers will get to sit behind the wheel and technicians can see what’s under the hood. This technique helps alleviate any apprehension or anxiety about switching to something other than diesel. Lending out demo buses has been the best push over the fence for anyone teetering on the decision.
Second, we take the sales process off the table. By this, we mean that once we deliver the alt fuel demo bus, we let the customer experience it for themselves. We don’t call them every morning, but we are available for any questions they may have. When they have the bus for a week, and we aren’t there looking over their shoulder, it gives them a chance to get to know the bus in their own way. Once the week is over, we ask them how the experience went and if there were any obstacles or challenges. This opens a channel of honest communication where we can help assist. Giving the potential customer the freedom to think about their future purchase also helps to gain their trust.
Third, we let our current customers do the talking. Word of mouth speaks volumes. There’s nothing better than comments from a satisfied customer to promote alternative fuel buses. For example, when our customer Pasco County Schools finished demoing their propane school bus, they had comments like, “It was just unremarkable,” “It did what it was supposed to do every day,” and “It’s a bus and it works.” As a dealer, that’s exactly what you want!
Using these personalized sales tactics has gained FTS a reputation of trust and commitment to alternative fuels. And that has turned into sales for our team.