On Tuesday, June 18, the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) expanded their electric vehicle fleet with the help of the Clean Fuel Transition Fund for Public Fleets, which is managed by the Regional Planning Commission’s (RPC) Clean Fuel Partnership program.
The Clean Fuel Partnership is a coalition of fleet managers and operators; alternative fuel, vehicle, and technology providers; local, state, and federal government agencies; and other organizations. The Partnership was established to facilitate and promote the implementation of emissions reduction and fuel saving projects in Louisiana’s transportation sector.
RPC funding is awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. In Louisiana, the RPC uses this funding through the Clean Fuel Transition Fund for Public Fleets to support public fleets in incorporating clean fuel alternatives into their operations. Eligible fleets can receive up to 80 percent of the cost difference between a new alternative fuel vehicle and the gasoline-powered version. Fleets can also receive up to 80 percent of the cost to convert an existing vehicle to alternative fuel, and 80 percent of the cost to purchase and install anti-idling equipment.
In this case, the funding provided by the program was used to offset the cost of adding two plug-in hybrid electric Ford F-150s equipped with regenerative braking and a high voltage lithium battery along with other extended range technology. These systems, developed by XL – a company dedicated to proving fleet electrification solutions – help to reduce the vehicle’s miles per gallon by as much as 50 percent and decrease the vehicle’s emissions by as much as a 33 percent.
“We are pleased to celebrate Port NOLA’s new plug-in hybrid electric trucks which are helping the Port save fuel, reduce emissions, and invest in efficiency, ” said Port NOLA President and CEO, Brandy D. Christian. “We would like to thank the Regional Planning Commission and the Clean Fuel Partnership, as well as XL. We look forward to continuing to implement projects that help drive energy efficiency and sustainability.”
Port NOLA participates in a number of environmental and sustainability initiatives. In 2015, Port NOLA earned its Green Marine certification. Green Marine is a comprehensive environmental program that helps ports, shipping companies, and terminal operators voluntarily reduce their environmental footprints. Green Marine measures a number of performance indicators for certification, including environmental leadership, community impacts, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, spill prevention, and stormwater management. Christian currently serves on Green Marine’s Board of Directors.
Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist and editor whose work has been featured in publications such as The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, Examiner.com, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_