In the news. . .

Colorado trying to jump-start market for natural gas vehicles.


Federal Tax Credit Update

On December 31, 2013, a number of federal tax incentives expired, including:

  • Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit
  • Alternative Fuel Excise Tax Credit
  • Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit
  • Biodiesel Income Tax Credit
  • Biodiesel Mixture Excise Tax Credit
  • Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credits
  • Second Generation Plant Depreciation Deduction Allowance

While tax incentives have been extended retroactively after their expiration date in the past, Congress has not passed legislation to do so.

Full descriptions of these incentives can be found on the AFDC Federal Laws and Incentives page ( http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/laws/US). The descriptions will remain posted there until the federal tax filing deadline.


Clean Cities Launches Improved Tool to Help Fleets Evaluate CNG Investments

VICE Model 2.0 Released

We've updated the popular Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation (VICE) Model to allow fleets greater flexibility in determining payback periods for natural gas vehicles and fueling infrastructure. The VICE Model helps fleet managers evaluate the financial soundness of investments in compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and/or fueling infrastructure. The updated version is applicable to a wider variety of vehicles and can accommodate an incremental fueling station build out.

Read more on the Clean Cities Blog.


Gov. Hickenlooper Announces $30 Million Award to Increase State’s Natural Gas Fueling Infrastructure

DENVER — Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program will provide $30 million to increase Colorado’s natural gas fueling infrastructure. The funds will provide for the statewide construction of compressed natural gas fueling stations and the purchase of natural gas vehicles (NGV).

“Increased use of natural gas as a transportation fuel diversifies Colorado’s portfolio, supports locally produced energy, improves air quality and can save money through lower fuel costs,” Hickenlooper said. “These funds are critical to support installation of compressed natural gas fueling stations along the state’s major transportation corridors. These stations will help ensure an NGV owner can drive nearly anywhere across the state fueled by Colorado-produced gas.”

In 2011, Hickenlooper and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin joined 14 other states to sign a multi-state Memorandum of Understanding committing to the purchase of NGVs for each State’s fleet and encouraging the development of more functional and affordable CNG vehicles. As a result of the effort, car manufacturers are offering states lower cost NGVs and more model types including the recent introduction of half-ton trucks and mid-sized sedans which run on CNG.

Earlier this month, the Colorado Energy Office led an agreement among 29 large fleet owners including local governments, private sector companies, other public entities and members of the natural gas industry. These organizations committed to help accelerate the deployment of NGVs and a fueling station infrastructure to increase the use of a cleaner, domestic resource that diversifies Colorado’s transportation fuels.

The CMAQ funds will help with the construction of as many as 30 compressed natural gas fueling stations, and for the adoption of at least 1,000 natural gas vehicles to be awarded for use statewide. The four-year program will be managed by the Colorado Energy Office with the support of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Regional Air Quality Council (RACQ) and local governments.

The CMAQ funds received approval through a vote by the Colorado Transportation Commission today.



Clean Cities Releases 2014 Fuel Economy Guide

Clean Cities has once again collaborated with EPA to release the 2014 Fuel Economy Guide! You can view the Guide online or order it in print form on FuelEconomy.gov. All of the vehicle information in the Guide is also available in FuelEconomy.gov’s Find and Compare Cars tool, which allows drivers to customize their results based on their local fuel prices and driving habits.

The guide provides “Top Ten” lists allowing consumers to see the most efficient advanced technology vehicles as well as the most efficient gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. Consumers will also find a broad range of information in the guide that can be helpful while shopping for a new vehicle— including an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices. The online version of the guide allows consumers to enter local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate. Also, for the second consecutive year, the guide includes a 1-10 greenhouse gas rating for each model, providing a quick and easy way for consumers to identify vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.


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Changes Coming to Colorado. . .

(Source: Colorado Department of Revenue)

Effective January 1, 2014, the excise tax rate for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) will change from $.205 per gallon to $.03 per gallon for LPG and LNG and $.03 per gallon equivalent for CNG (a gallon equivalent is equal to 126.67 cubic feet).

Colorado is one of the first states in the nation to reduce these tax rates. The rate changes could help to increase the market for these fuels. In the bill’s legislative declaration, it states “The intended purpose of this rate reduction is to fairly tax liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas and to create tax parity among special fuels based on the differences in each fuel's energy content.”

Certain fuel distributors, retailers and vendors will be required to obtain a Colorado fuel distributor license due to new legislation regarding these special fuels (HB13-1110). Those fuel dealers who may be required to obtain a Colorado fuel distributor license include:

  • Any vendor of liquefied petroleum gas or natural gas (a public utility is not a distributor unless it sells these fuels through an alternative fuel vehicle charging or fueling facility that is unregulated under §40-1-103.3 C.R.S.)
  • A private commercial fleet operator that uses LPG or CNG from a public utility.
  • Any person who refines, manufactures, produces, compounds, blends or imports special fuel or gasoline.
  • A person who contracts with a private commercial fleet operator to be a distributor on behalf of the operator.
  • A public utility who sells fuel through an alternative fuel vehicle charging or fueling facility.

Distributing fuel in Colorado without a license can subject a dealer to civil penalties.

To apply for a fuel distributor license, go to www.TaxColorado.com, click on Forms and Forms by Number, then download forms DR 0214, 5785, 7064 and 7065.

If you have any questions, contact the Colorado Department of Revenue Fuel Tax Unit at 303-205-8205, option 2.


Alternative Fueling Stations in the Palm of Your Hand

New iPhone app helps drivers find stations

(Source: Clean Cities Blog)

Drivers of alternative fuel vehicles can now find fueling stations using Clean Cities' new iPhone app.

The Alternative Fueling Station Locator app, now available through the App Store, allows iPhone users to select an alternative fuel and find the 20 closest stations within a 30-mile radius. Users can view the locations on a map or as a list with station addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation.

"If you drive an electric vehicle, for instance, you can now use your iPhone to effortlessly identify, contact, and navigate to the charging station that's most convenient for you," said Project Manager Trish Cozart of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "Drivers aren't searching for stations while they're sitting at their computers; they need this information while they're out and about, which makes the iPhone an ideal means to deliver it."

The app draws information from Clean Cities' Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), which houses the most complete, up-to-date database of alternative fueling stations in the United States. The database currently contains location information for more than 15,000 alternative fueling stations throughout the country.

The AFDC is a comprehensive clearinghouse of information about advanced transportation technologies and offers unbiased information, data and tools related to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.



E85 Handbook Updated. . . Available Online

The Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85 and Other Ethanol-Gasoline Blends has been updated and is now available. You can order it via the document order form or find it online here: www.afdc.energy.gov/uploads/publication/ethanol_handbook.pdf

The document serves as a guide for blenders, distributors, sellers, and users of E85 and other ethanol blends above E10. It provides basic information on the proper and safe use of these fuels and includes supporting technical and policy references. Updates in this version include a comprehensive list of compatible dispensing equipment, information about equipment for use with E15 and blender pump blends.





Workplace Charging Challenge

(Source: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy / Vehicle Technologies Office )

Today, about half of the vehicles in the United States are parked at overnight locations with access to plugs, providing a great foundation for the country's plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging infrastructure. However, employers across the country are beginning to offer charging access in workplace lots, which serve as the next most-likely place a vehicle will spend time parked. In fact, the ability to charge at work can potentially double a PEV driver's all-electric daily commuting range. This untapped resource presents a significant opportunity to expand the country's PEV charging infrastructure.

To support the deployment of this infrastructure, DOE has launched the Workplace Charging Challenge, with a goal of achieving a tenfold increase in the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging in the next five years.

As part of the Workplace Charging Challenge, DOE is calling on America's employers to sign the Workplace Charging Challenge Pledge as "Partners" to make a bold commitment to provide PEV charging access to their workforce. The Pledge also enlists stakeholder organizations as "Ambassadors" to promote and facilitate workplace charging.

Partners who sign the Workplace Charging Pledge will:

  • Commit to assessing employee charging demand and developing a plan to install charging stations. Partner plans will include milestones for charging infrastructure installation with a minimum goal of provision of charging for a portion of PEV-driving employees at one or more major employer worksites, and a best practice goal of assessing and meeting all PEV-driving employee demand.
  • Take action by implementing a plan to install charging stations for their employees.
  • Share progress on achieving plan milestones over time, as well as best practices.

Learn more about the Workplace Charging Challenge:

Benefits of taking the Pledge

Resources for employers

DID YOU KNOW

For nearly half a century, transportation has accounted for about one-fourth of total U.S. energy use and two-thirds of total oil consumption. -- DOE Energy Information Administration

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