Monday, April 4, 2016

Grant to Advance Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies

Contact: Anna Rosenbaum
202.618.6363 /
National Association of Regional Councils
Receives Grant to Advance Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies
WASHINGTON (March 22, 2016) - The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) is launching the Aggregated Alternative Technology Alliance (AATA) initiative as part of the national effort to reduce petroleum consumption by 2.5 billion gallons per year by 2020 through the acquisition of alternative fuel and/or advanced technology vehicles and related technology (AFATVs). This initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clean Cities Program under the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Procurement Aggregating Initiative.

Led by NARC, AATA is a partnership between five regional councils, nine Clean Cities coalitions, and five technical partners that is dedicated to advancing fuel-efficient vehicle technologies through targeted outreach and education and the coordination of five large regional procurement initiatives and one national scale initiative. AATA is designed as a sustainable and replicable approach towards collaborative procurement for AFATV that encourages peer exchange of best practices and provides access to experts in AFATV fields nationwide. The AATA team represents over 63 million Americans across the country and will directly engage at least 40,000 key AFATV stakeholders through procurement initiatives.

AATA technical partners, Meister Consultants Group, Inc., Electrification Coalition, Yborra & Associates, ICM, and the Propane Education & Research Council, will work with five regional councils and Clean Cities coalitions to create and leverage AFATV best practices and procurement templates that can be modified to meet the needs and legal requirements of jurisdictions. In addition, AATA will explore options to combine or bundle AFATV with the re-fueling and charging station infrastructure, creating additional cost reduction opportunities to help reduce large-scale adoption barriers.

The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, North Central Texas Council of Governments, and Pima Association of Governments, with support from their Clean Cities coalitions, will each deploy a regional procurement process using tailored best practices and templates to combine their member governments’ purchasing power for AFATV. The national procurement initiative will be spearheaded by MARC with support from NARC and several Clean Cities from around the country, including the Clean Communities of Central New York, Metropolitan Energy Center /Kansas City Regional Clean Cities, Tucson Regional Clean Cities Coalition, Utah Clean Cities, Western Washington Clean Cities, and Clean Fuels Ohio.

“NARC is excited to be leading this highly qualified Alliance as it makes alternative fuel and other advanced vehicles more accessible to communities, “ said NARC Executive Director Leslie Wollack. “By coming together regionally to reduce costs and streamline the procurement process, we’ll be able to make big strides in the [AFATV] market thereby reducing petroleum dependence at the national level.”

In all, AATA strives to positively impact the AFATV market in a 24-month period through the deployment of replicable fuel-neutral best practices and cooperative procurement templates that will enable competitive pricing and lower the up-front cost up to 15% for AFATV acquisition in local, regional, and state jurisdictions, as well as for private fleets through five large regional procurement initiatives and one national scale initiative.

About the National Association of Regional Councils
The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) serves as the national voice for regionalism by advocating for regional cooperation as the most effective way to address a variety of community planning and development opportunities and issues. NARC’s member organizations are composed of multiple local governments that work together to serve American communities – large and small, urban and rural. Visit for more information. 

The Clean Cities Program
Since 1993, the Energy Department’s Clean Cities program has supported community-led efforts to help fleets and consumers find the alternative fuel or fuel-efficient solutions that meet their needs. Clean Cities’ nearly 100 local coalitions across the country work to reduce petroleum consumption, limit pollution, and save money.

2016 Westport Training Schedule Released

Westport News Update:

2016 service training schedule is set! This intense three-day course, held at our Westport facility in Dallas, Texas covers a range of essential topics in both the classroom and on our Production floor - including hands-on repairs for light-duty vehicles (dedicated and bi-fuel).

This year we have 5 sessions:
1) April 13-16
2) June 15-17
3) August 17-19
4) October 19-21
5) December 7-9

The classes are free! I believe it's critical to have a robust training program - that's how vehicles are diagnosed efficiently and effectively, thereby reducing downtime (and loss of revenue / use) of your vehicles. Many companies "talk" about the importance of a training program, but this program is another example of Westport's commitment to delivering a high level of customer service. This is the backbone of a truly successful alternative fuel vehicle offering. Because of how important I view this program, I want to make this as small of a financially burden on your organization as feasible. 

I'm often asked if we can do training your location. The answer is "yes". There will be a cost; however, the real crux is I believe it does a disservice to your folks. In Dallas, technicians are able to learn about various systems through our extensive line-up of vehicles located on-site and they are able to meet face-to-face, the very people they will interacting with on warranty and service support (many comment this is worth the trip alone!). Is it because we have great people? Well, yes...but more importantly, it provides your technicians a clear path to resolution of a vehicle - whether it be shipping a part or diagnosing a vehicle.  

What do you need to do? Email me back with specifics - (a) how many people and (a) what dates you are requesting and I'll ensure it gets to the right people to coordinate. Space is limited as we try and limit the number of people per class. If you are interested, I would jump on this opportunity as quickly as possible.

Switching gears...

Many energy experts have predicted low energy prices for the next couple of years, but the recent month or so shows that energy prices may have bottomed. The chart below highlights the stability of natural gas prices. If you like volatility and uncertainty, gasoline is a great option. 

Last comment - we received our MY2016 CNG Transit Cargo Van / Passenger Wagon EPA certification; CARB pending (expected very soon). Our dedicated CNG F-150 CARB certification is imminent. I appreciate your business and if there is anything I can do to further support you and your organization, please do not hesitate to reach out.