Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation

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1 Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation Background Petroleum-based fuels have provided the power source behind most modes of transportation for the past century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, electricity did show some promise as a cross-mode energy source, but for a number of reasons, petroleum-based fuels quickly overtook electricity as the power source of choice for all but a few mass transit applications. As a result, the 20th century saw the nearly total reliance of all transportation modes on fossil fuels. As the Richmond Region enters the 21st century, alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles are once again gaining popularity as the future of petroleum-derived fuels becomes increasingly uncertain. Traditional internal combustion engines are being modified to burn alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), biodiesel and ethanol/gasoline blends. This allows current generation vehicles to burn fuels that are typically cleaner and help to lower dependence on petroleum-based sources. Some of these alternative fuel sources also use byproducts that have traditionally been disposed of or sources for which there are currently surpluses or RRPDC unused manufacturing capacity. Federal Legislation At the federal level, numerous pieces of legislation address alternative fuel/vehicle initiatives, including the following: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 Energy Policy Act in 2005 Energy Policy Act of 1992 Surface Transportation Acts Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 Clean Air Act of 1970 Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation 13-1

2 Below are summaries of a few key pieces of legislation from the previous list (from the Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center website, Key Legislation): American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Enacted February 17, 2009 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 appropriates nearly $800 billion towards the creation of jobs, economic growth, tax relief, improvements in education and healthcare, infrastructure modernization, and investments in energy independence and renewable energy technologies. ARRA supports a variety of alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies through grant programs, tax credits, research and development, fleet funding, and other measures. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 Enacted December 19, 2007 The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 aims to improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce U.S. dependence on petroleum. EISA includes provisions to increase the supply of renewable alternative fuel sources by setting a mandatory Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels annually by In addition, the law sets the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard at 35 miles per gallon for passenger cars and light trucks by the year EISA also includes grant programs to encourage the development of cellulosic biofuels, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and other emerging electric technologies. The law is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9% by Energy Policy Act of 1992 Enacted October 24, 1992 The Energy Policy Act (EPAct 1992) of 1992 aims to reduce U.S. dependence on imported petroleum and improve air quality by addressing all aspects of energy supply and demand, including alternative fuels, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. EPAct 1992 encourages the use of alternative fuels through both regulatory and voluntary activities and approaches the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) carries out. It requires federal, state, and alternative fuel provider fleets to acquire alternative fuel vehicles. EPAct 1992 also defines "alternative fuels" as: methanol, ethanol, and other alcohols; blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline (E85); natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas; propane; hydrogen; electricity; biodiesel (B100); coal-derived liquid fuels; fuels, other than alcohol, derived from biological materials; and P-Series fuels, which were added to the definition in Under EPAct 1992, DOE has the authority to add more alternative fuels to the list of authorized alternative fuels if certain criteria are met. DOE s Clean Cities initiative was established in response to EPAct 1992 to implement voluntary alternative fuel vehicle deployment activities Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation

3 Surface Transportation Acts Enacted December 18, 1991; June 9, 1998; and August 10, 2005 The national surface transportation acts authorize funds for highway construction, and highway safety and public transportation programs. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (Public Law ) establishes the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, which provides funding for projects and programs in air quality non-attainment and maintenance areas to reduce transportationrelated emissions. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) of 1998 continues the CMAQ program and establishes the Clean Fuels Grant Program, which allows transit systems to apply for and receive grants to purchase or lease clean fuel buses, related equipment or facilities, and use biodiesel. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) enacted in 2005, continues and amends several programs established under ISTEA and TEA-21, including CMAQ and the Clean Fuels Grant Program. SAFETEA-LU also establishes additional programs and incentives related to alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and fuel efficiency, including the alternative fuel excise tax credit. Alternative Motor Fuels Act Enacted October 14, 1988 The Alternative Motor Fuels Act (AMFA) of 1988 (Public Law ) creates vehicle manufacturer incentives in the form of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) credits for the production of motor vehicles capable of operating on certain alternative fuels. AMFA also directs the U.S. Department of Transportation, in consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to conduct a study and submit a report to Congress evaluating the success of the policy decision to offer CAFE credit calculation incentives for dual-fuel vehicles. AMFA also required the creation of an alternative fuels education and data resource center. As a result, the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center was established in 1991 at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Clean Air Act of 1970 Enacted December 31, 1970 The Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970 (Public Law ) defines the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) responsibilities for protecting and improving air quality. CAA authorizes the development of comprehensive federal and state regulations to limit both stationary and mobile emissions sources, including authorizing the establishment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), establishing requirements for State Implementation Plans to achieve these standards, authorizing the establishment of emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants, and authorizing requirements to control motor vehicle emissions. Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation 13-3

4 Million GGEs Alternative fuels Figure 13-1 below produced by the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) shows the estimated consumption of alternative fuels from by fuel type. The chart clearly shows that compressed natural gas (CNG) and an 85% ethanol 15% gasoline blend (E85) have significantly increased in popularity over the past two decades, while propane (LPG) has steadily lost market share during the same period. In comparison, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has made modest gains and electricity as an automotive fuel has started to gain a slight share of the market over the last decade, whereas hydrogen (H2) and various blends of methanol (M85, M100) have had a negligible presence in the automotive fuel market. Figure 13-1: Estimated Consumption of Alternative Fuel by AFVs in the U.S. 250 Estimated Consumption of Alternative Fuel by AFVs in the U.S CNG LPG E85 LNG Elec H2 E95 M85 M [3] Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center 13-4 Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation

5 Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) In the last decade, electric vehicle technology has once again begun to gain popularity in the form of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs). HEVs contain both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, both of which are capable of producing sufficient energy to power the vehicle. In contrast, electric vehicles (EVs) utilize an electric motor as their sole source of locomotive power. The most popular and commercially successful HEV to date is the Toyota Prius. Approximately 2.5 million Priuses have been sold world-wide and 1.1 million in the United States as of early 2012 (Dan Lyons, Prius Expands the Brand: 2012 Toyota Prius c). Map 13-1 shows the 2012 ownership rates of HEVs in the Richmond Region. Due to the purchase cost of these vehicles, there is a strong correlation between HEV ownership and areas of the Richmond Region with median family incomes above $100,000 per year. RRPDC Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation 13-5

6 Map 13-1: 2012 Hybrid Vehicle Registrations within the Richmond Region 13-6 Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation

7 2011 saw the rollout of the HEV Chevy Volt, a slightly different twist on the hybrid electric vehicle in comparison to the Prius. According to the Chevrolet website, the Volt operates as a pure electric vehicle until the battery is depleted, at which point a small gasoline engine is started to generate additional electricity sufficient to drive the vehicle. This results in a vehicle range closer to that of a gasoline powered car (around 375 miles). The United States is currently seeing the release of several pure electric vehicles from different manufacturers that are focused on the general automobile market versus the niche markets at which most previous electric vehicles have been focused. These vehicles include the Nissan Leaf (2011) and Ford Focus Electric (2012). Both of these vehicles can be charged by standard 110-volt household power sources, although specialized charging stations will provide a much quicker charge. An issue that comes up regularly when reviewing EV literature is the term range anxiety, referring to the worry of EV owners and potential owners regarding the relatively short travel range of most current generation electric vehicles (40-60 miles). A 2011 National Geographic online article, Range Anxiety: Fact or Fiction, reports that a survey conducted last year by the Consumer Electronics Association found 71% of respondents feared running out of charge on the road placing range anxiety among the most common perceived disadvantages of electric vehicles. Clearly, this can be a barrier to the acceptance of electric vehicles by a wider segment of the general driving public. Presumably, as EV infrastructure (charging stations specifically) becomes increasingly common, range anxiety will become less of an issue to potential buyers. Map 14-2 shows current EV charging stations within the Richmond region. Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation 13-7

8 Map 13-2: 2012 Charging Stations within the Richmond Region 13-8 Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation

9 Virginia Clean Cities Virginia Clean Cities, a partner with the RRPDC on the Richmond Electric Vehicle Initiative (REVi) described later in this chapter, was created as part of the federal Clean Cities program. According to the AFDC website, Federal & State Incentives & Laws, The mission of Clean Cities is to advance the energy, economic, and environmental security of the United States by supporting local initiatives to adopt practices that reduce the use of petroleum in the transportation sector. Clean Cities carries out this mission through a network of more than 80 volunteer coalitions, which develop public/private partnerships to promote alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, fuel blends, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction. Clean Cities provides information about financial opportunities, coordinates technical assistance projects; updates and maintains databases and websites, and publishes fact sheets, newsletters, and related technical and informational materials. Virginia Clean Cities has been instrumental in promoting alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles throughout Virginia, including efforts within the Richmond Region. In 2010 and 2011, Virginia Clean Cities worked with the RRPDC to coordinate several meetings with local planning directors to discuss the requirements for electric vehicle charging and the potential changes to local zoning/permitting that might be needed to accommodate private and public EV charging stations. STIR In October of 2009, the RRPDC contacted the Sustainable Transportation Initiative of Richmond (STIR) after learning of their involvement with alternative fuel vehicle programs initiated by Ford and GM/Segway. Over the past two years, the RRPDC has worked in concert with STIR on a number of initiatives in the region. The RRPDC Executive Director sits as a member on the STIR Executive Committee. RRPDC STIR Vision Statement: STIR's vision is to see the Greater Richmond Region as the national model in building an innovative, sustainable transportation system that moves people in a greener way. Stir Mission Statement: STIR's mission is to ensure the Greater Richmond Region s future transportation system provides an array of cost-effective, sustainable transportation choices all designed to move people in a manner that maintains our unprecedented access and mobility and minimizes the impact travel has on our environment. Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation 13-9

10 In late 2010, Richmond was one of 19 US cities to be chosen as a test market for Ford s Focus Electric vehicle, due to be available in This decision was due primarily to the hard work of STIR in promoting the Region to Ford representatives. STIR is currently engaged with multiple forms of sustainable transportation, including electric vehicles, Segways, trolleys and public transportation. STIR s goals for the next year are to: Successfully promote the Focus electric vehicle as part of Ford Motor Company s 19 select launch cities Partner with Richmond area organizations, through a federal grant from the US Department of Energy, to develop a regional strategic plan that will identify and foster policies to implement electric vehicle infrastructure in the Greater Richmond Region Educate the public about sustainable transportation through presentations to community groups. REVi Grant In September 2011, the Richmond Region won a Department of Energy planning grant for electric vehicles through the Clean Cities Community Readiness and Planning for Plug-In Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure. To obtain this grant, the RRPDC teamed with Virginia Clean Cities, STIR, Dominion Virginia Power, J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College and several other community partners. The primary goal of the Richmond Electric Vehicle Initiative (REVi) is to advance the region as an attractive and sustainable market for electric vehicle technology. This program will produce a strategic plan to ensure the local electric infrastructure is prepared for the anticipated increase of electric vehicles within the Richmond Region. This plan will address both community and at-home vehicle charging needs. This effort will also explore multimodal opportunities where electric charging stations will be located at park and ride facilities and transit stops. The activities of the REVi planning project will lay the educational and policy groundwork for infrastructure installation and electric vehicle adoption in the Richmond Region and Commonwealth at large. The program has assembled significant partnerships with over 50 engaged organizations, and has identified synergistic opportunities between those organizations. Project objectives will be accomplished by planning, analysis, assessment, implementation, reporting, and centralized program management between stakeholders that will achieve long term solutions through successful achievement of short-term priority targets Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation

11 Peak oil The term peak oil refers to the concept that the earth s petroleum reserves are finite and that oil production will inevitably decline. According to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO), this decline is already occurring. Their web article titled Understanding Peak Oil by Colin J. Campbell states that the peak of oil discovery was passed in the 1960s, and the world started using more than was found in new fields in In her web article, Is Peak Oil a Myth?, Bethany Parker of Penn State University writes that some economists predict the peak has already occurred; Princeton s Kenneth Deffeyes says it happened in Other experts, like Matthew Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Company International, an energy investment company, estimate that the world is peaking right now. Exxon Mobil and other oil companies have projected a peak at 2030 or beyond. A review of available writings on the subject of peak oil reveals, as evidenced above, vast differences in the date at which the world as a whole will have reached peak oil production. Given that the earth can only hold a finite amount of any natural resource, it is clear that natural oil reserves will one day be depleted. The policy implications, however, of a world that has already peaked in oil production versus a world that will not reach that peak for decades or even centuries, are quite different. From a regional transportation planning perspective, the concept that the earth may have already passed its peak of oil production has a significant impact on decisions made in the planning process. There are several ways in which a dramatic drop in available petroleumbased fuels could possibly be addressed. One way such an energy shortfall might be addressed is through a conversion/retrofitting of existing transportation infrastructure to accommodate the use of alternative fuels. This could be accomplished by either modifying existing vehicles to burn an alternative fuel such as ethanol or biodiesel, replacing existing vehicles with those capable of using alternative fuels, or by replacing existing vehicles with electric ones. This scenario relies upon major changes to current energy policy as it relates to transportation. A second means by which our dependence on petroleum could be phased out is by directing increasing resources over time to modes of transportation that have either traditionally not relied on fossil fuels (e.g. biking, walking), or to modes that have already experienced largescale movement toward alternative fuel use, such as light rail. In contrast to the previous alternative, this scenario would require a major shift (in some cases/areas, more of an acceleration of current trends) in transportation infrastructure planning and programming policy. In reality, a combination of both scenarios above is being implemented and will continue to be implemented as oil supplies dwindle. As better data is developed regarding the existence of as of yet untapped oil reserves and the true peak of oil production is better Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation 13-11

12 determined, it will be easier to make policy decisions that respond appropriately to energy resource realities. Local Sustainable Transportation Efforts The RRPDC currently supports a number of programs geared toward sustainable transportation: RideFinders- A division of the GRTC Transit Company, RideFinders promotes ride-sharing within the Richmond Region. RideFinders coordinates vanpool and carpool services as well as providing a point of contact for information on GRTC services, teleworking and bicycle and pedestrian commuter services. 64 Express James River Barge Service- Launched in 2008, the 64 Express service provides twice-weekly barge transportation for container trucks from ports in Hampton Roads to the Port of Richmond and back. In the first year of the service, approximately 6000 containers were moved (12,000 equivalent truck trips) with a round-trip fuel savings of 70 gallons of fuel per container. The barge service has been successful and continues to grow in popularity. Virginia Capital Trail- the RRPDC has been instrumental in securing funding toward completion of the Virginia Capital Trail, a bicycle/pedestrian trail parallel to Route 5 stretching from Richmond to the first capital of Virginia in Williamsburg. The trail serves not only as a recreation resource for the Region, but it will also provide an alternate transportation link in the I-64 corridor when complete Chapter 13 Sustainable Transportation

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