The Department of Energy’s (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is seeking applications (DE-FOA-0000708) for up to $5 million in funding to reduce multiple barriers to alternative fuel vehicle—including electric vehicle—adoption and use.
The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is fuel neutral; applications should focus on one or more identified alternative fuels, depending on what fuels and technologies make the most sense for the proposed geographic area and activities to be performed under the proposed project. Proposed efforts regarding the use of biodiesel should not include blends less than 20% biodiesel (B20), and efforts regarding the use of ethanol should not include blends less than 70% ethanol (or below the current American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification for E85).
DOE’s Clean Cities program has identified four critical areas that provide significant obstacles to alternative fuel vehicle use: 1) Policies; 2) Barrier Reduction; 3) Safety and Training; and 4) Market Development/Outreach. Applications can focus on certain elements within each initiative but each area should be addressed. Where appropriate, applications should include activities and standardized approaches that are replicable across other states, regions or nationally.
Policy Initiatives can positively impact local/regional/state regulations, plans, codes, and/or incentives regarding the use of alternative transportation fuel(s). A few examples include: updating/renovating Transportation Improvement Plans (TIPs)/State Implementation Plans (SIPs) and regional transportation plans to allow/encourage/enhance the use of alternative fuel vehicles; assisting in the development of uniform codes and streamlined permitting processes; developing monetary or non-monetary incentives; and developing procurement policies.
Barrier Reduction Initiatives identify, address, and/or mitigate various local/regional/state barriers to the use of alternative fuel vehicles. Examples include: workshops and training regarding alternative fuel infrastructure and alternative fuel vehicles; updating existing restrictions that prevent the movement of alternative fuel vehicles; and identifying local/regional/state problems with standardizing weights and measures (i.e. uniform gallon equivalency standards, motor fuel taxation challenges, laws, regulations, and methods of practice) and developing strategies for mitigation.
Safety and Training Initiatives that address needs for training of first-responders, service technicians, mechanics, code officials, fleet managers and/or decision makers regarding the use of alternative fuel vehicles and petroleum reduction strategies.
Market Development/Outreach Initiatives that address needed outreach, education, coordination among key infrastructure development partners, and/or information dissemination regarding the use of alternative fuel vehicles.
DOE is encouraging applicants to form teams that include one or more active designated Clean Cities coalitions as well as other partners with relevant experience and expertise.
DOE anticipates awarding 10 to 20 projects this year to be completed within two years. The award ceiling is $1 million; the award floor is $200,000.