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Cal Energy Commission grants $2.4M for Class 8 fuel cell hybrid trucks at ports; $1.2M for PEV fleet and V2G software upgrade

The California Energy Commission approved a grant of $2.4 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program to build and to test seven hybrid fuel-cell, Class 8 trucks to transport cargo at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.

The Commission also approved $1.2 million to expand the data collection effort for the plug-in vehicle project at Los Angeles Air Force Base (earlier post) to assess fully the economic and technical viability of transforming military base tactical vehicles to plug-in electric drive vehicle drive vehicles participating in vehicle-to-grid services.

The goal of the Class 8 fuel cell truck project is to develop and apply a vehicle architecture that blends existing battery-electric technology and a hydrogen fuel cell acting as a range extender to create a zero-emission drayage truck. This vehicle will meet the range and power for near-dock, local, and near-regional trips.

The truck will have to demonstrate that it can pull a total of 80,000 lbs (36,287 kg) GVWR in and out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach; climb a 6% grade over the Vincent Thomas Bridge; travel at least 100 miles (161 km) between fueling, and operate at freeway speeds along the outer portions of the I-710 and CA-60 highways.

SCAQMD has BAE Systems and the Center for Transportation and the Environment as subcontractors.

In addition, the Energy Commission approved $500,000 for advanced vehicle technology apprenticeship training through California Community Colleges and the California Employment Development Department, with emphasis on veterans and disadvantaged residents.

Further, in response to the current drought and to prepare for the next one, the California Energy Commission approved new standards for showerheads. The standards are expected to save more than 2.4 billion gallons of water in the first year and 38 billion gallons after full stock turnover in 10 years. The commission also voted to change the start date for the recently adopted standard for lavatory faucets.

The current California showerhead standard is 2.5 gallons per minute. CalGreen code, the California plumbing code and the voluntary WaterSense specification are all 2.0 gallons per minute. Standards adopted today require that all showerheads not exceed 2.0 gallons per minute maximum flow rate. This applies to fixed and handheld showerheads as well as horizontal body sprayers manufactured on or after 1 July 2016. To increase water savings over time, the standard for showerheads will change to 1.8 gallons per minute maximum flow rate starting 1 July 2018—making this the most stringent standard in the country.

In April, the Energy Commission adopted a standard of 1.2 gallons per minute flow rate for residential lavatory faucets, among other water appliances, that would have taken effect 1 Jan. 2016. Commissioners voted to change the current standard of 2.2 gallons per minute flow rate to 1.5, effective 1 September. The Energy Commission also voted to implement the 1.2 gallon per minute flow rate on 1 July 2016. The changes are in response to manufacturers who said they would not be able to supply retailers with enough 1.2 gallons per minute lavatory faucets on January 1, but have 1.5 gallons per minute models available today.

The Energy Commission also approved loans for energy efficiency upgrades through the Energy Conservation Assistance Act, a zero- or low-interest loan program providing funds to public entities. The city of Santa Cruz received a $1.8-million 1% interest loan to install more efficient interior and exterior lights, as well as to make improvements to a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Montague Elementary School District received a 0% interest loan for more than $400,000 to upgrade interior and exterior lighting, upgrade the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, and to install an onsite 40 kilowatt photovoltaic system at the district's elementary school in Siskyou County.


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